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February 17, 2020
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Update on the latest sports


Rain postpones Daytona 500, dampening event, Trump’s visit
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) – The Daytona 500 is scheduled to begin 4 p.m. Eastern Time today after being postponed by rain Sunday.
It was the first time the NASCAR’s season opener had been rescheduled since 2012.


The first delay of the day came moments after Presidential Donald Trump’s motorcade completed a ceremonial parade lap around the 2 1/2-mile track. That created a delay of 13 minutes. Trump served as the grand marshal for the Daytona 500 and gave the command for drivers to start their engines.


Ricky Stenhouse Jr. eventually led the field to the green flag and was out front for the first 20 laps before heavier rain soaked a racing surface that takes hours to dry.


NASCAR called drivers back to their cars around 6:40 p.m. EST, hoping to get more laps in before more showers hit again. Some drivers showed, but the heaviest rain of the day forced a postponement.




For NBA players, a little rest now before a hectic finish


CHICAGO (AP) – NBA returns Thursday for a frantic eight-week sprint to the finish of the regular season, with teams having from anywhere between 25 and 29 games left to play before the 16-team field for the playoffs is filled and set.


The All-Star Game is over, Team LeBron defeating Team Giannis 157-155 in Chicago on Sunday night. Most players scurried onto private jets not long after the final buzzer for quick little getaways – places like Miami, Turks and Caicos, and the Bahamas (where some union meetings start Monday) were among the destinations.


There are 12 teams that start Thursday: Milwaukee, Detroit, Miami, Atlanta, Brooklyn, Philadelphia, Charlotte, Chicago, Memphis, Sacramento, Houston and Golden State. Every other team resumes play Friday except for the Los Angeles Clippers, who get a couple extra days of break and won’t get back on the floor until Saturday afternoon.




Braves extend contracts of manager Snitker, GM Anthopoulos
ATLANTA (AP) – The Atlanta Braves have extended the contracts of manager Brian Snitker and general manager Alex Anthopoulos.


Anthopoulos also has been given an additional title of president, baseball operations, while his contract is extended through the 2024 season.


Snitker and his coaching staff have received extensions through the 2021 season.


The Braves have won two consecutive NL East titles under Anthopoulos and Snitker.




Gregg, former Man United player and Munich hero, dies at 87
LONDON (AP) – The former Manchester United goalkeeper known as the “hero of Munich” has died at age 87.


Harry Gregg died peacefully in a hospital, surrounded by family, according to The Harry Gregg Foundation.


In 1958, Gregg rescued two teammates as well as a baby and her pregnant mother after their airplane crashed after refueling in Munich. The team was returning from a European Cup game. Gregg escaped the wreckage and return to the burning plane twice – to help two teammates and then a 20-month0old girl and her badly injured mother.


Gregg also helped revive United manager Matt Busby. Eight United players died in the crash.




Police investigate brawl at youth boxing tournament in England
COVENTRY, England (AP) – Police are investigating an outbreak of violence at a youth boxing tournament in England that led to its cancellation.


Video footage from Saturday published on social media showed people throwing chairs at each other and one man hurling a fire extinguisher during the brawl. In another video, a man holding an axe and sporting a bloodied face had a chair and other items thrown at him.


Because of the violence, organizers decided to postpone the England Boxing National Youth Championship in the central English city of Coventry.


England Boxing officials have launched their own investigation.




Tokyo Marathon limited to elite runners because of virus


TOKYO (AP) – The coronavirus has organizers of the Tokyo Marathon barring the general public from taking part in the March 1 event. Organizers say it will now be limited to a few hundred elite participants.

Organizers issued a statement saying, “We cannot continue to launch the event within the scale we originally anticipated and we regret to inform you the following: The Tokyo Marathon 2020 will be held only for the marathon elites and the wheelchair elites.”


The Tokyo Marathon is the city’s annual race and not to be confused with the Olympic marathon that will take place during the 2020 Tokyo Games. Those races are to be held in the northern city of Sapporo.


Almost all sports events in China over the next few months have been called off, including next month’s world indoor track and field championships and a Formula One race in April.



AP-WF-02-17-20 1557GMT