18 Oct

Premier League set to live stream all matches played behind closed doors as part of coronavirus crisis plan

first_img Metro Sport ReporterThursday 12 Mar 2020 8:30 amShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link2.2kShares Advertisement Comment Advertisement Italy’s Serie A have already been playing matches behind closed doors (Picture: AFP )So far major sporting events in the UK have gone ahead as planned – including Six Nations games, Premier League matches and the Cheltenham festival.AdvertisementAdvertisementADVERTISEMENT Visit our live blog for the latest updates Coronavirus news liveBut that could change depending on the outcome of the government’s Cobra committee meeting on Thursday morning, with a move from the ‘contain’ phase to the ‘delay’ phase expected to see a ban on large public gatherings.The Premier League and Football Association have already been in discussion with the government and, according to The Times, the football season will not be postponed but instead played exclusively behind closed doors.More: Manchester United FCRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starNew Manchester United signing Facundo Pellistri responds to Edinson Cavani praiseEx-Man Utd coach blasts Ed Woodward for two key transfer errorsWhile the 3pm television blackout will still be observed on Saturdays – with officials worried about setting a precedent that would remove the protected slot – matches look set to be moved from that time period and live streamed instead.All Premier League season ticket holders, and individual match ticket holders, will be able to stream the games live from their homes.center_img PSG played Dortmund behind closed doors – though fans turned up anyway (Picture: Getty)Broadcasters will also be permitted to screen multiple games in the lunchtime and tea-time slots on Saturday, as well as on Sundays andMonday nights.Matches will be blocked from being broadcast in pubs, however, to avoid large public gatherings and will be threatened with the loss of their license if they flaunt the rules.The Premier League’s broadcasting contracts mean it would face a huge penalty if the season was terminated, hence the reluctance to follow the lead of the NBA and suspend the current campaign.MORE: Utah Jazz’s Rudy Gobert tests positive for coronavirus 48 hours after making light of the worldwide panic over the diseaseMORE: Diego Costa coughs on reporters after win against Liverpool amid coronavirus outbreakFollow Metro Sport across our social channels, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.For more stories like this, check our sport page. Premier League set to live stream all matches played behind closed doors as part of coronavirus crisis plan Matches could be played behind closed doors from this weekend onwards (Picture: Getty)The Premier League have put plans in place to live stream all matches played behind closed doors should the government decide to upgrade its response to the coronavirus pandemic.Football matches in Italy and France are already being played behind closed doors – with PSG beating Borussia Dortmund in an emptyParc des Princes stadium in the Champions League on Wednesday night.Juventus also took on Inter Milan in their Serie A title clash behind closed doors, with both teams now suspending training and going into isolation after Juve defender Daniele Rugani tested positive for Covid-19.last_img read more

27 Aug

The reasons why Kenyans always win marathons lie in one region

first_imgLast month, Eliud Kipchoge finished a marathon in 1 hour, 59 minutes and 40 seconds — an audacious feat that no one had ever accomplished before. Kipchoge is from the Kenyan Rift Valley region.A day after he made history, Brigid Kosgei destroyed the women’s world record at the Chicago Marathon. She’s also from the Kenyan Rift Valley.And in the New York Marathon on Sunday, a Kenyan rookie took down her country’s rock star in the women’s race. Joyciline Jepkosgei ruined countrywoman Mary Keitany’s chance at a fifth women’s title in the contest, but the latter came in second. And Kenyan Geoffrey Kamworor won the men’s race, his second NYC Marathon victory.They’re all from the Rift Valley region. And people are taking note — marathoners from all over the world go there to train before major races.East Africans — especially Kenyans and Ethiopians — have dominated marathons for decades, dashing across finish lines as their exhausted competitors barely made it. In the process, they’ve toppled their own records or those of their fellow citizens.Kenyan marathon runners are such a phenomenon that research organizations have done studies on why they dominate long distance races. And experts say it’s mixture of several things.Mary Keitany (front left) trains her husband and coach Charles Koech (front right) in Iten, Kenya.Most of the elite runners are from the same regionMost Kenyan elite runners hail from the same ethnic groups known as the Kalenjins and the Nandis. The groups make up just 10% of the nation’s population of 50 million — but bring in a majority of the nation’s marathon medals.”Internationally, Kalenjin runners have won close to 73% of all Kenyan gold medals and a similar percentage of silver medals at major international running competitions,” says Vincent O. Onywera, a professor of exercise and sports science at Kenyatta University in Nairobi. They’ve passed on the passion for running across generations, turning the Rift Valley — especially the small town of Iten — into a mecca for the nation’s elite long distance runners. There, children start running at a young age.A lot of the young people from these areas grow up surrounded by successful runners. Most of them look at running as a way to make money, says coach Bernard Ouma, who trains elite Kenyan runners.”You see your neighbor run and win, it motivates you to run and win,” he says. As a result, their communities have a deep tradition of running excellence built over the years.They train and live in a high-altitude areaMost of the Kenyan runners who dominate marathons worldwide train and live in the high-altitude Rift Valley.Iten, one of the towns that produces elite runners, sits nearly 8,000 feet above sea level in western Kenya. Training at high altitudes contributes to a running dominance that makes running at lower elevation child’s play, Onywera says. “There is a widespread belief in the athletic community that altitude training can enhance sea level athletic performance, with at least three independent studies demonstrating that altitude training increases both sea level maximal oxygen consumption and running performance,” he says.Geoffrey Kamworor and Joyciline Jepkosgei pose with the Kenyan flag after the New York Marathon.Then there’s diet and constant motivationIten has become known internationally as the place where long distance champions are made. So much so, runners from around the world go there to train before major races.Running aficionado and author Adharanand Finn spent a lot of time in the town trying to find out the secret to Kenyan marathon runners. “I had a lifelong fascination with the uninhibited running style of the Kenyans and had always wanted to know the story behind their incredible athletes — I wanted to know what their lives were like. And when I saw there was no book, or at that time no films, on the subject, I decided to go there and write one. His book, “Running with the Kenyans,” gives more insight into what he found out. And there is no one major secret, he says.”As the famed coach of David Rudisha, Brother Colm O’Connell, says, the only secret is that there’s no secret. It’s not one thing but a perfect storm of elements that come together in Kenya’s Rift Valley region to make the people there so strong at distance running,” Finn says.There’s the location, the way of life, the environment.”For a start, you have the altitude, the tough rural upbringing and the fact that children run around everywhere. Then there is the simple diet, the lack of junk food, and the perfect running terrain — rolling hills, dirt roads — all over the place,” he says.And if that doesn’t lure you in, there’s the proximity to international elite runners to motivate anyone. “Running offers a great chance to make good money, to transform lives, even to transform whole communities,” Finn says. “This is compounded by the hundreds of role models everywhere. Almost every village has someone who has come back from ‘abroad’ with winnings, and these stars are very accessible and open to supporting the younger athletes.”As a result, everyone who can run, aspires to be a runner, he says.”You end up with thousands of people training together, pushing each other, helping each other, inspiring each other. This attracts agents, sponsors, coaches … and it keeps getting bigger. With all this impetus, some great athletes are going to emerge out the other end,” he says. “So really, it’s not a simple answer.”Mary Keitany Some have wondered whether genes have a role to playThere’s so much speculation on why Kenyans and Ethiopians keep crushing marathon competitions, the phenomenon has long been a subject of study. Organizations such as the British Journal of Sports Medicine have concluded that it’s unclear whether genes have anything to do with it.”The periodic domination of middle and long distance running by different regions of the world is not a new phenomenon,” it says. “Researchers are yet to confirm a genetic or physiological advantage in being a middle or long distance runner of East African origin, and it is most likely that the reasons for their success are many.”And while many physiological and anatomical factors have been suggested to explain the East African dominance, research has not revealed any definitive advantage, the study says.last_img read more

14 Aug

Patrick Sharp hones in on NHL trade deadline, Maple Leafs, Connor McDavid and Stanley Cup picks

first_imgThe top four entrants will be announced March 22, followed by voting March 28 and 29. The winners will be announced March 29.NHL trade tracker 2020: List of deals completed before the deadlineFormer NHL star and current NBC Sports analyst Patrick Sharp serves as the ambassador for the program that aims to give back and grow the game around the country.Sharp, who captured three Stanley Cup championships with the Chicago Blackhawks, recently spoke with Sporting News regarding Kraft Hockeyville, the upcoming trade deadline and his early playoff predictions — including whether this is the year a Canadian team finally pushes through.(Note: Portions of the interview have been edited for brevity, clarity and timeliness.)SPORTING NEWS: How important is it for these rinks to have this opportunity and to win this award to get the renovations?PATRICK SHARP: Oh, I mean, I could only imagine my hometown, Thunder Bay [Ont.], had won this contest 20 years ago, 30 years ago when I was a kid playing hockey, a couple times a day, three times on the weekend sometimes for tournaments, could have made a huge difference. Locker rooms could get upgraded, maybe it’s a scoreboard, maybe it’s minor repairs around the building. Either way, it draws the community together, and $150,000 could go a long way, so I’m excited to see who wins. We’ve been to Michigan, Pennsylvania, New York; I keep saying that I’m hoping to get to, like, Arizona, Texas, Florida, somewhere nice and warm come September so I can go host the event.SN: The trade deadline is coming up. What are your thoughts on who the biggest sellers are, who the biggest buyers will be?PS: There’s a lot of teams that are right on the fence, right on the bubble that want to compete the rest of the way to try to make the playoffs, but at the same time, are you one of those teams that’s planning for the future that think that you can win in the next three to five years? In that case, maybe you’re a seller.There’s a lot of names that are floating around out there, a lot of teams. We know who the top teams are that are, relatively speaking, comfortable in their playoff spot. I think the Boston Bruins are one of those teams that can maybe go out and add something at the deadline; we saw them add some secondary scoring last year. Tampa Bay looks like they’re ready to erase last year’s memory of their playoff sweep, at the hands of Columbus, this season, so maybe they add something. [Note: this interview was conducted before the Lightning traded for Blake Coleman.]TRADE GRADES: Blake Coleman | Tyler Toffoli | Brenden DillonI like the St. Louis Blues making a move; they want to try to defend the Stanley Cup championship — they’ve got a team that looks like they can do it. And how about Colorado? I mean, they’re a team that everybody’s looking to win a couple of playoff rounds this year. They’ve got an exciting team but it’s a tricky time of year because you don’t want to make too many moves that are going to disrupt your future. A team like Colorado that should be good for the next five or eight years, you don’t want to make any drastic moves that set yourself back. So it’s a tricky time of year and an intense time of year for a lot of players because who knows where you’re going to end up.SN: How do you make that decision? Some teams know they’re already out of the playoff picture, like Detroit and Ottawa . . .PS: Well, I hope they know. I hope those teams know they’re not making the playoffs when they look at the standings. They know they’re not going to make it.SN: But how do teams that are on that bubble make that decision? Like a Montreal?PS: I get what you’re saying. Whether you make the playoffs or not, I think every organization kind of gauges where they are in the grand scheme of things. Are they going to be a Cup contender? You can never say what year you’re going to win the Stanley Cup but you can say what year you feel your team is going to be best ready to compete for that Stanley Cup and we don’t want to disrupt that timeline.So, you mentioned the Montreal Canadiens. Well, their playoff hopes aren’t finished, but … they’re kind of slipping a little bit here. Even if they did make the playoffs, I don’t think Montreal feels they’re a team that can run the table and win. Now, St Louis, proved everybody wrong last year. Once the playoffs start anything can happen, so getting in is one thing — winning the Stanley Cup is another. All these general managers are going to make trades that are best suited for their team going forward, whether that’s short term, long term, you name it, there’s 31 different scenarios out there.MORE: Top candidates to be moved by positionSN: Were you surprised by the Jason Zucker trade considering how much Pittsburgh gave up?PS: Every time there’s a trade with big names like that and a lot going back the other way, it does get your attention. I don’t know if surprised is the right word when you really look at this trade; it’s two general managers that know each other well, Bill Guerin trading with his former team with the Pittsburgh Penguins. And then Pittsburgh, much like the Chicago Blackhawks over the years, they’re a team, they’re currently in the win-now moment. They’ve got Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Kris Letang, they’ve got two good goaltenders. They got a lot of guys in the prime of their careers, so they kind of owe it to themselves and their fan base to try to win now. So, bringing in a guy like Zucker to replace an injury to [Jake] Guentzel is a great move. And look what they’re giving up, they’re giving up pieces for the future.SN: Obviously Chris Kreider is a big name that is out there. Where do you think he fits?PS: Anybody, really. He’s a guy that’s got some good playoff experience under his belt. St. Louis Blues come to mind, Boston Bruins. He’s a big body that can play both wing positions, play the power play and he’s done it before. I don’t know. That’s a decision the Rangers have to make: If they do want to let him go [or] maybe keep him around. They’ve got a nice thing going there in New York and they should be good in a couple years if they’re not good next year already. So, that’ll be an interesting situation but he’s a big, heavy body that can help out [in] the playoffs.SN: Toronto Maple Leafs, do they still need to make another move? What are your overall thoughts on the Leafs?PS: I think they made their move bringing in Jack Campbell and [Kyle] Clifford; two areas where their game can be improved. The backup goaltender position is obviously one that’s been talked about a lot in Toronto and Jack Campbell’s a guy that can help there. I think Clifford — somebody that’s got some bite to his game and knows how to play physical and has been in those big playoff matchups before — I like him going into Toronto to kind of change the face of their team a little.MAPLE LEAFS TRADE GRADE: Campbell and Clifford add needed elements But they’ve got it tough with a lot of good teams in that division. It’s not easy to make the playoffs these days so I think their main focus right now is just getting in and once you get in, who knows what can happen? But I like the way they play, it’s a fun style. I like to see my old teammate Jason Spezza still doing his thing at an older age … I like watching the Leafs every single day.SN: OK, how are your predictions to make it to the final and then win the Cup?PS: Well, there’s still a lot of games to be played, so don’t hold this over my head, but I like Tampa. Tampa in the East for the reasons I mentioned earlier: they’ve got a huge chip on their shoulder and they’ll get into the playoffs and then once they get in I think they kick it up another level. Then the West, I’m going to go with the Dallas Stars. I think that they’re built from top to bottom and they keep the puck out of their net and their playoff mentality is kind of what they’re doing right now in the regular season. They’re a team that I think is going to come out of the West.SN: Rick Bowness finally gets his Cup?PS: That’s my Cup prediction. Wait a couple of weeks to see what my actual winner prediction is after that (laughs).POWER RANKINGS: Lightning, Canucks highlight ‘Schitt’s Creek’ editionSN: But could this be the year we see a Canadian make a deep playoff run and potentially, maybe, win the Stanley Cup? PS: Who’s it going to be, then? Is it going to be Vancouver? Because they’ve got a nice young team. I don’t know if they’re ready to win four playoff rounds, but I do like the future in Vancouver. I think there’s a lot there. Calgary? But [Mark] Giordano being injured [and] the Flames’ performance last year in the playoffs, I don’t know if I’m ready to say they’re the next Cup winner for Canada. Winnipeg’s playing real good hockey right now. They’re physical. They’ve upped their intensity, could look for them to make another move at the deadline. It seems like every deadline, they’re adding to their team. [Note: this was before they traded for Dylan DeMelo]. Who knows, Montreal? We’ll skip Montreal. Toronto, we touched on them. But how about Edmonton with [Leon] Draisaitl and [Connor] McDavid? If they can be healthy come playoff time. It was just a couple years ago that Edmonton was in the playoffs and it seemed like McDavid carried them through a couple playoff rounds. So, man, I can’t believe I’m saying it but if I had to put my finger on one Canadian team to go deep it might be the Edmonton Oilers, believe it or not.SN: There’s a good chance if they make it McDavid finds another gear.PS: They’ve been doing it all season long. There’s plenty of good players in Edmonton, and I like Dave Tippett as a coach, but when you’ve got talented players like McDavid and Draisaitl they’re as good as it gets in all of hockey. You’ve got two of those guys which just makes everybody so much better, that city can get crazy during the playoff time. You get that city rallying behind you, you never know. They could go on a nice playoff run and I’m gonna have to change some predictions there, get Dallas out and Edmonton in, maybe. The NHL trade deadline may be fast approaching, but there is another deadline nearing as well — to compete for the designation of Kraft Hockeyville USA.The Kraft Hockeyville program is designed to bring communities together to share their passion for hockey and their local ice hockey arena. Nominations for the coveted prize are being accepted until Feb. 29. The winning community will receive $10,000 in equipment through the NHLPA’s Goals and Dreams Foundation, host a preseason NHL game that will be aired on NBC, and receive $150,000 toward rink upgrades. This year, prizes will also be given to the first runner-up, which will receive $30,000, and the second runner-up, which will receive $10,000.last_img read more