After announcing the finalists for inclusion into the Olympic program, Tokyo 2020 organizers this week heard from each of the eight in their final presentations. The next step = September 2015, Tokyo 2020 will make a recommendation to the IOC on which, if any, to schedule. Sports under consideration are squash, baseball / softball, karate, surfing, wushu, sport climbing, and roller sports.
And Fends off Plagiarism Charges
When you put on a globally important and visibly impactful event worth billions, you're sure to get lots of attention, including from many looking to capitalize on a connection. That said, you can't deny a similarity between the new Tokyo 2020 logo and a long-standing design mark. The problem for Olivier Debie, the designer for the Theatre de Liege, is that apparently his mark was never registered as a trademark. (Business 101, kids...and mighty convenient for Tokyo 2020).
The Indian Ocean Games End
The latest multi-sport Games events ended this weekend, with the closing of the 2015 Indian Ocean Island Games. As the name suggests, its the exclusive sporting opportunity for the nations of the Indian Ocean, such as Mauritius, Madagascar, and Seychelles. Host Reunion finishes on top the medal table, with 209, across traditional Games disciples such as athletics, swimming, tennis, and badminton.
Brazil Hosts the Rowing Junior Worlds
Another event in the lead-up to the Olympics, the World Junior Rowing Championships were held this week in Rio. Traditional power in the sport Germany led the medalists, with 11 overall, followed by Italy and the USA with five each.
Also closing this weekend were the World Aquatic Championships. Lots of storylines shone through during this past second week of the tournament - host Kazan's solidifying success in sports hosting, the 12 world records set in swimming, the increasing popularity of mixed gender relays - but the star of the pool was definitely Katie Ledecky of the USA. Winning four golds, in the 200 / 400 / 800 / 1500 freestyle, she evoked legends Michael Phelps and Mark Spitz, and carried the U.S. team. While she was winning her individual events, traditional giant of the pool, the U.S. had a relatively quiet presence. The American medal total - 23 - was lower than the 29 earned at both the 2011 and 2013 editions, and, aside from Ledecky, only Ryan Lochte in the 200individual medley earned an individual gold for the U.S. Meanwhile, China had three individual gold medalists, including Ning Zetao in the highlight 100m freestyle. Also, Hungary, Great Britain, and Australia matched the U.S. in having two swimmers reach gold. In all, 23 different nations won at least one medal - including Argentina, Singapore, and Jamaica. I'm always for the diversity of sport, and enjoy watching the new faces from unexpected corners emerge, but this was striking to see, and it will be interesting to watch how the U.S. responds next year in Rio. Then, living legend Phelps should be back on the team to help Ledecky carry the haul. Their anticipated combined success may mask the overall team performance...