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Athletes reflect on super congested 2022 international season

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AYUMBA AYODI

By AYUMBA AYODI
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Will it be possible to double or not?

That is the question that has seen both coaches and athletes going into spin with the World Athletics Championships and Commonwealth Games falling in the same period in 2022.

This state of affairs could now force Athletics Kenya to name separate teams in most events for the two world competitions.

On Wednesday, World Athletics announced that the World Championships that had been postponed from this year due to the novel coronavirus pandemic will now be staged from July 15 to 24 in Oregon, United States.

The 22nd Commonwealth Games will take place from July 27 to August 7 in Birmingham, England.

World Athletics postponed the World Championships that were to originally take place in July next year in Oregon after the International Olympic Committee rescheduled the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games from July 24-August 9 to July 23-August 8, 2021.

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Renowned athletics coach Bernard Ouma and elite athletes, World and Commonwealth 5,000m champion Hellen Obiri, 2015 World javelin champion Julius Yego and 2016 Rio Olympic 1,500m champion Faith Chepng’etich expressed different opinion after the changes.

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Ouma said it will be difficult for athletes especially in middle and long distances races to double especially with fatigue creeping while Yego, the 2014 Commonwealth javelin champion, noted that top elite athlete are likely to choose the World Championships over the Commonwealth Games.

Chepng’etich, who won the World 1,500m title in 2017 London before settling for silver in 2019 Doha, said that it will difficult for someone to double with health and form key factors.

Obiri, the 2016 Rio Olympics 5,000m silver medallist, who retained her World title in Doha last year also said it would be difficult for someone to double considering there was also the Diamond League and World Continental Tour events.

“Commonwealth Games will take two weeks hence it will take an excellent athlete to double. Actually, doubling will not be the best option since. It could be a costly gamble,” said Ouma.

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Amazon to make Premier League matches free-to-air

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LONDON, United Kingdom, Jun 3Amazon will make its four Premier League matches in the remainder of the 2019/20 season free-to-air as broadcasters prepare for the return of the English top-flight.

The Premier League is set to resume behind closed doors on June 17 after being suspended since March due to the coronavirus.

All 92 remaining fixtures will be televised live and Amazon has a small package of games.

Unlike earlier this season, fans will not need a Prime membership to watch fixtures on the online platform.

“Like the rest of the country, we are excited to see the Premier League return to action,” said Alex Green, managing director of Prime Video Sport Europe.

“We will be making all four of Amazon Prime Video’s additional fixtures in the 2019-20 season available free of charge. Fans will not need a Prime membership to view the games on Prime Video.”

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The online streaming service entered the competitive Premier League live rights market in 2018, changing the landscape of British sports broadcasting.

Sky Sports has announced 25 of its 64 matches will be free-to-air on its Pick channel, while the BBC has the rights to screen four games on terrestrial TV.

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It will be the first time the BBC has shown any live English top-flight action since 1988.

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MotoGP set to release revised 2020 calendar next week

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PARIS, France, Jun 3MotoGP is expected to announce a reworked schedule next week for a season it hopes to start in July, championship organisers said Wednesday.

“We hope to present our calendar next week,” said Dorna chief executive Carmelo Ezpeleta in a video on the MotoGP website.

“And it will start, if everything goes well, on the 19th of July in Jerez. The later races will be in the beginning of November, making around 12 to 13 rounds.”

MotoGP promoters Dorna are awaiting Spanish government approval to start the truncated season with back-to-back races at the Jerez circuit on July 19 and 26.

The 2020 season was due to start on March 8 in Qatar but only Moto2 and Moto3 races went ahead before strict quarantine measures were imposed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Several races were postponed while seven have been scrapped.

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“For the four non-European races which haven’t been cancelled, that means Thailand, Malaysia, the United States and Argentina, we have a deadline until the end of July to tell everybody if we continue or stop,” said Ezpeleta.

“That means after two races of this year we will see if the calendar is 12, 13, or any more, with a maximum of 16,” he added, explaining that stringent health measures had been put in place with a view to resuming the championship.

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Protect Kenyans From GBV Cases As You Fight Covid, Lobby Group Tells The Government

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Protect Kenyans From GBV Cases As You Fight Covid, Lobby Group Tells The Government

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