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  • French Ice Sports Boss Elected Amid Coronavirus


    (ATR) Former ice skating champion Nathalie Pechalat is elected president of the French Federation of Ice Sports.
    Nathalie Pechalat (Facebook/David Marvier)

    Pechalat’s three rivals withdrew due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) on the eve of the election. 

    Damien Boyer-Gibaud, Michel-Ange Marie-Calixte and Gilles Jouanny said in a joint statement 160 club presidents were called to attend a general assembly before the vote despite France banning gatherings of more than 100 in an effort to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

    In the federation's 78 year history, Pechalat is the first woman to head the organization. The 2011 and 2012 gold European champion medalist received 504 out of a possible 872 votes.

    Pechalat succeeds Didier Gailhaguet, who was forced to resign last month due to mishandling sexual abuse allegations against former national coach Gilles Beyer. Gailhaguet quit after French sports minister Roxana Maracineanu threatened the withdrawal of government funding to the federation.

    Tokyo 2020 Volleyball Test Event Cancelled

    Inside of the Ariake Arena. (Tokyo 2020)
    The Japan Volleyball Association has cancelled the Tokyo Match Challenge Cup due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

    The Tokyo 2020 test event was set to take place April 21-26 at the Ariake Arena. 

    In a statement, Tokyo 2020 said it would carry out an "operational test" once it was "safe to do so", adding it “will consult with the International Olympic Committee, Federation Internationale de Volleyball and other relevant organisations to determine the content of such tests".

    "We will continue to stay in close collaboration with all relevant organisations as we prepare to deliver a safe and secure Tokyo 2020 Games.”

    Olympic Council of Asia praises Asian Games construction

    An aerial view of the cycling velodrome for the 19th Asian Games Hangzhou 2022 in Chun'an County, Hangzhou, capital of eastern China's Zhejiang province. (Zhejiang News)
    Construction work on the cycling velodrome for the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, China, in 2022 has resumed after work was paused due to the novel coronavius (COVID-19) outbreak.

    The organizing committee also reports that the approval to resume construction work on the velodrome was taken on February 14, and workers must have temperature and health checks daily before entering the site. Construction officials are confident that velodrome will be completed on schedule by the end of 2021.

    The project in Chun’an County includes the velodrome, five other venues and villages for athletes, media and technical officials.

    On February 27, the organizing committee announced construction had resumed on 28 of the 40 projects being built for the Hangzhou Asian Games.

    The Director General of the Olympic Council of Asia, Husain Al-Musallam, said in a statement: “This is very good news coming out of China and it highlights the effectiveness of the measures to contain and prevent the coronavirus in the city of Hangzhou and the province of Zhejiang.

    “We have full confidence and trust in the Chinese Olympic Committee and the Hangzhou Asian Games Organising Committee that they are making the safety of the people their top priority."

    The upcoming Asian Games will be the third to be held in China following Beijing 1990 and Guangzhou 2010. The Asian Games will take place September 10-25, 2022.

    ANOC Staff to Work from Home

    All ANOC staff will work from home until further notice. The decision follows a similar one made by the IOC, which has only a few essential employees coming into work effective Monday.

    ANOC, which like the IOC has its headquarters in Lausanne, will continue normal operations and working hours while supporting the world's National Olympic Committees as they try to navigate through the coronavirus pandemic.

    "We urge all NOCs to continue to follow the excellent guidance of the IOC, as well as the advice of global authorities, like the World Health Organisation, and their own national authorities," ANOC Secretary General Gunilla Lindberg said in a statement.

    "The health of all members of the Olympic Movement is the most important priority and working together, under the leadership of the IOC, we will continue to find the best solutions for moving forward while protecting the well being of all Olympic stakeholders.” 

    Homepage Photo: Flickr 

    Reported by Greer Wilson

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