The sailing community has paid tribute to British Olympic Gold Medalist ANDREW SIMPSON, "who died on Thursday after his team's yacht capsized in San Francisco Bay and trapped him underwater during training for the America's Cup," according to Carroll & Siddique of the London GUARDIAN. The 72ft Artemis catamaran tipped over at 1:15pm local time, "plunging its 13-strong crew into the water and trapping Simpson under the vessel's platform for about 10 minutes." Simpson won a Gold Medal in the 2008 Beijing Olympics as a crew member in the Star class, and "took silver last year at the London Games." He also "won a Star gold at the 2010 World Championships." Artemis CEO PAUL CAYARD: "The entire team is devastated by what happened." Royal Yachting Association Olympic Manager STEPHEN PARK described Simpson as "a fantastic sailor who got the best out of everyone he sailed with." The British Olympic Association said he was a "treasured and accomplished member of Team GB." LOCOG Deputy Chair KEITH MILLS "pulled out of an honours ceremony at Buckingham Palace on Friday because of Simpson's death" (GUARDIAN, 5/10).
SAFETY FEARS: In London, Nick Pitt wrote fears over the safety of the catamaran in which Simpson lost his life "were expressed months ago." The AC72 "was supposed to be the speed machine that would catapult America's Cup sailing into the high-octane, television-packaged world of sports" such as Formula 1. But now America's Cup Event Authority CEO STEPHEN BARCLAY "is refusing to rule out delaying the July 4 start of the Louis Vuitton Cup series, which determines the challenger to take on Oracle in the America's Cup proper." Barclay: "We need to know what happened" (SUNDAY TIMES, 5/12).
Man City "will sack" Manager ROBERTO MANCINI this week. Man City is "still debating the timings of the move," but the manager could be dismissed before the club’s match at Reading on Tuesday or, failing that, "before or immediately after the final game of the season against Norwich City at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday" (LONDON TIMES, 5/11). ... Spanish actor, TV host and announcer CONSTANTINO ROMERO died in Barcelona at age 65. Romero had announced his retirement from a 47-year career on Dec. 12. Romero "will forever be remembered for being the voice of the '92 Olympic Games in Barcelona" (MUNDO DEPORTIVO, 5/12). ... Premier League West Ham United Manager SAM ALLARDYCE "has signed a new two-year contract at the Premier League side" (REUTERS, 5/12). ... Dutch defender PATRICK ZWAANSWIJK said Friday that he "will retire after the Central Coast Mariners' AFC Champions League tie against China's Guangzhou Evergrande" (AFP, 5/10). ... Malaysia singles coach TEY SEU BOCK "has suggested a conspiracy" after badminton chiefs handed four-time Chinese winner LIN DAN a wildcard for this year's world championships. Tey Seu Bock said that the wildcard entry for the double Olympic champions -- which could affect the chances of Malaysia's world No. 1 LEE CHONG WEI -- "gave China an unfair advantage" (AFP, 5/10). ... ENGIN FIRAT "has been named as the new head coach of Saipa football team" (TEHRAN TIMES, 5/11). ... Cricket South Africa has confirmed that Proteas' coach GARY KIRSTEN "will not renew his contract in August, in order to spend more time with his family" (SOWETAN LIVE, 5/10).
BOLD PREDICTION: Sports broadcaster CLARE BALDING said that the England women's football team "will bring home a World Cup before the men's squad reclaim the title." Speaking at the launch of BT Sport, the telecom company's lavishly funded challenge to Sky's iron grip on Premiership football viewing, Balding said that "prospects for the women's game were improving." Balding: "Look at the women's Super League deal. That will really make a difference in a sport that has so much potential but is still semi-professional" (London GUARDIAN, 5/9).
LASTING LEGACY: China has shown its tribute to Spanish former IOC President JUAN ANTONIO SAMARANCH with a circular-shaped, 144,000-square-meter building. Samaranch brought the Olympics to Beijing in '08. Three years after his death, Samaranch Memorial Center was inaugurated April 21 in Tianjin, honoring the man who led the IOC from '80-01. Samaranch is the first foreign person China has awarded with this honor (EL PERIODICO, 5/11).
RTL's FLORIAN KÖNIG: "Ich habe aufgegeben die Boxenstopps zu zählen! #SpanishGP" ... ("I've stopped counting the pit stops! #SpanishGP")
Sky Sport News HD's NOAH PUDELKO: "Die @MercedesAMGF1 bleiben wohl #OneLapWonder. Schade für @nico_rosberg #ssnhd #f1sky" ... ("The @MercedesAMGF1 are likely continuing to be a #OneLapWonder. Too bad for @nico_rosberg #ssnhd #f1sky")
Euro Sport & Event Management Managing Dir CHRISTIAN MACHOWSKI: "Sir Alex Ferguson. Hats off to a unique Manager. What an act to follow."
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