Three-day Bangabandhu 44th National Athletics Championship, arranged on the occasion of the birth centenary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, concluded on Sunday at the Bangabandu National Stadium here, featuring two new national records.
President of Bangladesh Athletics Federation and Chairman of National River Conservation Commission ASM Ali Kabir declared the meet closed at a simple ceremony in the afternoon.
Bangladesh Navy clinched the top slot in the three- day meet securing 21 gold, 12 silver and 13 bronze medals, Bangladesh Army finished 2nd collecting 13 gold, 20 silver and nine bronzes while Bangladesh Ansar & VDP became distant 3rd with one gold and five bronze medals.
Zahir Raihan and Shirin Akhter of Bangladesh Navy secured four gold medals each.
Later, Zahir Raihan of Bangladesh Navy was adjudged the best male athlete while Ritu Biwas of Bangladesh Army named the best female athlete of the national meet.
SM Sarafat Hossain of Sheikh Sarafat Academy of Jashore, was named as the best organiser.
The meet featured two new national records.
Ritu Akhter of Bangladesh Army made the meet's first new national record in the women's high jump on Friday, jumping a height of 1.70 meters to better previous national mark of 1.68 meters, made by Umme Hafsa Rumki of Bangladesh Jail in 2019.
Rinki Biwas of Bangladesh Navy made the meet's 2nd national record on Saturday in the women's 3000-meter run with a timing of 10:44.30 minutes to batter the 17 years old event's record of 11:08.15 minutes made by Halima Khutun Bithi in 2003.
Earlier on the first day (Friday), Ismail Hossain and Shirin Akhter retaining the country's fastet man and woman crown by winning their respective 100-meter sprints titles.
M Ismail Hossain of Bangladesh Navy retained the country's fastest man crown with a timing of 10.55 seconds while Shirin Akhter, also from Navy, clinched the fastest woman crown for the eleven times in a row in the national & summer athletics with a timing of 11.80 seconds.
Some 438 male and female athletes from 34 districts and divisions, four universities, one education board and 45 organizations including Bangladesh Army, Navy, Air Force and Ansar & VDP competing in 36 events-- 22 for the mens and 14 for the women's.
A further 25 tennis players were forced into quarantine in Australia ahead of the season's first tennis major after another positive coronavirus test on a charter flight, taking the total number of competitors isolating in hotel rooms to 72 on Sunday.
The positive test came from a passenger who was not a member of the playing contingent, Australian Open organizers said. But all 58 passengers, including the 25 players on the flight from Doha, Qatar that arrived in Melbourne on Saturday, now cannot leave their hotel rooms for two weeks.
Organizers had previously announced that 47 players had to quarantine after four COVID-19 cases emerged from two other charter flights bringing players, staff, officials and media to Australia.
Some players have expressed anger at being classified as close contacts merely for being on board those flights with people who later tested positive and, therefore, forced into a harsher quarantine than the broader group of players who’ll be allowed out of their rooms to practice for up to five hours per day.
But local health authorities have said all players were warned of the risks in advance. And any players considering bending the rules have been warned. Breach quarantine regulations and there’s the prospect of heavy fines or being moved to a more secure quarantine complex with police stationed at their doors.
Three cases were announced Saturday and Victoria state’s COVID-19 quarantine commissioner Emma Cassar told a news conference on Sunday that there’d been a fourth positive test involving a person flying in for the Australian Open. So far, none has involved a player.
Three cases emerged from the flight from Los Angeles to Melbourne, officials said, including a member of the air crew, a coach and the latest being a member of the TV broadcasting team. The other case was a coach who took the charter flight from Abu Dhabi to Melbourne.
All four had tested negative before boarding their flights to Australia. All four have now been transferred to a health hotel.
Sylvain Bruneau, who coaches 2019 U.S. Open champion Bianca Andreescu, posted on social media to say he was on the flight from Abu Dhabi and had tested positive.
Two-time Open champion Victoria Azarenka and the 2014 U.S. Open runner-up Kei Nishikori were reported to be on the flight from Los Angeles. All passengers from both of those flights are in hard lockdown.
Cassar, who is also in charge of the state’s prisons, said there’d been cases of people “testing” the quarantine procedures, triggering a warning and a conversation with the state’s police, but no attempts to escape quarantine.
“There’ll be zero tolerance for that behavior,” Cassar said. “This is designed to make people safe. We make no apologies for that.”
Several players in quarantine, including Sorana Cirstea of Romania, Belinda Bencic of Switzerland and Yulia Putintseva of Kazakhstan complained in social media posts that the rules seemed to have changed between what they saw before traveling to Australia and what was being imposed in Melbourne.
Cirstea posted on Twitter: “If they would have told us this rule before I would not play Australia ... I would have stayed home. They told us we would fly at 20% capacity, in sections and we would be a close contact ONLY if my team or cohort tests positive.”
But government officials have rejected those claims.
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“There’s no other way you can consider this. If you’re on a plane 16-24 hours, with air that circulates throughout the plane, you are a close contact,” Cassar said. “This was made very clear and nothing has changed.”
Tennis Australia confirmed there were 24 players on the flight from Los Angeles and 23 on the flight from Abu Dhabi. Those were among 17 charter flights from seven international destinations bringing up to 1,200 players, coaches, staff and officials into Australia for the tournament.
Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley said organizers and players were forewarned there'd be a “significant risk” of restrictions being imposed on players if there were positive COVID-19 cases.
“We did make it very clear in the beginning,” Tiley told Australia’s Nine Network. “Now we have to manage an environment over the next 14 days for those who won’t be able to practice.
“It’s a tough situation. We’ve got to do whatever we can to make it as fair as possible for those players that are in lockdown."
British player Heather Watson said on Twitter that she and others who arrived from Abu Dhabi "are NOT allowed out (of) our rooms.” She posted the notification that she and others who were on the flight received informing them of the quarantine.
Being unable to leave their room would mean the only workouts they'd be able to have would be on exercise equipment left in the rooms of all of the players.
Other players will be allowed to train under strict conditions and with supervision, although those practice sessions in Melbourne had been delayed while health authorities waited to receive all the coronavirus tests.
Five-time Australian Open finalist Andy Murray and American Madison Keys haven't traveled to Australia after testing positive in mandatory pre-flight checks.
Tiley said there were no plans to delay the Australian Open any further — it’s already starting three weeks later than usual — although organizers were reviewing the schedule for the warmup tournaments starting Feb. 1 to find ways to make it easier for those players in strict quarantine to prepare.
Tickets are on sale for the tournament, although the crowd capacity at Melbourne Park will be limited.
Australia's international borders are basically closed to travelers, although there are exemptions in special circumstances. Each of Australia's states and territories has its own border and quarantine rules, and those can change on very short notice.
Victoria state, which has as its capital Melbourne, accounted for 810 of Australia's 909 deaths from COVID-19, most of those during a deadly second wave three months ago which resulted in curfews and lockdowns for the city.
Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams are among a group of players involved in an exhibition event in Adelaide, South Australia state, on Jan. 29. Those players flew straight to Adelaide to begin their hotel quarantine period. So far, there's been no COVID-19 cases reported from the quarantine in Adelaide.
The ninth edition of the country’s biggest sporting event, Bangabandhu Bangladesh Games, will be held during April 1-10, almost exactly a year later than originally scheduled.
The Bangladesh Games, which was earlier slated for April 1-10 last year, was postponed for an indefinite period in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The executive committee of Bangladesh Olympic Association on Saturday announced the new date for the games – treated as the Olympics of Bangladesh – which will be held in the capital and divisional headquarters of the country.
Also read: Bangabandhu 9th Bangladesh Games postponed
Around 8,500 athletes, officials, technical delegates will be involved in the games, organised to mark the birth centenary of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
The 8th and last Bangladesh Games was held in 2013 although the games were supposed to be held after every four years.
The Bangladesh Olympic Association meeting also decided that the country would participate in the 5th Islamic Solidarity Games during September 10-19 this year in Turkey and the 19th Asian Games from September 10-22 in China next year.
Bangladesh will compete in 13 disciplines in the Islamic Solidarity Games and 17 disciplines in the Asian Games.
Four teams--Bangladesh Ansar & VDP, Bangladesh Police, Kushtia and Chapainawabganj DSAs--reached the semifinals of the Exim Bank 30th National Men's Handball Championship eliminating their rivals on Tuesday.
In the semifinals on Wednesday, Bangladesh Police will face Kushtia DSA at 11:30 am while Ansar & VDP will play Chapainawabganj DSA at 2:30 pm at the Shaheed (Capt) M Mansur Ali National Handball Stadium here.
In Tuesday's matches, Chapainawabganj defeated Bandarban DSA by 34-33 goal, Kushtia outplayed Dhaka DSA by 40-20:goal, Bangladesh Police beat Panchagarh DSA by 37-21 goal, Jamalpur DSA beat Madaripur DSA by 43-32 goal, Jashore DSA beat Narail DSA by 51-22 goal while Faridpur DSA defeated Sunamganj DSA by 38-22 goal.
More than 80% of people in Japan who were surveyed in two polls in the last few days say the Tokyo Olympics should be canceled or postponed, or say they believe the Olympics will not take place.
The polls were conducted by the Japanese news agency Kyodo and TBS — the Tokyo Broadcasting System.
The results are bad news for Tokyo organizers and the International Olympic Committee as they continue to say the postponed Olympics will open on July 23.
Tokyo is battling a surge of COVID-19 cases that prompted the national government last week to call a state of emergency. In declaring the emergency, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said he was confident the Olympics would be held.
Japan has controlled the virus relatively well but the surge has heightened skepticism about the need for the Olympics and the danger of potentially bringing 15,000 Olympic and Paralympic athletes into the country.
The Olympics could also attract tens of thousands of coaches, judges, officials, VIPs, sponsors, media and broadcasters. It is not clear if fans from abroad will be allowed, or if local fans will attend events.
Japan has attributed about 3,800 deaths to COVID-19 in a country of 126 million
The TBS poll asked if the Olympics can be held. In the telephone survey with 1,261 responding, 81% replied “no” with only 13% answering “yes.” The “no” responses increased 18 percentage points from a similar survey in December.
In Kyodo’s poll, 80.1% of respondents in a telephone survey said the Olympics should be canceled or rescheduled. The same question in December found 63% calling for cancellation or postponement.
Kyodo said the survey covered 715 randomly selected households with eligible voters. Neither poll listed a margin of error.
Japan is officially spending $15.4 billion to hold the Olympics, although several government audits show the number is about $25 billion. All but $6.7 billion is public money.
The Switzerland-based IOC earns 91% of its income from selling broadcast rights and sponsorships.
The American network NBC agreed in 2011 to a $4.38 billion contract with the IOC to broadcast four Olympics through the Tokyo. In 2014 it agreed to pay an added $7.75 billion for six more games — Winter and Summer — through 2032.