(ATR) The International Judo Federation announced on Wednesday that the Hague Grand Prix has been cancelled for both 2019 and 2020.

The 2018 Hague Grand Prix (IJF)

The premier judo event in the Netherlands was launched in 2017, with the 2019 edition scheduled for November 15-17.

Dutch Judo Association President Felix Thieme blamed a lack of funding for the decision.

“It’s sad to conclude that the financial challenge is simply too big. The costs per edition are approximately 950,000 euro and those are not covered in full. The Grand Prix doesn’t fit in the subsidy policy of the Ministry of Sports,” Thieme said in a statement.

He noted that the event was part of Olympic qualification for Tokyo 2020.

The IJF recently added a new event to the World Judo Tour calendar, with a return for Brazil who will host the Brasilia Grand Slam from October 6-8.

100 Days Until the IAAF World Athletics Championships

Khalifa International Stadium will host the championships. (SC)

The 2019 World Athletics Championships in Doha are 100 days away.

The IAAF, in a release on Wednesday, is highlighting discounted travel packages through Qatar Airways and Discover Qatar.

A discount for travel via Qatar Airways can be found here: https://www.qatarairways.com/en-qa/offers/cug/IAAFQA19.html using the discount code IAAFQA19. Accommodation, tickets and Doha activity packages are available here: https://uat-www.discoverqatar.qa/events/iaaf/.

The official ticketing website can be found at https://tickets.iaafworldathleticschamps.com/doha2019/.

The championships run from September 27 to October 6 at Khalifa International Stadium.

The federation’s name change from IAAF to World Athletics comes into effect after Doha 2019 following approval at the annual general meeting.

Men’s Softball Championship Debuts in Europe 

Team USA celebrates a victory over Singapore. (WBSC)

The Men’s Softball World Championship rolls on in Prague and Havlickuv Brod, Czech Republic with 16 teams vying for the title. It marks the first time ever that the biennial WBSC-sanctioned tournament is being played in Europe.

New Zealand is the defending champion, having won the tournament seven times over the last 12 editions. However, the Kiwis, who perform the Haka Dance before games, have not been as dominant as in previous years, losing two of their last four games to Japan and Mexico. New Zealand currently stands 4-2 in Group A.

Japan and Canada, who finished runner-up to New Zealand at the last edition in 2017, currently lead their respective groups, both boasting undefeated 6-0 records, through June 19. The host Czech Republic is 2-3 thus far, with wins over the Philippines and Mexico.

The gold and bronze medal games wrap up the 11-day tournament in Prague on Sunday, June 23.

Three New Members Elected to World Archery Athletes Committee

The Athletes Committee for World Archery is now complete after elections held during the 2019 Hyundai World Archery Championships in the Netherlands.

Korea’s Kang Chae Young and Lee Woo Seok win recurve mixed team title. (World Archery)

Sjef van den Berg (Netherlands), Crystal Gauvin (USA) and So Chaewon (South Korea) were elected unopposed as first-time members. Reo Wilde (USA), who had served since 2015, was re-elected. They join Naomi Folkard (Great Britain), who has been named chair. She was elected in 2016.

The five-person athletes committee consists of representatives from each of the four world championship disciplines – recurve men, recurve women, compound men and compound women – and one field archery representative.

The world championships wrapped up on Sunday. Korea must be happy that the recurve mixed team competition will be making its debut at Tokyo 2020. The country has never lost in the event at the world championships since it was introduced in 2011.

This year, Korea’s Kang Chae Young and Lee Woo Seok beat Gabriela Bayardo and new Athletes Committee member Sjef van den Berg of the Netherlands to win gold.

Written by Gerard Farek

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