Curling Loses Another World Championship -- Federation Focus

Also: AIBA begins continental forums for 2021; Russian teams at world championships adjust to WADA sanctions

(ATR) The pandemic forces the cancellation of the LGT World Women's Curling Championship for a second straight year.

The 2021 edition, scheduled for March 19-28 in Schaffhausen, Switzerland, will not be held following a decision by the Swiss Local Health Authority not to support the event due to the current spread of COVID-19 variants.

"We will be evaluating all the options available to us in order to complete the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games women's team qualification process and do everything we can to ensure that it's carried out on the ice in competition," said World Curling Federation president Kate Caithness.

The WCF said a number of options are being investigated, including rescheduling the world championship or replacing it with an alternative Olympic qualification event.

The BKT Tires & OK Tire World Men's Curling Championship 2021, to be held April 2-11 in Calgary, is still on the schedule as is the World Mixed Doubles Curling Championship 2021 from April 24-May 1. The latter event still needs a host city.

AIBA Launches 2021 Continental Forums

AIBA President Umar Kremlev visits Kenya as the boxing federation opens a series of continental events to give every national federation an opportunity to meet with AIBA leadership.

About 40 African countries took part in the AIBA Virtual Forum based in Nairobi on February 7.

The agenda included discussions on reforms, new AIBA committees and the competition calendar, a development plan for national federations, a communications strategy, and a report from the legal group.

Q&A sessions were also held along with an anti-doping seminar with ITA Head of Testing Matteo Vallini.

The day before the forum, Kremlev met with Kenya’s sports leadership and the National Boxing Federation.

‘I am very pleased that the pandemic situation allowed me to come to Kenya to see the development of boxing in the country and on the continent. I was very glad to see all National Federations via video conference, and I must say we have done a fruitful work," Kremlev said.

"It is very important for me to receive feedback from all AIBA members, to get their proposals for reforms. Only together, being united, can we achieve the tasks set."

The Americas on Feb. 21 is scheduled to be the next stop on the virtual continental tour. Europe will follow on Feb. 27, with Oceania on March 6 and Asia on March 20.

Rules for Russia at Biathlon Worlds

The 2021 IBU World Championships Biathlon began on Feb. 10 and will run until Feb. 21 in Pokljuka, Slovenia.

More than 300 athletes from 38 countries are expected to compete in 12 events over nine competition days. The Russian team is there but cannot compete under its own flag or celebrate medals with its own anthem due to WADA sanctions for doping violations.

The International Biathlon Union, according to Russian news agency TASS, will also not allow Russian team members to post Russian state symbols on their social media accounts if the posts have to do with the ongoing event.

The IBU, however, doesn’t want "to bring the matter to the point of absurdity" and will let the team put stickers including state symbols on the vehicles it uses during the event. Athletes are advised, however, not to take photographs in front of the vehicles.

Tchaikovsky to Replace Russian Anthem at ISU Events

The International Skating Union (ISU) is pleased with the Russian team’s choice as a replacement for its anthem at two upcoming world championships.

Alexander Kibalko, the head of the ISU technical committee, is quoted by TASS as saying that playing a piece of music from Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 should a Russian win an event is "very original" and added "(e)veryone really likes this decision".

The World Speed Skating Championships runs from Feb. 11-14 in Heerenveen, Netherlands. The Short Track Speed Skating Championships follows on March 5-7 in Dordrecht, Netherlands.

Federation Focus is presented by the International Weightlifting Federation.Click herefor more on the IWF.

Written by Gerard Farek

For general comments or questions,click here.

Your best source of news about the Olympics is AroundTheRings.com, for subscribers only.