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Sports Briefs

Published:Sunday | July 31, 2016 | 12:00 AM
Members of the Refugee Olympic Team pose for a photo in front of the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil yesterday. A group of 10 athletes from South Sudan, Syria, Congo and Ethiopia will compete in Rio under the Olympic flag.

Athletes in Rio Olympics' refugee team luckier than many


Popole Misenga broke down crying for the family in Congo that he hasn't seen in 15 years, and for all the world's refugees who haven't been as lucky as he's been.

Competing in judo, Misenga is one of 10 refugee athletes who will march as a team behind the white Olympic flag when the Rio de Janeiro Games open on Friday, a first for any Olympics.

Misenga began to cry as he explained yesterday that "I have two brothers and I haven't seen them. I don't know what they look like anymore because we were separated since we were small".

Rubbing tears from his eyes, the 24-year-old athlete delivered a message for his brothers: "If you can see me on television now, you can see that your brother is here in Brazil and alive and well."

First horses arrive in Brazil for the Olympics



The first 34 horses that will take part in the Rio de Janeiro Olympics have arrived in Brazil.

The International Federation of Equestrian Sports says all the horses arrived yesterday morning aboard a Boeing 777 belonging to Emirates SkyCargo. They are now settled at the Olympic Equestrian Centre that will host the sport's three disciplines - eventing, jumping and dressage.

The federation says it was the first of nine such flights, with horses coming from Great Britain, Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Zimbabwe, Japan, Italy and China.

More than 200 horses from 43 nations will be arriving at the equestrian centre in the Deodoro Olympic Park over the next few weeks.


5 new sports move closer to approval for 2020 Olympics


Five sports, including surfing and skateboarding, moved a step closer to being included in the Tokyo 2020 Games after being described as "a dynamic and exciting" package by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

Skateboarding, surfing, karate, sports climbing and baseball or softball were all recommended for inclusion by the IOC. An Olympic programme commission report released on Friday said the five are a blend of the traditional and emerging, youth-focused events, and all have international and local appeal.

The IOC will make the final decision on the five sports in Rio de Janeiro on August 3, two days before the opening ceremony of the 2016 Games.

In assessing the case for inclusion, the commission considered gender equality, youth appeal and their legacy value.

The inclusion of the new sports would add 18 events and 474 athletes, with equal numbers of women and men for all sports except baseball or softball, because softball teams have 15 players, while baseball teams have 24.