Chicago 2016 gets guarantee from state of Illinois, by Alfons Juck, Note by Larry Eder


Part of the story about Jim Scherr's ousting from the USOC and the current crisis in Colorado Springs is the current relationship with the IOC. Under Peter Ueberoth and Jim Scherr, while there were issues with the IOC, the US interests were well-represented. This is not exactly the case with Mr. Probst and the current level of intercine warfare within the USOC.

In the global politics of the sports world, the USOC internal squabbles surely do not play well. Chicago 2016, which is up against major competition in the Rio and Tokyo bids, among others, is not a done deal by any means. As the USOC tries to deal with budget cuts, and now the attention of the media on the Scherr firing, it seems that concentration on the 2016 Chicago bid vote, which comes up in October, would be difficult. In the next six weeks the IOC will visit Chicago for a site evaluation.

The battle with the IOC is over TV dollars for the USOC. They need a strong advocate, someone who has had experience with global sports and who has friends within the IOC. Current leadership within the USOC does not suggest anyone who has that type of stature. In this case, the USOC has shot itself twice in the foot. For Chicago 2016's sake, we hope that the USOC board can find a way to present a professional, and strong front instead of the balkanized, power hungry picture that is appearing from several fronts.....Where is Mr. Ueberoth when we really need him?

ATHENS (GRE): Konstadína Kefalá, the winner of the women's 8k race in last Sunday's Balkan Cross Country Championships, will be the lone entrant from Greece in Amman. Kefalá scored a very rare win for Greece in the Balkan Cross Country Champs, hers being only the 2nd individual gold medal in the history of the women's event. The previous one was in 1993 in Istanbul by Iríni Theodorídou (still the national junior record holder in 800/1500) at the short distance of 4 km, in a year, however, when the strong Romanian team did not participate at all. Writes Thomas Constas.

MOSCOW (RUS): Among athletes coming back from doping ban this year is also hammer world record holder Tatyana Lysenko. The Russian plans to compete as soon as possible after her sanction expires and wants to qualify to World Championships in Berlin. That was confirmed by her management. She is current European Champion and her valid world record from Tallinn 2006 is 77.80 metres. She would be able to compete after July 14. That is on time for National Championships in Cheboksary on July 23-26 which is the main qualifying competition for Berlin in Russia.

HARARE (ZIM): Top Zimbabwe Olympic athlete sprinter Brian Dzingai (27) has switched allegiance and will now represent the Gulf state Bahrain. Zimbabwean media are reporting. Joseph Mungwari, the National Athletics Association of Zimbabwe (NAAZ) president, said the national association had released the Harare born athlete to turn out for Bahrain adding that “it was within his rights”. Dzingai made the application last month. He would be able to represent his new country in 2010 at earliest. His best from 2004 what is also Zimbabwean record is 20.12 at 200 m. In Beijing he finished excellent fourth at 200 m, his fastest of the year was 20.17 while beeing second to Usain Bolt at Golden Spike in Ostrava. He finished sixth at the 2006 African Championships and won a bronze medal in the 4 x 100m relay at the 2007 All Africa Games. He also competed at the 2003 World Championships, the 2004 Olympic Games and the 2005 World Championships. His 100 m best is 10.19. Bahrain sprint national records are 10.34 and 20.76 something what he would most probably soon break.

BERLIN (GER): IAAF president Lamine Diack says he is against the idea of reducing the length of the athletics world championships from nine to six days as demanded by media broadcasters. DPA is informing. “I am against it. We have the world championships for the athletes, not for television,” Diack told DPA in Berlin. “We saw at the Beijing Games that people were really passionate and that passion lasted for nine days,” he said. “It won’t work to have a six-day world championships in Daegu, South Korea, in 2011 followed by nine days at the 2012 London Olympics.”

CHICAGO (USA): The Illinois House has voted to pledge up to $250 million to Chicago for any potential losses it may incur if the city hosts the 2016 Olympic Games. Under a long-standing agreement, the USOC receives about 13 per cent of US broadcasting rights revenues and about one fifth of the IOC's top sponsors program that is expected to bring in about a billion dollars for 2010-2012 quadrennial alone. Broadcasting deals are the biggest sources of revenues for the IOC with the North American deal alone netting some $2.2 billion for the 2010-2012 two-Games package. If Chicago - one of four cities along with Tokyo, Madrid and Rio de Janeiro bidding for the 2016 Games - should win, the IOC could expect an even better offer from US broadcasters. Members of an International Olympic Committee team arrive next month to scrutinize Chicago's suitability to host the 2016 Games. Agencies are informing.

Special thanks to Alfons Juck, EME News for his daily coverage of our sport.

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