The 2015 European Boxing Championships ended as well, with Russia earning four golds in the competition in Samokov, Bulgaria. Meanwhile, Great Britain had five finalists, although their only title came from Joseph Cordina in the lightweight division. Ireland had two gold medalists, in the bantamweight with Michael Conlan and light heavyweight with Joseph Ward. With that gold, Ward became the first Irishman to win two European senior titles. Bulgaria, Croatia, and Lithuania all earned one title each.
While China Tops Asian Women's Boxing
The 2015 Asian Women's Boxing Championships ended, with hosts China taking the lead on top the medal table in Wulanchabu. Winning six of ten available golds, China's team performance was perhaps highlighted by three-time world champion Ren Cancan's return to competition and gold in the flyweight division, over veteran North Korea's Ri Hyang-Mi. Thailand (2x), Korea (1x) and Kazakhstan (1x) split the other four gold available. (No India?)
Tokyo 2020 Logo Is Not Original?
Well...not quite...yet. Logo designer Kenjiro Sano admitted that complementary designs, used for merchandising and ancillary purposes, were, in fact, copied from outside designs. Such affected items, such as promotional tote bags are to be pulled from market. This, of course, comes on the heels of accusations that Sano copied the actual logo itself...a charge that has resulted in a lawsuit this week from the Theatre de Liege designer in Belgium.
Guanabara Bay Still a Concern
The talk of pollution still is an issue for Brazil and Rio 2016. Perhaps that is due, simply, how polluted the water where sailing will take place is. While some in the IOC may laugh off the concern while trying to sound somewhat serious, it is a problem. However, test events are proceeding and everyone mostly agrees the venue won't change, so now it's a matter of containment rather than overhaul. Hopefully, that finger-crossing pays off without major illness...we'll see!
Rio Organizers in Another Scandal?
Fresh off that continued conversation on Guanabara Bay, a new charge has emerged that sounds more like Qatar talk - that Brazil Global Servicos, a contractor for the Olympic Village, has (is?) treating its workers to "conditions...compared to slavery". Come on, people - it's 2015, let's get it together!
The annual World Championships in badminton ended in Jakarta, with the defending champions largely coming out on top again. In women's singles, Spain's Carolina Marin, world ranked #1, cemented her reign at the top of the rankings, defeating #2 Saina Newhal in the final and successfully repeating her win from last year. As well, China's Chen Long repeated as men's gold medalist. China's pairs also retained women's and mixed doubles, while Indonesia broke through for the men's doubles, where only the 2014 silver medalists made it to the podium this year (bronze, Korea's Lee Yong-Dae and Yoo Yeong-Seon). In all, China topped the medal table with six overall.
Pan Am Paralympics Games End
The Parapan Am Games ended in Toronto, after a week's competition in 15 sports. Brazil topped the medal table, with 257, followed by Canada at 168 and the U.S. with 135.
IAAF Continues Fight Against Doping - and its Image
On the eve of two of its most attention-getting events - its upcoming presidential elections and its World Championships in Beijing - the IAAF is getting hammered by new (ish?) allegations that it has fudged and neglected investigations in past Championships against doping. While drug cheats and face-saving bureaucracy will unfortunately - and likely - always be a fight for the organization, let's hope that either Sebastian Coe or Sergey Bubka (or both!) have the guts and power to eradicate any doubt on the IAAF's intent on the fight.
FIVB's U-18 Women's Volleyball World Championship ended this week, with a first-ever gold for team Italy. Before defeating the U.S. in the final in straight sets, the Italians had gone undefeated in pool play in the 20-team tournament. Defending champions China finished third over Turkey in the bronze medal match.
Canada tops Americas Women's Basketball
With Brazil in the Olympics already as hosts, and the U.S. as well as the world champions, the door was open for another nation to step up to qualification through the FIBA Americas Women's Championship in Edmonton. Hosts Canada stepped up, defeating Cuba in the final and earning a return trip to the Olympics, after finishing eighth in 2012. Meanwhile, second through fourth place finishers Cuba, Argentina, and Venezuela move on to the Olympic Qualifying Tournament for a second 2016 chance.
Iran Highlights the World Wrestling Juniors
United World Wrestling completed its World Junior Championships in Salvador da Bahia this week, with Iran winning the men's freestyle team title. Azerbaijan finished in second, with three golds. Japan won the women's free team, and Georgia the men's greco-roman title.