Update on the latest in sports:
GOLF-HALL OF FAME
Finchem elected to World Golf Hall of Fame
UNDATED (AP) – Tim Finchem has been elected to the World Golf Hall of Fame.
He expanded the PGA Tour’s footprint around the world and prize money more than tripled during his 22 years as commissioner.
Finchem was elected through the contributor’s category. He’s the ninth administrator to go into the Hall of Fame.
And it’s only fitting Finchem is part of the 2021 class of inductees that includes Tiger Woods. He seized on Woods’ popularity by negotiating TV contracts and creating the World Golf Championships series.
Finchem also launched The First Tee youth program.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-MENTAL HEALTH
Concern for players’ mental health with soccer shut down
UNDATED (AP) – The global union for soccer players has found its members are struggling with increased levels of anxiety and depression during the coronavirus pandemic which has shut down most leagues.
A survey of players by FIFPRO pointed to a rise in symptoms of both in recent weeks while cut off from their teammates and concerned about the future of their sport. FIFPRO is urging clubs not to neglect providing mental health provisions as they focus on keeping players fit during national lockdowns and are faced with cost-cutting needs.
Players have been away from their teams in most of the world for more than a month as governments try to contain the spread of the COVID-19 disease, although limited training has resumed in Germany.
Here are other coronavirus-related sports stories:
– A Japanese professor of infectious disease says he is “very pessimistic” the Tokyo Olympics can be held next year. Kobe University professor Kentaro Iwata says the Olympics could only be held if Japan can control the COVID-19 infection and if all other countries control it. He says “you have to invite so many athletes from many, many places, which is not very compatible with this COVID-19 infection.”
– The soccer team based in the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic in Wuhan, China has returned home. Wuhan Zall is back nearly four months after it left for a preseason tour and got stuck abroad. It returned home over the weekend after the government lifted the last restrictions on movement in Wuhan, where the COVID-19 outbreak emerged late last year. The nearly 50 members of the squad had been away since Jan. 2, spending time in other Chinese cities and in Spain.
– The Spanish government says it has reached a deal with the country’s soccer league and federation for teams to return to practice. The government has not provided a timetable or given any other detail about when practice would resume. It says it will depend on the evolution of the coronavirus pandemic and on decisions by health authorities. The government says strict protocols will have to be followed when teams begin training again. The league says the competition is not expected to resume until the end of May at the earliest.
– The president of the German soccer federation says resuming league play will not mean taking resources away from healthcare workers amid the coronavirus pandemic. Fritz Keller writes in Kicker magazine “we guarantee that resuming play … will not cause a burden for the healthcare system.” The German league has been more bullish than other major European competitions about the chances of resuming in May or June with widespread coronavirus tests for players.
4-time Olympic biathlon medalist Landertinger retires
VIENNA (A) – Four-time Olympic biathlon medalist Dominik Landertinger of Austria has retired at the age of 32.
He says on the Austrian Ski Federation’s website that he decided to retire because he wanted to look after his health following an operation on his spine in 2017. Landertinger won Olympic silver in the men’s relay in 2010, sprint silver and relay bronze in 2014, and individual bronze in 2018 following his injury.
He won his only world championship title in mass start in 2009.
Landertinger’s final season was cut short last month when the coronavirus pandemic stopped the penultimate World Cup round.