The excitement to witness British thoroughbred Frankel's final run could attract Ascot's "biggest modern-day crowd outside the royal meeting," according to Marcus Townend of the London DAILY MAIL. Trainer Henry Cecil's unbeaten colt will make its 14th career start in the Champion Stakes on Oct. 20. Ascot's autumn capacity is only 30,000 as it is "stripped of the temporary facilities used at its great summer festival." Officials believe Frankel "could increase that" to around 40,000 if capacity is allowed. The Premier enclosure has already sold out (DAILY MAIL, 9/3).
Events and Attractions
The volunteer program for the 2014 World Cup closed the application process on Tuesday. FIFA and the Local Organizing Committee "already received at least 10,000 more applications than they were hoping." By Monday afternoon, a record number of 100,000 people had applied for volunteering positions for either the Confederations Cup or the World Cup. FIFA and LOC will choose 18,000 volunteers for the World Cup and another 6,000 for the Confederations Cup (UOL.com.br, 9/4). ... Brazilian magazine Veja leaked pictures of the FIFA 2014 World Cup mascot. The mascot is an armadillo "with green eyes, a Brazilian jersey and holding a football in his hand." FIFA is to confirm the news "later this month." The name of the mascot will be chosen through an online poll similar to the one that was run for the official World Cup ball (TRIBUNAHOJE.com, 9/4). ... FIFA’s 16th annual FIFA Fair Play Days campaign kicked off at the semi-finals of the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup 2012 when Nigeria took on the U.S., and the Japanese hosts played Germany. The campaign will also take place during the official int'l match dates between Sept 7-11 (FIFA). ... The second Asian Masters Squash Championship started at the Punjab Squash Complex in Pakistan on Monday, and the final of the event will be played on Sept. 6 (PAKISTAN TODAY, 9/4).
EVENTS OUT EAST: The 2012 World Martial Arts Festival, sponsored by UNESCO, will kick off a week-long event on Friday in Chungju, Chungcheong province. The host city "is known as the mecca of taekgyeon, a traditional Korean martial art," which was designated by UNESCO last year on its list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity (KOREA HERALD, 9/4). ... British snooker player Ronnie O'Sullivan will go to China in October "to resume a career" at the World Snooker Int'l Championship in Chengdu, Sichuan province from Oct. 28-Nov. 4. The event is organized by Chengdu's municipal government, the Multi-balls Games Administrative Center of the General Administration of Sport of China, CCTV-5 and the Sichuan Sports Bureau. The total prize money for the event will come to $950,000, and the winner of the event will pocket $199,000 and 8,000 points (CHINA DAILY, 9/4).