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USA Track and Field bids for 2016 World Indoor Championships

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The World Track and Field Championships — either indoor and outdoor — have been going for 30 years. The U.S. has hosted once, but it would like to again in three years.

USA Track and Field made it official Monday, submitting a bid for Portland, Ore., to host the 2016 World Indoor Championships. The Telegraph in Great Britain first reported the bid last month.

Portland is about a two-hour drive north from Eugene, which has hosted the last two U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials and will host the 2014 World Junior Championships and the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials.

Eugene’s TrackTown USA, Inc., would serve as the local organizing committee.

“As a member of the IAAF family, USATF considers it an honor as well as a duty to try to bring a world championship event back to U.S. soil,” USATF CEO Max Siegel said, according to a press release. “Having hosted two very successful Olympic Trials in 2008 and 2012, TrackTown USA has shown itself to be the premier host of world-class track events in this country. We look forward to presenting the bid and continuing to elevate the off-track profile of the United States in the international sports world.”

The Telegraph reported that Birmingham, England, was the lone city to submit a bid to host the event by a Sept. 15 deadline but that the IAAF, track and field’s governing body, extended the deadline for the Portland bid.

Both cities will present bids Nov. 15 in Monaco before a vote is taken.

The Telegraph reported that Portland planned to hold the event at the Portland Trail Blazers’ Moda Center, but USATF announced it would be held at the Oregon Convention Center. The convention center is one million square feet, which is more than the Moda Center.

The U.S. hosted the World Indoor Championships once, in Indianapolis in 1987. The event has been once every two years since its debut in 1985. Spain has hosted three times and France and Hungary twice each.

The U.S. has never hosted the World Outdoor Championships, which have been held 14 times since 1983.

If Portland hosts the 2016 World Indoor Championships, it could lead to a greater goal — Eugene hosting the World Outdoor Championships.

“It’s a tall order, the World Championships,” TrackTown USA president Vin Lananna said, according to the Eugene Register-Guard. “This is just another step in bringing us closer to actually demonstrating to the rest of the world that we are very serious and passionate about the sport of track and field.”

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Chinese figure skating judges banned for biased Olympic scoring

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Two Chinese figure skating judges were suspended by the International Skating Union for biased judging at the PyeongChang Olympics.

Chen Weiguang and Huang Feng had “preferential marking” for top Chinese skaters Jin Boyang (fourth place in PyeongChang) and the silver medalist pairs’ team of Sui Wenjing and Han Cong, respectively, according to the ISU.

Chen was banned two years and excluded from the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. Huang got a one-year ban.

Chen awarded her highest grades of execution scores of the men’s competition to Jin, as well as her second-highest program components scores, trailing only gold medalist Yuzuru Hanyu. Both sets of scores, in both the short and long programs, were out of line with the other eight judges.

“There is evidence of preference for the Chinese skater and prejudice against his strongest competitors,” an ISU report read. “Her marks were completely unrealistic.”

The pairs’ judge Huang “obviously favored his pair also vis-à-vis the other top candidates for the Olympic gold medal,” the ISU said in a report, referencing inflated scores for Sui and Han and lower scores for gold and bronze medalists Aljona Savchenko and Bruno Massot of Germany and Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford of Canada.

Huang was warned one month before the Olympics by the ISU for biased judging at the December 2017 Grand Prix Final pairs’ event.

Both suspensions are subject to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

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Javier Fernandez to skip Grand Prix, still compete next season

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Javier Fernandez, who in PyeongChang became the first Spanish Olympic figure skating medalist, will skip the fall Grand Prix series but return for January’s European Championships, which could be his final competition.

Europeans will be Fernandez’s focus for the season, his agent said Tuesday.

Fernandez, 26, added an Olympic bronze medal to his 2015 and 2016 World titles. He has said that his third Olympics in PyeongChang would be his last. But Fernandez did not say he would retire after the Winter Games, though he did skip the world championships in March.

Fernandez now plans to compete in his 13th straight European Championships in Minsk in January. He won the last six titles. It’s unknown if he will continue on to the world championships in Saitama, Japan, in March.

In Fernandez’s absence, the top male singles skaters in the fall Grand Prix season should be double Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu, PyeongChang silver medalist Shoma Uno and American Nathan Chen, who was fifth at the Olympics after a disastrous short program but ran away with March’s world title by the largest margin in history.

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