Daily Briefing

Sport shorts: dates confirmed for the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics in 2021

Ten things from the world of sport on Monday 30 March

1. Olympics to start on 23 July 2021

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has announced the new dates for the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics. 

This year’s mega-event was postponed to 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic and there had been suggestions the games could be held in spring next year. 

However, in a statement the IOC confirmed that the Olympics will take place from 23 July to 8 August 2021 while the Paralympics will take place from 24 August to 5 September 2021. 

IOC president Thomas Bach said: “I want to thank the International Federations for their unanimous support and the Continental Associations of National Olympic Committees for the great partnership and their support in the consultation process over the last few days. I would also like to thank the IOC Athletes’ Commission, with whom we have been in constant contact. 

“With this announcement, I am confident that, working together with the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, the Japanese Government and all our stakeholders, we can master this unprecedented challenge. 

“Humankind currently finds itself in a dark tunnel. These Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 can be a light at the end of this tunnel.”

2. Gundogan: only fair Liverpool get the title

Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan says it would only be fair that Liverpool are crowned Premier League champions if the 2019-20 season is cancelled. 

Liverpool are currently 25 points clear of City at the top of the table and when asked if the Anfield club should be given the title, Gudogan said: “For me, that would be OK, yes. You have to be fair as a sportsperson.”

3. Kane casts doubt on Spurs future

Tottenham striker Harry Kane has given his strongest indication yet that he could seek new pastures. 

“I love Spurs, I would always love Spurs,” Kane said in an interview with pundit Jamie Redknapp. “[But] I have always said that if I don’t feel we are progressing as a team or going in the right direction, I am not someone to stay there for the sake of it.

“I am an ambitious player, I want to improve, I want to get better, I want to become one of the top, top players. We’ll see how we get on next season but you know me, I want to win team trophies.”

Kane: finish season by the end of June

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4. Police investigate Grealish ‘crash’ 

Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish has hit the headlines after images appearing to be him were posted online following a traffic incident yesterday morning. 

A number of media outlets report that an investigation has been launched after police were called to the Dickens Heath area of Solihull. It’s alleged that the 24-year-old Grealish was involved in an accident in a white Range Rover.

The alleged crash came just 24 hours after the Villa star posted a video online urging fans to “protect the NHS, stay home, save lives”.

Why everyone’s talking about Jack Grealish?

5. Rashford helps kids during crisis

BBC Sport reports that Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford is working with charity FareShare to help children in Manchester get free food while they are not at school.

The 22-year-old England star said: “I am just trying to impact the next generation in a positive way. I have done a lot of work with children and when I heard about the schools shutting down, I knew some kids would not be getting free meals at school. 

“When I was at school, I was on free meals and my mum wouldn’t get home until around six o’clock so my next meal would have been about eight o’clock. I was fortunate, and there are kids in much more difficult situations that don’t get their meals at home.”

Red Bull Racing advisor Dr Helmut Marko

6. Marko wanted Red Bull ‘coronavirus camp’ 

Dr Helmut Marko, advisor to the Red Bull Racing Formula 1 teams, has revealed that he had proposed a “coronavirus camp” so drivers could become infected and then recover while the season was suspended. 

In an interview with Austrian TV broadcaster ORF, Marko said: “We have four Formula 1 drivers, and eight or ten juniors.

“The idea was to organise a camp where we could bridge this mentally and physically somewhat dead time. And that would be the ideal time for the infection to come. 

“These are all strong young men in really good health. That way they would be prepared whenever the action starts. And you can be ready for what will probably be a very tough championship once it starts.”

Unsurprisingly the idea was not backed and Marko added: “Let’s put it this way: it has not been well received.” 

7. Mercedes help create breathing device

Engineers from the Mercedes-AMG Formula 1 team usually produce fast championship-winning cars but now they have helped to rapidly create life-saving breathing devices to aid Covid-19 patients. 

The breathing aid has been adapted by mechanical engineers at University College London (UCL) and clinicians at University College Hospital (UCLH) working with Mercedes-AMG High Performance Powertrains (HPP).

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8. Gilbert: snooker world champs need to be on

World No.11 snooker player Dave Gilbert says the World Championships “definitely” need to take place this year even if it means being held in September. 

The event at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield was meant to start on 18 April but has been postponed because of the coronavirus.

Gilbert said: “I just hope it’s on, whether it’s May, June, July, August or September. For the players, it’s our biggest event of the year, the one with the biggest prize fund, we need it to be on definitely. 

“The only worry with not having a table at home is I might be a bit rusty but I certainly won’t worry about that. It’ll definitely help some players who can practice at home, I’m someone that can’t get away with just knocking about and I’m sure a lot of other people will be in the same boat.”

9. Benzema: I’m an F1 car, Giroud is a go-kart

Karim Benzema has mocked fellow French striker Olivier Giroud. 

Real Madrid star Benzema said of the Chelsea forward: “You can’t confuse an F1 car with a go-kart and I’m being kind. I know I’m a Formula 1 car.

“It works because he’s there, that’s it. It’s not going to be spectacular. [Antoine] Griezmann and [Kylian] Mbappe get seen more while he rolls his sleeves up and does the dirty work. But does everyone like his game? I don’t know.”

10. Back pages: Premier League lockdown

The tabloids are agreed that the Premier League will be completed this season but supporters will have to watch on TV.

According to the Daily Mirror the Premier League powerbrokers “want to squeeze the remaining games into a confined time frame during June” so as to fulfil their broadcaster obligation.

Today’s back pages

Premier League players face strict lockdown to get season finished

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