Following is a summary of current sports news briefs.
Al Michaels wins Ford Frick Award
Former play-by-play announcer Al Michaels was named the winner of the Ford C. Frick Award for broadcast excellence on Wednesday by the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. Michaels, 76, will be honored at the 2021 Hall of Fame induction ceremonies, currently slated for July 24 in Cooperstown, N.Y.
Motor racing-Hamilton to race in Abu Dhabi after negative COVID-19 tests
Seven times Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton will return for Mercedes in Sunday’s season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix after testing negative for COVID-19, the team said on Thursday. Hamilton was replaced for last weekend’s Sakhir Grand Prix in Bahrain by fellow Briton George Russell, who was unlucky not to win.
Olympics-USOPC will not punish athletes for protests at Olympics
The United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) said on Thursday it will not sanction athletes for peacefully and respectfully demonstrating in support of racial and social justice at the Olympic and Paralympic Games. The USOPC’s decision came in response to recommendations from an athlete-led council seeking change to Rule 50 of the Olympic Charter which prohibits any kind of demonstration or political, religious or racial propaganda.
Boxing-Joshua says prepared to go to final bell against Pulev
World heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua said he is prepared to go to the final bell when he puts his WBA, IBF and WBO belts on the line against Bulgarian Kubrat Pulev on Saturday. Britain’s Joshua will start as clear favourite in front of 1,000 fans at Wembley Arena for the fight that was postponed in June because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Olympics-Phelps says world records unlikely in Tokyo
Michael Phelps said the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic means it is unlikely any swimming world records will fall when the postponed Olympic Games are held in Tokyo next year. American Phelps, 35, won a record 23 gold medals over four Olympic Games and is widely considered to be the greatest swimmer of all time.
Golf-Perez takes one-shot lead at European Tour finale in Dubai
France’s Victor Perez carded a five-under-par 67 to take a one-shot lead in the first round of the DP World Tour Championship, the European Tour’s season finale, in Dubai on Thursday. Perez, 28, sank six birdies, offset by a bogey on the par-three fourth at the Jumeirah Golf estates’ Earth Course, to lead England’s Matthew Fitzpatrick, South African Erik Van Rooyen and Scotland’s Robert MacIntyre who were tied for second.
Soccer-Belgium top year-end world rankings for third straight time
Belgium were crowned FIFA’s team of the year for the third straight time after retaining the top spot ahead of world champions France in the latest world rankings released on Thursday, soccer’s world governing body said. While a total of 1,082 international games were played in 2019, the most since the rankings system was introduced in 1993, only 352 matches were held this year — the fewest since 1987 — due to the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Soccer-Italy’s World Cup hero Rossi dies aged 64
Paolo Rossi, Italy’s goalscoring hero from their victorious 1982 World Cup campaign and scorer of a hat-trick against Brazil in one of the most famous matches in the competition’s history, has died at the age of 64. The celebrated striker’s death comes with the soccer world still in mourning for Argentina icon Diego Maradona, who passed away late last month.
World indoor championships in China postponed again until 2023
The World Athletics Indoor Championships in Nanjing, China have been pushed back again to March 2023 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the sport’s global governing body said on Thursday. The event was initially scheduled for March 13-15 this year but was postponed for 12 months over fears related to the spread of the novel coronavirus in China.
Soccer-From ex-partners to photographers, Maradona’s fortune has many claimants
Lawyers are gearing up to do battle over the estate of Diego Maradona, estimated at between $10 million and $40 million and disputed by the soccer great’s children, ex-partners and many others. The legal wrangling began within days of Maradona’s death from a heart attack in Buenos Aires on Nov. 25.