La Liga Atletico Madrid coach DIEGO SIMEONE will sign a contract extension with the club this week that will see him stay until '17 (MARCA, 3/4). ... German regional public broadcaster RBB "has appointed DIRK WALSDORFF as head of its sports department." Walsdorff, who took over the position on Friday, replaced KATRIN GÜNTHER "who became head the program department service and sport at the beginning of the year" (DWDL, 3/4).
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Australia and New Zealand 2015 Cricket World Cup Organizing Committee Chair JAMES STRONG has died at the age of 68. The former Qantas chief executive "passed away in Sydney on Sunday after complications following surgery" (THE NATIONAL, 3/4). ... Former Uruguay forward LUIS CUBILLA has died at the age of 72. Cubilla "played in three World Cups for his country and as a coach won the Libertadores Cup twice with Paraguay’s Olimpia" (THE STAR, 3/4). ... Jamaican 100m world champion YOHAN BLAKE is the first "high-profile athlete" to sign up for the opening Diamond League event in Doha, Qatar on May 10 (AFP, 3/4). ... Former NBA player YAO MING was elected as a member of the 12th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference. Yao said that "his dream is to propel sports culture as he showed up on Sunday to fulfil his new role as a member of China's top political advisory body." Yao: "The Chinese dream starts from each person's own profession. My dream is that sports can become more than a way of winning our nation's glory, but a way to cultivate robust bodies and inspiring minds" (XINHUA, 3/4). ... Asian Games Gold Medalist MOHSEN SHADI NAGHADEH was left out of Iran rowing team "after he didn’t participate in the training camp in the southern Iranian city of Abadan." Iran rowing team is preparing for the 2013 World Rowing Championships (TEHRAN TIMES, 3/4). ... The Danish football Federation (DBU) has suspended striker NICKLAS BENDTNER from int'l football for six months "after being arrested for drink driving," they announced on Monday (AFP, 3/4). ... Acting Head Coach of the Japanese women’s judo team MASARU TANABE and assistants HITOMI KAIYAMA and MIDORI SHINTANI, "who were planning to quit in a show of protest," decided to stay on Monday after the All Japan Judo Federation suggested it would lift reprimands issued to them in connection with a scandal related to the abuse of 15 judoka (THE JAPAN TIMES, 3/5). ... World Cup-winning skier TINA MAZE "was placed under police protection" for a Super-G race on Sunday after an emailed death threat against her. The Slovenian finished fourth and "had two bodyguards close by after the race" which was won by ANNA FENNIGER of Austria (AP, 3/5). ... Bahrain's Sheikh SALMAN BIN IBRAHIM AL KHALIFA is among the nominees to be the Asian Football Confederation president. Al Khalifa is "part of the ruling family which is trying to contain continued violent unrest and political turmoil." The AFC said in a statement on Monday that Bahrain FA Chief Al Khalifa "is also in the running for an Asian seat on world governing body FIFA's executive committee" along with HASSAN AL THAWADI, from "controversial 2022 World Cup hosts Qatar" (REUTERS, 3/4).
RAFAEL NADAL: "Muy contento por mi victoria en Acapulco. Muchas gracias por vuestro apoyo siempre! Very happy for my victory in Acapulco. Thank you very much for your support!" (see picture)
London Guardian's OWEN GIBSON: "Beckham has become a global ambassador for China..When he's not being an ambassador for Qatar, presumably. Certainly a step up from Pepsi."
ORF's KATHARINA KRAMER: "Nette Dame gerade zu mir: "Ich kenn Sie! Ich seh Sie immer, wenn ich bügle!" :-D" ... ("A lovely lady just told me: "I know you! I always watch you when I iron!" :-D")
Limelight Sports' CHARLIE GREENWOOD: "i'm all for the logical argument of data but amazing how many forget the raw emotions that make sports #sponsorship so powerful in 1st place"
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