2020 Olympic boxing to take place with visible round-by-round scoring, no judges from 2016

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With international organizer AIBA still in a state of limbo, the IOC announced Wednesday that it would proceed with some changes to the boxing competition for the 2020 Olympics.

The most apparent change for spectators will be the return of the old practice of posting judges’ scores after every round, which was done in the 2012 Olympics but not in 2016, when organizers also stopped using the system of counting punches and returned to a traditional 10-point must system.

Overseeing this new approach will be a set of referees and judges who will be thoroughly vetted by PricewaterhouseCoopers and required to take courses and tests on judging and “competition manipulation.” All 36 referees and judges from the 2016 Olympics, who were suspended soon after the Games, will be ineligible.

In the years since Rio, AIBA has fallen into severe debt. The organization also appointed an interim president, Gafur Rakhimov, whom the U.S. Treasury Department described as “one of Uzbekistan’s leading criminals.” Last year, Rakhimov was the only name on the ballot for the presidency, but he resigned earlier this year in what AIBA described as “the selfless act of stepping aside in order to deal with his own personal issues.”

AIBA’s executive committee is due to meet Thursday in Switzerland after postponing an Extraordinary Congress from December 14 to March 20.

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Lucas Braathen, world’s top male slalom skier, in doubt for world championships

Lucas Braathen
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Norway’s Lucas Braathen, the world’s top male slalom skier this season, is doubtful to compete in the world championships slalom on Feb. 19 after appendix surgery on Tuesday.

“It’s been a tough couple of days fighting after surprisingly finding out about quite an intense infection on my appendix,” Braathen, a 22-year-old soccer convert with a Brazilian mom, posted on social media. “I’ve been through surgery and I’m blessed that it went successfully.”

The Norway Alpine skiing team doctor said Braathen’s recovery will take a few weeks, but there is a small possibility he can make it back for the world championships slalom, which is on the final day of the two-week competition.

Braathen has two slalom wins and one giant slalom win this World Cup season. He will miss Saturday’s slalom in Chamonix, France, the last race before worlds. Countryman Henrik Kristoffersen and Swiss Daniel Yule can overtake him atop the World Cup slalom standings in Chamonix.

Braathen entered last year’s Olympics as the World Cup slalom leader and skied out in the first run at the Games.

ALPINE SKIING WORLDS: Broadcast Schedule

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Sifan Hassan sets marathon debut

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Sifan Hassan, who won 5000m and 10,000m gold and 1500m bronze at the Tokyo Olympics in an unprecedented triple, will make her 26.2-mile debut at the London Marathon on April 23.

Hassan, a 30-year-old Dutchwoman, said she will return to the track after the race, but how the London Marathon goes will play into whether she bids for the Olympic marathon in 2024.

“I want to see what I can do on the marathon distance, to make future decisions,” she posted on social media. “We’ll see if I will finish the distance or if the distance will finish me.”

Exhausted by her Olympic feat, Hassan reportedly went at least seven months after the Tokyo Games between training in track spikes. She finished fourth in the 10,000m and sixth in the 5000m at last July’s world championships in Eugene, Oregon.

“I really needed a break after the Tokyo Olympics,” Hassan said at worlds. “I was mentally crashed. I didn’t even care about running.”

London, billed as the best women’s marathon field in history, also boasts Olympic champion Peres Jepchirchir of Kenya, world record holder Brigid Kosgei of Kenya, 2016 Olympic 10,000m champion Almaz Ayana of Ethiopia, 1500m world record holder Genzebe Dibaba of Ethiopia and the two fastest Americans in history, Emily Sisson and Keira D’Amato.

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