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Rediff.com  » Sports » Sports Shorts: Boston marathon winner to turn pro

Sports Shorts: Boston marathon winner to turn pro

April 19, 2018 12:04 IST

A summary of sports events and sports persons, who made news on Thursday

Yuki Kawauchi

IMAGE: Japan's Yuki Kawauchi crosses the finish line to win the men's division of the 122nd Boston Marathon.Photograph: Brian Snyder/Reuters

Boston Marathon winner Yuki Kawauchi has told reporters in his native Japan that he plans to turn professional within a year.

Kawauchi, who currently works in a school for the Saitama Prefectural Government, said he wanted to commit to the marathon on a full-time basis, according to Kyodo News.

 

"The number one reason is that I want to compete at the global level," Kawauchi told reporters at Narita Airport on his return from the U.S. on Thursday.

"I haven't improved my personal best time in five years. I need to change my environment."

Kawauchi currently competes as an amateur, fitting in training without a coach or sponsor in any free time around his school administration job.

Kyodo added that the Saitama government did not allow Kawauchi to accept any sponsorship deals.

Kawauchi, who has won five consecutive marathons, including four in 2018 alone, said the $150,000 prize money he received for winning in Boston would allow him to commit fully to the marathon.

"It really helps that my financial worries are gone," he said.

The 31-year-old has represented Japan previously at World Championships but never at an Olympic Games. He will now have more than a year as a professional to reach that goal on home turf at Toyko 2020.

Aaditya asks CWG winner Chirag to guide BMC school students

Shiv Sena youth wing chief Aaditya Thackeray today asked badminton player Chirag Shetty, who won a gold medal in the recently-concluded Commonwealth Games, to guide students of the schools run by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation.

Shetty, who won a gold in the mixed team event and a silver medal in the mens' doubles badminton tournament at the CWG in Australia, called on Thackeray today.

"I congratulate him for making our nation proud at the international level. Our country was in the third place in the CWG games. I have asked Chirag to guide students studying in BMC schools," Thackeray told reporters at his residence 'Matoshree' after meeting Shetty.

The Yuva Sena chief also said that six new sports will be introduced in the BMC schools in the coming academic year.

Former US Olympians tell Congress more reforms needed in gymnastics

US gymnastics needs more reforms to wipe out sexual abuse after a scandal involving an ex-team doctor convicted of molesting female athletes, former Olympic athletes told a Senate panel on Wednesday.

Olympic gymnastics gold medallist Jordyn Wieber told lawmakers evaluating the impact of reform legislation that only a housecleaning of staff at USA Gymnastics, the sport’s national governing body, could guarantee that a culture of abuse was eradicated.

"I don't think they are innocent at all. They've seen things and they have culpability," Wieber told the Senate Commerce subcommittee.

President Donald Trump signed legislation in February that includes making child abuse reporting mandatory for the US Olympic Committee and other amateur sports organizations. It also sets up a new body in the USOC that responds to sexual misconduct reports.

Jamie Dantzcher, a 2000 Olympic bronze medallist in gymnastics, testified that she had seen inappropriate touching of girls during practices even after the scandal over disgraced USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar.

"I'm sure it (sexual abuse) is still going on," said Dantzcher, who along with Wieber was joined by speed skater Bridie Farrell and figure skater Craig Maurizi.

USA Gymnastics said in a statement it had already addressed some of the concerns raised in the hearing, including mandatory reporting of abuse.

"USA Gymnastics is committed to doing everything it can to prevent abuse from happening again by making bold decisions and holding ourselves to the highest standards of care," the statement said.

The Senate subcommittee is among congressional panels seeking answers about sexual abuse from the USOC, 48 national governing bodies of various sports and Michigan State University, where Nassar worked.

In February, USOC Chief Executive Scott Blackmun resigned following the sex abuse scandal involving Nassar, who was sentenced to two 40-year prison sentences after pleading guilty to molesting female athletes under the guise of medical treatment.

Farrell, who said she had been sexually abused for years by an older teammate, said that solutions included more representation by athletes in sports' governing bodies and mandatory reporting to police.

Wieber sued USA Gymnastics, the USOC and Michigan State on Tuesday, alleging that they shared the blame for sexual abuse she claims she suffered at Nassar's hands.

The USOC has outlined reforms aimed at protecting its athletes from abuse. The scandal prompted the board of directors at USA Gymnastics to resign, along with top officials at Michigan State.

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