Summer Federations Roundup -- Kobe Commits to 2012; German Open Cancelled

(ATR) L.A. Laker Kobe Bryant says he intends to play on Team USA in London...Organizers offer WTA tournament back to tour

Higuchi Kiyoteru of Japan (R) fights Garcia Yacomo of the Dominican Republic in the men's 68kg catagory in the Good Luck Beijing 2008 International Taekwondo Invitational Tournament at the University of Science and Technology Gymnasium in Beijing on February 27, 2008. The tournament is part of Beijing's build-up to the 2008 summer Olympic Games in August.   AFP PHOTO/Peter PARKS (Photo credit should read PETER PARKS/AFP/Getty Images)
Higuchi Kiyoteru of Japan (R) fights Garcia Yacomo of the Dominican Republic in the men's 68kg catagory in the Good Luck Beijing 2008 International Taekwondo Invitational Tournament at the University of Science and Technology Gymnasium in Beijing on February 27, 2008. The tournament is part of Beijing's build-up to the 2008 summer Olympic Games in August. AFP PHOTO/Peter PARKS (Photo credit should read PETER PARKS/AFP/Getty Images)

Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant expressed his interest in playing in the 2010 FIBA World Championships and the 2012 Summer Olympics. (Getty Images)Bryant Commits to 2010 Worlds and 2012 Summer Olympics

Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant says he intends to play for the U.S. men’s basketball team at both the 2010 FIBA World Championship in Turkey and the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.

“The chance to represent your country, that’s not even a thought process for me,” Bryant said. “If they want me to be on it, I’m all game.”

It would be the second Olympics for Bryant, who played on the gold medal-winning U.S. team at the 2008 Beijing Games, but the first FIBA World Championships for the Lakers star.

Bryant is the first NBA superstar to commit to the 2012 Olympics, with other standouts such as LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Dwyane Wade of the Miami Heat yet to make a decision.

German Open Women’s Tennis Tournament Cancelled

The Women’s Tennis Association German Open tournament in Berlin has been cancelled after the Qatar Tennis Federation, the owner of the tournament, decided it no longer wanted to operate the event and it would sell it back to the tour.

The clay court tournament took place in May and has been one of the traditional warm-up events for the French Open in Paris.

The QTF bought the German Open to boost the image of Qatar in Europe and to promote sports tourism in the country, but a new administration for the federation chose to end the agreement, though it still had one year remaining.

“The new committee…feel that all our efforts should be The latest coaching trends were just one topic of conversation at FINA's first World Swimming Coaches Conference. (Getty Images)focused on the tournament we host in Doha,” a source close to the QTF administration said. “It had nothing to do with the global economic crisis or the falling oil prices.”

First Swimming Coaches Conference Discusses Training

Swimming’s world federation FINA gathered together 231 delegates from 74 nations to discuss the latest trends in training for the first edition of its World Swimming Coaches Conference in Singapore Jan. 15-17.

Coaches for 2008 Olympic gold medal-winners Kosuke Kitajima of Japan and Australian swimmers Stephanie Rice and Leisel Jones discussed the work and preparation that their athletes undergo on a daily basis. U.S. Olympic team coach Mark Schubert and Australian coach Alan Thompson also held a discussion about their team’s programs.

Aside from the coaching presentations, the delegates were also briefed about other FINA issues such as the planning for the 2009 world championships in Rome and the 2010 Youth Olympic Games in Singapore, the federation’s current four-year strategic plan and the new doping control rules which took effect Jan. 1.

World Taekwondo Federation Launches 08-09 Peace Corps

The World Taekwondo Federation introduced its 2008-09 Winter Taekwondo Peace Corps at an activation ceremony in Seoul, South Korea on Jan. 12.

The Taekwondo Peace Corps consists of 32 members who will be divided into eight teams that will be sent to eight countries – Greece, Russia, Morocco, Bolivia, Uzbekistan, Egypt, China and Kirgystan – immediately for a month.

The Peace Corps project is promoted by the World Taekwondo Federation and is organized by GCS International, a non-governmental organization recognized by the United Nations.

The WTF formed the Taekwondo Peace Corps in July, 2008, sending 28 members to Paraguay, Pakistan, India, Russia and China.

Briefs…

… Arhus, Denmark was awarded the rights to host the 2011 A-Cat Worlds at the annual congress for the catamaran class during the 2009 world championships in Belmont, Australia Jan. 2-9. The Danish city was awarded the 2011 A-Cat worlds on the strength of its successful hosting of the 2008 Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship. The Italian Archery Federation re-elected president Mario Scarzella to a third term at its general assembly in Rome on Sunday.

… The Italian Archery Federation (FITARCO) re-elected president Mario Scarzella to a third term at its general assembly in Rome on Sunday. Archers Luca Melotto and Jessica Tomasi were selected as 2008 FITARCO athletes of the year. The federation also honored Beijing Olympic team silver medalists Ilario Di Buo, Marco Galiazzo and Mauro Nespoli.

…The Chinese Soccer Association has selected Nan Yong as its new president, replacing incumbent Xie Yalong. The move has been speculated on for months, with Xie receiving criticism for the struggling fortunes of the Chinese men’s soccer team. China lost all three of its games at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing and the Chinese team has already been eliminated in qualifying rounds for the 2010 World Cup.

…New Zealand has made a number of key appointments in preparation for the 2010 World Rowing Championships. The appointees are Chris Johnson (venue director), David Holland (venue construction manager), Lee Spear (competition director), Karen Rickerby (adaptive rowing coordinator), Karina Weaver (services director) and Richard Gee (communications manager). New Zealand will host the World Rowing Championships Oct. 31-Nov. 7, 2010.

…Former Deputy Director of Sports Department for the Beijing Olympic organizing committee Xin Lancheng returns as director of the Chinese Basketball Administrative Center. Xin -- who originally served as CBAC director from 1998 to 2003, when he left to take the BOCOG post -- replaces Li Yuanwei, who announced his retirement last month.

…FIBA has finalized television contracts in 140 countries for the federation’s 2009-2011 program of events. The TV packages include the 2010 FIBA World Championships and the 2009 and 2011 FIBA Continental Championships.

Written by Greg Oshust.