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  • A New Olympic Event Sets Sail -- Federation Focus


    (ATR) A sailing test event held on Long Island Sound in New York this week could help determine the practical and commercial viability for offshore, long-distance sailing races.
    Sailing test event on Long Island Sound (Facebook/Oakcliff Sailing)

    World Sailing had previously announced that a mixed, two-person keelboat offshore event will debut at the Paris 2024 Summer Games. This type of race is a departure from current Olympic sailing, which focuses on short sprints close to shore.

    The Oakcliff Sailing Center in Oyster Bay, New York organized a 30-hour test run on May 14-15 featuring six 24-foot boats with infrared lights and other equipment to allow for overnight racing. Oakcliff Sailing says the test was covered by live drones as well as intermittent onboard live feeds.

    News 12 Long Island reports that Oakcliff Sailing will submit a report on the test event to the IOC, which will make a final decision on the parameters for the event.

    ICF Paracanoe World Cup Next Week

    Eight of the 2018 world champions are among the entries for next week’s ICF Paracanoe World Cup in Poznan, Poland, as the build up to the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics picks up the pace.

    A record number of entries in the men’s VL3, one of three new medal events at next year’s Games, will be among the highlights on the program.

    The ICF Paracanoe World Cup runs from May 23 to 25.

    BWF Launches Outdoor Badminton 

    The future is now for outdoor badminton.

    BWF President Poul-Erik Høyer and Dong Jiong at launch (BWF)
    The Badminton World Federation (BWF) and its global development partner HSBC jointly launched AirBadminton, along with a new outdoor shuttlecock, the AirShuttle, at a ceremony in Guangzhou, China on Monday.

    The BWF says AirBadminton is the result of a five-year project designed to create opportunities for people of all ages and ability to play badminton on hard, grass and sand surfaces in parks, gardens, streets, playgrounds and beaches around the world.

    Badminton is already played by more than 300 million active players globally but the federation wants that number to grow.

    “This is a momentous occasion for badminton. Strategically, AirBadminton will allow us to fulfill our overall objective of putting a badminton racket in the hands of as many people as possible,” said BWF President and Atlanta 1996 men’s singles gold medalist Poul-Erik Høyer, who officiated the launch.

    “Given that most people’s first experience with badminton comes in an outdoor environment, we are now making it easier for everyone to access the sport through a new outdoor game and new shuttlecock, the AirShuttle."

    Click here for more on this story.

    Women's Baseball Grows in Europe

    The inaugural European Women’s Baseball Championship will be held in Rouen, France in July.

    The Netherlands will have competition in Europe (WBSC)
    The World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) and its continental body Confederation of European Baseball (CEB) jointly announced on Wednesday that the new event will be contested every year prior to the WBSC Women's Baseball World Cup.

    The Czech Baseball Association and the French Federation of Baseball and Softball (FFBS) are launching Women's National Baseball Team programs and will battle with the Netherlands for the inaugural European crown in Rouen. The tournament will be a double round-robin with the top two teams advancing to the final.

    The winner will qualify for the next WBSC Women's Baseball World Cup scheduled for 2020.

    The Dutch were the first to launch a women’s baseball program in Europe and have represented the continent in five editions of the World Cup, including last year's edition in Viera, Florida.

    "This is an historic day in the evolution of baseball, reflecting the continued growth of our game internationally and among young players and women here in Europe," said CEB President Didier Seminet.

    "The launch of the European Women's Baseball Championship reflects modern times, sends a message that baseball can be played by anyone and helps to break down stereotypes associated with women in sport," WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari said.

    Written by Gerard Farek

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