Russia women's volleyball team
FIVB

Russia volleyball coach’s eye gesture draws criticism

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A Russia women’s volleyball assistant coach is being looked at by the sport’s international governing body after a photo surfaced of him appearing to use his fingers to make his eyes look more Japanese, moments after the team qualified for the Tokyo Olympics.

Sergio Busato, an Italian-born assistant coach for Russia’s national team, made the gesture after his team beat South Korea to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Games, according to Russian media.

The International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) confirmed Thursday that it received a complaint, reportedly from South Korea’s federation, and that it is investigating the matter.

“The FIVB is aware of this matter and notes that the Russian Volleyball Federation immediately took steps to get the picture taken down by various sites as the image does not reflect their views or values,” the FIVB said in a statement. “It is important to stress that the FIVB does not approve of any such culturally insensitive gestures, even if there was no intention to offend,” it said in a statement.

Busato said he was surprised that the gesture was received as offensive, according to RIA Novosti, noting that when Russia qualified for the Rio Olympics, he did a samba dance in celebration.

In 2008, Spanish men’s basketball players apologized after a photo of the team making the same gesture was published for the Beijing Olympics. In 2011, Brazilian swimmer Cesar Cielo made the gesture at the world championships in Shanghai.

VIDEO: Brazil volleyball star faints during courtside interview

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David Rudisha escapes car crash ‘well and unhurt’

AP
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David Rudisha, a two-time Olympic champion and world record holder at 800m, is “well and unhurt” after a car accident in his native Kenya, according to his Facebook account.

Kenyan media reported that one of Rudisha’s tires burst on Saturday night, leading his car to collide with a bus, and he was treated for minor injuries at a hospital.

Rudisha, 30, last raced July 4, 2017, missing extended time with a quad muscle strain and back problems. His manager said last week that Rudisha will miss next month’s world championships.

Rudisha owns the three fastest times in history, including the world record 1:40.91 set in an epic 2012 Olympic final.

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Tokyo Paralympic medals unveiled with historic Braille design, indentations

Tokyo Paralympic Medals
Tokyo 2020
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The Tokyo Paralympic medals, which like the Olympic medals are created in part with metals from recycled cell phones and other small electronics, were unveiled on Sunday, one year out from the Opening Ceremony.

In a first for the Paralympics, each medal has one to three indentation(s) on its side to distinguish its color by touch — one for gold, two silver and three for bronze. Braille letters also spell out “Tokyo 2020” on each medal’s face.

For Rio, different amounts of tiny steel balls were put inside the medals based on their color, so that when shaken they would make distinct sounds. Visually impaired athletes could shake the medals next to their ears to determine the color.

More on the design from Tokyo 2020:

The design is centered around the motif of a traditional Japanese fan, depicting the Paralympic Games as the source of a fresh new wind refreshing the world as well as a shared experience connecting diverse hearts and minds. The kaname, or pivot point, holds all parts of the fan together; here it represents Para athletes bringing people together regardless of nationality or ethnicity. Motifs on the leaves of the fan depict the vitality of people’s hearts and symbolize Japan’s captivating and life-giving natural environment in the form of rocks, flowers, wood, leaves, and water. These are applied with a variety of techniques, producing a textured surface that makes the medals compelling to touch.

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Tokyo Paralympic Medals

Tokyo Paralympic Medals