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28.11.2019 03:37
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LONDON -- The Ukrainian city of Lviv withdrew its bid for the 2022 Winter Games on Monday, becoming the third contender to drop out of the race for an Olympics that no one seems to want. Lviv pulled out because of the continuing political and security crisis in Ukraine, where government forces are battling an insurgency by pro-Russian separatists. Lviv officials said they would now focus on bidding for the 2026 Winter Games instead. The decision to withdraw, which had been widely expected, followed talks between Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk and IOC President Thomas Bach. "We concluded that it would be extremely difficult to pursue the 2022 bid under current circumstances but that a future bid would make sense for Ukraine and Ukrainian sport," Bach said in a statement. The announcement came exactly one week before the International Olympic Committee selects a short list of finalists for the 2022 Games. Three cities remain in contention: Almaty, Kazakhstan; Beijing, and Oslo. With Lviv out, the IOC executive board is likely to retain all three and not cut any of the candidates. The host city will be selected by the full IOC in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on July 31, 2015. "We have always said that we will only continue if we can be certain to deliver on all our promises," Lviv bid CEO Sergei Goncharov told The Associated Press. "Due to the current circumstances in Ukraine, we, however, felt that a bid for 2026 would make more sense. We remain convinced of the positive impact that hosting Olympic Games would have for the city of Lviv and the whole country." Lvivs withdrawal follows the earlier pullouts of Stockholm and Krakow, Poland. The Swedish capital dropped out in December after politicians declined to give financial support. The Polish city withdrew last month after 70 per cent of residents rejected the bid in a referendum. The future of Oslos bid also remains uncertain. The Norwegian government has yet to back the project and wont make a decision until the autumn. In addition, recent polls have shown that more than half the population opposes the games. If Oslo drops out later, that would leave only two cities standing. Almaty, commercial capital of the former Soviet republic of Kazakhstan in Central Asia, hosted the 2011 Asian Winter Games and would shape up as the favourite. Beijing, which hosted the 2008 Olympics, is bidding to become the first city to stage both the Summer and Winter Games. Beijing proposes holding Alpine events 120 miles (190 kilometres) away in the northern Chinese city of Zhangjiakou. And with Pyeongchang, South Korea, hosting the 2018 Winter Games and Tokyo the 2020 Olympics, the IOC would normally be reluctant to send the games to Asia for a third straight time. Even before the start of the official 2022 campaign, two potential serious contenders stayed away. St. Moritz-Davos and Munich cancelled proposed bids after voters in Switzerland and Germany voted "no" in referendums. The troubled race poses a crisis for the IOC, which is running out of potential sites for the games. Potential host cities, especially in Western Europe, are concerned about the financial costs of the games. Many have been scared off by the $51 billion price tag associated with Februarys Winter Olympics in Sochi. Russia spent much of the record sum on long-term infrastructure projects for the entire region. Rio de Janeiros delayed preparations for the 2016 Olympics are also a major concern. Changes to the bidding process and efforts to reduce the cost of the games are among the key issues being addressed by the IOC as part of Bachs "Agenda 2020" -- his blueprint for the future of the Olympic movement that will be voted on in December. Despite their withdrawal, Lviv bid officials have travelled to Pyeongchang this week for debriefings on the Sochi Games. Bach said the IOCs preliminary assessment of the Lviv bid found "a huge potential for future development." "We will continue to pursue our dream," Goncharov said. "We have learned a great deal during our first ever bid and we will come back stronger." Ryan Castellani Jersey . Starters, when they struggle, have to live with it for five days. For Sergio Santos and Steve Delabar, two of the three men who authored one of the ugliest pitched innings in Blue Jays franchise history on Thursday night, the bounce-back chance came right away. Stitched Rockies Jerseys . Nine-year veteran Danny Granger did not make his debut with the Clippers because of a technicality on the teams active list, which is signed by coach Doc Rivers before every game and relayed to the officials. 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In addition to the game being aired in its entirety on CTV Two Vancouver Island and TSN.ca, TSN2 will also have coverage of Whitecaps FC immediately following NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: Toyota Owners 400.MACKSVILLE, Australia - The funeral for cricketer Phillip Hughes turned into a celebration of his life on Wednesday despite the grief and sorrow still evident from his death.Australia captain Michael Clarke and the rest of the test squad were joined by former and current players from around the world, and friends and relatives from Hughes hometown of 2,500 people on the northern coast of New South Wales state, 575 kilometres (350 miles north of Sydney).Clarke was a pallbearer and spoke at the funeral service held at the Macksville Recreation Centre and which opened to the song Forever Young by Youth Group.The service closed with Elton Johns Dont Let the Sun Go Down on Me, the same song the famous entertainer and avid cricket fan performed at a concert last weekend in Germany in tribute to Hughes.Hughes died last Thursday, aged 25, after being hit near the ear by a ball during a match between South Australia and his former state side New South Wales at the Sydney Cricket Ground. His 26th birthday would have been Sunday.In steaming temperatures of nearly 30 Celsius (85F) early arrivals to the service, including Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, fanned themselves with papers. Most of those who wore sports jackets and blazers had taken them off, some with sleeves of their white shirts rolled up to their elbows.At the front of the hall, near the altar for the Roman Catholic service, was Hughes oak brown casket. Flowers and cricket bats, one with his test cap on the handle, were nearby.Leading the service, which included a video tribute, Father Michael Alcock remembered the batsman as a shining light.In his short time he walked as a child of the light, not in an ostentatious way but in a natural, unassuming and passionate way, the priest said.Jason Hughes, Phillips older brother, said his sibling was destined to be a rock star.I couldnt have asked for a better little brother, Hughes said as his parents Greg and Virginia wept in the front row of the congregation.Clarke, who has described Hughes as the brother he never had, broke down frequently last weekend at the SCG when he first commented on his close friends death.On Wednesday, he tookk several deep breaths before he began his remarks at the funeral, saying Hughes would definitely call me a sook right now.ddddddddddddI dont know about you, but I keep looking for him, Clarke said. I want to see his face pop up around the corner.After Clarke and the other pallbearers placed Hughes casket in the hearse for a procession through the town, he put his hands on his hips, later wiping tears from his eyes.Indias stand-in captain Virat Kohli, team director Ravi Shastri and former Australian wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist walked down the aisle together, part of a large group following the casket out of the hall.Sean Abbott, the 22-year-old who bowled the delivery which fatally injured Hughes, was at the funeral. He was consoled by members of Hughes family, and Clarke earlier said Abbott should not be held responsible.The family had asked for Hughes hearse to go through the towns streets to give locals a chance to take part in the service. The kilometre-long procession ended in the centre of town, where the hearse took Hughes coffin to a private service, and Australias cricketers plus family and friends were to hold a wake.The funeral was telecast live around Australia and on video screens at the Adelaide Oval, where the rescheduled first test with India will start next Tuesday, and the SCG, where a row of 63 bats were propped up against pickets, each with an inscription of a special moment of Hughes career.Owners of many shops and businesses shut down to attend the funeral, and schoolchildren were let out of their classes early Wednesday to watch or attend the service.In Macksville, Hughes cousin Nino Ramunno spoke at length about Hughes youth in Macksville as a keen, budding cricketer. One, who, if he lost a toss to determine who bats at the beginning of a match, kept suggesting it would be a best of three, five, or seven, or longer, until he won it.Ramunno ended his remarks with a saying he said he received from a family friend, in reference to Hughes: He who lives in the hearts of so many, never dies.___AP Sports Writer Dennis Passa in Brisbane and AP photographer Rick Rycroft in Sydney contributed to this story. ' ' '

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