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Rio course designer worried about looming deadlines

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Six months after designer Gil Hanse was set to break ground on the new Olympics golf course for the Rio Games, not a mound of dirt has been moved nor a blade of grass planted. Now he feels time may be running short to get it all done.

“We’re right up against the deadline,” Hanse, more annoyed by the day, told the Golf Channel. “We’ve lost six months of my undivided attention.”

The Brazilian courts are still trying to figure out who even owns the land the course will sit on after construction was blocked in October by entrepreneur Pasquale Mauro. He claims rights to the property, apparently with documentation.

After however long that takes to get settled, Hanse – who admitted to being naive about how easily it would be to push the dispute through court with the Olympics looming – will still need to finalize permits, clear the land, shape the dirt, grow the grass, and host test events on his links style course.

And while the International Golf Federation was pretty confident this would all move quickly when the dispute was first raised last year, Executive Director Anthony Scanlon is starting to change his tune.

“There is now very little time available to construct and condition a championship standard golf course.” he told AroundtheRings.com last month. “The IOC is aware of our concerns and the IGF is hopeful that the upcoming IOC Coordination Commission visit to Rio de Janeiro will address these.”


2018 U.S. Figure Skating Championships to be in San Jose

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The 2018 U.S. Figure Skating Championships, the final competition to determine the Pyeongchang Olympic team, will be in San Jose, California, at the SAP Center, concluding Jan. 7.

It appears to be the earliest the U.S. Figure Skating Championships will end in an Olympic year in at least 50 years.

The competition will be broadcast live on NBC and streamed live on Icenetwork.com.

San Jose previously hosted the U.S. Championships in 1996 and 2012, but it has never hosted in an Olympic year.

Sochi Olympian Polina Edmunds is from San Jose and figures to receive a boost of crowd support. Edmunds, 18, begins classes at nearby Santa Clara University next month.

The January 2017 U.S. Championships will be in Kansas City. The international figure skating season starts next month, with Skate America kicking off the Grand Prix season in October.

Recent Nationals host cities in Olympic years were Boston in 2014 and Spokane, Washington, in 2010.

MORE: Ashley Wagner, Gracie Gold headline Skate America

Fiji Olympic rugby coach given 3 acres of land, special name

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 11:  Gold medalists Ro Dakuwaqa of Fiji and Fiji head coach Ben Ryan celebrate after the medal ceremony for the Men's Rugby Sevens on Day 6 of the Rio 2016 Olympics at Deodoro Stadium on August 11, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)
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Olympic coaches don’t receive gold medals. Fiji Olympic men’s rugby coach Ben Ryan may have gotten something better anyway.

Ryan’s reward for guiding Fiji to its first Olympic medal in any sport — gold in rugby sevens’ Olympic debut — included three acres of land in Fiji and a new name, Ratu Peni Raiyani Latianara, according to Fijian reports.

Ryan, a London native, is stepping down as coach of the Fijian team. The 44-year-old coached the team for three years after leading the England national sevens team for six years.

MORE: Fiji wins nation’s first Olympic medal