Update on the latest sports
Wimbledon to allocate prize money despite cancellation
WIMBLEDON, England (AP) – Wimbledon will pay out $12.5 million in prize money to 620 players despite the tournament’s cancellation because of the coronavirus pandemic, the All England Club said Friday.
After consulting with its insurance provider, club officials said 256 players who would have competed in the main draw will each receive 25,000 pounds ($31,000), while 224 players who would have competed in qualifying will each receive 12,500 pounds ($15,600).
In addition, 120 players who would have competed in doubles will each receive 6,250 pounds ($7,800); 16 players who would have competed in the wheelchair events will each receive 6,000 pounds ($7,500); and four players who would have competed in the quad wheelchair events will each receive 5,000 pounds ($6,200).
All England Club chief executive Richard Lewis said “we are pleased that our insurance policy has allowed us to recognize the impact of the cancellation on the players.”
Baseball is back in Japan, and so are fans in the stadiums
TOKYO (AP) – Japan’s professional baseball league opened the delayed season three weeks ago. Now fans are back, too.
After playing in empty stadiums to get started, Japan began allowing up to 5,000 fans into the games on Friday, or 50% of the stadium capacity – whichever is smaller. Officials hope to allow stadiums to be filled to 50% capacity beginning on Aug. 1.
Japan’s soccer J-League is also allowing fans to return, beginning on Friday, under the same guidelines.
Fans are required to use hand disinfectant and have their temperatures taken when they entered the stadium. Shops were open and food and drinks were for sale, but alcohol was not allowed.
Restrictions were also put on the amount of cheering permitted, a staple at games in Japan.
Japan has been largely successful controlling COVID-19 with about 1,000 deaths attributed to the coronavirus pandemic. The United States, with a population about 2 1/2 times larger, has recorded more than 130,000 deaths. However, Tokyo has reported more than 200 new cases in each of the last several days. That is the highest number in the Japanese capital since April.
British Olympic gymnasts decry ‘abusive behavior’
LONDON (AP) – British Olympians Becky and Ellie Downie say they’ve suffered from abusive behavior in gymnastics training for many years, adding their voices to a growing number of gymnasts coming forward with similar complaints.
The sisters said coaches pressured them to lose weight and overtrain, which took mental and physical tolls. They were inspired to tell their story after former teammates did the same.
In a letter posted Thursday on their respective Twitter accounts, they said: “Speaking out is something we’ve both felt we really needed to do for a long time now, but in truth, we’ve been afraid to do so.”
Both women represented Britain in the 2016 Olympic Games but they say their success has come at a high price.
Twenty-eight-year-old Becky said she was called “mentally weak” for questioning her training regimen in 2018. She then injured her ankle in “a direct consequence of the unsafe training.” Her 20-year-old sister said a nutritionist required her to send daily pictures of herself wearing just underwear to prove she wasn’t gaining weight. She was 14 years old at that time.
British Gymnastics CEO Jane Allen this week announced an independent review of claims of mistreatment. She said the British Gymnastics Integrity Unit already exists to investigate allegations and that there are welfare officers around the country.
Syracuse University appoints diversity director for sports
SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) – Syracuse University has added an athletic director of diversity, culture and climate in a new position within the department of athletics. Salatha Willis is charged with developing and implementing new ways to create an equitable culture for the university’s student-athletes, administrators, coaches and staff in the athletic department.
The move is a response to the racial tension that has wracked the country, including a period of social unrest on campus last fall. There were more than a dozen reports last November of racist graffiti and vandalism targeting Blacks, Jews, Asians and Native Americans.