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  • YOG Anniversary; Sochi Review; More Pan American Delays


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    YOG Anniversary

    There’s a new Youth Olympic Festival on the Olympic calendar.
    The inaugural Youth Olympic Games took place Aug. 14-26. (Getty Images)

    On Saturday, the inaugural Singapore Youth Olympic Festival kicked off, marking the one-year anniversary of the inaugural Youth Olympic Games.

    President of the Singapore National Olympic Committee Chee Hean Teo and Singaporean IOC member Ser Miang Ng started the SYOF.

    "The SYOF will build on the YOG and provide a platform for our youth to take part in friendly competitions, as well as cultural and education activities,” Teo said.

    "In time to come, I hope that it will grow and, like the Australian Youth Olympic Festival and European Youth Olympic Festival, become an international sporting event for young people to compete in."

    Ng, also president of the Singapore Olympic Foundation, the group organizing the SYOF, added: "We are looking at every alternate year, (to) invite international athletes. For the second year, the timing could also be shifted to enable more schools to take part, so (it will move) away from August."

    Competition in five sports will mark the tournament – badminton, basketball, futsal, table tennis and taekwondo. The SYOF runs Aug. 13-19 at the Singapore Expo.

    IOC Checks Up on Sochi

    The IOC wraps up Tuesday a two-day check-up of Sochi's 2014 Winter Olympics preparations.
    Progress on Sochi's curling arena is shown in this Aug. 1 photo. (Sochi 2014)

    Jean-Claude Killy, head of the IOC Coordination Commission for Sochi, and Olympic Games executive director Gilbert Felli are in the Black Sea resort touring venues and meeting with Russia's Olympic organizers.

    "Today is the day of construction sites overview, and for tomorrow several working meetings are planned," Sochi 2014 president Dmitry Chernyshenko told ATR on Monday.

    The IOC delegation visited the construction site of one of the Olympic family hotels in Sochi as well as some of the Olympic Park coastal venues, including the curling arena.

    By year's end, 70 percent of all venue construction work will be completed.

    Pan Ams Test Event in Doubt

    Guadalajara’s athletics stadium may not get a test event ahead of the Pan American Games, now just two months away.

    Mexican media report that recent rains have delayed the installation of a track and forced the organizing committee to consider cancelling next month’s dress rehearsal.

    "I'm not going to risk the stadium and to rush,” COPAG chief Carlos Andrade was quoted Sunday by
    “If we are not finished we do the event [elsewhere]. I will not rush events to the buildings for a test event. It is not required there, "he added.

    Construction delays have long been the chief cause of concern for these Pan Ams despite frequent assurances from organizers that all remains on schedule.

    With 36 sports on the program, Guadalajara 2011 is poised to be the largest multi-discipline event of the year as well as a qualifier for 15 of the 26 sports on the London Olympic program. Events run from Oct. 14 to 30.

    Pentathlon Finalizes Laser System

    Officials with UIPM, the modern pentathlon federation, met with Omega and laser technology manufacturers to finalize the laser pistol system making its Olympic debut next year.
    Pentathlon’s laser pistol system. (UIPM)

    The meeting took place in Frankfurt on Aug. 11 to address “problems identified as coming from the radio/wireless elements” at the London test event in July.

    UIPM said in a statement it will not use a radio element in the system, instead employing laser "Precision" targets. The new targets will be in place for the world championships in Moscow, Sept. 8-14.

    “The new system simplifies the use of the equipment which falls under the responsibility of the athlete, the laser container placed on the pistol,” UIPM said. “It is more simple and solid since the radio is not required anymore.”

    Pentathlon officials approved laser pistols in 2009 in an effort to make the sport more attractive.

    Tight Competition Atop Universiade Medal Table

    Japan leads the medal tally at the 26th Summer Universiade now underway in Shenzen, China.
    Ryosuke Irie of table-topping Japan celebrates 200m backstroke gold on the opening day of the Shenzen Universiade. (Getty Images)

    After two days of competition, its student-athletes sport 22 total medals – seven gold, four silver and 11 bronze.

    The host country is close behind with 18 total medals. Russia and South Korea are tied for third with 17 a piece.

    Chess, the only Universiade discipline not also included on the Summer Games program, kicked off Monday.

    Athletics, badminton and sailing begin Tuesday.

    Events run through Aug. 23.

    Media Watch

    Roger Mosey, the BBC’s director of London 2012, explains the BBC Trust’s decision to balance Olympic programming with its traditional slate of shows next year.

    Meet Yeshey Dhendup, Bhutan’s top contender for the country’s first Olympic medal, in this photo gallery. 

    Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson addresses the future of the Paralympics and Olympics, the difference between the Games as well as "Blade Runner" Oscar Pistorius on BBC's "Hard Talk". “We only have one chance to have the Olympics and Paralympics on home soil,” she says about leveraging the legacy of London 2012.

    Written by Ed Hula III.

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