Tag Archives: Women’s

Norway’s women’s handball team fined €1,500 for wearing shorts instead of bikini bottoms

Norway condemns ‘ridiculous’ €1,500 fine for their women’s beach handball team after punishment for wearing shorts instead of bikini bottoms is confirmed

  • The Scandinavians wore shorts instead of regulation bikinis in Sunday’s match
  • Officials fined the team 1,500 euros, or 150 euros per player over the breach
  • The women’s team must wear bikini bottoms to certain measurements stipulating they must have ‘a close fit’, while male handball players wear shorts
  • The issue of clothing has been debated in beach sports circles for several years 
  • In a reverse, two German beach volleyball players boycotted a Qatar tournament earlier this year after they were initially told they could not wear bikinis

Norway’s women’s beach handball team has been fined after the players refused to wear bikini bottoms in a match, instead competing in non-regulation shorts.

The Disciplinary Committee of the European Handball Federation (EHF) on Monday fined the team 1,500 euros (£1,300), or 150 euros (£130) per player.

The fine comes after they wore shorts – instead of the bikini bottoms required by International Handball Federation’s (IHF) rules – in their bronze-medal match loss to Spain at the European Beach Handball Championship in Bulgaria on Sunday. 

Norwegian officials reacted angrily to the news on Tuesday.

‘It’s completely ridiculous,’ Norway’s Minister for Culture and Sports, Abid Raja, tweeted after Monday’s ruling. ‘What a change of attitude is needed in the macho and conservative international world of sport.’

Eirik Sordahl, the president of the Norwegian Volleyball Federation, told national news agency NTB: ‘In 2021, it shouldn’t even be an issue.’ 

Norway's beach handball team has been fined after the players refused to wear bikini bottoms in a match, instead competing in non-regulation shorts (pictured)

Norway’s beach handball team has been fined after the players refused to wear bikini bottoms in a match, instead competing in non-regulation shorts (pictured)

Before the sanction, the Norwegian handball federation said on Monday it was ready to pay the fine after the women’s team knowingly defied official regulations. 

‘Of course we would pay any fine,’ Norwegian Handball Federation president Kare Geir Lio told AFP news agency on Monday. ‘We are all in the same boat,’ he added.

Norway’s handball player Katinka Haltvik, quoted by public broadcaster NRK, also said ahead of the fine that the team would happily pay it. 

It was expected the team would only be fined 50 euros (£43) per player, meaning the fine is 1,000 euros more than first anticipated. 

Clothing has long been an issue in beach sports, with some women players finding bikinis degrading or impractical.

While bikinis have not been compulsory for beach volleyball players since 2012, IHF rules state ‘female athletes must wear bikini bottoms’ and that these must have ‘a close fit’, be ‘cut on an upward angle toward the top of the leg’ and a side depth of no more than 10 centimetres.

Male players wear shorts. 

Ahead of the European Championship, Norway approached the European Handball Federation to ask for permission to play in shorts, but were told that breaches of the rules were punishable by fines.

They complied, until their last match. 

‘The most important thing is to have equipment that athletes are comfortable with,’ Lio said, adding that ‘it should be a free choice within a standardised framework.’ 

Pictured: Norway’s beach handball team compete in 2017 in regulation clothing. The issue has been debated in beach sports circles for several years as some players find the bikini degrading or simply impractical

By ditching the regulation bikini bottoms, the Norwegian women's team (pictured in 2017 wearing bikini bottoms) has been fined 150 euros per player - a total of 1,500 euros

By ditching the regulation bikini bottoms, the Norwegian women’s team (pictured in 2017 wearing bikini bottoms) has been fined 150 euros per player – a total of 1,500 euros

A Norwegian motion to amend the current rules will be discussed by the bodies in the coming months.

‘The EHF is committed to bring this topic forward in the interest of its member federations, however it must also be said that a change of the rules can only happen at IHF level,’ EHF spokesman Andrew Barringer said in an email.

In a reverse of the situation earlier this year, German beach volleyball stars Karla Borger and Julia Sude said they would boycott a tournament in Qatar, saying it is ‘the only country’ where players are forbidden from wearing bikinis on court.

‘We are there to do our job, but we are being prevented from wearing our work clothes,’ Borger told a radio station at the time. 

‘This is really the only country and the only tournament where a government tells us how to do our job – we are criticising that.’

The Middle Eastern country hosted the FIVB World Tour event, but strict rules about on-court clothing had led to world championships silver medallist Borger and her doubles partner Sude shunning the event.

In a reverse of the situation earlier this year, German beach volleyball stars Karla Borger and Julia Sude (pictured) said they would boycott a tournament in Qatar, saying it is 'the only country' where players are forbidden from wearing bikinis on court

In a reverse of the situation earlier this year, German beach volleyball stars Karla Borger and Julia Sude (pictured) said they would boycott a tournament in Qatar, saying it is ‘the only country’ where players are forbidden from wearing bikinis on court 

But in a major U-Turn, the Qatar Volleyball Association (QVA) said there would be ‘no restrictions’ on players wearing bikinis.

Female players had been asked to wear shirts and long trousers rather than the usual bikinis, a rule which the world beach volleyball federation FIVB said is ‘out of respect for the culture and traditions of the host country’.

Qatar is a conservative Islamic country in which women are expected to dress conservatively, however the large numbers of foreign workers and bids to boost tourism means adherence is somewhat patchy.   

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This post originally posted here Norway Government & Politics News

US women’s gymnastics team alternate tests positive for COVID-19

Another alternate on the team was placed into isolation because of contact tracing, but Simone Biles and other favorites to win team gold weren’t affected.

WASHINGTON — An alternate on the United States women’s gymnastics team has tested positive for COVID-19 in an Olympic training camp in Japan.

Olympic champion Simone Biles was not affected, nor were any of the other favorites to win the team gold, but another alternate was placed into isolation because of contact tracing, USA Gymnastics said Monday.

“One of the replacement athletes for the women’s artistic gymnastics team received a positive COVID test on Sunday, July 18. After reviewing the implemented COVID protocols with members of the delegation, the local government determined that the affected replacement athlete and one other replacement athlete would be subject to additional quarantine restrictions,” the USAG statement said. “Accordingly, on Monday, the Olympic athletes moved to separate lodging accommodations and a separate training facility, as originally planned, and will continue their preparation for the Games. The entire delegation continues to be vigilant and will maintain strict protocols while they are in Tokyo.”

The positive test was the latest in a growing line of daily reports of athletes and others testing positive at the pandemic-delayed Olympics. The unnamed gymnast was the first American.

“The health and safety of our athletes, coaches and staff is our top priority. We can confirm that an alternate on the women’s artistic gymnastics team tested positive for COVID-19,” the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee said in a statement. “In alignment with local rules and protocols, the athlete has been transferred to a hotel to quarantine. Out of respect for the individual’s privacy, we cannot provide more information at this time.”

The four alternates — Leanne Wong, Kayla DiCello, Emma Malabuyo and Kara Eaker — traveled to Japan with the six-woman U.S. delegation of Biles, Jordan Chiles, Grace McCallum, Sunisa Lee, MyKayla Skinner and Jade Carey.

The alternates are rooming and training together. While they have been traveling to training along with the actual team, they have been split into groups, with the team working on one apparatus while the alternates work on another.

The U.S. women’s team dealt with what USA Gymnastics called a “false positive” over the weekend for an unidentified athlete but the ensuing test results for the athlete were negative, according to the organization.

Biles, who is also the world champion, and the rest of the regular team have been vaccinated.

The Games are set to open on Friday with a state of emergency in force in Tokyo, which means almost all venues will be without any fans as new cases rise in the capital. The women’s gymnastic team begins competing on Sunday.

The U.S. officials said the test took place when the team was training just outside Tokyo in Inzai City. Team members arrived last week for the camp to great fanfare at Narita airport.

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government on Monday reported 727 new cases in the capital. It is the 30th straight day that cases were higher than the previous week. The cases last Monday were 502.

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This post originally posted here CBS8 – Sports

Great Britain women’s football team confirm they will take the knee at Tokyo Olympics

“We are clear that taking the knee is an important symbol of peaceful protest against discrimination, injustice and inequality in society.”

British Olympic Association’s Andy Anson, added: “By taking the knee our women’s football side are embodying the values of Team GB.”

The new IOC rules allows athletes to ‘express their views’ before and after competition, however not during.

It also cannot include anything disruptive such as unfurling certain flags, ‘during the introduction of another athlete or team’.

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This post originally posted here Daily Express :: Sport

Loose Women’s Charlene White warns travellers after brother was held in immigration cell

“They were then held by immigration officials in the Swiss airport who told them as they’re not double vaccinated they can’t be there, and that the airline was wrong. So… he and his mates were held in the airport for 18 hours in total by Swiss immigration officials.”

She revealed the worrying part was was that they had “no idea what was going on” for part of their lengthy stay.

“But they’re young, bought booze in Pret and from the sounds of things had a lovely time,” she joked.

“So… the moral of the story is if you’re planning on flying ANYWHERE this summer. Check the immigration info for each country you’re going to, or flying through.

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This post originally posted here Daily Express :: Celebrity News

US beats Mexico 4-0 in final Olympics tune-up for women’s soccer team

The Americans’ next match is an Olympics opening-round date with Sweden — the team that knocked them out of the quarterfinals in Rio five years ago.

EAST HARTFORD, Conn — Tobin Heath scored her second goal in as many games and the United States defeated Mexico 4-0 on Monday in the American women’s final match before the Olympics.

The United States is now undefeated in 44 straight matches, the second-longest unbeaten streak in team history. The Americans also extended their winning streak against Mexico to 15 games and improved to 39-1-1 overall. The lone U.S. loss in the series was in a 2010 World Cup qualifier.

U.S. coach Vlatko Andonovski continued to finetune his lineups in advance of the Olympics later this month. The United States, a four-time gold medal winner, is aiming to become the first team to follow a World Cup title with an Olympic gold medal.

Heath started after coming off the bench and scoring in the United States’ first send-off game against Mexico on Thursday, when the Americans also won by a 4-0 score. She hadn’t played for some six months because of injury.

Carli Lloyd got the start Monday in place of Alex Morgan, and midfielder Rose Lavelle got the nod while Kristie Mewis and Megan Rapinoe were available off the bench.

Rapinoe, Mewis and Morgan all started the second half.

The United States scored all its goals in the first half. Horan scored on a volley in the sixth minute, followed by Lloyd’s diving header in the 11th.

After an own goal in the 37th minute, Heath scored in the 39th.

Next up for the United States are the Tokyo Olympics. The Americans play Sweden — the team that knocked them out of the 2016 Games in the quarterfinals — to open the tournament in Japan on July 21.

Mexico did not make the field of 12 teams for the Tokyo Games.

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Author: Associated Press
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USA looks in good shape for 7th straight Olympic women’s basketball gold

The U.S. has dominated the world in women’s basketball at the Olympics over the last quarter-century, winning every game by double digits since 2004.

Diana Taurasi and Sue Bird will try to become the first players ever to win five Olympic gold medals in basketball when the United States women’s team begins play at the Tokyo Games.

The pair has been an integral part of the U.S. run of six consecutive golds at the Olympics.

“As far as being named to a fifth Olympics, especially with Sue, you know, it’s just a great honor. It just makes you really appreciate all the people that have helped you,” Taurasi said. “You know, everyone, USA Basketball, that, you know, after being around for 20 years now, you know, it’s like a big family.”

Taurasi and Bird both played with Dawn Staley on the 2004 Olympic team. Staley helped start this unprecedented run with the 1996 squad and now is the first Black head coach of the women’s national team after being an assistant for the last two Olympics.

“Any time that you represent USA Basketball, you’ve got the biggest target on your on your back, on your chest,” Staley said. “And everybody seems to play their best basketball.”

It’s been 25 years of dominance for the Americans in the Olympics. They’ve won 49 consecutive games on the biggest international stage. No team has come within single digits of the U.S. since Russia lost in the semifinals of the 2004 Athens Games — the first Olympics that Taurasi and Bird played in — 66-62.

The Americans haven’t dropped an Olympic contest since 1992 when they were beaten in the semis by the Unified Team. Only host Japan has beaten the U.S. in an Olympics, topping the Americans in 1976, the inaugural appearance of women’s basketball.

If the women can capture another gold medal in Tokyo, they would match the U.S. men’s team that won seven consecutive golds from 1936-68.

While there are no guarantees, it would take a monumental upset for the team not to come home with gold.

The competition for the other two medals is wide open with Australia, Belgium, France, Canada, Serbia and Spain all having a shot at reaching the podium. Serbia just beat France to win the Eurobasket championship.

The Olympics switched to three pools of four teams for the Tokyo Games. South Korea, Serbia, Canada and Spain are in Group A. Joining the U.S. in Group B are France, Nigeria and Japan. Australia, Puerto Rico, China and Belgium are in Group C.

Games begin on July 26 with the bronze medal game on Aug. 7 and the gold medal contest the next day to close out the Olympics.

Some other things to watch for at the Olympics in women’s basketball:

WNBA FLAVOR

Besides the U.S. team, many of the other countries are led by WNBA stars. Half of the Australian roster, led by Liz Cambage, is currently in the WNBA. The Opals are led by Phoenix Mercury coach Sandy Brondello. Some of the other WNBA players in the Olympics include Emma Meesseman (Belgium), Kia Nurse (Canada), Marine Johannès (France), Astou Ndour (Spain), The WNBA will be on an Olympic break from July 15-Aug. 11.

AFRICAN DREAMS

Nigeria will try and end a winless drought for African teams at the Olympics since the 2004 Athens Games. The African nation went 1-5 that year and no team from that continent has won a game since. There are hopes for that to potentially change: Nigeria went 3-4 at the World Champions in 2018, falling to the U.S. in the quarterfinals.

FEWER GAMES

With the addition of 3×3 as a basketball discipline, teams are now only playing potentially six games at most in the tournament instead of eight. The last time the medalists played fewer than eight games was 1992. The 12 teams were put into three pools instead of two. The quarterfinalists will be the top two teams in each pool and two others based on a FIBA ranking system.

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Author: DOUG FEINBERG AP Basketball Writer
This post originally appeared on CBS8 – Sports

The Chelsea women reveal Rose Namajuns’ role as their inspiration

There aren’t many more inspirational figures in MMA than reigning strawweight queen Rose Namajunas – and the Chelsea women’s team would likely agree after she was used as inspiration for their historic run to a European final.

The Blues reversed a first-leg deficit to defeat Bayern Munich 5-3 on aggregate to qualify for their first Women’s Champions League final on Sunday ahead of a May 16 final against Barcelona.

Goals in the final minutes from Pernille Harder and Fran Kirby were enough to oust the much-fancied German side en route to a 4-1 win in the second-leg which secured the hosts’ passage to this month’s showpiece game.

Emma Hayes’ side faced an unenviable task in taking on Bayern Munich, who entered the second game with their tails up after a close win in the first semi-final encounter between the sides.

And as an emotional Hayes elaborated shortly after her team’s historic win, she used some rather unconventional motivation for her team in advance of the game – in the shape of UFC champion ‘Thug’ Namajunas.

“I played them a video from a UFC star,” said Hayes. “It was a one-minute video before the game and she was talking to herself, saying ‘I am the best, I am the best.’

She won the fight and straight after the fight the cameras said to her, ‘You were saying to yourself I am the best’ and she said, ‘But yeah, I am the best’. And that’s what I said to the players before the game.

Someone described us as ‘mentality monsters’, and we are the best. We’re in this position because we deserve it.”

The fight which Hayes refenced is Namajunas’ recent first-round high-kick knockout of Chinese champion Zhang Weili at the recent UFC 261 event in Jacksonville, Florida.

Namajunas’ win erased Zhang’s 20-fight undefeated streak which stretched back to 2013, and earned the winner her second UFC strawweight world title.

Also on rt.com Dazed Zhang DEMANDS TO FIGHT ON despite being felled with brutal head-kick KO in title defeat to Namajunas at UFC 261 (VIDEO)

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This post originally appeared on RT Sport News

Money talks: Women’s football ace Rapinoe earns mixed reaction after using White House speech to say she’s been ‘devalued’ (VIDEO)

US Women’s football team icon Megan Rapinoe’s speech at the White House has caused a predictable stir – and not everyone has been swayed by the veteran’s appearance after she accepted an invitation from new president Joe Biden.

Having previously emphatically shunned a potential invite from former president Donald Trump, Rapinoe addressed the White House after testifying to a congressional committee about the economic impact of long-held gender inequalities.

With the vast majority of her international teammates joining her virtually, Rapinoe also stood over Biden as he signed a proclamation to mark equal pay day, which is designed to symbolize how far into the year women must work on average to make up the gender pay disparity over the course of a year.

“Megan Rapinoe and the USA Women’s Soccer Team won the World Cup in 2019 and avoided [Trump] like he was a serial abuser,” said one supportive author.

“Today they joined President Biden at the White House on equal pay day because they trust this guy to get this done. Goal.”

Others saluted the 35-year-old’s power poses and admired her for ensuring that a smiling Biden signed papers while sitting at a desk – but some critics were unconvinced.

“Megan Rapinoe’s job isn’t playing soccer,” argued one hugely-followed political commentator.

“It’s generating revenue. She generates revenue by playing soccer. She doesn’t generate nearly as much as the men, therefore she isn’t doing the same job.

“Also, men and women are different and she’s not good enough to play on a men’s team.”

An investigative reported claimed: “Rapinoe has earned an estimated $ 3 to $ 3.5 million kicking soccer balls for a living and her fiance, Sue Bird, has raked in $ 5 to $ 8 million playing basketball.

“All for playing childrens games for a living. And the plebs are supposed to feel bad for the poor ‘undervalued’ multimillionaires?

“Give me a break. Perhaps find someone who isn’t in the top 0.1% [of earners] to champion this cause.”

Rapinoe had said: “I’m a member of the LGBTQ community with pink hair, and where I come from, I could have only dreamed that I would be standing in the position I am today at the White House.

“I’m also a professional athlete and I’ve helped, along with all of my teammates, win four World Championships and four Olympic gold medals for the United States.

“Despite those wins, I’ve been devalued, I’ve been disrespected and dismissed because I am a woman, and I’ve been told that I don’t deserve any more than less because I am a woman.

“You see, despite all the wins, I’m still paid less than men who do the same job that I do.”

She told the committee: “I feel like, honestly, we’ve done everything. You want stadiums filled? We filled them.

“You want us to be respectful? You want us to perform on the world stage?”

“You want role models for your kids, for your boys, and your girls, and your little trans kids? We have that.”
Also on rt.com Women’s soccer star Megan Rapinoe FINALLY accepts White House offer as she gets set for love-in with Biden

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‘You’re all tripping’: NBA great Stephen Curry slams basketball bosses in gender equality row over women’s weights room (VIDEO)

Golden State Warriors legend Stephen Curry has waded in to a gender equality row after women’s basketball ace Sedona Prince caused outrage by sharing a video showing the starkly different weights rooms for male and female players.

Organizers the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) were slated on Thursday after photos emerged of the facilities provided at its hugely popular March Madness tournament.

An accompanying video presented by Prince, who plays for Oregon Ducks, appeared to show the notable differences between the male and female gyms at separate bubble sites in Indiana and Texas, with the forward urging: “If you aren’t upset about this problem, then you are a part of it.”

“I’ve got something to show you all,” she began, showing one miserly mound of small dumbbells. “For the NCAA March Madness – the biggest tournament in college basketball for women – this is our weights room.”

Her clip then cuts to a spacious gym in Indiana laden with machines and weights, before she revealed that the female equivalent is pretty large itself, looking capable of hosting far more equipment.

Forced to respond to the furor, the NCAA posted a statement on the same day from its senior vice president, Lynn Holzman, acknowledging that “some of the amenities teams would typically have access to have not been as available inside the controlled environment.”

“In part, this is due to the limited space and the original plan was to expand the workout area once additional space was available later in the tournament,” she added.

“However, we want to be responsive to the needs of our participating teams, and we are actively working to enhance existing resources at practice courts, including additional weight training equipment.”

Prince’s post went viral and was ‘liked’ by almost 300,000 users, including a retweet by three-time NBA champion Curry.

“Wow – come on now,” Curry scoffed to his Twitter following of more than 15 million accounts. “March Madness, NCAA – you’re all tripping.”

Not everyone was on Prince’s side. “The TV contract for the men’s tournament is in the billions,” said one skeptic.

“I have no idea what it is for women but I’d imagine nowhere near there. This is about business, not social injustice.”

Another retorted: “The fact that there are actual men trying to explain why female college athletes deserve less because their sport doesn’t take in any money when neither male nor female collegiate athletes get paid outside of waved tuition and boarding is… hilarious but not surprising.

“If a college athlete wants to lift weights, they should have unfettered access to do so. The body, for many, is the most valuable asset.

“Why should men and women athletes not have the same access to facilities to help build their body? Because one program makes less dollar?”

The NCAA is yet to address Prince’s seemingly damning evidence.
Also on rt.com ‘World’s sexiest athlete’ Alica Schmidt put Champions League football star Thomas Meunier through sweaty training session (VIDEO)

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Debate breaks out after Indonesian women’s volleyball star confirmed to be a MAN

One of Indonesia’s top female volleyball players, Aprilia Manganang, has been confirmed as biologically male, sparking debate online over what that meant for her team’s previous performances.

The news was announced last week after the 28-year-old underwent surgery in Jakarta.

READ MORE: ‘It sends a clear message that our daughters’ rights are worth fighting for’: New rules on transgender athletes passed in US state

During a press conference held by the Chief of Army Staff (KSAD) General Andika Perkasa, the former athlete admitted he was happy to be legally recognized as male.

This is a moment that I have been waiting for, very happy. Praise the Lord Jesus, I can pass this and I am grateful that God used you and my mother to meet me,” he said.

Previously, the Army Chief  explained that Aprilia was not transgender, as he was male since birth, but experienced a medical disorder called hypospadias, which is a genital deformity experienced by male babies.

He also said that Aprilia’s condition was only recently discovered, when he was summoned to undergo a medical examination at the Gatot Subroto Army Hospital where urological and hormonal tests confirmed that he was a man.

The former volleyball pro underwent corrective surgery and will also have his documents changed regarding his new gender status.

The former player had represented Indonesia on its female volleyball team before retiring in 2020 and joining the army.

Aprilia’s gender status has long been the topic of debate, as the player’s masculine body often stood out from other female players, with opponents constantly questioning the athlete’s sex.

At the 2015 SEA Games the Philippines’ team called on the organizers to conduct a gender test, but their appeal was rejected, with Aprilia insisting he was female.

The revelation triggered debate on social media, with some users even calling on international volleyball authorities to ban the Indonesian squad, who had supposedly benefitted from an unfair advantage over the years with a biological man competing against women.

Others, however, dismissed those suggestions. One person wrote: “It’s a rare body condition he’s been suffering since he was born. Really? a ban for a country from International volleyball? I know it’s unfair, but penalizing or nullification is more suited in this case.” 

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