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Durban Sandshark

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  1. Medellín, Colombia will host the FIBA Americas Women’s Olympic Pre-Qualifying Tournament that will be played at the Iván de Bedout Coliseum from November 9-12 for three match days to determine the two additional Americas reps under a one group, round robin format. Participating Americas teams are Canada, hosts Colombia, Puerto Rico, and Venezuela: https://www.fiba.basketball/news/colombia-to-host-fiba-women-s-olympic-pre-qualifying-tournament Draw for the upcoming FIBA Women's OQT groups in Antwerp, Belem, Sopron, and Xian is October 5 in Sopron, Hungary. Obviously, Belgium, Brazil, Hungary, and China will host their respective 4-team groups: https://www.fiba.basketball/news/women-s-olympic-qualifying-tournaments-the-next-stop-on-the-road-to-paris-2024
  2. Serbia, the reigning world champs, and the Dominican Republic emerged with the two top spots in Ningbo, China's Pool A. Turkey and Brazil won their direct Olympic spots in Tokyo. And the USA and hosts Poland earned theirs from Lodz, Poland. Poland is the only hosting nation so far in these OQTs to directly qualify for Paris. Would like to see Canada get a spot as their play has been rising internationally with them no longer being seen as underdogs--were right there with Serbia and Dominican Republic and finished just under them. Maybe a toss up between The Netherlands and China. Japan should nab a spot too, but the Belgium's Yellow Tigers disappointed with only two match wins, so their Olympic ticket would likely be out of reach. Missed star Britt Herbots due to abdominal injury. Would've qualified four years ago but didn't. Italy, Germany, and Puerto Rico/Thailand/Argentina should also be considered. My picks for direct qualifications in the ongoing men's FIVB volleyball OQTs are Brazil and Italy (Rio De Janeiro), USA and Serbia (Tokyo), and Poland and Argentina (Lodz) with Canada, Belgium, Japan, Slovenia, and Germany/Cuba nabbing the final 5 spots. If there has to be an African team in the mix, it would likely be Egypt in the men's volleyball game. Personally on a side note, I would very much like to see a sequel to the Spike Volleyball video game that would include licenses from the FIVB and have more international teams (both men and women) with the continental tournaments, VNLs, Grand Prix, World Championships, and numerous leagues around the world. Can exclude Russia here in all counts here.
  3. RICK CORDELLA NAMED AS NBC SPORTS PRESIDENT IN LEADUP TO PARIS 2024 The fact that Cordella is a former basketball player can certainly makes things interesting in what direction NBC Olympics will take involving Peacock, where everything in sport and event is supposed to be shown on its streaming service, during Paris 2024. Could we see a US Spanish-language broadcast of both ceremonies being streamed? How about some Spanish audio option for everything that NBC has on the English side? Details are still under development with this official announcement, speaking of Spanish here in the Western Hemisphere. But if the recent past is anything to go by, Claro Sports, serving all Spanish-speaking Latin America, will provide multiple TV channels, at least 4 that will go 24/7, live, on-demand, free, and in HD (maybe some 4K?), at least 30 different streams with MarcaClaro.com, and its own YouTube channel all being involved with all the expected coverage trappings--Opening Ceremony, the Closing Ceremony, as well as live competitions, stories, summaries, capsules and featured content--during this massive multisports festival. Also get to specifically follow their fave athletes. Perhaps we will see a streaming service agreement included this time. One interesting thing that jumped up is there will be editions for Mexico, Argentina, and Colombia. Meaning it could see the same Paris 2024 studios catering their programmings to their respective audiences (Mexico, Dominican Republic, and the Central American nations, Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Chile, and Peru in northern South America; and Argentina, Uruguay, Bolivia, and Paraguay in southern South America), say in Mexico City, Buenos Aires, and Bogota, instead of just coming from Mexico City. Also could we see regionalized sportscasters for the same events out of this? Because previously they all would have the same Olympic TV programming and sportscasters regardless of the Spanish-speaking nation, summer and winter, I would expect more of the same (would be a mix of Mexican, Argentinian, Colombian, Dominican, Chilean, Costa Rican, Uruguayan, Peruvian, and Venezuelan). Something interesting to see develop as we go along: https://olimpicocol.co/web/las-acciones-de-paris-2024-se-transmitiran-por-claro-sports/ Very stylish and well-presented website for Nine Upfront 2024's presentation. Comes with an accompanying Nine Upfront 2024 video from Sydney's Hodern Pavilion to companies, execs, and advertisers started with an Aboriginal acknowledgment and welcome ceremony emceed by Brooke Boney from the Gemilaroi and Gomeroi (apology for the spelling). What we're here for is about its upcoming Nine Network's upcoming and exclusive multiplatform Paris 2024 broadcast presentation and future Olympics and Paralympics immediately afterwards to Brisbane 2032, which is discussed and hosted by Mike Sneesby at 13:16-40:54, celebrating "a new golden era" for Australian Olympic broadcasting headlining 9's sports coverage with the NRL/NRLW, Australian Open, The Masters, World Series of Cricket, UEFA Champions League, Australian National Swimming Championship, Wallabies rugby union, and auto racing. Not to mention dominating Nine Upfront 2024. After the video, Ally Langdon, James Bracey, and Australia's Paris 2024 Chef de Mission and cycling legend Anna Mears, Leila McKinnon, Curtis McGrath, Eddie McGuire, Anne Gruber, and Matthew Granger. Details its wide-ranging Paris 2024 coverage synergy plans. Even mentions 9 having a digital AI studio right in Paris near the Eiffel Tower, although its Nine News and entertainment does have its Olympic references immediately afterward. I can see the template for Nine's Paris 2024, Milan 2026, Los Angeles 2028, and Brisbane 2032 Olympic promos but mostly Paris. I think the same male voiceover was used when Seven did the Olympics. Spotted the Aboriginal man from Sydney 2000 Opening Ceremony who was with Nikki Webster and showed her what Australia is. If only the crowd wasn't as sedate: https://www.nineforbrands.com.au/nine-in-2024/ We now know what job Michel Drucker, who covered his first Games in Tokyo back in 1964, will have for France Televisions' Paris 2024 coverage: co-hosting daily Olympic talk show called What Games!. Along with that, France TV will have a special live New Year's Celebration on December 31 in Paris to celebrate and open the upcoming Olympic year. All part of France Televisions' plans to connect with and broaden the French public: https://www.telerama.fr/television/les-jeux-olympiques-un-enjeu-capital-pour-l-avenir-de-france-televisions-7016416.php And look for France Televisions to utilize several TVU cloud hypermobile broadcasting solutions starting this year, well before its important Paris 2024 national coverage through multicameras for production, remote collaboration, IFB management, intercom and mix-minus: https://www.panoramaaudiovisual.com/en/2023/08/23/france-televisions-tvu-paris-2024-hypermobile-broadcasting-solution/ Although this is about Chilevision's upcoming Santiago 2023 Pan American and ParaPan Games coverage, it should give a solid idea of what to expect next summer from Chilevision when it goes to Paris in terms of personnel like Fernando Solabarriet and Romina Cannoni possibly fronting it and broadcasting structure: https://www.produ.com/noticias/chilevision-y-pluto-tvtendran-cinco-senales-para-transmitir-los-juegospanamericanos-y-parapanamericanos-santiago-2023 Chilevision already got its promo for Paris 2024 since April, all footage from Tokyo: https://comercial.chilevision.cl/comercial/juegos-olimpicos-2024/2023-04-04/105349.html
  4. Canada strikes first last night in Kingston, Jamaica's Independence Park with a 2-0 win from Nichelle Prince and Adriana Leon, on her 100th appearance, scoring for Canada. All they need now after this is just a tie in Toronto's BMO Field Tuesday night in the second leg to clinch that CONCACAF Olympic berth. Humid for that Kingston night. Not that Jamaica's Reggae Girlz didn't had their chances to make their home fans happy. Considering how Jamaica performed well, and even historic entering group stage for the first time, by their standards down in Australia, the stadium attendance was certainly disappointing but not unexpected: https://www.sportsnet.ca/olympics/article/canadians-bounce-back-with-trademark-performance-close-in-on-olympic-berth/ https://www.tsn.ca/soccer/canadian-national-women-s-team-beats-jamaica-to-take-lead-into-second-leg-of-olympic-qualifier-1.2011388
  5. Leave it to me as an American to kickstart the Paris version of this thread. For the first time since Sydney 2000, the Canadian men's basketball team qualifies for the Summer Olympics with Paris 2024 after several failed attempts in falling short with subsequent editions since Sydney. Canada finished as one of the two top Americas team in the just-completed FIBA World Basketball Championship with the USA--and got bronze over them! And that team is very talented with many players hailing from Toronto and Montreal...with more likely to appear there like Jamal Murray, Benedict Mathurin, Andrew Nembhard, and maybe Andrew Wiggins. Tomorrow sees the Canadian women's soccer team, the defending gold medalists from Tokyo 2020 and the first Summer Olympic team sports gold medalists for Canada, return to the grass following their disappointing Women's World Cup campaign with a home and home series with Jamaica's Reggae Girlz for the right to be the second team from CONCACAF to head to the Olympics. Still upsets them (as it should) and tried to reset. First game Friday is in Kingston, Jamaica with the second leg Tuesday at Toronto's BMO Field. Considering the challenges Jamaica faced as an emerging soccer power (like the Reggae Girlz fighting with their JFF and underfunding) but nonetheless impressively thrived down under, I would not be surprised if they, not Canada, a country with serious off-field issues themselves, would advance, and Canada lacked offensive creativity last time we see them and couldn't score. Tactics, personnel selections, and performances played roles. Gotta be clinical, gritty, and ruthless with a new offensive threat to remain undefeated against them. Defense must improve. Did say the down under failures galvanized them. Perhaps they hadn't learned effectively to cope being the hunted and not the hunter. Jamaica had some clean sheets and more than held their own versus France and Brazil, playing with positivity, determination, strength, and solidarity. Backline is a strength and currently on a high. Could affect their Own The Podium funding that's worth millions to a cash-strapped Canada Soccer and, more possibly, Bev Priestman's job. https://www.sportsnet.ca/soccer/article/olympic-qualifier-preview-struggling-canada-faces-tough-test-vs-jamaica/ https://www.tsn.ca/soccer/canada-aims-to-bounce-back-from-world-cup-disappointment-by-booking-olympic-spot-1.2010577 Canada is in women's team gymnastics with a 5-person team winning bronze at the 2023 gymnastics team all-around. Also will be in women's rugby sevens.
  6. Just like with the men's and women's basketball Olympic format, the FIVB is issuing its own Olympic Qualification Tournaments for the 24 national teams each in the men's and women's tournament with 3 going on at the same time as hosts France goes in automatically like with FIBA's versions Right now, it's the women's turn as the FIVB OQTs are going on in Ningbo, China, Tokyo, Japan, and Lodz, Poland as these go through September 16-24. The men will later take over September 30-October with two Summer Olympic cities in Rio De Janeiro and Tokyo joined by Xian, China for this. Top two teams in each group directly head to Paris next summer. Remaining five spots in both the men's and women's will be determined by FIVB World Rankings to maintain competition standards. (Russia is banned from this for its aggression over the Ukraine) WOMEN: China, Serbia, Dominican Republic, Netherlands, Canada, Ukraine, Mexico, Czech Republic (Ningbo), Japan, Brazil, Turkey, Belgium, Bulgaria, Argentina, Puerto Rico, Peru (Tokyo), USA, Germany, Poland, Italy, South Korea, Slovenia, Thailand, Colombia (Lodz) MEN: Brazil, Italy, Cuba, Iran, Germany, Ukraine, Czech Republic, Qatar (Rio De Janeiro) Japan, USA, Finland, Slovenia, Serbia, Turkey, Tunisia, Egypt (Tokyo), China, Poland, Argentina, Canada, Netherlands, Mexico, Belgium, Bulgaria (Xian)
  7. So I now have the time to read some details into Eurosport France's Paris 2024 broadcasting plans based on its advertiser e-press kit--you can check it out again here ICYMI. What we know from that with Paris 2024's Summer Olympic broadcasting plans is at least 700+ live hours will get shown across Europe. In Eurosport France's case, seems it will promote and emphasize both this generation's established French Olympic medalist stars and legends like Teddy Riner (judo), Florent Manaudou (swimming), Kevin Mayer (track and field/decathlon), Manon Apithy-Brunet (fencing), and Clarisse Agbegnenou (fencing) and young rising and hungry French 2024 Olympic hopefuls aiming to perform well on home soil like Melanie De Jesus Dos Santos (gymnastics), Leon Marchand (swimming), Eliott Bibi (fencing), Sasha Zhoya (track and field), and Koumba Larroque (wrestling). And profiling some of the best international star athletes like Canada's Andre Degrasse, USA's Simon Biles, Lilly King, and Caleb Dressel, and China's Zhiyong Shi. How Eurosport France will cover it will be presented this way: it have its two channels going at it with Eurosport 1 kicking things off daily live with at 8am France time its 1-hour Breakfast Studio Show and then at 9am heads into the daily 14.5-hour live Paris 2024 Olympic live action marathon featuring swimming, gymnastics, track and field, team sports, and cycling (may last a little longer in some cases) before retiring with a 30-minute highlights show at 23:30 and 8 hours of replays. Eurosport 2 would usually start with some replays at 8 and then largely focus daily with 14.5 hours on Equipe France and the sports they play in before going to an hour of replay and then at 0:30 head towards the highlight show and replays towards 9am the next day. Eurosport France also offers sponsorship for 3 different video capsule segments called Coach, Athletes' Secrets, and After the Olympic Games? that will run between 2 and half to 3 minutes that will get shown on the Eurosport channels and its online/mobile platform sites. We can expect many (if not all) of the analysts from Eurosport France's Tokyo 2020 coverage to return like Jacky Durand (cycling), Alain Bernard (swimming), Emilie Le Pennec (gymnastics), Stephane Caristan (track and field), and Maureen Naristan (fencing). Also we have since October 26, 2022, Geraldine Pons hosting on Eurosport 1 a monthly program slated for 15 episodes called Mon Paris Olympique, each one featuring a French athlete expected to compete in Paris next summer with interviews including coaches, families and the goings on with athletes. As get closer to the start, there are plans to have, along with the aforementioned Thierry Henry-hosted Paris' Sporting Life and Hometown Heroes, there will be a new Sky Brown: Beyond Limits documentary sequel as she also focuses on surfing, No Place Like Home, Estelle, Athletes To Watch, and The Grateful Eight (about the 2024 Refugee Olympic Team?) documentaries Eurosport France's Sports Director Geraldine Pons, with some help from highlight host Geraldine Weber, BMXer Matthias Dandois, and Agbegnenou, at the one-year mark what to expect from Eurosport France in what hopes to be "exceptional" and "fun". The big news here is, with Weber's help, Eurosport 1 will start its Olympic days at the roof of the Raphael Hotel in the mornings with great views of Paris to preview the day with interviews, reports, and analysis/opinions and end with their evenings on Eurosport 2 closing at the Parc De La Villette Large Hall's Club France with France's athletes and VIPs, concerts, exhibitions, medal ceremonies, and entertainment. Reports and reviews are also a part of it. Makes me wonder what segments some Olympic broadcasters will do as part of its coverage for Paris. For example, I can imagine NBC producing stuff on the Paris' renown fashion and modelling, France during WWII, the art scene (like at the Louvre), the Notre Dame Cathedral and the devastating fire, French rap music, the Bastille, France's racial and social tensions, French soccer, basketball, and rugby, history and success in French basketball, the Eiffel Tower, embracing jazz, France's multiculturalism, cuisine, and wine, Charles De Gaulle, a lighthearted look at the notorious Paris traffic, INSEP, Normandy and D-Day, and the like.
  8. Oh, Spain's selected players are heading to Valencia with the returning players and hope for a meeting with Víctor Francos, chairman of the Spanish Sports Council, who will try to mediate and get this strike to end. Prior to the Sweden game. Need to for this will impact their Olympic prospects. Were it not for this, we'd be talking about them as a shoo-in: https://sverigesradio.se/artikel/trots-infekterade-spanska-bojkotten-samtal-ska-foras
  9. As this rages on, six Spanish players, five of whom were on strike, who initially planned not to participate in the upcoming UEFA Nations League game versus Sweden Friday or even ever play again for Spain the day before since have a change of heart and will play. But still demanding serious reforms on the RFEF. Have to play them and later Switzerland on September 26 in order to qualify for Paris 2024: https://www.lequipe.fr/Football/Actualites/Des-joueuses-espagnoles-en-greve-rejoignent-la-selection/1420706 And as for the Swedes, who once again and recently more memorably made unforgiveable fools out of those American disgraces in Melbourne, they support their Spanish counterparts. But won't move the match: https://sverigesradio.se/artikel/svenska-svaret-inga-mojligheter-for-annat-datum Ex-FFF executive Frederique Jossinet says at the Tomorrow Sport conference in Paris that this whole saga "isn't surprising" to her and the support Rubiales got from the RFEF General Assembly: https://www.lequipe.fr/Football/Actualites/Frederique-jossinet-sur-l-affaire-rubiales-ca-ne-m-a-pas-surprise-encore-moins-dans-le-football/1420732
  10. At a Tomorrow Sport session today in Paris, Nathalie Iannetta, the sports director of Radio France, Jean-Philippe Leclaire, deputy editorial director of L'Équipe, and Alexandre Boyon, journalist in the sports department of France Télévisions, all discuss some upcoming plans with the growing excitement and special challenges covering the Olympics in own your nation can present for mainstream French media (broadcasting, print, and online/mobile). We already mentioned here that France Televisions will offer 2 channels with a 24/7 digital one devoted to Paris 2024. But L'Équipe, the French sports daily newspaper, has obtained 69 accreditations on competition sites and its number of pages dedicated to the Games will increase, and is counting on the "culture of major sporting events" to the French public with an already "hard core of readers who follow sports all year round, then we have an audience who mobilizes for major events like the [currently underway] Rugby World Cup,” explained the deputy editorial director. Iannetta adds that Radio France plans to boost its sports department journalist ranks and will thus double next summer from the 15 it currently has. All the while during its planned coverage, France TV, L'Equipe, and Radio France all sincerely hope obviously that Team France will perform very well being good as hosts in order for this to boost enthusiasm and for it to work with the French public as they still cover the international athletes and striking the right tone. Also, L'Equipe and Radio France also both plan to expand its Paralympics coverage with Paris 2024 with 10 reporters and 8 pages daily in the former: https://www.lequipe.fr/Medias/Actualites/Nathalie-iannetta-directrice-des-sports-de-radio-france-plus-les-francais-brilleront-lors-des-jo-mieux-ce-sera/1420737 Nine Network/9Now strikes a longterm broadcasting partnership with Swimming Australia in covering its multi-platform coverage of this past July’s World Championships in Fukuoka and the World Para Championships in Manchester and onward to the airing of this month’s Australian Short Course Championships and ends with the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Trials, not already counting the Paris 2024 Summer Olympic and Paralympics as the Dolphins make their march to Paris: https://swimswam.com/nine-network-swimming-australia-continue-partnership-through2024/ RAI under RAI Sport's new sports director Jabapo Volpi announces, unlike previously in Tokyo 2020, RAI will broadcast everything at 360 hours of live broadcast, which will be broadcast on Rai 2 as the Olympic channel par excellence, but also on RAI Sport HD and RAI Play. Last time there was controversy because the web was missing, but now Rai will cover all platforms. An Olympic broadcast is also planned, in the evening, after the races: there will also be former champions, there will be lightness ("because sport is also lightness" recalls Volpi) and competence but fortunately no more excesses as in the past. Eurosport Italia, Eurosport Player, and Discovery+ will present them on the subscription side: https://www.repubblica.it/rubriche/spycalcio/2023/08/03/news/parigi_2024_ed_europei_ecco_come_cambia_rai_sport_con_la_regia_di_jacopo_volpi-409927518/ https://www.oasport.it/2023/08/calendario-olimpiadi-parigi-2024-orari-giorno-per-giorno-programma-tv-tutte-le-finali-per-le-medaglie/
  11. Back to the Aussie Olympic sports. The Matildas Women's World Cup afterglow continues on as (Soccer Australia) announced Monday a Matildas' Asian Olympic qualification women's soccer game next month will be moved from originally due to take place at the 20,500-capacity HBF Park in Perth, and that's the middle fixture will now be held crosstown at the much larger 60,000-seat Optus Stadium to satisfy mass ticket demand. Iran (October 26) and Taiwan/Chinese Taipei (November 1) will still be played as group games at HBF Park. Haven't played at Perth since 2018. The Philippines, incidentally, happen to have a couple of Aussies on the team like Angie Beard but competes internationally for The Philippines. Nonetheless, the Matildas, buoyed by their WWC adventure as co-hosts, should have no problem in getting to the third and final round in February and qualifying for Paris: https://www.thestadiumbusiness.com/2023/09/18/matildas-in-high-demand-as-olympic-qualifier-moved-to-optus-stadium/ Also Australia's Boomers qualified for Paris 2024 in basketball from the just-completed World Basketball Championships as the top Pacific team in it as New Zealand's Tall Blacks move on to the OQTs next July. Here's hoping they'll medal higher than bronze next year. Can also expect the Opals will accomplish likewise in February's OQTs Speaking of New Zealand, ICYMI, the men just qualified as hosts in Paris 2024 men's Olympic soccer, steamrolling Papua New Guinea (actually couldn't travel and got a 3-0 forfeit), Fiji (twice), and Vanuatu (American Samoa withdrew). New Zealand will surely also take the top OFC spot in the women's soccer February 5–March 10, 2024. Australia's Olyroos will try to qualify themselves in Qatar April 15–May 3, 2024 with three Asian spots up for grabs. Right after Qatar also hosts the AFC Asian Cup. Australia has also qualified in women's water polo, men's (the Kookaburras) and women's (the Hockeyroos) field hockey, and men's and women's rugby sevens
  12. Two thirds of the 12-team field in the Paris 2024 men's basketball game is filled with World Basketball Champs Germany, bronze medalists Canada (first time since Sydney 2000) and the USA as top FIBA Americas finishers, Australia (top FIBA Oceania finisher), hosts France, runners up Serbia (top FIBA Europe finisher with Germany), Japan (top FIBA Asia finisher), and South Sudan (top FIBA Africa finisher) from the just-completed World Basketball Championship. The final four teams to make it will be determined July 2-7, 2024 with four OQTs going on simultaneously in venues TBD, very likely held in different parts of the world, involving 24 teams with the top 4 winners in each tournament directly punching a ticket to Paris and completing the field. Participating teams: New Zealand, Puerto Rico, Greece, Latvia, Lebanon, Cameroon, Egypt, Brazil, Angola, Italy, Spain, Mexico, Slovenia, Finland, Georgia, Lithuania, Ivory Coast, Dominican Republic, Montenegro, Croatia, Poland, Bahamas, and Bahrain. Draw will come soon. On the women's side, we do know where the four women's OQTs will be held for Paris qualification: Rio De Janeiro, Antwerp, Sopron, Hungary, and Xian, China, as announced on September 9. So once again Belgium gets to host one like 4 years ago. Again like with Tokyo's, they will all be held in February, when the bulk of the top players are in the midst of their Euro playing season. February 8-11, 2024 in this case. Also hosts France and world champs/defending gold medalists USA will also take part, meaning that, depending on the 2 groups they're each assigned to, the top 2 or 3 teams will make it out of the group. Because the FIBA Women's Olympic Pre-Qualifying Tournament–Americas has yet to take place or held on November 5-13, the 16-team OQT field is yet to be complete. Winners from the Americas one will fill it out as the top two finishers. That will have Canada, Puerto Rico, Colombia, and Venezuela all having qualified from the FIBA Americas Championship (or AmeriCup) in July. Maybe Edmonton again? We do know the 14 ones already in: France, USA, Belgium, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, Germany, Spain, Hungary, Nigeria, Senegal, Japan, China, and Serbia. We have to expect Canada will make it with other one being more wide open, although Puerto Rico and Venezuela could be my early second fave. Colombia is rising though. I don't fully understand why the USA and France have to participate in these women's OQTs when they're already in. Is this because of the need to have some meaningful matches pre-Olympics and build the team chemistry at this early stage despite forthcoming warmups closer to Paris 2024 later on? Not to mention many of them will also be playing professionally in Europe, so it'll be convenient. Both the USA and France are already deep, talented, and proved themselves internationally with their respective pedigrees for many years. Those spots should instead go to, say, Argentina and the Czech Republic IMO. Moreover, I think the field there should be expanded to 24 teams like the men's.
  13. Fiji did deserve to win and with Wales--need to see those games. But isn't Australia's Wallabies at this one supposed to be young by design on the roster? Like to build for the future like the next RWC after setting the template? Certainly I don't expect them to win its third William Webb Ellis Trophy, but given its status as a big rugby union nation it can get a reevaluation. You know what also needs an reevaluation? The very fact that there's absolutely no North American participation in this Rugby World Cup for the first time. Both big North American nations with some RWC pedigree, the USA and Canada, failed to qualify for France, although more South American participation is important too. The USA is not in this for the first time since missing out on the all-important 1995 one in South Africa. Canada misses out for the first time ever. To say nothing about Mexico, West Indies nations, and Central America. COVID-19 certainly has something to do with the remaking of the Americas qualification in reducing the North American field to just the USA and Canada. In the United States' and Canada's case, there indeed has been some progress in building the professional side of the rugby union game thank to, among other things, Major League Rugby's arrival, a league that has lasted much longer than PRO Rugby here. But it's still a very young league in the North American pro sports landscape that lacks the serious mainstream sports clout despite rugby having a solid following here. Only one Canada-based MLR team in the Toronto Arrows but perhaps Vancouver could soon join them. And enduring some growing pains (like ATL Rugby moving to Los Angeles in filling the void left by the LA Gilitinis' controversial operations suspension; the Colorado (Glendale) Raptors pulling out in 2020) in despite being a solid league. Could see a drop off in RWC interest here in North America right now with no USA and Canada participation, given that there's two important markets--but we're too heavily distracted right now by football (NFL, CFL, and college football in both nations) and MLB to notice the absence in France. Although to be sure some of us here in North America did notice. That should be a strong case, among several worthy others, for expanding the RWC field in the near future.
  14. If that happened, it obviously will no doubt serve as a horrible look for Spain's national teams, both male and female, at ALL levels
  15. Heard about the Hansi Flick firing--expected he was gonna get axed more immediately after Germany's second consecutive World Cup elimination in group play. Certainly the German public, not the least of which the DFB, would never tolerate that. Not to mention their women counterparts. Just didn't realize until now that it did so when the DBB got its first world basketball title. Already compiled but worth mentioning here since the World Basketball Championship connects to the Paris 2024 basketball next summer. Your 24 nations competing in the upcoming FIBA OQTs to determine the final four spots in the Paris 2024 Summer Olympic men's basketball field: New Zealand (highest ranking Asia/Oceania team), Puerto Rico (highest ranking eligible Americas team), Egypt (highest ranking eligible African team), Finland, Slovenia, Latvia, Lithuania, Mexico, Lebanon, Brazil, Greece, Italy, Dominican Republic, Angola, Ivory Coast, Philippines, Georgia, Montenegro (next 16 qualifying teams), Bahamas, Bahrain, Cameroon, Croatia, and Poland (2023 FIBA POQT regional winners) The woes continue for Argentina: not only they fail to qualify for the World Basketball Championship at the last hurdle, Argentina also couldn't make it out of the FIBA Americas POQT when it lost to the Bahamas 82-75 in the final on home soil. Maybe there's a serious transition underway with them after its Golden Generation has left like with Luis Scola. Isn't the WC and Olympics the same without them. Not only Argentina but China, Senegal, Iran, Venezuela, Nigeria, and Tunisia--all nations with some Olympic experience and pedigree--will not even be at this stage. Even Turkey, a nation that has not yet participated in Summer Olympics but holds a very strong pro basketball league (although the women have made it), will also not be involved. Would've been nice to see Cape Verde's Blue Sharks advance to be among the 16 teams eligible onward as one of the top African finishers as the smallest nation ever to participate after its historic first win over Venezuela 81-75. But it came down to point differentials.
  16. I long considered Germany to be the biggest sleeping giant when it comes to European basketball. It has long produced really good players (Detlef Schrempf, Dirk Nowitzki, Dennis Schroder, Hansi Gnad, Demond Greene, Moritz and Franz Wagner, Jens Kuwaja, Henrick Rodl, Henning Harnisch, the late Ademola Okulaja, Stephane Arigbabu, Michael Koch, Canadian-born and raised Michael Jaeckel, Tibor Pleiss, Daniel Thiess, Kai Nuremberger, Heiko Schaffartzik, Patrick Femerling, Elias Harris, Jan Jagla, Uwe Blab, Pat King, Maodo Lo, Justus Hollaz, Niels Giffey, Armin Sowa, Chris Welp, Niksan Maldin, Johannes Thielmann, Teoman Ozturk, Gunther Behnke, and Issac Bongo). And it's more multicultural than outsiders give it credit like France's counterparts. Oftimes basketball can get lost in Germany because of the overshadowing presence of soccer there in the German mainstream sports. Even to team handball as far as that nation is concerned. But that's gradually changing with first Schrempf and, much more so, later with Nowitzki. The Basketball Bundesliga is solid with great clubs like ALBA Berlin, Frankfurt Skyliners, Telekom Baskets Bonn, Brose Bamberg, Hamburg Towers, and Bayern Munich, although the league is not quite up there with Turkey, Greece, France, and Italy. Perhaps one way is to expand the German pro basketball game to more larger German cities like Cologne/Koln, the Rhein region, Hannover, Nuremberg, Dresden, Leipzig, and Stuttgart while maintain the smaller German cities pro connections to the league. This win in Manila will be up there with its European championship win that it hosted 30 years ago, hard to believe--winning bronze in Indianapolis in 2002. Now if the German women can get inspired and boost its own international profile. And maybe it can by 2016 when it hosts the women's version with Satou Sabally perhaps as the taliswoman then. There's potential from them--but unlike the men, Germany has yet to qualify for Olympic women's basketball. An important must do.
  17. NBC certainly LOVES being on location for the Summer Games and taking advantage of that, especially in a world-renown city like Paris to get American TV viewers engaged. Agree definitely with Quaker2001, we will see NBC have many of their announcers on-site for the marquee sports and Team USA events with the lesser ones, at least in the American mainstream sports realm, like team handball's sportscasting will get conducted in Stamford. And even non-USA games like in basketball. Makes me wonder how Telemundo conducts theirs. Do it all in their Miami HQ? Obviously COVID-19 had a lot to do with Seven staying in Australia. But I was also referring too with Tokyo 2020 holding more favorable time zones to Australia (and New Zealand, PNG, and the Pacific island nations, for that matter, with TVNZ/SKY Sports NZ and SKY Pacific, EMTV, and regional channels like SBC's Samoa 1 and Fiji's Fiji TV, respectively) to broadcast. Was easier. But wouldn't you think, Sir Rols, the Seven Network would enjoy immersing itself with Tokyo--like having its own Japanese culture-inspired studio and featurettes--considering Australia's good relationship with Japan were it not for COVID restrictions? Because something would tell me that was the original pre-pandemic plan there. Yeah, radio is still a thing beyond your car. I listen to it all the time when I'm on the go. Just too bad ABC Grandstand Radio refuses to get involved any longer like it traditionally did for Australian Olympic radio coverage. Also, I'm starting to think the Nine Network's radio stations might shift a bit from TV's coverage and just focus on the Team Australia and maybe a little bit of New Zealand and marquee sports to the Aussies, maybe take a page from the ABC Olympic Grandstand playbook. But we'll see as we get closer. Actually we do have an idea of what the likes of Sydney's 2GB, Melbourne's 3AW, Brisbane's 4BC, Perth's 6PR, and 9Podcasts will all be doing for its Paris 2024 Australian radio/podcast coverage. https://www.bandt.com.au/nine-reveals-brand-opportunities-for-the-paris-2024-olympics/ Speaking of NBC, add football quarterback great Peyton Manning in presenting his own contributions to promoting NBC's brand new Paris 2024 fall promotions like when riding a giant flying baguette blimp with Olympic rings skydivers high above Paris right when NBC kicked off its 2023 NFL coverage https://people.com/peyton-manning-flies-giant-baguette-for-2024-paris-olympics-7966204 Eurosport France's Paris 2024 branding commercial guide for prospective advertisers https://tarifmedia.themedialeader.fr/sites/default/files/2023-03/OFFRES-JO-PARIS-2024_CANAL-PLUS-BRAND-SOLUTIONS.pdf Leading British athletes are looking toward producing a "rough and ready" Netflix-style pre-Paris 2024 behind the scenes documentary series of their own if the BBC, Eurosport, or any other broadcasters doesn't commission it themselves: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/athletics/2023/08/28/paris-olympics-2024-team-gb-athletes-netflix-bbc-talks/
  18. Canada qualifies to its first men's Olympic basketball tournament in 24 years in beating Spain. Even with the loss to Lithuania, the USA also directly qualifies for Paris next summer with Canada as the top two FIBA Americas finishers in the WBC. Germany and Serbia will join as the top European finishers. For Germany, it will mark the first time it will make consecutive Summer Olympics basketball appearances.
  19. Second one coming? With this, there's bound to be some legal consequences ahead coming from the Spain's attorney general office... Jennifer Hermoso files official complaint over Luis Rubiales' unwanted post-World Cup kiss It's coming...
  20. These are definitely some interesting developments for that anticipating blanket coverage. Obviously, Nine's studios being near the iconic Eiffel Tower would certainly make engaging scenery for Australian TV viewers instead of back domestically--gotta take advantage of that. When 7 did this back in Australia, that was more of a cost-cutting measure. Tokyo notwithstanding. Equally interestingly, they're really getting a jump on this very early; something you'd expect NBC here in the USA to do. Expected the likes of Andrew Gaze, Phil Liggett, Kerrie Pottharst, Giaan Rooney, and Ian Thorpe, if you ever pay attention to Australian Olympic TV broadcasts for a good while, would get involved. My question is how do you think will Nine's radio stations like Sydney's 2GB, Melbourne's 3AW, Brisbane's 4BC, and Perth's 6PR will get used here? Will they have their own hosts and commentators like ABC Radio Olympic Grandstand formerly did when it had the Games, or will they head into a simulcast direction from Nine, 9Gem, and 9Now?
  21. Amazing that in such a quick time for South Sudan, Africa's youngest nation (independent for only just over a decade), would make its Olympic basketball debut by finishing as the top African nation in the World Championship and thus directly qualify for Paris 2024 in beating longtime African powerhouse Angola 101-78 and after Egypt lost to New Zealand 88-86. Something that deserves to be celebrated as the Bright Stars write another new fab chapter: https://www.fiba.basketball/basketballworldcup/2023/news/south-sudan-qualify-for-2024-olympics-as-top-ranked-african-side Also Japan returns to Summer Olympic basketball for the second consecutive time (since 1972 and 1976) by finishing as the top-placed Asian team joining South Sudan at home in Okinawa in defeating Cape Verde 80-71: https://www.fiba.basketball/basketballworldcup/2023/news/japan-clinch-berth-to-paris-2024-as-best-placed-team-from-asia
  22. OK, the co-hosts' participation in this has not been encouraging and disappointing--and that's not counting fellow co-hosts Indonesia not actually playing due to its lack of a recent and massive international basketball pedigree with FIBA mandating Indonesia make it as far as the Asian QFs to warrant qualification. Not entirely sure why Japan has its games in Okinawa, but my guess is this more of a Filipino showcase to remind the world why the nation adores basketball as opposed to Japan and Indonesia. The Asian nations all have some ways to go to become bonafide international basketball powers. Even China is headed to the classification rounds. USA, Canada, Australia, Slovenia, Latvia, Germany, Serbia, Dominican Republic, Spain, Brazil, Georgia, Lithuania, Montenegro, Greece, and Puerto Rico have all advanced to the second round. With New Zealand's Tall Blacks now relegated to the classification round and the OQTs, Australia's Boomers now directly qualified for Paris. Looks good for Canada to be one of the two FIBA Americas teams with the USA to directly qualify too
  23. Amidst the saga already surrounding them even leading to their WWC triumph and it's seriously one of the last things it really needs: RFEF chief Luis Rubiales act wrongheadedly in kissing unwantedly Jenni Hermoso during the medal ceremony and grabbing his crotch in victory with Queen Letizia and her 16-year-old Princess Infanta Sofía standing nearby. Oh dear... Plans to resign on Friday with a FIFA investigation looming: https://www.espn.com/soccer/story/_/id/38252085/spain-chief-rubiales-quit-hermoso-kiss-scandal-reports
  24. "Woke" has strong, serious roots dating back in the Black American community in protest songs well over a century ago, notably with Black American folk singer-songwriter Huddie Ledbetter, a.k.a. Lead Belly, using the phrase "stay woke" as part of a spoken afterword to a 1938 recording of his song "Scottsboro Boys", which tells the story of nine black teenagers and young men falsely accused of raping two white women in Alabama in 1931. Marcus Garvey also used it as a call for racial consciousness. Meaning likely, that is, to stay aware of the racism, racially motivated threats and potential dangers of white America and its racist conditioning. Amended now to being politically and socially aware Yes unfortunately, a lot of these right-wing nuts are so utterly clueless in defining it, much less answering and articulate it. They're so impressionable, unthinking, cross-culturally illiterate, and desperate after feeling humiliated as Americans and not having their top social privileges, they start unleashing, in a scapegoating manner, a backlash against the emerging and rapid and younger multiracial and multicultural change they see around them because America becoming that from its longrunning WASPy heritage scares the hell out of them. And thus create problems around it. Not unlike from what happened in the USA a century ago and subsequent points afterwards. They profess their patriotism and (conservative) Christianity more, among other things. Using woke to weaponize fear, stratification, and anti-Blackness. Not to mention, DeSenseless the Fascist and his education disciples chipping away at education regarding Blacks and other people of color and the LGBTQI+ restrictions. Like making teachers feel confused and scared in erring on the wrong side of what they can do and say and The New School more conservative Christian. As far as the team branded as woke is concerned, it's a reference to them fighting for social justice causes, gender equity, their equal pay campaign, LGBTQAI+ causes--all of which I genuinely support them in. Some Americans don't like them because of these stances https://www.npr.org/2023/07/19/1188543449/what-does-the-word-woke-really-mean-and-where-does-it-come-from https://www.vox.com/culture/21437879/stay-woke-wokeness-history-origin-evolution-controversy https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Woke
  25. A little bit more on Eurosport's still very early Paris 2024 coverage plans. Much right now has already been at this stage revealed. But we got one detail that hasn't been mentioned earlier: Eurosport, across all 50 of its European territories, will create daily early morning programming in all of its languages used serving as a launchpad from the start of competition through 9-9:30pm Paris time or 10-10:30pm CEST, when then reconnect market by market to their NOCs houses and directly with those athletes to make it as relevant as possible back into the market they're broadcasting. We also expect its other media outlets based in the Americas like TNT Sports, CNN, and Bleacher Report to offer non-rights content it can produce and distribute during these Games, among its other platforms. WBD execs anticipates stronger viewership numbers for Paris on all of its platforms: https://www.sportcal.com/media/wbd-promises-most-immersive-and-comprehensive-olympic-coverage-for-paris-2024/ Safe to presume when Canada beats Jamaica in women's Olympic soccer playoff qualification later in September, we'll see the CBC/Radio-Canada doing some pre-Opening Ceremony Paris 2024 action. No word yet on what TSN, Rogers SportsNet, and the RDS networks will plan to do in Canada for Paris 2024 while we're at it. Still very early here. We can best be sure that all these sports TV broadcasting brands will offer them in their multichannels like in the recent past and provide full events live--TSN 1/2/3/4/5, Sportsnet World, SN1, Sportsnet 360, its regional Sportsnets (Pacific, West, Ontario, and East), RDS, RDS2, and RDS Info. Some more stuff on the OBS' nearly finalized plans for its new "cinematic lens with shallower field depths" for that anticipated "cinematic look" for Paris 2024 that provides "the image of texture that you would get in theatres and not really on TV". Even conducted a filming test run along the Seine River with 3 custom-made boats for the Opening Ceremony prepping filming a fleet of 39 boats from the Austerlitz Bridge to the Eiffel Tower. Also hope to capture the athletes' emotions. Nevertheless, we still don't know much about this cinematic lenses and the cameras utilized for a major two-week tournament, as vaguely termed, partly to avoid the wrath of stern lawyers' notes. Makes lots of sense to do it in Paris, a city that plays an important part in motion picture history, development, and market. But this new innovation will take lots of re-learning and adopting new cinematography skills: https://www.redsharknews.com/the-paris-2024-summer-olympics-are-going-to-look-spectacular-on-tv https://www.insidethegames.biz/articles/1139910/obs-chief-paris-2024-cinematic-look France Televisions getting ready for the broadcasting and online plans on the Olympic Torch route across France and even its overseas territories, starting in Marseille in May 2024, on the France 2 and 3, Franceinfo Channel 27, and franceinfotv.fr back on June 22: https://www.megazap.fr/France-Televisions-se-mobilise-autour-de-la-revelation-du-parcours-de-la-Flamme-Olympique_a10874.html https://www.sportbuzzbusiness.fr/paris-2024-france-televisions-se-mobilise-autour-de-la-revelation-du-parcours-de-la-flamme-olympique.html Can also safely bet that with the Peacock streaming service showing everything like full-event replays, original commentary, curated video clips, and more. Telemundo's complete US Spanish-language coverage, like with its FIFA World Cups, has to be included too with hopefully more of its own exclusive Paris 2024 content in Spanish. Would be a great time to do that! Surely it took some notes from NBCU learned with its Peacock Tokyo footage. Now how about some full US Spanish language ceremony coverage?
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