Bach had previously said the IOC would make an announcement about postponing the 2020 Olympics in the next four weeks.___Taiwan’s professional baseball league has set April 11 as the revised date for opening day.The start of the Taiwan-based Chinese Professional Baseball League’s season has been delayed twice this month because of the coronavirus pandemic.The CPBL’s website says the opening game would go ahead in a closed stadium but there could be up to 150 season ticket holders allowed entry under strict social distancing guidelines if the government approves. Sports leagues across Asia have been postponed or suspended because of the virus outbreak. The professional baseball and soccer leagues in Japan are aiming to start or resume their seasons in late April.___Japan’s NHK public television says Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will propose a one-year postponement for the Tokyo Olympics during talks with IOC President Thomas Bach.Abe says a postponement is unavoidable if the 2020 Games cannot be held in a complete manner amid the coronavirus pandemic.Abe held telephone talks with Bach after IOC said it would make a decision on the Tokyo Games over the next four weeks. Associated Press March 24, 2020 The Latest: Abe says IOC agrees ‘100%’ on postponment ___The European club rugby finals in May have been suspended because of the coronavirus outbreak.Governing body European Professional Club Rugby announced the decision a day after a conference call by the board.The Champions Cup and second-tier Challenge Cup had already suspended the quarterfinals scheduled for next month. Now the semifinals on May 1-3 and the finals in Marseille set for May 22-23 are off.EPCR says it “remains committed to completing the 2019-20 Heineken Champions Cup and Challenge Cup season.” Australian soccer’s A-League has suspended its season indefinitely because of the coronavirus outbreak.That brings an end to all professional football competitions in Australia and New Zealand.Football Federation Australia chief executive James Johnson says the latest measures imposed by the federal government made it impossible for the A-League to continue. The league had only a few regular-season games remaining before the playoffs. Johnson said the postponement will be reviewed on April 22.Johnson says “as a national competition played in all parts of Australia, as well as New Zealand, mission complicated became mission impossible.”Newcastle’s 2-1 win over Melbourne City at an empty stadium on Monday was the last game completed. Sydney FC leads the standings with 48 points after 20 games. Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditThe Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:___Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says IOC President Thomas Bach has agreed “100%” to his proposal of postponing the Tokyo Olympics for about one year until 2021 because of the coronavirus outbreak. ___The Tokyo Olympic torch relay will start Thursday as planned in northeastern Fukushima prefecture but with no torch, no torchbearers and no public because of the coronavirus outbreak.There will be an Olympic flame carried in a lantern and transported by a vehicle along what organizers hope will be empty roadsides.The Tokyo Games and the relay have been caught in limbo since International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach said four weeks were needed to decide on an inevitable postponement of the planned opening on July 24. He has ruled out a cancellation.___ ___More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports,Tampa Bay Lightning advance to face Dallas Stars in Stanley Cup finals, beating New York Islanders 2-1 in OT in Game 6
In the first tennis match to ever be broadcasted on the Big Ten Network, the No. 34 Wisconsin men’s team could not secure a victory against No. 11 Illinois, losing 4-3.In its conference season opener, Wisconsin (10-5, 0-1) seemed to be on its way to an impressive win after claiming the doubles point and winning four first sets in singles.From there, however, the Badgers lost momentum and allowed the Illini to sneak right past them.Head coach Greg Van Emburgh expressed extreme displeasure with how his team finished the game after positioning themselves so favorably to win.“I’m just really disappointed,” he said. “We didn’t close out matches — just an unfortunate day. Hats off to [the Illini], they had a good match and they found ways to dig a little deeper today in the third sets and get the wins.”After again making it a point to cultivate the doubles teams in practice all week, Van Emburgh was impressed with his team’s performance in that regard.Junior Marek Michalicka and senior Moritz Baumann reunited to take on No. 68 Marek Czerwinski and Stephen Hoh in doubles. The Badger duo, ranked No. 11, marched through the game of fastballs and precise placement to win 8-4.On the neighborly court, seniors Luke Rassow-Kantor and Michael Dierberger traded blow after blow with Illinois’ Abe Souza and Connor Roth. In a game of smart, advantageous play, neither pair separated themselves by more than one point from their opponent. Down 7-6 against the Illini, Rassow-Kantor and Dierberger were able to rally by winning two consecutive sets to clinch the doubles point.“I thought they (Rassow-Kantor, Dierberger) played great in doubles,” Van Emburgh said. “Illinois is good in their doubles and they actually favor that point. We came out and played really well and we won that point today — I thought we did a great job in doubles.”Momentum didn’t fade during the short break between singles and doubles as four Badgers won their opening sets. Ranked No. 11 for a reason, however, Illinois was able to force an extra set in three of those matches. One of the quicker singles matches saw Michalicka stretch his singles winning streak to 11 consecutive.Michalicka showed tremendous hustle as he turned away Illinois’ top ranked player, No. 36 Dennis Nevolo in two sets, 6-2, 7-5.“I think that was probably the best match I have played all season,” Michalicka said. “I couldn’t even believe how I played.”Meanwhile, freshman Billy Bertha and Dierberger dropped their three-set matches while Rassow-Kantor was ousted in two.With Illinois in need of one more singles victory to secure the win, the weight of the match fell on the shoulders of Baumann and sophomore Patrick Pohlmann at the No. 2 and 3 positions.Baumann struggled to find rhythm against Illinois’ Marek Czerwinski. After Baumann prevailed in the first set, the two hardly allowed the other to score two times in a row until Czerwinski topped out and won the tiebreaker to force a third set. Baumann never recovered, losing the third 6-3.With the match already decided, Pohlmann remained intent on upsetting No. 77 Abe Souza.Driven to a third set tiebreaker, Pohlmann repeatedly made his emotions audible as spectators and teammates continued to cheer him on. Feeding off the noise, Pohlmann was able to outlast a small comeback from Souza and close up the win.“I was up two match points, I was kind of disappointed that I didn’t really close it,” he said. “But then at the end I found a way to tie six-all and then in the tiebreaker, it’s almost like a lottery, and in the end I was the more lucky guy.”Pohlmann gave credit for his win to the fact that he put his confidence on display for his opponent. Though he stated he was unable to watch the other matches, he suggested that perhaps a lack of exhibiting confidence may have been a factor in the team’s losing three out of four three-set matches.When asked if the loss would harm team confidence in later matches, Pohlmann was quick to reject the idea.“No, definitely not,” he said. “They’re a top-15 team, so we knew that it was going to be a tough match.”In the meantime, though, the team understands there still remains more to be built on in order to beat highly ranked teams like Illinois.“We need to get back to work,” Van Emburgh said. “We’ve got to, obviously, learn from this match and then put this match aside. We need to work, work it hard and keep believing in our team. We have a great team, and Illinois is a great team and they found ways to win today. That’s really the difference, so slight.”
17-year-old Ben Woodburn became the youngest scorer in Liverpool history as they saw off Leeds United to qualify for the semi-finals of the EFL Cup at Anfield.The Welsh under-19 international sealed the 2-0 win in the 81st minutes after Divock Origi opened the scoring five minutes earlier.Liverpool will be joined in the semi-finals by Hull who defeated Newcastle on penalties after they finished 1-1 after extra-time. The quarter-finals continue this evening with two more games down for decision.At 8pm Manchester United and West Ham meet at Old Trafford for the second time in just four days.While at 7.45pm Arsenal and Southampton will be hoping to follow up on their wins from last weekend when the two teams meet at the Emirates.