Friday 17 January 2020

Cliona Foley: 'Olympic medallist defects from Iran'

Weekend Takeaways

Cliona Foley

Iran's only female Olympic medallist, Kimia Alizadeh, has defected stating she doesn't want to be part of "hypocrisy, lies, injustice and flattery."

The 20-year-old won Taekwondo bronze at Rio 2016 and used social media to announce her defection while the country is in political turmoil.

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Alizadeh said the government used her success as propaganda while officials would humiliate her with comments such as: "It is not virtuous for a woman to stretch her legs."

The timing is particularly ironic.

It comes just days after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) reiterated their rules against athletes making political statements or gestures on the podium in Tokyo this summer.

The IOC immediately attracted criticism from some very high profile athletes arguing that sport cannot ever be separated from politics.

Royal comeback for Meath's lucky sponsor

Meath football fans will be interested to see Kepak's name return to their county jersey today.

Kepak sponsored their men for 14 years during all four All-Ireland victories under Seán Boylan's management.

The Clonee-based food company supported them even before the GAA first allowed sponsors' names on jerseys in 1991.

Royal players were the envy of their opponents amid reports that they got boxes of Kepak steaks to take home from training.

So the Meath ladies footballers, who were All-Ireland intermediate finalists in 2019, will be hoping for a similarly successful partnership when Kepak are announced as their new sponsor today.

No Super Bowl for MVP-elect Jackson

The Baltimore Ravens' shock exit, on home soil, at the hands of the sixth-seeded Tennessee Titans means there'll be no Super Bowl appearance yet for the NFL's new superstar Lamar Jackson.

The outrageous skill of the second-year quarter-back had completely dominated American football this season.

He'd only given the ball away eight times before this shock defeat.

But, when it mattered most, he had three turnovers, two interceptions and nailed only 31 of his 59 passes, a pass completion rate of just 63 per cent which was his second lowest this season.

The giant-killing Titans, who also took out the defending champions (New England Patriots) last week, are now the big story as the playoffs reach the business end.

Ref puts it all on line for Serie A tie

A Serie A match between Hellas Verona and Genoa was delayed by 15 minutes yesterday after the referee insisted some of the pitch markings be re-drawn.

Yes, pitch markings are often very feint or washed away completely at this time of year but that wasn't the problem.

He reportedly wanted the lines around the penalty area re-drawn because they weren't straight enough.

Irish Independent

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