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  • London Athletics Bid Confirmed; Semis Set at FIBA Americas


    IAAF Confirms London 2017 Bid

    Bidding for the 2017 athletics world championships is officially a two-horse race.
    The Olympic Stadium is, of course, London’s venue of choice for its 2017 athletics bid. (Getty Images)

    UK Athletics announced Wednesday that the IAAF has confirmed London as a candidate city to compete alongside the Qatari capital of Doha. Barcelona dropped out last week.

    “I can't think of a more fitting tribute to celebrate the fifth birthday of the Olympic Stadium in London in 2017 than by having thousands of these fans gather once again and cheer the world's greatest sports stars,” said London 2012 chairman Sebastian Coe, also an IAAF vice president.

    “Bringing the World Championships to London would grow the sport commercially; increase the fan base and continue to drive the inspirational power of sport, particularly athletics, to young people in our own country and around the world.”

    Inspection visits to London and Doha are scheduled for October with the IAAF Council to pick a host city during its meetings in Monaco on Nov. 11 and 12.

    London's chances hinge on the outcome of a judicial review into the Olympic Park Legacy Company's decision to award the stadium to English Premier League club West Ham United after the 2012 Games.

    Similar uncertainty over the venue’s future forced London to withdraw its candidacy for the 2015 world champs late last year with Beijing instead winning hosting rights.

    Despite West Ham’s pledge to retain the athletics track paving the way for a second shot, the bid still remains susceptible should Premiership rivals Tottenham Hotspur and League One outfit Leyton Orient successfully appeal the OPLC’s decision in the High Court on Oct. 18, just a few weeks before the 2017 vote.

    Semis Set at FIBA Americas

    Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, defending champs Brazil and hosts Argentina are the four countries left vying for Olympic berths at FIBA Americas.
    Two-time NBA All-Star Al Horford of the Atlanta Hawks is starring for the Dominican Republic at FIBA Americas. (Getty Images)

    Each secured semifinal spots thanks to Tuesday wins in which NBA stars Manu Ginobili and Luis Scola of Argentina, Carlos Arroyo and J.J. Barea of Puerto Rico as well as Al Horford and Charlie Villanueva of the Dominican Republic playing key roles.

    Team USA is sitting the two-week tournament out after booking its trip to London with last year’s world championships win.

    What’s left to decide in these last two days of pool play is who will play whom in Saturday’s semis as well as which remaining country will keep its Olympic hopes alive by finishing fifth in these continental championships.

    The top two receive automatic entry to London 2012 while teams placing third, fourth and fifth will move onto a special qualifying tournament to be staged just prior to the Games. Three of the 12 teams involved then will advance to the Olympics.

    Indian NOC Fights for Hockey Hosting Rights

    The decision to strip India of hosting rights to hockey’s top annual event is "unfortunate and uncalled for” according to the Indian Olympic Association.
    For a country mad about hockey, India’s loss of the Champions Trophy comes as a major blow. (Getty Images)

    “We hope that FIH will rescind it and hold the tournament in New Delhi as per schedule," acting IOA president V.K. Malhotra was quoted Wednesday by the Indo-Asian News Service.

    "Hockey is India's national game and a huge number of hockey fans are keenly waiting to watch Champions Trophy at the Dhyan Chand Stadium.”

    At issue is the presence of competing national governing bodies Hockey India and the Indian Hockey Federation, neither of which appears willing to cede any semblance of authority despite this major blow.

    The eight-team round-robin remains slated for Dec. 3-11 with FIH expecting to name a replacement host within the week.

    India, meanwhile, is getting bumped from the top-tier tournament, instead receiving an invite to the Champions Challenge to be held in South Africa in November.

    The subcontinent’s hosting rights to hockey’s Olympic qualification tournament in February are also up in the air unless the warring NGBs merge in the meantime.

    "I had assured FIH chief Leandro Negre that the IOA is strongly against any government intervention in the sports bodies and it does not recognize the so-called arrangement worked out by the sports ministry,” said Malhotra.

    "FIH should like talk to IOA, which represent the IOC in the country."

    Written by Matthew Grayson.

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