The Daily Telegraph - Business : 2020-09-08

Sport Rugby Union : 21 : 13

Sport Rugby Union

13 The Daily Telegraph Tuesday 8 September 2020 ** Sport Parkrun to return after six-month wait Riders and teams anxiously await virus test results Exclusive By Jeremy Wilson Government approves plan for events to start next month Research concludes risk is low with mitigation­s proposed By Tom Cary The Tour de France was holding its collective breath last night as around 650 riders and team staff anxiously awaited the results of the latest round of Covid-19 tests. After nine days of breathless action, cycling’s marquee race has decamped from the Pyrenees to the west coast of France for its first rest day. However, the mood was not all that restful with around 650 people inside the “race bubble” having undergone their first coronaviru­s tests since the grand depart in Nice, a Covid “red zone”, on Aug 29. Tests were carried out in a mobile laboratory, with the samples being sent for analysis yesterday. Any teams found to have two positives in their ranks – either riders or staff – in a week will be expelled from the race. Teams were due to be informed of the test results last night and their doctors have until 9am BST today to download those results on to a dedicated platform. Slovenia’s Primoz Roglic (JumboVisma) leads defending champion Egan Bernal (Ineos Grenadiers) by 21 seconds, having wrested the yellow jersey from the shoulders of Britain’s Adam Yates (Mitchelton­Scott) in the Pyrenees on Sunday. Parkrun, the mass-participat­ion running phenomenon, is planning to return in the United Kingdom next month after a break of more than six months. The Government has approved parkrun’s proposed framework to return, which includes a range of modificati­ons to minimise risk, and organisers will now work with volunteers and land owners to get events back up and running by the end of October. This timeline currently relates to England but parkrun are also working with authoritie­s in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to get their events open as soon as possible. There are seven million registered parkrun participan­ts and, with 350,000 runners and 30,000 volunteers on a weekly basis, it has become one of the most effective public health innovation­s of recent decades, especially in disadvanta­ged areas. Although parkrun has returned in some countries with very low rates of Covid-19 transmissi­on, there has been a strong desire to manage its resumption in the UK with the blessing of its community of participan­ts and volunteers as well as local residents. The plan is to bring back the junior parkrun at the same time as the regular parkrun. There are more than 1,000 parkrun locations and the events generally start on Saturdays at 9am. The junior event, which is run over 2km rather than 5km, takes place at 9am on a Sunday. It all follows research, led by Prof Mike Weed and Dr Abby Foad of Canterbury Christ Church University, which has concluded that outdoor sports events can be delivered without significan­tly increasing the Covid-19 risk. The Canterbury review concludes that “the risk of outdoor transmissi­on is low, unless the natural social distancing that takes place when ‘milling around’ in everyday life is breached”. Organisers are aware that the sight of hundreds of runners congregati­ng in a park could still raise concerns, but strict mitigation­s have been proposed and it is also strongly felt that there is a social and health imperative to get parkrun operating again. sis of inactivity could lead to other drastic health consequenc­es. The new guidelines will include no high-fives, a ban on spitting and potentiall­y longer courses to optimise space. As well as encouragin­g people to arrive on foot, bike or private transport, runners will be told to take part in local events. Hand sanitiser will be available to volunteers, pre-run briefings will be limited to two minutes, and social distancing will be required before the event. Considerat­ion will be given to moving start and finish areas to maximise available space and organisers have been told that distances could go up 500metres. Chrissie Wellington UK Sport warns welfare failings could lead to cuts Exclusive column: Why we need parkrun more than ever now By Jeremy Wilson Olympic and Paralympic sports have been warned that they could lose their funding if athlete welfare is not prioritise­d, after the British Athletes’ Commission revealed that it was on course for a quadruplin­g of referrals in two years. The BAC is the athlete representa­tive body that is funded by UK Sport and, having received 40 cases in the year to March 2018, that number doubled to 80 cases to March 2019 and stands at 80 in the first six months of this year. Its chief executive, Mahdi Choudhury, said that cases largely related to selection and deselectio­n, general welfare support, perception­s of bullying and harassment and safeguardi­ng. UK Sport and Sport England launched an independen­t review in July into British Gymnastics after abuse allegation­s. UK Sport revealed its own latest “Culture Health Check” of 1,100 Olympic and Paralympic-funded athletes yesterday. Of potential consequenc­es for sports, Sally Munday, UK Sport’s chief executive, said: “We will take money away if we think that needs to happen.” Munday stressed that she was confident that the “vast majority of people” within the system were “doing the right thing”. Johnson strolls to $15m jackpot and sets sights on US Open glory their 66s for 18-under totals meant they collected $4.5million each. Tyrrell Hatton finished seventh and, as he has played only 11 tournament­s on the PGA Tour this season, his $4 million in earnings is a remarkable return. Hatton, 28, would have finished in a tie for third on 10 under without the adjusted scoring and, with his final-round 66, he collected $1.3million. He has reinforced his position as the top Englishman in the world rankings. Hatton also finished as the top UK player, with Rory McIlroy one shot further back after a 67. Of course, McIlroy has far more worthy things to celebrate, with his first child Poppy having been born last Monday, but this was his first top-10 finish in more than six months. Lockdown or not, that must bode well for the 31-year-old’s challenge at Winged Foot. The bogey on the 18th cost him nigh on £200,000. He will not fret. GOLF CORRESPOND­ENT By James Corrigan As strolls to the ultimate cashpoint in golf go then Dustin Johnson’s languid meander last night was almost without wobble. The world No1 began with a five-shot lead at the FedEx Cup finale at East Lake, saw it whittled down to two on a few occasions, but he was still there at the end, nonchalant­ly punching in a 68 and a 21-under number. And so $15million (£11.4million) came tumbling out in readies and the 36-year-old at last managed to smile. How could he not? Especially as the money did not mean a thing. Of course. “I wanted to be a FedEx champion, it’s something in my career I always wanted to be,” he said. “No lead is safe around here, I knew I’d have to play well. I hit the fairways when I needed to, but the guys put up a good fight. Now, a few days off before the next major.” There can be no doubt that Johnson will be favourite for the US Open in 12 days’ time. This was the fourth time in Johnson’s past four starts he had held the 54-hole lead and the second time he had converted it into silverware. And, yes, the pure FedEx gold. Johnson has at last put some daylight between himself and his rivals in the rankings and his ball-striking suggests there is room for much more. What should truly worry the rest is that he seems determined which, without irony, is not his usual persona. His father-in-law, the ice-hockey legend Wayne Gretzky, was there in Atlanta watching him and if he has finally got into in his head then, with the Masters taking place in November, it could be very interestin­g indeed. Credit to fellow Americans Justin Thomas and Xander Schauffele for at least introducin­g a few speed bumps into the procession. Schauffele deserves special mention as, if the scores had started level at the start of the tournament and if there was not a handicappe­d system on FedEx Cup rankings, he would have won this Tour Championsh­ip by two strokes. But still there was grand consolatio­n for him and Thomas as

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