Kuwait amends sports law after IOC warnings Sheikh Fahad lauds HH Amir’s approval

KUWAIT CITY, Nov 27, (Agencies): Kuwait says it has amended its sports law in response to IOC threats to suspend the Gulf nation because of government interference in the national Olympic committee.
No details were immediately given on the decree by Kuwait’s emir. But the official Kuwait News Agency quotes the nation’s Olympic committee chairman, Sheik Ahmad Al Sabah, as saying Tuesday it “ensures” that Kuwaiti athletes can compete under their national flag.
Last week, the International Olympic Committee said it will consider imposing the suspension on Kuwait and India at a meeting in Lausanne on Dec 4-5. Suspension would cut off IOC funding to the committees and prevent their athletes from competing in the Olympics under their national flags.

Kuwaiti was suspended by the IOC for more than two years but reinstated in July following guarantees that new sports laws would be adopted.
Meanwhile, the Chairman of the Association of the National Olympics Committees (ANOC) and Kuwait Olympic Committee Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah lauded His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah’s approval of a decree amending sports law.
In statements to KUNA, Sheikh Ahmad expressed gratitude for HH the Amir’s support to Kuwaiti sports organizations and athletes.
“The new decree ensures Kuwaiti athletes’ right to partake in international events under the flag of their state,” he said.

Frustrated by two failed bids to get squash into the Olympics, world number one Nicol David and her fellow players have embarked on a campaign to raise the sport’s global profile in an attempt to win over IOC chiefs in Hong Kong this week.
One sport will be added to the programme for the 2020 Games with squash up against karate, the Chinese martial art of wushu, baseball, softball, roller sports, wakeboarding and sport climbing.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) will make its decision on a host for the 2020 Games, as well as which sport to add, at its session in Argentina in September 2013.
IOC observers are inspecting the Hong Kong Open as part of their squash evaluation and David said the tournament was the ideal setting to show the sport deserved a place at the Games.
“Hong Kong is the perfect place for the IOC’s inspection,” the South China Morning Post quoted the Malaysian as saying.
“They have always put on a good show and the players love coming here. I have no doubt that we can impress the IOC.” Determined to avoid rejection for a third time, squash examined how to make the game more fan-friendly and appealing to television.

Four-time gold medalist Ben Ainslie of Britain says he is retiring from Olympic sailing in order to try and end his nation’s long drought in the America’s Cup. Ainslie’s decision wasn’t a surprise. While he said he wanted to take some time after winning the gold medal in the Finn class at the London Olympics, he’s already sailed in two America’s Cup World Series regattas with his Ben Ainslie Racing team, finishing second in one of them.
The 35-year-old Ainslie became the most successful Olympic sailor ever when he won his fourth straight gold medal at Weymouth in August. He also won a silver medal at Atlanta in 1996 in his first Olympics. “When I look back there are so many special memories; from that first medal in Atlanta 16 years ago to carrying the flag at the closing ceremony in London 2012,” Ainslie said in a statement. “London was an incredibly special Olympics, competing on home waters and in front of a home crowd, I don’t think anything will be able to top that experience. But you have to move forward and it is time to move onto the next challenge in my career.”
Ainslie was so successful as an Olympian that he was called Britain’s greatest sailor since Admiral Lord Nelson, who was killed while leading his fleet to victory over the French and Spanish fleets at the Battle of Trafalgar. A statue of Nelson rises high above London’s Trafalgar Square.

Ainslie, known for an intense focus and work ethic, felt that comparison was hype.
“I didn’t rescue the nation from the depths of Napoleon Bonaparte,” Ainslie said after winning his final Olympic gold. “You do the best you can do in your style of racing.”
Ainslie was 19 when he took silver in the 1996 Olympics in a bitter loss to Brazil’s Robert Scheidt in the Laser class. Scheidt induced Ainslie into a penalty at the start of the final race and then sailed to gold.
It was the last time Ainslie didn’t stand atop the medals podium.
Four years later, Ainslie expertly exacted his revenge on Sydney Harbor to beat Scheidt for the gold.
After moving up to the heavyweight Finn class, Ainslie had another remarkable performance at Athens in 2004. Disqualified from his second-place finish in the second race due to a protest by a French sailor, the British star fought back from 19th overall to win the gold.
Now his racing shifts to bigger, faster boats.

He’ll skipper his 45-foot (14-meter) wing-sailed catamaran in the remaining regattas in the America’s Cup World Series and then will sail with defending America’s Cup champion Oracle Racing in the 34th America’s Cup on San Francisco Bay in 2013. It’s expected that he’ll helm one of Oracle’s two 72-foot (22-meter) catamarans in the buildup to the America’s Cup match. Oracle suffered a setback when its first 72-foot (22-meter) catamaran capsized on San Francisco Bay in mid-October, destroying its giant wing sail. Oracle’s second 72-foot (22-meter) cat is under construction.
Ainslie’s goal is to then launch a British challenge for the 35th America’s Cup.
Britain has never won the America’s Cup, which began in 1851 when the schooner America beat a fleet of British ships around the Isle of Wight.

Ainslie lives in Lymington, across the Solent from the Isle of Wight.
“The America’s Cup has always been a goal for me,” Ainslie said. “With the new format of the America’s Cup World Series and the increased commercialization of the event, I feel confident that we can continue to build toward creating a commercially viable team, with the ultimate goal of challenging for the 35th America’s Cup.”
John Derbyshire, performance director of the Royal Yachting Association, said Ainslie “has nothing left to prove in Olympic terms and there can be no question that he’s more than achieved his first goal. It’s therefore entirely understandable that he should now want to turn his attentions to the second, and hopefully lead a British team to win the oldest trophy in sport for the very first time.”


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