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Women’s interest in Games on the rise – research report

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(Last Updated On: July 14, 2021)

Interest in the Olympic Games among women is rising, with nearly as many women as men now keen on the sports extravaganza due to begin in the Japanese capital at the end of next week, according to research released on Wednesday, Reuters reported.

Data analytics company Nielsen Sports said 45% of women in the world’s largest economies have shown interest in the Games, which this year run from July 23 to Aug. 8, though with no spectators in venues due to coronavirus restrictions.

That figure is just three percentage points lower than the number of men who were interested in the event, which was postponed for a year due to the pandemic, when the survey was conducted in May.

“The Olympics provide a unifying moment with countries and athletes coming together to compete in what is the world’s largest sporting event,” said Lynsey Douglas, who is head of brands at Nielsen Sports.

“Although this year’s Olympics in Tokyo will be different from previous Games in many ways, the potential they bring to elevate gender equality in sport remains critical.

“With nearly equal medal opportunities for men and women, the Olympics provides the most gender balanced fan base among major events.”

According to Nielsen’s research, the Olympic Games is the world’s most popular sporting event, with 47% of respondents in 13 of the 15 wealthiest nations interested or very interested in the Summer Games, Reuters reported.

That figure far surpasses the next most-popular non-Olympic event, the NBA, which sees 33% of people expressing an interest. But only 17% of women are interested in the U.S. basketball league.

The Tokyo Olympics will see an increase in medals awarded to women as the International Olympic Committee (IOC) edges closer to gender parity.

Women’s events will account for 156 gold medals and 494 of the medals available in Tokyo while men’s events will account for 165 gold out of a total of 530.

The IOC has also introduced additional mixed events in which more women could win medals.

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Pakistan minister says threat to NZ cricket team originated in India

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(Last Updated On: September 22, 2021)

A threat to New Zealand’s cricket team that prompted them to call off a tour of Pakistan came in an email that originated in India, Pakistan’s information Minister said on Wednesday.

New Zealand’s cricket squad arrived home on Wednesday after abandoning their tour of Pakistan last week citing a security threat. New Zealand Cricket said they were aware of a “specific and credible” threat but did not give details, Reuters reported.

Pakistan Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said the threat had come via an email.

“This email was generated from India through a VPN showing the location of Singapore,” Chaudhry told reporters in Pakistan’s capital.

India’s foreign ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Nuclear-armed neighbours and arch-rivals Pakistan and India regularly blame each other for acts of violence, charges each government denies.

Chaudhry added that the West Indies team, due to arrive in December, had also been sent a threat that he said was fake.

Shunned by all after a deadly 2009 attack on the Sri Lanka team bus in Lahore, Pakistan have been trying to woo back top international teams.

New Zealand’s withdrawal dealt a massive blow to Pakistan’s hopes of staging regular international cricket, with England subsequently calling off their men’s and women’s tours.

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3 national snooker team players off to good start in world champs

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(Last Updated On: September 19, 2021)

Afghanistan’s National Snooker Team has gotten off to a good start in this year’s Six-Red World Championships in Doha, Qatar.

National team member Raees Khan Sindzai won his first match against his opponent from Ukraine ending with a score of 5-4.

Sindzai also defeated his Iraqi rival 5-4 in his second match and his next game will be against Bahrain.

Saleh Mohammad Mohammadi, another Afghan team member, beat his Egyptian rival 5-0 but lost his second match to his Belgian opponent, 4-5.

His third game will be against Palestine.

The Six-Red World Championships comes just days after the three team members took part in the Asian Snooker Championships, which were also held in Doha.

The tournaments are part of three major billiards and snooker events – including the GCC Billiards and Snooker tournament – organised by the Qatar Billiards and Snooker Federation.

It is the first time a country hosts these three major championships in succession, separated by only a few days.

The competitions started with the Asian championship from September 12 to 16, then the Six-Red World Championship from September 17 to 21. This championship will be followed by the GCC Billiards and Snooker Championship from September 22 to 28.

President of the International Snooker Federation and Executive Director of the Qatar Federation, Mubarak Al Khayarin, described Qatar’s hosting of the World and Asian Championships as a great challenge, especially after stopping nearly two years of activity due to the repercussions of the continuing outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, Qatar’s The Peninsula reported.

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Afghan women’s soccer team arrives in Pakistan

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(Last Updated On: September 15, 2021)

Afghanistan’s women’s soccer team has arrived in neighbouring Pakistan, the information minister in Islamabad said on Tuesday, as questions linger over the status of female athletes under Islamic Emirate rule.

“We welcome Afghanistan women football team, they arrived at Torkham Border from Afghanistan,” said Fawad Chaudhry, Pakistan’s information minister, in a Tweet, adding they were received by a representative of the Pakistan Football Federation.

Chaudhry gave no details and it was not immediately clear how many players had entered the country and what their plans were.

An Islamic Emirate official last week told Australian broadcaster SBS that he did not think women would be allowed to play cricket because it was “not necessary” and would be against Islam.

“Islam and the Islamic Emirate do not allow women to play cricket or play the kind of sports where they get exposed,” SBS quoted the deputy head of the Islamic Emirate’s cultural commission, Ahmadullah Wasiq, as saying.

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