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New $130 Million U-12 Baseball World Cup Youth Stadium To Be Inaugurated in Tainan…

New $130 Million U-12 Baseball World Cup youth stadium to be inaugurated in Tainan (TPE) on 20 July, WBSC President Fraccari to attend

The newly constructed $130 million USD home of the WBSC U-12 Baseball World Cup® will be inaugurated in Tainan, Taiwan, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony before government officials, dignitaries, media and sports fans.

The new Tainan Asia Pacific (Baseball and Softball) Stadiums will become the largest youth sports facility of its kind, dedicated to the hosting of the next five editions of the WBSC U-12 Baseball World Cup (2019, 2021, 2023, 2025 and 2027). The WBSC U-12 Baseball and Softball World Cups are the only World Cups across sports in this youth age group.

WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari: “This elite facility built by Tainan City will help baseball/softball to remain a global leader and an international attraction in the youth sports space — boosting baseball/softball’s dreams of being featured in future Youth Olympic Games and Olympic Games.”

The V WBSC U-12 Baseball World Cup will be staged from 26 July to 4 August.

WHERE: Tainan Asia Pacific Stadium
709, Huanguan Road, Annan District, Tainan City, Taiwan 709

WHEN: 20 July at 3:00 pm local time

CAVB Announces The Passing Of CAVB Refereeing Commission Hassan Ahmed

The CAVB has today declared with great sadness that CAVB Refereeing Commission President Mr Hassan Ahmed HAS passed away. The sad event took place on Tuesday July 16th, 2019.

The late Hassan Ahmed was one of the greatest refereeing pioneers of all time. He conducted many World Level matches including the finals of the Olympic Games in Los Angeles 1984.

Hassan Ahmed

Ahmed became CAVB Refereeing Commission President in 2001, and he was also FIVB Refereeing Commission President from 2012-2016.

WBSC Unveils Schedule For Softball Americas Qualifier in Surrey

The World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) today unveiled the schedule for the 12-nation WBSC Softball Americas Qualifier, which will be held in Surrey, British Columbia, Canada, from 25 August to 1 September.

The top two teams in the WBSC Softball Americas tournament in Surrey will qualify for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, joining host Japan and USA as four of the six nations to be qualified for Tokyo 2020. The qualifier will be played over eight days of competition and feature 42 games.

“This international competition in Surrey will be one of the most important softball tournaments ever held in the Americas, granting two precious spots to the historic return of softball at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020,” said WBSC Softball Division Chairman, Tommy Velazquez. “Today the road to Tokyo is clear for our softball athletes across the Americas and what they need to accomplish to fulfil their Olympic dreams.”

Following a five-day Opening Round, the top three squads from each group will advance to the Super Round.

Group A features world No. 3 Canada, No. 4 Puerto Rico, No. 17 Cuba, No. 18 Guatemala, No. 25 Argentina and No. 39 Bahamas.

Group B includes No. 5 Mexico, No. 14 Brazil, No. 16 Venezuela, No. 19 Dominican Republic, No. 20 Peru and No. 57 British Virgin Islands.

The two teams with the best overall records following the Super Round will earn qualification into the Olympic Softball tournament at the Tokyo 2020 Games.

The full schedule as well as all tournament information, including rosters, stats and standings of the WBSC Softball Americas Qualifier, will be found at the official tournament website.

“ROOKIE” CHEN YUXI EARNS GOLD IN THE 10M

Perfect marks were shown for the first time in diving at the 18th FINA World Championships as Chinese rookie Chen Yuxi won the women’s 10m platform here on Wednesday. China now has nine gold medal on pocket.

Chinese women divers were waiting for this title since 2013, as Kim Kuk-hyang of DPR Korea was a surprise winner in Kazan 2015 and Malaysian veteran Cheong Jun Hoong topped the podium in Budapest 2017. The last Chinese champion in this event was Si Yajie six years ago in Spain.

Competing in her first worlds, Chen, who turns 14 in September, dominated the semifinal and all the way in the final to win a record-high 439 points for the title. Two perfect marks were given to her third dive 626C (Armstand back triple somersault) for a day-high 94.05 points. Then another 94.05 for her high quality 207C (Back 3 1/2 somersaults).

Chen Yuxi
Photo credit: FINA

Olympic champion Ren Qian holds the highest record in women’s 10m platform – 454.65 -, when she earned gold at the 2016 World Cup, before finally becoming the Olympic champion.

Lu Wei is four months away to complete 14. As the synchro champion together with Zhang Jiaqi, Lu chased all the way to settle for the silver in 377.80, despite a big splash in her second attempt 407C (Inward 3 1/2 somersault tuck) with 62.40.

Delaney Schnell of the United Sates, who finished 27th in the preliminary two years ago in Budapest, jumped up from fifth to third place in 364.20, with her strong 407C finish. Melissa Wu of Australia and Pandelela Pamg of Malaysia were fourth and fifth, respectively.

Ogoh Calls Up 14 for 2019 FIBA AFROCAN

14 players have been selected for the inaugural edition of the AFROCAN Basket Championship taking place in Mali.

Gombe Bulls and Rivers Hoopers of Rivers with 4 players each dominate the 14-man list released by the home based D’Tigers Head Coach, Ogoh Odaudu for the AFROCAN tipping off on July, 19th in Bamako.

Micheal Okiki, Ibe Agu, Abdulwahab Yakubu and Istifanus Yakubu all of Gombe Bulls will join Abdul Yahaya, Victor Koko Anthony, Onyebuchi Vincent Nwaiwu and Solomon Ezra from Rivers Hoopers.

Kano Pillar’s trio of Azuoma Dike, Lucky Subel and Godwin David who have been in the African Games camp in Abuja have all been called up by Ogoh Odaudu.

Others are Hoops & Read sensation, Ogunsemore Jide Micheal, Defenders captain, Joel Ijigba and Akin Akintunde.

According to Ogoh, players were invited based on their recent performances on international and continental club assignments.

“These are carefully selected players based on their activities in the last one year. We needed to pick players who can easily adapt to the style we will adopt in Mali”.

Ogoh will be assisted by Yakubu Usman, Monday Paul (Defenders) and Fisayo Bello while former junior international, Victor Okoro has been appointed as General Manager.

Rivers Hoopers head coach, Ogoh Odaudu

Meanwhile, the NBBF President, Engr Musa Kida has charged the team to see the AFROCAN as a very good challenge to make a name for themselves and show the world how strong the Nigerian Basketball League is.

“I want you to take this as a very good challenge to make a name for us all on the domestic front and also when you go out, you are going to meet teams that have players coming from outside. I think most teams will have a problem as we are all preparing for the World Cup, but you are going to see surely some teams that are going to present some professionals”.

Kida who visited the team in camp on Tuesday said the team must also note that every team will come out strongly against the team with the rising profile of Nigeria on the International scene.

The team will depart for Bamako on Thursday.

AFCON 2019: Super Eagles, Carthage Eagles Fight For Bronze

It is a feisty confrontation of Eagles as Nigeria and Tunisia file out at the Al Salam Stadium in Cairo on Wednesday for the third place match of the 32nd Africa Cup of Nations finals.

Otherwise called the ‘losers’ final’, the third place match traditionally awards bronze medals to the winning team. Both Nigeria and Tunisia must recover adequately and pick up morale after losing in the semi finals on Sunday: Nigeria falling to a superb Riyad Mahrez free-kick at the death against Algeria and Tunisia crashing out courtesy of an own goal by Dyran Bronn against Senegal.

Super Eagles at training

The Confederation of African Football has appointed renown Egyptian referee Gehad Grisha to take charge of proceedings. Grisha was in charge of two matches of the Super Eagles during the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign: the 2-1 defeat of Zambia in Ndola in October 2016 and the 4-0 defeat of Cameroon in Uyo in September 2017.

Nigeria, in her 18th appearance at the Cup of Nations, has made the semi finals for the 15th time – a remarkable record of almost always getting to the business end of the championship. The country has failed to reach the semi finals only thrice before: 1963 (debut, in Ghana), 1982 (Libya), 2008 (Ghana).

Of the 15 times Nigeria has made the semi finals, the Eagles have gone ahead to win the title three times, picked up the silver medals four times and won bronze medals seven times.

Nigeria has also never lost a third place match at the Africa Cup of Nations, winning in Ethiopia in 1976 (against Guinea), Ghana in 1978 (against Tunisia), Senegal in 1992 (against Cameroon), Mali in 2002 (against Mali), Tunisia in 2004 (against Mali), Egypt in 2006 (against Senegal) and Angola in 2010 (against Algeria).

Nigeria’s Super Eagles Training In Egypt
photo credit: @NGsupereagles

The silver medals have come from Cote d’Ivoire 1984 (after losing final to Cameroon); Morocco 1988 (after losing final to Cameroon); Algeria 1990 (after losing final to Algeria) and; Ghana/Nigeria 2000 (after losing final to Cameroon).

Triumphs have come from Nigeria 1980 (after beating Algeria in final in Lagos); Tunisia 1994 (after beating Zambia in final in Tunis) and; South Africa 2013 (after beating Burkina Faso in Johannesburg).

The only previous time both Eagles have clashed in the third place match of the Africa Cup of Nations was in 1978, but the encounter in Accra did not end as the Tunisians abandoned the match following Segun Odegbami’s equalizer late in the first half.

CAF duly awarded the match to Nigeria 2-0 and the Green Eagles received the bronze medals.

In other confrontations at the Africa Cup of Nations, Nigeria lashed Tunisia 4-2 in a group phase match at the 2000 finals that Nigeria and Ghana co-hosted, while Tunisia, also on home ground, edged Nigeria on penalties after their semi final clash in Rades in 2004 was stalemated at 1-1 after regulation and extra time.

Perhaps the most memorable clash between the two at the AFCON remains their quarter final battle in 2006, also in Egypt. Cup holders Tunisia shot into a comfortable lead during the penalty shoot-out following another 1-1 stalemate after regulation and extra time at the El Masry Stadium in Port Said. But Nigeria rallied through saves by goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama and the Eagles eliminated the defending champions.

Super Eagles during the Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup match between Croatia v Nigeria on the 16th June 2018 at Kaliningrad Stadium,Russia

Tunisia famously stopped Nigeria in the race to the 1978 FIFA World Cup (defender Godwin Odiye scoring in his own net in Lagos in November 1977), but Nigeria also eliminated Tunisia from the race to Spain 1982 after penalty shoot-out in Lagos following a 2-2 aggregate scoreline.

Tunisia ejected Nigeria from the race to the 1986 World Cup in Mexico, winning 2-1 on aggregate, but Nigeria rode on Tunisia to reach the 2010 FIFA World Cup hosted by South Africa – the first FIFA World Cup staged on African soil.

Leader of the Federal Government delegation to the championship, Senate President Ahmed Ibrahim Lawan on Sunday charged the Super Eagles to go all out for the bronze medals in order to finish their campaign in Egypt with a laurel – a charge re-inforced on Monday by NFF President Amaju Melvin Pinnick, 2nd Vice President Shehu Dikko and General Secretary Mohammed Sanusi.

Maltese Consistency Hands Them Slender Advantage At The Hempel Youth Sailing World Championships

Maltese sisters Antonia and Victoria Schultheis found the right note at the Hempel Youth Sailing World Championships as the Girl’s 29er fleet commenced their competition.

Having sat ashore waiting to race and subsequently unable to because of minimal breeze on Monday, the Girl’s 29er and 420 fleets as well as the Boy’s and Girl’s RS:X finally hit the water for racing and the Maltese sisters shone in the 29er.

Gdansk Bay, just off Gdynia in Poland, was full of the sights and sounds of the 2019 Hempel Youth Worlds, the 49th edition of the prestigious event, and a more stable breeze enabled each fleet to complete a good number of races.

Sanya © Tomas Moya / Sailing Energy

More than 400 sailors from 66 nations are racing on boats supplied by Ovington Boats (Boy’s and Girl’s 29er), Nautivela (Boy’s and Girl’s 420), Laser Performance / Maclaren (Boy’s and Girl’s Laser Radial) and Nacra Sailing (Mixed Nacra 15). The RS:X racers are sailing on their own equipment for 2019. Even to make it to the Youth Worlds is an achievement in itself with only one nation represented in each fleet.

The Schultheis sisters, racing at their second Hempel Youth Worlds together, were models of consistency in the Girl’s 29er. Four races were completed on Tuesday and the pair recorded a (5)-2-3-3 scoreline which positions them at the top of the leaderboard, a point clear of Berta Puig and Isabella Casaretto (USA).

On their day, the sisters commented, almost in unison, “It was super shifty today but the wind increased. We sailed constant and well and are happy with our result.

“It was quite choppy. It was difficult to keep the speed up because sometimes the boat just stopped. We are quite light so it’s a bit easier for us to get over the waves. We’re satisfied with our performance. We were consistent.”

At the 2018 edition of the Youth Worlds in Corpus Christi, Texas, USA, the pair finished a credible tenth and have understanding of the event and its prestige. They concluded, “We’re really happy but we’re not getting over excited. We’re just going to keep our cool. Our aim was a top five and we’d be happy with that. We just want to have fun.”

Day2, 2015 Youth Sailing World Championships,
Langkawi, Malaysia

Great Britain’s Freya Black and Millie Aldridge are also racing at their second Championships and occupy third place after the opening day. After racing, Black commented, “There’s a lot of good girls here. The Americans, Maltese and Swedish are going to be the ones to watch. There’s more variety here and it’s all to play for. We’re really happy with today.”

The Boy’s 29er added another three races to their overall total. The defending champions Mathias Berthet and Alexander Franks-Penty (NOR) moved up to first overall after a consistent day. They notched up a 3-1-3 scoreline and have moved ten points clear of overnight Ville Korhonen and Edvard Bremer (FIN) who had a mixed day. British racers, Ewan Wilson and Finley Armstrong, occupy third overall.

American sailors have had a stranglehold on the Girl’s 420 for the last two editions of the Youth Worlds as Carmen and Emma Cowles won gold in Sanya, China and in Corpus Christi. As the Cowles sisters aged out of youth competition and moved into the Women’s 470, the weight of the nation has been put onto Madeline Hawkins and Yumi Yoshiyasu.

The Cowles sisters passed on words of wisdom to Hawkins and Yoshiyasu and those words paid off as they took two wins from three races and lead overall.

“They [Carmen and Emma] talked to us and the boys team and gave us a bunch of tips on how to set up the boat and how to come in with the right mind set,” commented Hawkins. “We’re sharing the same boat with the boys so we’re not used to that and they gave us tips on how to deal with that.”

It’s the early stages of the competition but the Americans are five points clear of Kana Kobayashi and Natsumi Shirasu (JPN) and Therease Stenlein and Lina Plettner (GER) and have a strong mental attitude which could take them all the way. Yoshiyasu concluded, “We want to stay as consistent as possible and have a positive mind set. There’s a lot of races and people will make mistakes.”

Auckland Youth Sailing World Championships

After an opening day that saw minimal separation in the Boy’s 420 fleet, gaps have widened after two further races. New Zealand’s Seb Menzies and Blake McGlashan moved up to first overall after a second and a fourth. Spain’s Martin Wizner and Pedro Ameneiro (ESP) sit second, two points off, and the overnight leaders, Achille Casco and Elliot Schick (SUI) dropped to third.

Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games (YOG) silver medallist Nicolo Renna (ITA) came out of the traps flying in the Boy’s RS:X. He won the first two races of the series to set the early benchmark. Fabien Pianazza (FRA), 2018 Youth Worlds bronze medallist, is second and Liam Segev (ISR) is third. Buenos Aires YOG bronze medallist Finn Hawkins (GBR) sits fourth.

In the Girl’s RS:X, Israel’s Linoy Geva put a disastrous start behind her to win back to back races. In the first race of the series, the Israeli racer received a scoring penalty and counted maximum points from the race but she bounced back to claim two bullets. She holds the lead, having discarded her 21st, but will have to tread carefully throughout the remainder of the event.

Belarus’ Julia Matveenko is second and Russia’s Youth Olympic Games bronze medallist Yana Reznikova is third.

The Boy’s and Girl’s Laser Radial fleets only completed one race on the opening day and sailed three on Tuesday to catch up on their schedule of races.

Poland’s Tytus Butowski has come to the forefront for the home nation and grabbed the lead in the boy’s division. His 3-5-7-(10) scoreline positions him one point clear of Wonn Kye Lee (SGP) and a further two ahead of Juan Cardozo (ARG), silver medallist from 2018.

In the Girl’s Laser Radial, overnight leader Chiara Benini Floriani (ITA) had a mixed day with a 3-7-(22) scoreline but that was enough to hold onto the lead. Laser Radial Youth Girl European Champion Ana Moncada Sanchez (ESP) sailed beautifully, recording a 4-4-5 which positions her in second. Shai Kakon (ISR) is third.

In the Mixed Nacra 15, Will Cooley and Rebbeca Hancock (AUS) are standalone leaders after another day fighting it out at the front of the 21-boat fleet. Two fifths and a fourth puts them a point clear of France’s Titouan Petard and Marion Declef who claimed the second race win of the day. Further race wins went the way of Germany’s Silas Mühle and Levke Möller and Switzerland’s Arnaud Grange and Marie van der Kling (SUI).

Racing is scheduled to commence at 11:00 local time on Wednesday 17 July as the Hempel Youth Sailing World Championships reaches its mid-point.