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  • Sports Digest: No Parties And Quick Exits For Athletes In Tokyo Olympics
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    John Coates, chairman of the Coordination Commission for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, wearing a face mask, speaks during a joint news conference with organizers of Tokyo 2020 in Tokyo on Wednesday. Rodrigo Reyes Marin/Pool Photo via AP

    OLYMPICS

    Athletes at the Tokyo Olympics won’t have the luxury of hanging around once they’ve wrapped up their event. No late-night parties in the Athletes Village. No nights – or early mornings – on the town.

    Instead of getting to know their global neighbors, Olympic athletes will be encouraged to leave Japan a day or two after they’ve finished competing.

    From the opening ceremony to life in the village on Tokyo Bay, the postponed 2020 Olympics will be like no other. There’ll be stringent rules and guidelines – and maybe vaccines and rapid testing – to pull off the games in the middle of a pandemic that has been blamed for more than 1 million deaths worldwide.

    “Staying longer in the village increases the potential for problems,” John Coates, the IOC member in charge of overseeing Tokyo preparations, said Wednesday at a briefing for the Olympics and Paralympics.

    Coates was asked if athletes would be discouraged from sightseeing, or looking around the city.

    “Yes,” he replied simply, a short answer suggesting these Olympics will be all business with few frills.

    Coates accompanied International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach to Tokyo this week as he met Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and shored up support with key Japanese sponsors.

    It was Bach’s first visit to Japan since the Olympics were postponed in March. Bach left Tokyo on Wednesday after two days of saying a vaccine was likely to be available and athletes would be strongly encouraged to take it.

    Organizers and the IOC are growing confident they will have a vaccine and rapid testing. This will help, but dozens of other countermeasures will also be in place; social distancing, masks and bubbles in the venues and the Athletes Village.

    GOLF

    PGA: The PGA Tour now has three players who have tested positive for the coronavirus during the RSM Classic at Sea Island.

    Kramer Hickok and Henrik Norlander each received positive tests and have withdrawn. Hickok got into the tournament as an alternate after Bill Haas tested positive earlier in the week.

    That’s the most positive tests on the PGA Tour since late June, when four players tested positive in a span of a week.

    That brings to 18 the number of PGA Tour players who have tested positive since golf resumed on June 8.

    RUGBY

    NEARLY 50,000 FANS WATCH MATCH: Queensland defeated New South Wales 20-14 the third and deciding State of Origin rugby league match on Wednesday before 49,155 fans in what organizers say was the biggest attendance for any sporting event worldwide since the lockdown for COVID-19.

    The normal capacity of 52,000 at Brisbane’s inner-city Suncorp Stadium was reduced by several thousand due to some biosecurity concerns, but it was still higher than the 46,000 attendance at a Bledisloe Cup rugby union match in New Zealand last month.

    New Zealand and parts of Australia have lifted capacity restrictions at their sporting venues due to success in fighting the coronarivus pandemic.

    The inexperienced Maroons saved their best for their home ground to produce one of the biggest upsets in the 40-year history of the Origin series after being widely written off as the worst Queensland team in decades.

    BOXING

    ALVAREZ-SMITH:  Canelo Alvarez will return to the ring in a super middleweight title fight against Callum Smith on Dec. 19 in the United States, the boxers announced Wednesday.

    Smith’s WBA super middleweight belt will be on the line when he faces one of boxing’s most popular fighters. The location has not been announced. Neither man has fought since last November, when Alvarez (53-1-2) stopped Sergey Kovalev in 11 rounds to take the WBO light heavyweight belt. Smith (27-0) won a unanimous decision over John Ryder in his hometown of Liverpool.

    “I’ve been wanting a big fight since becoming world champion,” the 30-year-old Smith said in a statement, “so I’m pleased that during these challenging times we can deliver to the fans a fight between the very best in the division.

    “I truly believe I beat him and will prove that 168 pounds is my division.”

    The 30-year-old Alvarez, whose only loss was to Floyd Mayweather Jr. In 2013, wrote on his Instagram account that he’s “ready more than ever.”

    SOCCER

    NATIONS LEAGUE: The Serbian soccer federation says three national team players have tested positive for the coronavirus ahead of a match against Russia in the Nations League.

    Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, Verona midfielder Darko Lazovic and Basel goalkeeper Djordje Nikolic have been isolated from the rest of the squad.

    Serbia players Luka Milojevic and Aleksandar Kolarov have previously tested positive for COVID-19.

    • Arsenal and Bosnia defender Sead Kolasinac has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, adding to Bosnia’s woes ahead of a Nations League match against Italy.

    The Bosnian soccer federation said Wednesday that besides Kolasinac, another national team player, Ibrahim Sehic, also tested positive.

    Bosnia also will be without another six players in the home match on Wednesday, including its main striker, Edin Dzeko, because of positive tests for COVID-19 and league quarantine guidelines.

    PREMIER LEAGUE: Liverpool striker Mohamed Salah will likely miss the club’s next Premier League game after the Egyptian soccer association said on Wednesday that he had tested positive for the coronavirus for a second time.

    The 28-year-old Salah, who has mild symptoms, has been in self-isolation in Egypt’s Red Sea resort of el-Gouna, where he arrived earlier this week. He had previously self-isolated in a Cairo hotel.

    He first tested positive for the virus on Friday on the eve of Egypt’s Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Togo. The Pharaohs beat Togo 1-0 in Cairo, and 3-1 on Tuesday in Togo’s capital, Lome.

    He’s now set to miss Liverpool’s first game after the international break against Leicester on Sunday.

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