IOC President Jacques Rogge attended the European Speed Skating Championships with Ottavio Cinquanta, President of the International Skating Union (ISU) and an IOC member, in Herrenveen in the Netherlands last weekend.
INTERNATIONAL SPORTS FEDERATIONS
The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) has signed a broadcasting agreement for the 2013 IAAF World Championships, Moscow, Russia. The agreement was concluded between Sport A, the sports buying rights agency of German public service broadcasters ARD/ZDF, and IEC in Sports, the IAAF’s exclusive media agency for European and African rights for the IAAF World Athletics Series of which the biennial IAAF World Championships are its jewel. Under the terms, ARD/ZDF will televise the nine-day IAAF World Championships in Moscow, which take place from 10 to 18 August 2013, guaranteeing to transmit live coverage from all evening sessions. See www.iaaf.org for more.
The Philippines is to host the International Basketball Federation (FIBA)’s Asia Championship for the first time in 40 years. Basketball's governing body in Asia decided to move the event from Lebanon due to uncertainty over the current political situation in the region and the ongoing civil war in nearby Syria. The FIBA Asia Championship, which will serve as a qualifying event for the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup, will begin on 1 August and conclude 10 days later. More news at www.fiba.com.
The International Rugby Board (IRB) and its Member Unions have underscored their ongoing commitment to consistent and accurate match officiating by approving a global trial to extend the powers of the television match official (TMO). Applicable to both international and domestic competition from the beginning of the next respective seasons in the northern and southern hemispheres, the extended protocol will let the referee consult with the TMO to review up to two phases (rucks or mauls) before the ball is grounded in the act of scoring. The referee may also call on the TMO to advise on incidents of possible foul play. More details at www.irb.com.
The International Modern Pentathlon Union (UIPM) has unveiled its plan for a one-venue concept for future Olympic pentathlon competitions. The Modern Pentathlon Stadium concept will enable a spectator to watch all five disciplines in five hours with one ticket from one seat. As part of the proposal, fencing will take place on one piste in a knock-out system ranking fencers based on a traditional fencing round held the day before the main competition. The stadium concept is the latest innovation in Modern Pentathlon, following the introduction of laser shooting and a combined event at the London Games last year. More information at www.pentathlon.org.
The International Triathlon Union (ITU) has partnered with Chain Reaction Cycles for the 2013 ITU World Triathlon Series. Chain Reaction Cycles, the world's largest online bike store, will serve as the ITU's official retail performance partner. Entering its fifth year in 2013, the ITU World Triathlon Series will showcase eight first-class events starting off in Auckland, New Zealand, followed by San Diego, Yokohama, Madrid, Kitzbühel, Hamburg, Stockholm and finishing with the World Triathlon Grand Final in Hyde Park, London. More details at www.triathlon.org.
The seventh stop of the Viessmann Luge World Cup will take place in Winterberg, Germany this weekend, the final contest before the 44th International Luge Federation (FIL) World Championships in Whistler, Canada on 1-2 February. The course at Winterberg is to be extended for the construction of a new finish area. The EUR 2m extension will be completed before the winter. The building was necessary to ensure the course continued to conform to international standards.
NATIONAL OLYMPIC COMMITTEES
More than 1,600 athletes from some 25 nations, including China and the US, have arrived in Sydney for the Australian Youth Olympic Festival. According to the Australian NOC, the competition will see many future Olympians taking part in competitions. The Youth Olympic Festival was set up by the Australian NOC as part of its legacy programme following the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. More information at www.olympics.com.au.
Sochi 2014 has unveiled the torch that will carry the Olympic flame during the next Winter Games. The torch was presented by Sochi 2014 Ambassadors Tatiana Navka and Ilya Averbukh at a ceremony in Moscow. Developed by a creative team led by Vladimir Pirozhkov and Andrei Vodyanik, the Sochi 2014 torch is chrome with red detail – red being the traditional colour of Russian sport. More at www.sochi2014.com.
A video celebrating Rio de Janeiro's role as future Olympic host city is taking off online. Rio 2016 organisers say "Time of Rio" captures the feel of a city in its golden age mixing breath-taking landscapes and the accelerated routine of an up-and-coming metropolis. Using image capturing techniques like slow motion, time lapse and hyper lapse, the film's creators show historic, touristic locales and the intense rhythm of the inhabitants of Rio ahead of 2016. See the film at http://vimeo.com/imagemoov/timeofrio.
The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) has said IPC Athletics is looking into how it can stage a number of high profile meetings to capitalise on increasing global interest and to create more competition opportunities for athletes. The project is in its infancy and nothing has yet been agreed, it said, adding that 2013 would be an extremely busy year with at least 10 World Championships scheduled to take place. In addition to Test Events for the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games, regional events such as the Youth Para Pan American Games and Asian Para Games are planned. More information at www.paralympic.org.
The first stage of the 2013 International Climbing and Mountaineering Federation (UIAA) ice climbing world tour has concluded in South Korea. The two-day competition was attended by 102 athletes from 22 countries and is the start of a world tour that now moves to Switzerland, Italy, Romania and Russia. More details can be found at www.theuiaa.org.
The 30th annual Worldwide Congress of the International Sport for All Federation (FISpT) has taken place in Manama, Bahrain. Isa Mohammad A. Rahim was confirmed as FISpT President and Osama Ahmed Al Koohji was chosen as Secretary General. The new Administrative Secretary is Jamel Slimane. Franco Ascani, pictured (above right) with Mr Rahim, was confirmed as the Federation’s Vice President by virtue of his representation of the International Federation of Sports Movies and Television (FICTS), of which he is President.