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IOC CoComm Tours Yokohama Stadium
IOC Coordination Commission Chair John Coates says Yokohama Stadium “promises to be a very good venue" for the return of baseball and softball to the Olympics.
Yokohama mayor Fumiko Hayashi (ATR)
The IOC Coordination Commission on Monday toured Yokohama Stadium, which will host the bulk of Olympic baseball and softball during Tokyo 2020. Opening matches for both tournaments will be held in Fukushima as part of a way to link the Olympics with that region’s broader recovery from the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
Currently the Yokohama Stadium has a capacity of 29,000 but two stands will be added over the next two winters to bring capacity to 35,000.
The facility is the home of the Yokohama Bay Stars, a Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) franchise. Yokohama mayor Fumiko Hayashi told reporters after receiving the CoComm that it was important the stadium be filled during NPB games after the enthusiasm from the Olympics subsides.
Hayashi emphasized that Yokohama, located within 45 minutes of central Tokyo by train, is proud to host two of the more popular Olympic sports, baseball and football (soccer). Yokohama was also the beneficiary of the delay in the new Japanese National Stadium, which moved the final of the 2019 Rugby World Cup to the city.
“So in that regard we are quite satisfied with the result,” Hayashi said to reporters from a question posed by Around the Rings.
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Billiards Launches 2024 Olympics Campaign
Billiards is the latest sport to launch a campaign to join the program of the 2024 Olympics in Paris.
Some of the world’s top players showed their skills with a cue stick November 30 at a demonstration of the sport at the Eiffel Tower.
The World Confederation of Billiard Sports
is leading the push to be included as one of the sports that Paris organizers can select for the 2024 program.
Tokyo is the first organizing committee to choose extra sports. Baseball/softball, karate, skateboard, sport climbing and surfing were selected two years ago.
Paris 2024 will make its choice in 2020.
In addition to billiards, sports with their sights on Paris include baseball/softball, boules, squash and surfing.
To be considered for the Olympics, the federation for the sport must be recognized by the IOC. Currently numbering 32, these federations are waiting in the wings to join the Olympics, having already cleared IOC standards that apply to sports on the program.
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IOC Warns India Over Kosovo Visas
The International Olympic Committee is warning India that continued denial of visas to athletes from Kosovo could cost the country the ability to host international sports events.
Donjeta Sadiku (right) was refused a visa by Indian government (Twitter/@imageofkosovo)
"The IOC has sent letters to the Indian Government and the National Olympic Committee," a Olympic source based in Lausanne tells Around the Rings
The IOC attention on India comes at a time when the country is preparing to obtain governmental support and formalize a bid for the 2032 Olympics and Paralympics.
Kosovo could not participate at the AIBA Women's World Boxing Championships held in New Delhi last month after its sole representative, Donjeta Sadiku, was refused a visa by the Indian government. The Indian government doesn't recognize the newest European country.
The Indian Olympic Association plans to talk about the situation at its annual General Body Meeting December 22.
The IOC has asked all international federations to get a written guarantee from Indian authorities before awarding events that athletes can receive visas.
The IOC request is part of new efforts to protect the basic principles of autonomy and non-discrimination which govern the Olympic Movement. The IOC says that if the guarantee of travel cannot be provided, India could be excluded from hosting any international event.
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