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  • Federations Roundup: Equestrian Battles, Karate Champs and IAAF Gala Preps


    The FEI meetings are underway in Buenos Aires, with the federation General Assembly scheduled for Friday.(Getty Images)
    FEI Meetings at Full Gallop

    The 2008 FEI meetings are underway in Buenos Aires as controversy and acrimony swirl around the dressage committee. The General Assembly, which convenes on Friday, will decide whether to unseat the dressage committee chair.

    Mariette Withages-Dieltjens of Belgium has said she has no intention of resigning as chair On Oct. 31, the FEI executive board called for the resignation of the entire six-member dressage committee. In the letter, FEI President Princess Haya said the committee was "completely uncooperative and self-serving."

    She added that athletes are "unable to take issue with you for fear, literally, that you will show your displeasure through your role as judges."

    Princess Haya also cited a secret meeting in Hong Kong during the Olympic competition in which she said four members of the committee and representatives of four federations discussed judging. Princess Haya said it was "an act of startling misjudgement for which there is simply no excuse and it jeopardised the image of our sport within the Olympic family."

    In her letter of reply to the board, Withers-Dieltjens denied such a meeting took place and said the committee is "proud of the professional and ethical attitude shown by all judges at all occasions."

    The German and Belgian equestrian federations have publicly criticized the FEI executive board's handling of the situation.

    In an interview with Horse & Hound after the Beijing Olympics, Princess Haya said, "The popularity of dressage is abnormally low and there are complaints about judging and the make up of judging panels and committees. Anyone who thinks equestrian sports are secure for London is mistaken."

    She also said the IOC has "very reasonable and legitimate concerns about eventing safety."

    World Karate Championships Concludes in Tokyo

    The 19th annual World Karate Championships came to an end in Tokyo Saturday after a nine-day run.

    A total of over 1,200 athletes from 89 countries participated in the kata and kumite competitions, according to newspaper reports from Asia.

    IOC member Shun-ichiro Okano was on hand for part of the competition along with IOC headquarters staffer Jean-Laurent Bourquin. Okano awarded medals to the winners of the male and female team kumite, male kata and female kata at the end of the tournament.

    The WKF executive committee also held a session during the world championships, addressing issues pertaining to the tournament.

    The committee presented an award to retiring British coach Ticky Donovan for his years of service to karate.

    IAAF Selects Finalists for Athletes of the Year

    The IAAF has selected the three male and three female finalists for the 2008 World Athlete of the Year to be selected at the federation's World Gala in Monte Carlo next week.
    Olympic 100 and 200-meter champion Usain Bolt of Jamaica is among the finalists for 2008 World Athlete of the Year to be announced at the IAAF World Athletics Gala in Monte Carlo Nov. 23.(Getty Images)

    The mens finalists are 2008 Olympic 100 and 200-meter dash gold medalist Usain Bolt of Jamaica, Beijing 110-meter hurdle gold medal winner Dayron Robles of Cuba and Olympic 5,000 and 10,000-meters champion Kenensia Bekele of Ethiopia.

    For the women, the three contenders are: Olympic 5,000 and 10,000-meters gold medalist Tirunesh Dibaba of Ethiopia, Beijing pole vault champion Yelena Isinbayeva of Russia and 2008 800-meter gold medal winner Pamela Jelimo of Kenya.

    The winners of the 2008 World Athlete of the Year awards will be announced during the World Athletics Gala in Monte Carlo Nov. 23.

    UCI Presents Cycling for All Program to World Congress

    The International Cycling Union (UCI) presented its Cycling for All program at the 12th World Sport for All Congress in Gentings Highland, Malaysia last week.

    Cycling for All and UCI Golden Bike coordinator Georges-Emmanuel Denjean was one of more than 500 participants from 96 countries who discussed subjects relating to the theme Sport for All for life. The focus of the experts was to encourage a regular practice of sport in a world where people are becoming less active.

    Denjean presented the UCI's Cycling for All program, including its vision, strategy, achievements and plans for the future, during a plenary session.

    Cycling is in a very strong position as far as Sport for All is concerned, Denjean said. Cycling is accessible to everyone. It is also environmentally friendly.

    Denjean said the UCI worked with the National Cycling Federations to help them integrate Cycling for All into their programs and this would remain a priority for 2009 and 2010.

    World Taekwondo Federation Holds Joint Technical Meeting

    The World Taekwondo Federation held a joint technical meeting for the amendment to the WTF competition rules in Seoul, South Korea Nov. 14.

    The meeting included more than 60 taekwondo experts from over 30 countries, including newly-appointed WTF Technical Committee chairperson Dai Won Moon of Mexico.

    Among the major discussion points for the final recommendations from the WTF technical committee and continental union technical delegations were: the shortening of the court size from 10 meters by 10 meters to 8 meters by 8 meters, the change of weight categories in the World Championships to match those in the Olympics, the adaptation of differentiation of points by difficulty of techniques, removal of a 12-point ceiling and a 7-point gap, the overturning of results recommendation and the introduction of an instant video replay system.

    It was the first time in WTF history that the joint technical meeting was held in an open-discussion format, with the attendance of both taekwondo experts, including technical delegates from the WTF's five continental unions, and representatives from the federation’s 188 member national associations.

    Pete Newell, 93

    Pete Newell, who coached the United States men's basketball team to a gold medal at the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome died Nov.17 at his home in California.

    Newell led a U.S. team featuring basketball legends Oscar Robertson, Jerry West and Jerry Lucas to the 1960 gold medal, with the Americans winning all eight of their games.

    Newell coached the University of California to the NCAA title in 1959 and also coached at San Francisco and Michigan State during his college career.

    He was also a general manager in the NBA with the Los Angeles Lakers and Houston Rockets.

    Bozikis Elected South American Basketball Association President

    Brazilian Confederation president Gerasime Bozikis has been elected president of the South American Basketball Association (ABASU).

    Bozikis was elected on Friday in Asuncion, Paraguay and will hold the office until 2013.

    It was a great honor to have been chosen by the presidents of the confederations to chair the ABASU, Bozikis said. One of the main goals of the Association is to make the 10 member countries of the Association participate in South American competitions.

    The ABASU is affiliated to FIBA and the FIBA Americas.

    Meneghin Runs for Italian Basketball Federation Post

    Italian basketball legend Dino Meneghin has announced his candidacy for president of the Italian Basketball Federation (FIP) when elections are held on Feb. 7.

    Meneghin, the commissioner of the FIP, is seeking to replace Fauston Maifredi, who announced he is stepping down as president.

    The regional presidents of the FIP met in Milan over the weekend and officially asked Meneghin to run for president and he agreed to do so.

    I have accepted to stand for several reasons, Meneghin said in a statement by the FIP. I have found a lot of good faith in my project as well as a common wish to achieve it. We have spoken a lot about schools and youth teams and that is a good first step to work together in time. With the presidents of the regional committee, we agree on an issue that basketball is to be improved, not rescued.

    Italy is among the countries contending for the rights to host the men’s 2014 FIBA World Championship.

    Greece to Host 2009 World Under 20 Judo Championships

    Greece has been selected as the host of the 2009 World Under 20 World Championships in October, 2009 by the International Judo Federation.

    The Under 20 World Championships will be held at the Peace and Friendship Stadium in Piraeus, the second largest indoor stadium in Greece and the volleyball venue for the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens

    The International Judo Federation granted us with this tournament after taking into consideration the rise of the Greek judo in international level during the last decade and also by recognizing that the Hellenic Judo Federation has the know-how and the experience to respond to the needs of such an important event as World U20 championships are, Hellenic Judo Federation president Evangeros Soufleris said in a statement.


    A total of 42 countries will be represented at the AIBA World Women's Boxing Championship in Ningbo City, China Nov. 22-29. Boxers between the ages of 17 and 34 will compete in 13 weight classes at the Ningbo Youngor Gymnasium, located in the Ningbo Sports Center.

    Ironman Triathlon women's champion Chrissie Wellington won the female long distance athlete of the year honor at the British Triathlon Annual Awards last Saturday. Wellington was joined by

    Alistair Brownlee, who was named both the BOA Athlete of the Year and the Male Elite Triathlete of the Year. Among the other award winners were: Helen Jenkins (female elite triathlete of the year) and Stephen Bayliss (male long distance triathlete of the year).

    The Nippon Sports Science University of Tokyo awarded a Doctorate to Asian Handball Federation president H.H. Sheikh Ahmed Al-Fahad, Al-Sabah. The award was presented to Al-Sabah, who is also the president of the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) for his contribution to the development of the Olympic movement and Asian sports, as well as his efforts in promoting sports science and combating doping.

    Written by Greg Oshust.

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