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13 Apr 2012
Olympic News

Highlights of the week


IOC President Jacques Rogge arrived in Moscow (Russian Federation) on Thursday for the opening ceremony of the XVIII ANOC General Assembly and the joint IOC Executive Board-ANOC Council meeting this weekend. The IOC President also had a meeting with the President of the Russian Federation, Dmitry Medvedev, and the Prime Minister, Vladimir Putin.


Carlos Arthur Nuzman, IOC member and the President of the NOC of Brazil and the Rio 2016 Organising Committee, recently opened the Artistic Gymnastics Training Centre in Rio de Janeiro. The facilities are part of the Team Brazil Training Centre and are located in the central area of the Rio Velodrome.


The International Swimming Federation (FINA) is staging the Synchronised Swimming Olympic Games Qualification Tournament from 18 to 22 April in London (Great Britain). The three teams to step on to the podium will qualify for the team event at the London Olympic Games. China, Australia, Egypt, Canada and Great Britain have qualified already. Those countries vying for qualification in London include Olympic champion Russia and silver-medallist Spain, with Japan, the USA and Ukraine hoping for a look-in. More details at

The International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) is staging the Rhythmic Gymnastics World Cup in Pesaro (Italy) from 13 to 15 April. This is the fourth edition of the tournament, and will see 50 individual gymnasts competing from 32 countries. The competitions will be broadcast live by Rai Sport on Saturday and Sunday. More information can be found at

More than 300 archers are in Shanghai (People’s Republic of China) for stage 1 of the World Archery Federation World Cup. Competition is expected to be intense as this event forms part of the selection process for Olympic qualification. The Archery World Cup comprises four stages that will allow the top seven athletes per category to qualify for the final in Tokyo (Japan). They will be joined by one wild card from Japan. The other legs will take place in Antalya (Turkey) and Ogden (USA). Further details can be found at

New Zealand and Mexico face each other on 13 July, the opening day of the International Softball Federation (ISF)’s 13th Women’s World Championship in Whitehorse, Yukon (Canada). The match is the opener in a 66-game schedule released by the ISF this week. Sixteen countries will compete in the tournament, which will end on 22 July. Other teams participating are: Australia, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, Puerto Rico, South Africa, USA and Venezuela, giving representation from all five world regions. Further information is available at

The International Modern Pentathlon Union (UIPM) World Cup began yesterday in Százhalombatta (Hungary). The event, which runs until 15 April, sees 180 athletes battling for World Cup Series points to qualify for the World Cup Final in Chengdu (People’s Republic of China), a key event for 2012 Olympic qualification. More details can be found at

The International Tennis Federation (ITF) has confirmed dates for the 2013 Fed Cup. The competition is the largest annual international team competition in women’s sport, with 90 nations entered in 2012. The World Group and World Group II first round will take place on 9 and 10 February 2013, the World Group semi-finals and World Group and World Group II play-offs will be on 20 and 21 April 2013 and the World Group Final will be played on 2 and 3 November 2013. For more details go to

The International Rugby Board (IRB)'s anti-doping education programme has broken new ground with all 24 teams in the U18 International Federation of Rugby Amateurs-European Association of Rugby (FIRA-AER) European Championship taking time out to learn about the importance of keeping rugby clean. This was the first time the outreach programme has taken place outside an IRB tournament and involved the youngest players ever to have been educated, all on the verge of playing senior rugby. A pilot project driven by the IRB, with the support of the FIRA-AER, saw the teams attend a presentation, and then complete the WADA anti-doping quiz. Further information can be found at

The International Triathlon Union (ITU) World Triathlon Series (WTS) starts on 14 April in Sydney (Australia). This is the third year in a row that Sydney has opened the ITU Series. As one of only three WTS events before the Olympic qualifying period closes, the event will be closely watched to see which NOCs will secure places, and how many, for London. More information at

The 2012 General Assembly of the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) will take place in London on 17 April. The Assembly will coincide with the opening of the Royal Artillery Barracks Olympic shooting venue, which will host a “London Prepares” World Cup from 17 to 29 April. More than 200 delegates from 100 nations will attend the Assembly. Subjects for discussion include the 2014 ISSF World Championship in Granada (Spain), and the 2015 ISSF Shotgun World Championship in Lima (Peru). A draft of the new ISSF Constitution will also be proposed and discussed. More information at


The World Curling Federation (WCF) World Senior Curling Championships 2012 will be held from 14 to 21 April in Taarnby (Denmark), with 14 women’s and 23 men’s teams competing for this year’s medals, with events being staged simultaneously at the seven-sheet Taarnby Curling Club in Kastrup, on the outskirts of Copenhagen. This is the 11th edition of formally sanctioned WCF World Senior Curling Championships. For more details, go to


David Douillet, French Sports Minister, and Denis Masseglia, Chairman of the French NOC, inaugurated the International Strategy Committee (CSI) at the Maison Du Sport Français last week. The Committee brings together representatives of the State, the NOC, local authorities and the business world, as well as the French IOC members and IF presidents to discuss matters of importance related to hosting major sporting events in France and France’s presence in international sports institutions. The CSI will create a tool to assess the economic and societal impact generated by the organisation of major sporting events in France. The body will meet every two months.

The Mongolian NOC and the Fencing Association of Mongolia held the opening ceremony for the first-ever National League for the country's top 16 fencers, at the National Youth Theatre last week. Mongolian NOC Vice-President Ts Damdin and Secretary General Oto, as well as D. Surenkhorloo, Vice-Chairman of the State Authority of Physical Education and Sports, and B. Khosbayar, Secretary General of the Fencing Association of Mongolia, attended the ceremony.

The Botswana NOC has been granted permission by the government to bid for the 2nd African Youth Games scheduled for 2014. The African Youth Games are multi-sport competitions for athletes aged 18 or younger, and while a Games in their own right, they also serve as a qualifying platform for young African athletes for the Youth Olympic Games, the next edition of which will be held in Nanjing (People’s Republic of China) in 2014. 

Arturas Poviliunas, the President of the Lithuanian NOC (above), recently presented the IOC's Women and Sport Achievement Diploma to Ona Baboniene, the former Director of the Lithuanian Sports Centre. Ona Baboniene organises Youth Olympic Festivals throughout Lithuania. The award ceremony was held in the presence of numerous guests including staff from the NOC and many media representatives.


Nordic skier Nikolay Polukhin has become the third Russian in as many months to win the International Paralympic Committee (IPC)’s Athlete of the Month award, taking home the honours for March. Polukhin won a public vote after a top finish in the men's biathlon visually impaired class at this season's IPC Nordic Skiing World Cup, in which he won all three events in the discipline at the final competition in Vuokatti (Finland) last month. For more details, go to


The London Games Organising Committee (LOCOG) Chairman Sebastian Coe and Olympian Jonathan Edwards recently joined young people from Aberdeen, Hull and London celebrating the London 2012 Young Leaders Programme at the British Museum. LOCOG is giving a group of young people the chance to make a positive change to their lives and their communities, culminating in volunteering roles during the Games. The Programme was launched in January 2010 and has featured a two-year training programme designed to improve youngsters’ interpersonal, communications and leadership skills. More information is at

SOCHI 2014

The renowned music festival inspired by world-famous Russian pianist Denis Matsuev took place this week in Chelyabinsk as part of the Sochi 2014 Cultural Olympiad. Matsuev gathered a star cast of classical musicians including violinist Sergei Krylov, trumpeter Sergei Nakoryakov and cellist Boris Andrianov, all performing a variety of pieces from different musical genres. The Sochi 2014 Cultural Olympiad is a unique project by the Games organisers, offering the best cultural events in the country. In 2014, visitors to Sochi will be able to experience not only the sporting events and results, but also the cultural diversity of Russia at a number of venues located in Sochi and Krasnaya Polyana. More details at


The Nanjing Youth Olympic Games Organising Committee (NYOGOC) has staged some auditions as part of the process for assessing proposals for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the 2nd Summer Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing in 2014. Yang Weize, a member of the Jiangsu Provincial Standing Committee, Secretary of the Nanjing Municipal Committee and Executive Chairman of NYOGOC, attended the event. NYOGOC will select proposals it deems best showcase the characteristics of Nanjing and the creative potential of the teams. More information can be found at

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