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Duplantis breaks own pole vault world record

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American-born Swede Armand “Mondo” Duplantis soared to another pole vault world record on Saturday as he easily cleared 6.18 metres at the World Athletics Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix.


The 20-year-old, a world silver medallist, had set the previous mark last Saturday by clearing 6.17m in Torun, Poland.

That eclipsed by one centimetre Frenchman Renaud Lavillenie’s record set in February 2014 in Donetsk, Ukraine.

With the Glasgow crowd roaring him on, Duplantis cleared the bar in almost languid fashion before climbing off the mat, crossing his arms across his chest and milking the applause.

Incredibly, it was his first attempt at the height in the meeting and he nailed it with room to spare.

World champion Sam Kendricks was a distant second with a 5.75m clearance.

Duplantis is the son of an American pole vaulter.

He grew up with a pole vault pit in his garden at home in Louisiana, and was vaulting higher than a London double decker bus as a teenager.

At 17 he had already cleared 5.90m.

Now the sky seems to be the limit for the exciting talent who is already targeting Olympic gold in Tokyo.

“There are a lot of reasons why this event is so complicated and so many things go into making a good jump,” Duplantis, who goes by the his schoolboy nickname Mondo, later said.

“So many years of hard work go into this, but when you do it right it seems simple.”

“Safe to say I feel good, I feel fast and strong on the runway. I’m excited for the outdoor season, and the Olympics is where I want to be the best.”

Duplantis received a 30,000 dollars bonus from World Athletics for his world record.

Sergey Bubka’s 6.14m mark in 1994 remains the highest outdoor clearance, but the IAAF has not distinguished between indoor and outdoor records in pole vault since 2000.

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Edited By: Olawale Alabi)



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Olawale Alabi: is a graduate and a professionally trained journalist, with experience in national news reporting/editing and verification at the News Agency of Nigeria. NNN is a Nigerian online news portal that publishes breaking news in Nigeria, and across the world. Our journalists are honest, fair, accurate, thorough and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting news in the best interest of the public, because truth is the cornerstone of journalism and they strive diligently to ascertain the truth in every news report. Contact: editor[at]nnn.com.ng

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Cramped conditions could rule out VAR after COVID-19, Italian referees official says

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Serie A matches may have to do without the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) when action resumes following the coronavirus outbreak, the head of Italy’s referees’ association (AIA) said on Monday.


Marcello Nicci, who is chairman of AIA, said this would be because the cramped conditions where video officials work could be a health problem.

“In some cases for the video assistants today, we use narrow spaces, such as vans, where the referees work in a space of two square metres, without a safe distance between them and other workers,” he told RAI television.

“I hope this doesn’t happen but the risk is there, I hope they give us sanitised spaces.”

Nicci added that referees had been forgotten amid the debate over if and when Serie A, which has been suspended since March 9, could re-start.

“I haven’t heard any serious proposals regarding the protection of the referees,” he said.

“The referees are ready, they are respecting the rules, they are working in video conferences with the technical bodies, and they are keeping fit indoors.

“But, before moving on to phase two, we will have to worry about them too.”

He said further that referees were as much at risk as anyone else.

“They travel alone on trains and planes, going through airports and stations… If we start again, I will want to know what guarantees are offered.”

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 I cannot encourage my children to Weightlifting except – NSF Medalist 

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Former National Sports Festival (NSF) Weightlifting Medalist, King-Solomon Adeleke, has vowed never to encourage any of his children to the sport, except there is change of attitude from the Federal Government in the area of funding.


Adeleke said this while speaking with newsmen on Monday in Ilorin.

He flayed the Federal Government’s concentrating funding only on football at the expense of other Sports at the grassroots, including Weightlifting.

Adeleke who represented Kwara State at the “Bendel 1981” National Sports Festival, explained that, an athlete in Weightlifting at the Olympics can win as many as three medals, while at least 22 players cannot win more than a medal at most, in an event.

The man, popularly called King Solo, said as a result of the neglect, other sports in the country have suffered greatly, thereby denying young people the opportunity to strive through sports.

The medalist who runs a thriving private security outfit, said where Weightlifting is, today, is not where he envisaged the Sport to be, when he was still active in the Sport.

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Italy’s Serie A recommends wage cuts for players, coaches

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Italy’s Serie A football league has recommended that clubs impose wage cuts of between two and four months’ pay on playing and coaching staff to reduce losses during the coronavirus outbreak.


After an emergency general assembly by video conference, the league said in a statement on Monday that the stoppage caused by the contagion had left Italian football in a “very difficult” situation.

The league added that this had led to an urgent need for a reduction of costs.

It proposed cutting annual wages by one third if Serie A was unable to resume and by one sixth if it was able to restart.

However, it added that each club would have to negotiate the cuts with its players.

Nineteen of Serie A’s 20 clubs voted for the recommendation while Italian champions Juventus abstained, having already reached a separate agreement with their players, a Serie A source said.

Serie A has been suspended since March 9 because of the coronavirus pandemic which has claimed 15,887 lives in Italy, almost a quarter of the global death total.

It is not certain when or even if the season will restart.

But Italian football federation president Gabriele Gravina said on Sunday that the season, originally due to finish in May, could run until September or October if necessary.

Serie A said the move was “necessary to safeguard the future of the entire Italian football system.

“The intervention… foresees a reduction of one third of the total gross annual salary in the event that it is not possible to resume sporting activity, and a reduction of one sixth… if the remaining matches of the 2019/2020 season can be played in the coming months,” it said.

It added that “the clubs are ready to do their part by incurring huge losses to ensure the future of Italian football” and that “the main expense for the clubs is represented by the payroll.”

European football’s governing body UEFA has urged all national leagues to try and complete the season.

It had warned that clubs from competitions which are abandoned may be barred from the Champions League and Europa League next season.

“The assembly confirmed the desire to play again and finish the season, but without running risks and only when health conditions and government decisions allow,” added the Serie A statement.

Juventus announced on March 28 that coach Maurizio Sarri and his players, including Cristiano Ronaldo, had agreed to a wage cut.

It was a cut which would save the Turin club 90 million euros (79.3 million pounds).

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Edited By: Dorcas Jonah and Olawale Alabi)
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Scrap English Premier League season and start from scratch, Manchester United’s Shaw pleads

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The 2019/2020 English Premier League season must be scrapped and declared null and void if it cannot be restarted due to the coronavirus pandemic, Manchester United defender Luke Shaw has said.


The Premier League confirmed last week that the season, originally suspended until April 30, would not resume at the beginning of May.

The season would only return when the situation stabilises.

League leaders Liverpool need six points to seal the title while European spots and relegation candidates are still unclear with nine games to go.

This has raised questions about how they would be decided if the season does not resume.

“Scrap it and start again. Start it again, yeah,” Shaw said during the Combat Corona fundraiser for UNICEF, a FIFA 20 competition that was streamed on Twitch.

“It’s got to be, you know. If we can’t carry it on, it’s got to be void.”

Shaw was part of the event —– which also had Gareth Bale, Paulo Dybala, Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Jordan Pickford and Ruben Loftus-Cheek —– which raised around 17,000 pounds (20,920 dollars) through online donations.

Some Premier League clubs had mulled finishing the season by playing games without spectators in attendance.

But Shaw said that was not a view he endorsed as fans filling up stadiums was crucial.

“Fans are so important. You realise it even more (now),” Shaw, 24, added. “I think the sport is for fans really… I think if you don’t have fans, and you don’t play in front of fans, it just doesn’t feel right.

“Especially on match days, the fans are always amazing and always help the team. Whether it’s home or even away, our fans are always brilliant and I feel like they’re always there with us.”

Manchester United were three points behind fourth-placed Chelsea before the season was suspended, a position which left them out of reckoning for a UEFA Champions League ticket.

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Man City coach Guardiola’s mother dies after Coronavirus infection

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The mother of Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola has died after being diagnosed with the novel Coronavirus, the English Premier League champions said on Monday.


“The Manchester City family are devastated to report the death today of Pep’s mother Dolors Sala Carrió in Manresa, Barcelona after contracting Coronavirus. She was 82-years-old,” City said in a post on their official Twitter account.

“Everyone associated with the club sends their most heartfelt sympathy at this most distressing time to Pep, his family and all their friends.”

Guardiola, who has also coached Barcelona and Bayern Munich and spent most of his playing career with Barca, donated one million euros (881,057 pounds) last month to fight against the virus, contributing to a campaign launched by the Angel Soler Daniel Foundation and Medical College of Barcelona.

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COVID19: England boss Southgate takes 30% wage cut as FA revenue hit

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England manager Gareth Southgate has agreed a 30% wage reduction according to British media reports after the FA’s CEO Mark Bullingham said on Monday that its highest earners would take significant pay cuts during the coronavirus crisis.


The pandemic has brought English football to a standstill and Bullingham said the lack of international matches and FA Cup games will cost the country’s soccer governing body around 100 million pounds.

“In the spirit of those on higher salaries taking the greater responsibility, the senior management team have agreed to cut their pay by 15%, with the highest earners in the organisation agreeing to reduce their pay by up to 30%,” Bullingham said in a statement here on the FA website.

“We are proposing that all employees earning 50,000 pounds or more per annum will take a temporary pay reduction of 7.5%,” he said, adding that the FA could lose more than 150 million pounds in revenue if the situation does not stabilise soon.

“We’re also looking into what options are available to us through the government’s furlough scheme as a contingency plan while we continue to plan for the return of football, once it is safe to do so.”

The Times reported that Southgate would take a wage cut of 225,000 pounds over the next three months, while England Women’s team manager Phil Neville and the men’s England under-21 manager Aidy Boothroyd will take reductions in the region of 15-30%.

The FA decision contrasts with the approach of some Premier League clubs, such as league leaders Liverpool, who said they would be using the government’s job retention scheme to pay some non-playing staff who are furloughed.

Tottenham Hotspur, Newcastle United and Norwich City have taken similar decisions, sparking criticism from the government who have taken a dim view of millionaire players and managers not taking wage cuts while the league is suspended.

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Australia’s Kyrgios offers to drop food at doorstep of those in need

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(Reuters) Tennis player Nick Kyrgios once again showed his compassionate side on Monday, pledging to help hungry people and drop off food at doorstep for those in need during the coronavirus pandemic.


Kyrgios, who was placed on probation by the governing body of men’s tennis over his on-court behaviour last year, emerged as Australia’s hero earlier in 2020 during the bushfire crisis.

His “bad boy” image was transformed since his appeal to the tennis world kick-started a campaign.

The campaign raised millions of dollars for the victims of the crisis before and during the Australian Open Grand Slam in Melbourne.

“If ANYONE is not working/not getting an income and runs out of food, or times are just tough … please don’t go to sleep with an empty stomach,” Kyrgios wrote on Instagram with a caption “real talk”.

“Don’t be afraid or embarrassed to send me a private message. I will be more than happy to share whatever I have.

“Even just for a box of noodles, a loaf of bread or milk. I will drop it off at your doorstep, no questions asked!”

The 24-year-old Australian is spending time in his hometown of Canberra with the sport suspended across the world till at least mid-July.

This situation is as a result of countries going into lockdown to contain the spread of the virus.

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Edited By: Olawale Alabi)
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Sports Minister urges Nigerian athletes to keep hope alive in spite of coronavirus

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The Minister of Youths and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, on Monday in Abuja urged Nigerian athletes to keep hope alive in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic.


The minister, in a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media, John Joshua-Akanji, made the call on the occasion of the International Day of Sports for Development and Peace.

“On this historic day of the celebration of the United Nations International Day of Sports for Development and Peace, which is celebrated soberly due to the COVID-19 scourge, I urge all our sports men and women to remain steadfast, strong and to keep hope alive.

“As athletes, you remain the beacon of hope to unite Nigerians to commemorate the United Nations International Day of Sports for Development and Peace,” Dare was quoted as saying.

He urged athletes to use sports to foster peace and unity in the country.

“You must use sports to foster peace, unity and lend support to those that are down. As sports men and women, you have an obligation to take up the symbolic role of lifting the spirit of our fellow country men and women.

“In spite of the experience the world is going through, we must not allow our spirit of unity, love, care for each other to wane.

“In our little corners, let us celebrate by getting active through exercises in our homes, a walk in the park and encouraging each other to stay safe,” the minister said.

He went on to describe sports as a unifying factor that must be leveraged upon by all and sundry.

“Sports remains the most powerful tool that unites the world during peace and war, and this experience will only strengthen our resolve to win always.

“Sports fosters peace and unity, it breaks all human barriers and promotes healthy living. As we seek to overcome this pandemic, let us encourage those that have caught the virus to be strong and resolute. Together we shall overcome.

“I encourage every Nigerian not to allow their spirit to be dampened, but use the occasion of the International Day of Sports for Development and Peace to spread the message of peace through sports,” Dare added.

The United Nations had on Aug. 23 proclaimed April 6 of every year as the International Day of Sports for Development and Peace.

This was in commemoration of the opening date of the modern Olympics which started in Athens in 1896.

This year is being celebrated without the usual fanfare due to the COVID-19 scourge.

The UN has urged everyone to mark the occasion with increased awareness about the COVID-19 pandemic and how to stay safe.

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Tunisian tennis player mulls swapping rackets for dancing shoes in lockdown

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Tunisian trailblazer Ons Jabeur is holed up in New York due to the coronavirus pandemic and says she is contemplating taking up dancing.


She said the essence of this was to remain fit as the tennis world finds innovative ways to deal with the lockdown.

The 25-year-old became the first Tunisian and the first Arab woman to make a Grand Slam quarter-final at the 2020 Australian Open in Melbourne.

She lost to eventual champion Sofia Kenin of the U.S.

Jabeur also reached the last eight of the Qatar Open in Doha and is currently on a career-high world ranking of 39.

But her rapid rise has been somewhat checked with the tennis season currently suspended.

This will be until at least mid-July, with both the claycourt season and grasscourt events wiped out due to the coronavirus-induced travel restrictions.

“I’m not allowed to eat much as I’m not moving much.

“I like to dance, maybe it’s time for me to do some dancing in the apartment. Hopefully the neighbours will not kick us out. But for now we are good.

“Cooking is for my husband. Watching lots of films is what we do right now, eating some popcorn also,” a smiling Jabeur said in a video interview posted on the official Australian Open Twitter handle.”

Over 336,000 people have tested positive for the new coronavirus and more than 9,500 have died in the U.S., according to a Reuters tally, with New York the worst affected.

Jabeur could not make her way back home to Tunisia with countries locking down their borders and imposing travel restrictions to contain the spread of the virus.

In the meantime, she is running a social media challenge for fans in Tunisia, asking them to send videos featuring tennis at home.

Jabeur said she is receiving lot of funny videos and the winner will win one of her rackets.

“I’m kind of stuck in U.S. But maybe I love being stuck here. I’m just here with my husband, who also happens to be my fitness coach. “He’s trying to make me work out.

“The only thing we are missing is practising tennis. That’s the only thing we are not doing right now,” she said.

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