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U.S. diplomatic boycott of Winter Olympics could harm co-operation: China

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(Last Updated On: December 7, 2021)

China warned on Tuesday that a U.S. diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics could harm two-way dialogue and cooperation in important areas, and called for politics to be kept out of sports

The step, encouraged for months by some members of Congress and rights advocacy groups, comes just weeks after talks by leaders Joe Biden and Xi Jinping that aimed to ease tense relations between their nations.

On Monday, the White House said U.S. government officials would boycott the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing because of China’s human rights “atrocities”, although U.S. athletes are free to travel there to compete.

China opposes the boycott and would take “resolute countermeasures”, foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said.

The United States’ “plot” of trying to disrupt the Olympics was doomed to fail, leading to a loss of “moral authority and credibility”, Zhao told a regular media briefing in the Chinese capital.

He urged the United States to stop bringing politics into sports, adding that the boycott went against Olympic principles.

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Sports dept holds first round of skiing contest in Ghazni

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(Last Updated On: January 16, 2022)

Afghanistan General Directorate of Physical Education and Sports (GDPES) held the first round of a skiing contest in Ghazni province on Sunday.

The GDPES stated that 12 athletes participated in the one-day competition which was held in the refugee town of Alberoni (Shahrak-e-Muhajirin) in the provincial capital of Ghazni city.

According to the GDPES, Mohammad Yasir Azizi won first place, and Sirat Ghaznawi and Naasir Asghari secured second and third places respectively.

The GDPES noted that the competition was aimed at promoting skiing among the youths in Afghanistan.

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Rashid Khan ends BBL in style with 6 wickets for Adelaide Strikers

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(Last Updated On: January 13, 2022)

Afghan cricket star Rashid Khan has ended his Australian Big Bash League (BBL) campaign in style after taking six wickets for the first time in a T20 during the Adelaide Strikers match against Brisbane Heat.

Ahead of departing for Qatar to represent Afghanistan, the leg-spinner took 6 for 17 to set up a comfortable victory which included the Bash Boost bonus point, The Cricketer reported.

Adelaide had posted a solid 161 for 4, with Rashid hitting 13 off four balls, but the failure of any batter to pass 35 kept the target achievable. Adelaide Strikers won by 71 runs.

However, Rashid ensured a win that sees the Strikers jump from last to fifth, two points ahead of Brisbane and four off the playoff places with three games to play.

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ATN secures broadcasting rights for Beijing Winter Olympics

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(Last Updated On: January 10, 2022)

On February 4, 2022, the Olympic flame will light up the cauldron on the National Stadium of Beijing, host city of the 24th Winter Olympic Games. In line with this, ATN is excited to announce it has secured the rights to broadcast this year’s games on Ariana Television.

Both opening and closing ceremonies will also be broadcast live. The games will run for just over two weeks – from February 4 to 20.

However, some preliminary events will be held in the days before the official start. In all, there will be 19 days of competition across 15 sports.

ATN has also secured the rights to broadcast this year’s Paralympics, which will also take place in Beijing from March 4 to 13.

The International Olympic Committee and Olympic organizers in Beijing have meanwhile gone out of their way to emphasize that the games will go on as planned despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

The protocols will be similar to those last year for the Summer Olympics. ATN also had the exclusive rights to broadcast last year’s summer games, which were aired on both Ariana Television and Ariana News.

Organizers are meanwhile creating what they’re calling a “closed-loop system” — also known as a bubble — in which thousands of athletes, coaches, team officials, Olympic staff members, contractors, volunteers and journalists will be confined for the duration of the games.

The bubble will include competition sites, hotels and other lodging for athletes, media facilities and a transportation network. No one else goes in; no one comes out.

Everyone at the Olympics will be required to be vaccinated and once there, everyone will be tested every day.

There are fewer sporting disciplines than in the Summer Olympics. The Winter Games include Alpine skiing, biathlon, bobsled, cross-country skiing, curling, figure skating, freestyle skiing, ice hockey, luge, Nordic combined, skeleton, ski jumping, snowboarding and speedskating.

Beijing meanwhile is set to become the first city in the world to have hosted both the summer and winter editions of the Olympic Games.

ATN will broadcast the opening ceremony on Tuesday 4 February from 4pm. This will be broadcast live.

On Wednesday, 5 February, ATN will broadcast curling, ice hockey, snowboarding and ski jumping, cross-country skiing and biathlon events – from 10:05am to 3pm. From 3.30pm, ATN will broadcast short track, freestyle skiing and speed skating.

Most sporting disciplines will be broadcast live.

*ArianaNews.af will however publish the full schedule closer to the opening ceremony.

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