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As Olympics near, South Korea agonizes over post-Games costs

By Kim Tong-Hyung, Associated Press GANGNEUNG, South Korea (AP) — South Korean officials have ruled out turning a state-of-the-art Olympic skating arena into a giant seafood freezer. Other than that, not much is certain about the country's post-Winter Games plans for a host of expensive venues. As officials prepare for the games in and around the small mountain town of Pyeongchang, there are lingering worries over the huge financial burden facing one of the nation's poorest regions. Local officials hope that the Games will provide a badly needed economic boost by marking the area as a world-class tourist destination. But past experience shows that hosts who justified their Olympics with expectations of financial windfalls were often left deeply disappointed when the fanfare ended. This isn't lost on Gangwon province, which governs Pyeongchang and nearby Gangneung, a seaside city that will host Olympic skating and hockey events. Officials there are trying hard to persuade the national government to pay to maintain new stadiums that will have little use once the athletes leave. Seoul, however, is so far balking at the idea. The Olympics, which begin Feb. 9, will cost South Korea about 14 trillion won ($12.9 billion), much more than the 8 to 9 trillion won ($7 to 8 billion) the country projected as the overall cost when Pyeongchang won the bid in 2011. Worries over costs have cast a shadow over the games among residents long frustrated with what they say were decades of neglect in a region that doesn't have much going on other than domestic tourism and fisheries. "What good will a nicely managed global event really do for residents when we are struggling so much to make ends meet?" said Lee Do-sung, a Gangneung restaurant owner. "What will the games even leave? Maybe only debt." ___ TEARING THINGS DOWN The atmosphere was starkly different three decades ago when grand preparations for the 1988 Seoul Summer Games essentially shaped the capital into the modern metropolis it is today. A massive sports complex and huge public parks emerged alongside the city's Han River. Next came new highways, bridges and subway lines. Forests of high-rise buildings rose above the bulldozed ruins of old commercial districts and slums. The legacy of the country's second Olympics will be less clear. In a country that cares much less now about the recognition that large sporting events bring, it will potentially be remembered more for things dismantled than built. Pyeongchang's picturesque Olympic Stadium — a pentagonal 35,000-seat arena that sits in a county of 40,000 people — will only be used for the opening and closing ceremonies of the Olympics and Paralympics before workers tear it down. A scenic downhill course in nearby Jeongseon will also be demolished after the games to restore the area to its natural state. Fierce criticism by environmentalists over the venue being built on a pristine forest sacred to locals caused construction delays that nearly forced pre-Olympic test events to be postponed. Gangwon officials want the national government to share costs for rebuilding the forest, which could be as much as 102 billion won ($95 million). ___ NO FISH Despite more than a decade of planning, Gangwon remains unsure what to do with the Olympic facilities it will keep. Winter sports facilities are often harder to maintain than summer ones because of the higher costs for maintaining ice and snow and the usually smaller number of people they attract. That's especially true in South Korea, which doesn't have a strong winter sports culture. Not all ideas are welcome. Gangwon officials say they never seriously considered a proposal to convert the 8,000-seat Gangneung Oval, the Olympic speed skating venue, into a refrigerated warehouse for seafood. Officials were unwilling to have frozen fish as part of their Olympic legacy. Gangwon officials also dismissed a theme park developer's suggestion to make the stadium a gambling venue where people place bets on skating races, citing the country's strict laws and largely negative view of gambling. A plan to have the 10,000-capacity Gangneung Hockey Center host a corporate league hockey team fell apart. Even worse off are Pyeongchang's bobsleigh track, ski jump hill and the biathlon and cross-country skiing venues, which were built for sports South Koreans are largely uninterested in. After its final inspection visit in August, the International Olympic Committee warned Pyeongchang's organizers that they risked creating white elephants from Olympic venues, though it didn't offer specific suggestions for what to do differently. Cautionary tales come from Athens, which was left with a slew of abandoned stadiums after the 2004 Summer Games that some say contributed to Greece's financial meltdown and Nagano, the Japanese town that never got the tourism bump it expected after spending an estimated $10.5 billion for the 1998 Winter Games. Some Olympic venues have proved to be too costly to maintain. The $100 million luge and bobsled track built in Turin for the 2006 games was later dismantled because of high operating costs. Pyeongchang will be only the second Olympic host to dismantle its ceremonial Olympic Stadium immediately after the games — the 1992 Winter Olympics host Albertville did so as well. ___ 'MONEY-DRINKING HIPPOS' Gangwon has demanded that the national government in Seoul pay for maintaining at least four Olympic facilities after the Games — the speed skating arena, hockey center, bobsleigh track and ski jump hill. This would save the province about 6 billion won ($5.5 million) a year, according to Park Cheol-sin, a Gangwon official. But the national government says doing so would be unfair to other South Korean cities that struggled financially after hosting large sports events. Incheon, the indebted 2014 Asian Games host, has a slew of unused stadiums now mocked as "money-drinking hippos." It would also be a hard sell to taxpayers outside of Gangwon, said Lee Jae-soon, an official from the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism. Unlike the 1988 Olympics and the 2002 World Cup, which were brought to South Korea after bids driven by the national government, the provincial government led the bid for the Pyeongchang games and it did so without any commitment from Seoul over footing the bill. Under current plans, Gangwon will be managing at least six Olympic facilities after the games. These facilities will create a 9.2 billion won ($8.5 million) deficit for the province every year, a sizable burden for a quickly-aging region that had the lowest income level among South Korean provinces in 2013, according to the Korea Industrial Strategy Institute, which was commissioned by Gangwon to analyze costs. Hong Jin-won, a Gangneung resident and activist who has been monitoring Olympic preparations for years, said the real deficit could be even bigger. The institute's calculation is based on assumptions that each facility would generate at least moderate levels of income, which Hong says is no sure thing. He said that could mean welfare spending gets slashed to help make up the lack of money. South Korea, a rapidly-aging country with a worsening job market and widening rich-poor gap, has by far the highest elderly poverty rate among rich nations, according to Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development figures. If Seoul doesn't pay for the Olympic facilities, and Gangwon can't turn them into cultural or leisure facilities, it might make more sense for Gangwon to just tear them down. Park said the national government must step up because the "Olympics are a national event, not a Gangwon event.".....»»

Category: sportsSource: abscbn abscbnDec 15th, 2017

As Olympics near, South Korea agonizes over post-Games costs

By Kim Tong-Hyung, Associated Press GANGNEUNG, South Korea (AP) — South Korean officials have ruled out turning a state-of-the-art Olympic skating arena into a giant seafood freezer. Other than that, not much is certain about the country's post-Winter Games plans for a host of expensive venues. As officials prepare for the games in and around the small mountain town of Pyeongchang, there are lingering worries over the huge financial burden facing one of the nation's poorest regions. Local officials hope that the Games will provide a badly needed economic boost by marking the area as a world-class tourist destination. But past experience shows that hosts who justified their Olympics with expectations of financial windfalls were often left deeply disappointed when the fanfare ended. This isn't lost on Gangwon province, which governs Pyeongchang and nearby Gangneung, a seaside city that will host Olympic skating and hockey events. Officials there are trying hard to persuade the national government to pay to maintain new stadiums that will have little use once the athletes leave. Seoul, however, is so far balking at the idea. The Olympics, which begin Feb. 9, will cost South Korea about 14 trillion won ($12.9 billion), much more than the 8 to 9 trillion won ($7 to 8 billion) the country projected as the overall cost when Pyeongchang won the bid in 2011. Worries over costs have cast a shadow over the games among residents long frustrated with what they say were decades of neglect in a region that doesn't have much going on other than domestic tourism and fisheries. "What good will a nicely managed global event really do for residents when we are struggling so much to make ends meet?" said Lee Do-sung, a Gangneung restaurant owner. "What will the games even leave? Maybe only debt." ___ TEARING THINGS DOWN The atmosphere was starkly different three decades ago when grand preparations for the 1988 Seoul Summer Games essentially shaped the capital into the modern metropolis it is today. A massive sports complex and huge public parks emerged alongside the city's Han River. Next came new highways, bridges and subway lines. Forests of high-rise buildings rose above the bulldozed ruins of old commercial districts and slums. The legacy of the country's second Olympics will be less clear. In a country that cares much less now about the recognition that large sporting events bring, it will potentially be remembered more for things dismantled than built. Pyeongchang's picturesque Olympic Stadium — a pentagonal 35,000-seat arena that sits in a county of 40,000 people — will only be used for the opening and closing ceremonies of the Olympics and Paralympics before workers tear it down. A scenic downhill course in nearby Jeongseon will also be demolished after the games to restore the area to its natural state. Fierce criticism by environmentalists over the venue being built on a pristine forest sacred to locals caused construction delays that nearly forced pre-Olympic test events to be postponed. Gangwon officials want the national government to share costs for rebuilding the forest, which could be as much as 102 billion won ($95 million). ___ NO FISH Despite more than a decade of planning, Gangwon remains unsure what to do with the Olympic facilities it will keep. Winter sports facilities are often harder to maintain than summer ones because of the higher costs for maintaining ice and snow and the usually smaller number of people they attract. That's especially true in South Korea, which doesn't have a strong winter sports culture. Not all ideas are welcome. Gangwon officials say they never seriously considered a proposal to convert the 8,000-seat Gangneung Oval, the Olympic speed skating venue, into a refrigerated warehouse for seafood. Officials were unwilling to have frozen fish as part of their Olympic legacy. Gangwon officials also dismissed a theme park developer's suggestion to make the stadium a gambling venue where people place bets on skating races, citing the country's strict laws and largely negative view of gambling. A plan to have the 10,000-capacity Gangneung Hockey Center host a corporate league hockey team fell apart. Even worse off are Pyeongchang's bobsleigh track, ski jump hill and the biathlon and cross-country skiing venues, which were built for sports South Koreans are largely uninterested in. After its final inspection visit in August, the International Olympic Committee warned Pyeongchang's organizers that they risked creating white elephants from Olympic venues, though it didn't offer specific suggestions for what to do differently. Cautionary tales come from Athens, which was left with a slew of abandoned stadiums after the 2004 Summer Games that some say contributed to Greece's financial meltdown and Nagano, the Japanese town that never got the tourism bump it expected after spending an estimated $10.5 billion for the 1998 Winter Games. Some Olympic venues have proved to be too costly to maintain. The $100 million luge and bobsled track built in Turin for the 2006 games was later dismantled because of high operating costs. Pyeongchang will be only the second Olympic host to dismantle its ceremonial Olympic Stadium immediately after the games — the 1992 Winter Olympics host Albertville did so as well. ___ 'MONEY-DRINKING HIPPOS' Gangwon has demanded that the national government in Seoul pay for maintaining at least four Olympic facilities after the Games — the speed skating arena, hockey center, bobsleigh track and ski jump hill. This would save the province about 6 billion won ($5.5 million) a year, according to Park Cheol-sin, a Gangwon official. But the national government says doing so would be unfair to other South Korean cities that struggled financially after hosting large sports events. Incheon, the indebted 2014 Asian Games host, has a slew of unused stadiums now mocked as "money-drinking hippos." It would also be a hard sell to taxpayers outside of Gangwon, said Lee Jae-soon, an official from the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism. Unlike the 1988 Olympics and the 2002 World Cup, which were brought to South Korea after bids driven by the national government, the provincial government led the bid for the Pyeongchang games and it did so without any commitment from Seoul over footing the bill. Under current plans, Gangwon will be managing at least six Olympic facilities after the games. These facilities will create a 9.2 billion won ($8.5 million) deficit for the province every year, a sizable burden for a quickly-aging region that had the lowest income level among South Korean provinces in 2013, according to the Korea Industrial Strategy Institute, which was commissioned by Gangwon to analyze costs. Hong Jin-won, a Gangneung resident and activist who has been monitoring Olympic preparations for years, said the real deficit could be even bigger. The institute's calculation is based on assumptions that each facility would generate at least moderate levels of income, which Hong says is no sure thing. He said that could mean welfare spending gets slashed to help make up the lack of money. South Korea, a rapidly-aging country with a worsening job market and widening rich-poor gap, has by far the highest elderly poverty rate among rich nations, according to Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development figures. If Seoul doesn't pay for the Olympic facilities, and Gangwon can't turn them into cultural or leisure facilities, it might make more sense for Gangwon to just tear them down. Park said the national government must step up because the "Olympics are a national event, not a Gangwon event.".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 15th, 2017

Stewart, Wilson propel US to 100-88 win over China

By Doug Feinberg, Associated Press SANTA CRUZ DE TENERIFE, Spain (AP) — After a quiet first half, Breanna Stewart felt she needed to be more assertive on both ends of the court. She certainly made her presence felt in the final 20 minutes. Stewart scored 21 of her 23 points in the second half and A'ja Wilson added 20 points to help the United States beat China 100-88 on Sunday in the second day of the FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup. "I needed to be more aggressive. There were a few things that I could have done better — defense and rebounding. Focus on that and the offense comes," Stewart said. China trailed only 36-35 midway through the second quarter as the U.S. was still trying to figure out a lineup that worked on offense and defense. The Americans then closed the half on a 12-4 burst. Wilson had six points during the run. Layshia Clarendon, who played a few minutes in the first game, also provided a spark off the bench in the spurt. She had two points, two assists and two rebounds. The Chinese team hung around in the third quarter and trailed 60-54 before Stewart, who played in China the past few winters, took over. She scored nine of the next 11 points and China couldn't get within seven the rest of the way. "She was trailing a lot, and obviously the defense sucked down. The post players did a great job rim running," U.S. coach Dawn Staley said. "That left Stewie wide open at the top of key and she took advantage of them time and again. That's what we come to expect, Stewie like things. We needed her to be that way to give us some separation and widen our lead in the third quarter." The Americans were still missing Brittney Griner, who suffered a slight sprain of her right ankle in practice Friday. Griner said after the win over Senegal she would have played if it was an elimination game. China was able to exploit the lack of Griner with its own 6-foot-9 center Han Xu. Han showed an impressive array of post moves as well as a deft touch from 10 feet. The 18-year-old finished with 20 points and left to a warm ovation from the crowd with 20 seconds left. "Coach encouraged us to play with confidence. The U.S. is a very good team. We just went out and enjoyed ourselves," said China guard Shao Ting, who had 10 points. The Chinese team, which is the youngest in the tournament with the average age 23 years, lost to the U.S. by 43 points in the 2016 Olympics. The U.S. (2-0) hasn't lost to China (1-1) in six meetings in the World Cup. The Americans won the first five meetings by an average of 25.8 points. The victory was the Americans' 18th in a row in the tournament and 43rd in the past 44 games in the World Cup. The only blemish over the past 20 years was a loss to Russia in the semifinals of the 2006 World Cup. Sunday's game came on the 12th anniversary of that loss. CHINA CONNECTION: Many of the U.S. players have competed in China in the offseason. Stewart, Griner, Morgan Tuck, Jewell Loyd and Tina Charles all have spent time there. Wilson will be headed there this year. "You're having some of the top WNBA players going over there to China and showing them the standards of what we put ourselves through," Stewart said. RECOVERING: Elena Delle Donne played only 3 ½ minutes on Sunday. She suffered a bone bruise in the WNBA playoffs and is still recovering. She said that she and Staley would talk before each game to discuss how she was feeling. Delle Donne said after the game the back to back was difficult. SCOREBOARD: It was a great day for Africa with both Senegal and Nigeria winning. It's the first time in the history of the tournament that an African team won a pool play game, let alone two. Senegal beat Latvia 70-69 and Nigeria edged Turkey 74-68. In other games, Canada beat South Korea 82-63; Australia routed Argentina 84-43; Japan edged Belgium 77-75 in OT; France beat Greece 75-71 and Spain topped Puerto Rico 78-53. UP NEXT China: Will face Senegal on Tuesday with second place in the group at stake. U.S.: Will face Latvia on Tuesday looking to continue its dominance......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 24th, 2018

Koreas extend conciliatory steps to Asian Games

By Kim Tong-Hyung, Associated Press SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — With the Koreas, there's no separating their sports from their politics. The war-separated rivals will take their reconciliation steps to the Asian Games in Jakarta and Palembang, Indonesia, where they will jointly march in the opening ceremony and field combined teams in basketball, rowing and canoeing. "Sports have played the role of peacemaker between the Koreas," said Kim Seong-jo, vice chairman of South Korea's Olympic committee and the country's chef de mission at the Asian Games. "If the combined teams put out good performances and win medals, that would be putting the cherry on the top." North and South Korea have used sports diplomacy this year in a bid to decrease animosity and initiate a new round of global diplomatic efforts to resolve the nuclear standoff with Pyongyang. South Korea leaders consider goodwill gestures as crucial to keep the positive atmosphere alive for what could become a long and difficult attempt to persuade the North to give up its nuclear and missile programs. There's not much Seoul can do beyond such gestures, though, as joint economic projects are out of the question when lifting sanctions against North Korea is far beyond the South's control. The more substantial discussions on the North's denuclearization — including what, when and how it would occur— are always going to be between Washington and Pyongyang. Here's a look at what the Koreas are planning for the Asian Games and their ebbs and flows in sports diplomacy: ___ BLUE FLAGS AND COMBINED TEAMS In the opening ceremony in Jakarta, athletes from North and South Korea will parade together under the flag featuring a blue map that symbolized a unified Korean Peninsula. It will be virtual repeat of the joint march during February's Winter Olympics in the South Korean ski resort of Pyeongchang, minus the gloves, parkas and fur hats. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un sent hundreds of athletes, artists and government officials to the Pyeongchang Olympics. The Koreas also fielded their first combined Olympic team in women's ice hockey, which drew passionate support from crowds despite losing all five of its games with a combined score of 28-2. At the Asian Games, the Koreas will be expected to deliver more than just feel-good stories. There's pressure for the investment to yield gold. A group of 34 North Korean athletes, coaches and officials have been in South Korea since last month for combined teams in women's basketball and the men's and women's events in rowing and canoeing. Coach Lee Moon-kyu, who has retained a core of South Korean players who won gold at the 2014 Asian Games at home in Incheon, got a first-hand look at North Korean players during exhibitions in Pyongyang in early July. Lee later picked three North Korean players for the Asian Games squad, including center Ro Suk Yong. Lee will also have a North Korean assistant coach on his bench. The Koreans will face Taiwan, Indonesia, Kazakhstan and India in their preliminary group. South Korean forward Lim Yung-hui said the chemistry between the players has been improving. "The Northern players share the same goal of the gold medal and we talk a lot about how we should be putting out a good performance there," Lim said. "We weren't given much time, but we are practicing hard in a positive atmosphere." The Koreas will field combined teams in dragon boat events in canoeing and the lightweight men's four, lightweight men's eight and lightweight women's double sculls in rowing. If a combined team wins gold, athletes on the podium will hear the traditional folk song of "Arirang,"used in both Koreas as an unofficial anthem for peace, instead of their respective national anthems. The Korean athletes are likely to become an attraction at the Asian Games, where the international media will follow closely. At the Pyeongchang Olympics, South Korean figure skater Kam Alex Kang-chan created a media frenzy by taking a selfie with North Korea's Kim Ju Sik and posting it on Instagram. The photo recalled a famous 2016 selfie taken by two North and South Korean gymnasts at the Rio Olympics which International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach described as a "great gesture." ___ THEY DON'T ALWAYS PLAY NICE The Koreas have a history of using sports to foster diplomacy since the end of the 1950-53 Korean War. The 1991 world table tennis championships in Japan were the first time the Koreas fielded a combined team at a major international event. The atmosphere wasn't always friendly, though. During the height of their Cold War rivalry and recurring periods of animosity since, sports often became an alternate political battlefield. North Korean athletes and coaches would reject handshakes with their South Korean competitors and berate South Korean reporters during news conferences. The sports detente of 1991 evaporated when a North Korean athlete who competed at the world judo championships in Barcelona defected and arrived in South Korea amid heavy media coverage. North Korea boycotted the 1986 Asian Games and the '88 Summer Olympics in Seoul, and relations dramatically worsened on the eve of the Seoul Olympics with the bombing of a South Korean passenger jet that killed all 115 aboard in December 1987. The inter-Korean warmth heading into this year's Asian Games contrasts with the awkwardness between the rivals surrounding the 2014 Asiad held in South Korea. Seoul's then-conservative government invited North Korean athletes to compete, but made it clear it had no interest in joint marches or combined teams. North Korean subsequently withdrew an offer to send its all-female cheering squad to Incheon after squabbling with the hosts over costs. North Korean leader Kim did send a senior government delegation to the closing ceremony, but they returned home without meeting then-South Korean President Park Geun-hye. The North was still seething over the Asian Game treatment years later as it gleefully observed Park's presidency crashing over a corruption scandal. "The Park Geun-hye group's mad confrontational racket is to blame for why (the North Korean) visit to Incheon did not result in improved relations," the North said in a statement in April last year. ___ WILL THE GOOD TIMES LAST? Kim has found a willing counterpart in Moon, a liberal who won the presidential by-elections to replace Park last year. Since the Pyeongchang Olympics, Kim has met Moon twice and leveraged the summits to get to U.S. President Donald Trump. After their June summit in Singapore, Kim and Trump issued a vague aspirational goal for a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula without describing specific plans. Sports exchanges and other goodwill gestures are important policy tools for Moon, who wants Seoul to be in the "driver's seat" in international efforts to deal with Pyongyang. The Koreas have also agreed to resume temporary reunions between relatives separated by the war and are holding military talks to reduce tensions across their heavily armed border. "Hopefully, (the Asian Games) will provide an opportunity to use sports to facilitate diplomacy and cooperation," Moon said while meeting Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi in Seoul last month. Seoul's presidential office hasn't announced yet whether Moon would attend the opening ceremony in Jakarta on Aug. 18. Whatever happens in Indonesia or with nuclear negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang, the Koreas will always have those heartening selfies posted by athletes. "Sports can be used to build momentum and trust, but they don't solve fundamental problems," said Koh Yu-hwan, a North Korea expert at Seoul's Dongguk University and a policy adviser to Moon. "There's not much South Korea can currently do, but at least it's trying to actively do the things it can to keep the positive atmosphere alive. ".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 10th, 2018

Gold for Kim, Hirscher as doping case rocks Games

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea: American teenager Chloe Kim and Austrian ski ace Marcel Hirscher triumphantly lit up the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics Tuesday as the Games were hit by their first doping scandal. Seventeen-year-old Kim snatched a stunning gold medal in the women’s halfpipe snowboarding, while Hirscher’s long hunt for an Olympic title finally ended. In the [...] The post Gold for Kim, Hirscher as doping case rocks Games appeared first on The Manila Times Online......»»

Category: newsSource:  manilatimes_netRelated NewsFeb 13th, 2018

South Korea probes cyber shutdown during Olympics ceremony

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea: South Korea on Saturday investigated a mysterious internet shutdown during the Winter Olympics opening ceremony, which follows warnings of possible cyberattacks during the Pyeongchang Games. Internal internet and wifi systems crashed at about 7:15 p.m. (1015 GMT) on Friday and were still not back to normal at midday on Saturday, Games organizers [...] The post South Korea probes cyber shutdown during Olympics ceremony appeared first on The Manila Times Online......»»

Category: newsSource:  manilatimes_netRelated NewsFeb 10th, 2018

North Korea holds military parade on eve of Games

SEOUL: North Korea staged a military parade in Pyongyang on Thursday, in a show of strength just a day before the Winter Olympics open in the South. The nuclear-armed North is on an Olympics-linked charm offensive—sending a troupe of performers, hundreds of female cheerleaders, and the sister of leader Kim Jong Un to South Korea. [...] The post North Korea holds military parade on eve of Games appeared first on The Manila Times Online......»»

Category: newsSource:  manilatimes_netRelated NewsFeb 8th, 2018

US won’t rule out Olympics talks with NKorea

LIMA: US Vice-President Mike Pence or other top officials might meet North Koreans at the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang in coming days, Pence and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Monday (Tuesday in Manila). Washington has previously said it would not initiate contact with the North Korean delegation attending the games in South Korea. [...] The post US won’t rule out Olympics talks with NKorea appeared first on The Manila Times Online......»»

Category: newsSource:  manilatimesRelated NewsFeb 6th, 2018

Skater Martinez gets last-minute call-up for Winter Olympics

FILIPINO figure skater Michael Martinez gets to compete in the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea after all. This following the late call-up he received bearing the go-ahead for him to participate. Following the pullout of Sweden’s Alexander Majorov for the quadrennial games happening from Feb. 9 to 25 in Pyeongchang, the name of Mr. […] The post Skater Martinez gets last-minute call-up for Winter Olympics appeared first on BusinessWorld......»»

Category: financeSource:  bworldonlineRelated NewsJan 25th, 2018

Two Koreas in fresh talks on Winter Olympics

SEOUL: North and South Korea began talks Monday on appearances by Pyongyang’s state-run artistic performers at next month’s Winter Olympics in the South, after the North agreed to attend the Games. Pyongyang agreed last week to send athletes, high-level officials, and others to the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, easing months of high tensions over its [...] The post Two Koreas in fresh talks on Winter Olympics appeared first on The Manila Times Online......»»

Category: newsSource:  manilatimes_netRelated NewsJan 15th, 2018

North Korea to send team to Winter Games

SEOUL — North Korea said during rare talks with the South on Tuesday it would send a delegation to the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in South Korea next month and Seoul said it was prepared to lift some sanctions temporarily so the visit could take place. At the first formal talks with South Korea in more […] The post North Korea to send team to Winter Games appeared first on BusinessWorld......»»

Category: newsSource:  bworldonlineRelated NewsJan 9th, 2018

Russia awaits decision on Winter Olympics ban for doping

Doping-tainted Russia’s 2018 Winter Olympics participation will be decided when the International Olympic Committee meets from Tuesday, in one of the weightiest decisions ever faced by the Olympic movement. The build-up to the high-stakes summit in Lausanne just 66 days before the start of the Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, has been dominated by an [...] The post Russia awaits decision on Winter Olympics ban for doping appeared first on The Manila Times Online......»»

Category: newsSource:  manilatimes_netRelated NewsDec 5th, 2017

NKorean missile frustrates SKorean Olympic preparations

By Kim Tong-Hyung, Associated Press SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Just when South Korea thought it was finally creating a buzz for February's Winter Olympics, North Korea fired its most powerful missile yet and re-ignited safety worries about the small mountain town that will host the games not far from the rivals' anxious border. The Pyeongchang Olympics probably aren't in jeopardy because of Wednesday's launch for a number of reasons, including that the North is unlikely to attack the more powerful, U.S.-backed South. Despite its belligerent neighbor, South Korea is also one of the safest places in the world with a wealth of experience hosting international sporting events. Still, the launch, which followed a 10-week lull, was a frustrating development for Pyeongchang's organizers, who have only recently got on track after facing construction delays, controversies over cost overruns and wary sponsors. They can also do little to calm international fears created by North Korea's accelerating nuclear weapons and missile tests. Shortly after North Korea fired the Hwasong-15 into the sea Wednesday, South Korean President Moon Jae-in convened a national security meeting where he ordered government officials to closely review whether the launch could hurt South Korea's efforts to successfully host the Olympics, which begin on Feb. 9. South Korea wants more than a million spectators for the Olympics, which will be held just 80 kilometers (50 miles) from the border, and expects 30 percent of them to be foreign visitors. Organizers have struggled for months to spark enthusiasm for the games locally, where the national conversation over the past year have been dominated by a massive a massive corruption scandal that toppled and jailed the last president and North Korea's flurry of weapons tests. Sung Baikyou, an official from Pyeongchang's organizing committee, on Thursday downplayed worries that North Korea would scare away athletes and visitors to Pyeongchang. Organizers and government officials have held briefings and site inspections for Olympics officials, members and sponsors to reassure them of South Korea's security readiness. The 92 nations that have so far registered to participate in the Pyeongchang Games represent the largest ever Winter Olympics field. And after a slow start, organizers had managed to sell more than half of the available tickets by the end of November. Sung said there hasn't been any talk with the International Olympic Committee about moving or canceling the games. "It wouldn't make sense for anyone to cancel tickets to Pyeongchang because of fears about North Korea," Sung said. "There's no war; bombs aren't being dropped on Pyeongchang." Hyun Jae-gyung, an official from Gangwon province, which governs Pyeongchang and nearby Gangneung, a coastal city that will host the skating and hockey events during the Olympics, said cancelations at hotels and other accommodation facilities in the areas have been few and sporadic and unlikely linked to security concerns. But there's nothing organizers can do if North Korea raises fears even higher with more tests. North Korea has conducted 20 ballistic missile launches just this year, and the tests are becoming increasingly aggressive; some in the South fear that Washington might consider a pre-emptive strike on the North as the intercontinental ballistic missile tested Wednesday may be able to reach anywhere in the continental United States. Koh Yu-hwan, a North Korea expert at Seoul's Dongguk University and a security adviser to South Korea's presidential office, thinks it's highly unlikely that the North will do any significant weapons tests or other aggressive acts that would disrupt the Olympics. After Hwasong-15's successful flight test, delighted North Korean leader Kim Jong Un declared that the country has "realized the great historic cause of completing the state nuclear force." Many experts, including Koh, believe that this suggests the country could soon consider its nuclear program as "enough" and shift the focus to its dismal economy. It would do nothing for heavily-sanctioned Pyongyang to worsen its awful reputation by creating trouble during the Olympics, Koh said. In recent government statements, including the one announced after Wednesday's missile test, North Korea has repeatedly claimed itself as a "responsible" and "peace-loving" nation, something it has been emphasizing since the United States relisted the country as a state terror sponsor, Koh said. "Even if they do conduct a missile or nuclear test during the Olympics, the games will go on as tests don't start wars. But I think there's almost no possibility that they will," said Koh. "If anything, they might have pushed hard to get their tests done before the start of the Olympics." It would help ease worries if North Korea participates in the Pyeongchang Games. While a North Korean figure skating pair qualified for the Olympics in September, it's unclear whether the North will let them compete in the South. North Korea boycotted the 1988 Summer Olympics in South Korea's capital Seoul and has ignored the South's proposals for dialogue in recent months. Securing North Korea's commitment to attend the Pyeongchang Games will be a critical topic at the IOC's next executive board meeting in December, which will be the last one before the start of the Olympics. The IOC has already offered to pay the costs should North Korea decide to participate, and Pyeongchang officials have been talking about granting special entries for North Korean athletes in some ice sports. Kim Kyung-hyup, a lawmaker for South Korea's ruling party, said Thursday that Seoul should consider sending a special envoy to the North to persuade it to participate in the Pyeongchang Games. Other than hoping that North Korea accepts the invitation, organizers are stuck. "If there's any other solution, tell me," Sung said. "It's not like we can jump up and catch North Korean missiles with a net.".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 1st, 2017

North and South Korea plan to bid for 2032 Summer Olympics

PYONGYANG, North Korea --- North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in said in a statement Wednesday that the countries planned to jointly bid for the 2032 Summer Olympics. At a major summit, the two leaders gave no details of which cities might host certain events at the games, or how advanced the plans were. The International Olympic Committee traditionally does not announce host cities until seven years ahead of the games. That would give the Koreas until 2025 to put together a joint bid. Germany has already announced plans for a multi-city bid for 2032, as has Brisbane, Australia. The India Olympic Committee has also indicated its interest in...Keep on reading: North and South Korea plan to bid for 2032 Summer Olympics.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsSep 19th, 2018

FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers: Chot Reyes steps aside as NT coach

Gilas head coach Chot Reyes has announced that he is 'stepping aside' from the Philippine men's national basketball team and will focus instead in the national team program focused on the 2023 FIBA World Cup that will be co-hosted by the Philippines.  Reyes, in his third stint as the coach of Gilas, is serving a one-game suspension in international play for his remarks in Gilas' infamous brawl against Australia last July. The only five-time PBA Coach of the Year came out of retirement in 2016 after coach Tab Baldwin was removed after the 2016 Rio Olympic Qualifiers. Before that, Reyes resigned following Gilas' disappointing seventh-place finish at the 2014 Asian Games in South Korea, its lowest. "Now that the PBA has opened its doors fully to the SBP and the national team, it is time for me to step aside and contribute in a differenct capacity, focusing on the 2023 program," he said on an Instagram post. Reyes also expressed his best wishes to new Team Philippines head coach Yeng Guiao. "We are one with you. Once Gilas, always Gilas."         View this post on Instagram                   💪🇵🇭❤️ #oncegilasalwaysgilas #parasabayan A post shared by Chot Reyes (@coachot) on Sep 11, 2018 at 4:34am PDT Follow this writer on Twitter, @philipptionary. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 11th, 2018

ASIAN GAMES: Boxer Ladon settles for silver after head butt ends bout

JAKARTA — No thanks to a head butt, Rogen Ladon will go home with a silver medal in men’s flyweight of boxing in the 18th Asian Games. Ladon was the last man standing for Team Philippines who had a shot at a fifth gold medal. But an ugly wound in his right eyebrow oozed with blood from that head butt by Uzbekistan’s Jasurbek Latipov, forcing the ring doctor to stop the fight. But even the boxing announcer was at a loss on how to declare Latipov the winner in the gold medal match that was stopped only 22 seconds into the second round. The games announcer at the JI Expo called it a Referee Stopped Contest-Second Round, but the verdict was decided by the judges’ scorecards which, except for the Indonesian, went the Uzbek’s way, 3-1. “It’s a big disappointment,” Ladon said after the medal ceremony that had a sullen Philippine Olympic Committee President Ricky Vargas handing him his silver.  “It’s a major disappointment. Not only me, but the entire country aspired for the gold medal,” he added. Latipov received the gold medal tainted by allegations of cheating. Ladon ended up a wounded silver medalist —the left side of his forehead just above the eyebrow almost heavily bandaged to cover a wound that not only hurt his bid for a gold medal, but the entire Filipino nation’s heart. “He [Uzbek] was in the ropes and when he sprung back, he gave me the head butt,” said Ladon who believed he took the first round by connecting clearer scoring punches. Vargas, POC Chairman Abraham Tolentino and Alliance of Boxing Associations in the Philippines secretary general Ed Picson could only shrug their shoulders over the controversial loss absorbed by Ladon—the third after Nesthy Petecio in the preliminaries and Carlo Paalam and Eumir Felix Marcial in the semifinals last Thursday. Picson said several federations also expressed dismay over the judging in the tournament. “There are several federations who felt that they were robbed as well,” said that Vargas “will make suggestions and try see to it that reforms are made in the boxing communities. “In the AIBA, there are no protests. The best we could do is to go to the congress,” he said. With the loss, the Philippines ended its campaign with four gold, two silver and 15 silver medals—a tally that was good for No.19 in the medal standings and far better than the lone BMX cycling gold Daniel Caluag won in Incheon in 2014. Ladon’s coaches—Ronald Chavez and Nolito Velasco—were wary of the cut before the final bout and had to scramble for any remedy. They got one—Dermabond, derma glue that closes wounds temporarily, thanks to a social media post by volleyball player Mika Reyes, whose Indonesian fan gave the adhesive for free. But the derma glue could not withstand a head butt by the Uzbek. Ladon’s wound, which was about an inch, opened prompting the referee to summon the match doctor, who eventually stopped the fight. With four gold medals—courtesy of weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz, skateboarder Margielyn Didal and golfers Yuka Saso, Bianca Pagdanganan and Lois Kaye Go—the Philippine delegation goes back home starting on Monday with a better haul than Incheon. But China remained as the most dominant in Asia with 273 medals—123 of them gold—followed by Japan with 70 golds and South Korea 45......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 1st, 2018

ASIAN GAMES: Jordan Clarkson wants to play for Gilas again

In the 2018 Asian Games, Jordan Clarkson finally suited up for Gilas Pilipinas. Clarkson led the Philippines to 5th place in the Asiad, the country's highest finish in the tournament in 16 years. Jordan has his first international tournament under his belt and he's looking for more. "More to come!" Clarkson said in an Instagram post. "Can't wait for the next time I get to put the [Philippine] colors on. Laban Pilipinas! Puso!" he added. The entire experience, where he ended up battling with traditional Gilas rivals China and South Korea, was one to remember for Clarkson. "This experience was one I will never forget," Jordan said. "So blessed to play for the country and represent the flag and the people," he added. See Clarkson's full post below.   this experience was one i will never forget so blessed to play for the country and represent the flag and the people! loved playing for coach, along with my teammates/brothers building bonds that will hold strong. thanks for the opportunity and the support! MORE TO COME! CANT WAIT FOR THE NEXT TIME I GET TO PUT THE COLORS ON! LABAN PILIPINAS! PUSO! A post shared by Jordan Clarkson (@jordanclarksons) on Aug 31, 2018 at 7:18am PDT Here's to seeing Jordan in Gilas in the future.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 31st, 2018

ASIAN GAMES: Olympic champion China whips PHI

Powerhouse China easily dismantled Asian Games newbie Philippines in a 25-15, 25-9, 25-7 beating in the quarterfinals of women's volleyball Wednesday night at the GBK Indoor Hall. The 2016 Rio Olympics champions advanced in the semifinals in a collision course with Japan.  Xiangyu Gong had 16 points while Xinyue Yuan finished with 15 for the Chinese. Xiaotung Liu tallied 10 points while Chinese superstar Zhu Ting registered five points, playing in the first two sets before sitting out the third frame. Defending Asian Games titlist South Korea faces Southeast Asian giant Thailand in the other Final Four pairing. The Filipinas, who are making their return in the Asiad after 36 years, were relegated into the classification round for 5th to eighth place. Six-foot-5 Jaja Santiago led the way for the Filipinas with 16 points off 12 spikes, three kill blocks and an ace.  Team PHI will take on Kazakhstan on Friday......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 29th, 2018

ASIAN GAMES: Gold medal winner Saso eyes Youth Olympics next

JAKARTA — Yuka Saso, owner of an individual gold in golf at the 18th Asian Games that also towed the women’s team to the crown, intends to bring her winning act to the Youth Olympic Games (YOG) Buenos Aires is hosting in October. The Filipino-Japanese was still in could nine over the double-gold victory on Sunday but she couldn’t wait to buckle down to serious training for the YOG. The Asian Games gold medals were  overwhelming for Saso and teammates Bianca Pagdanganan and Louis Kay Go that they could not seem to get over their success that easily. “These [gold medals] are really, really big. The Asian Games are like the Olympics,” Saso, 17, said. “I’m proud of myself, my team and everyone who supported us.” Their coach, Rick Gibson, a journeyman on the Asian Tour who has won the fabled Philippine Open, was as ecstatic as the young girls. “Unbelievable,” Gibson said. “Wow, these girls!” “It’s my honor to be part of the team, to be part of NGAP [National Golf Associaton of the Philippines] and put the pieces [of these championship team together.” Saso’s path to the gold medal—and so as the team’s—were laced with sheer talent and destiny. An eagle-3 in the 18th and final hole coupled with the collapse of erstwhile leader Liu Wenbo, who had a quadruple bogey in the same hole, spelled a double victory for the Philippines four days after weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz won the country’s first gold. The 17-year-old Saso was in her best form when it mattered most at the Pondok Indah Golf and Country Club course, rallying from four shots down to end a gold medal drought that started after Ramon Brobio won the men’s individual title in the 1986 Seoul Games. Pagdanganan also clinched bronze in individual play as the Philippines dominated the podium for the first time in the Games.  “I just never lost faith in myself and I never doubted this team form the beginning,” Saso said. “We are all fighters and we really fought hard for our country.” Although still in their teens, Gibson said Saso and her teammates already possess the experience to excel under pressure and win major tournaments. “Yuka is a US NCAA champion. She has the makings of a world champion,” Gibson said. Gibson confided that it was only Pagdanganan and Go who walked the course ahead of the Games. “Yuka? She didn’t join the two girls. But she knows the course, she played there three years ago,” he said. The YOG are set October 6 to 18 and Gibson said Saso is eager to get back to the course and prepare herself for another gold. Saso’s No. 48 world ranking qualified her for the YOG. She will be joined by Luis Miguel Castro, who also played here in the Games along with Lloyd Jeferson Go and Ruperto Zaragoza but finished eighth behind Japan, China and South Korea. “The girls have shown that Filipinos could win in the Asian Games,” Gibson said. “It was a great day for Filipinos.”.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 27th, 2018

Unified Korea team grabs historic gold at Asian Games

PALEMBANG, Indonesia: Athletes from North and South Korea combined to win an Asian Games gold medal for the first time in their history with victory in the women’s 500-meter dragon boating on Sunday. The two Koreas, competing together after a rapid improvement in cross-border relations, took gold with a time of two minutes and 24.788 [...] The post Unified Korea team grabs historic gold at Asian Games appeared first on The Manila Times Online......»»

Category: newsSource:  manilatimes_netRelated NewsAug 26th, 2018

Asian Games: Weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz bags Philippines first gold

Rio Olympic silver medalist Hidilyn Diaz is now P6 million richer after claiming the country's first gold medal at the the 2018 Asian Games with her performance in the women's 53-kilograms weightlifting competition at Jakarta International Expo Hall A in Indonesia on Tuesday. A tearful Diaz savored her hard-earned plum, before baring her plan to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, which, she says would be her last.  Hidilyn says she will tryout for Tokyo 2020: Gagawin ko ang lahat kasi yan ang pangarap ko. At yan na ang last Olympics ko | via @DYANCASTILLEJO — ABS-CBN News Sports (@ABSCBNNewsSport) August 21, 2018 Her victory is doubly sweet as Diaz fell short of even qualifying in the Asian Games back in 2014 in Incheon, South Korea. She then had a memorable campaign in the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in Brazil in 2016, where she copped the Philippines' first silver medal in two decades.  (To be updated).....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 21st, 2018