World Sports News in Brief

US Open venue to host 350-bed temporary hospital amid coronavirus pandemic

Tuesday, 2020-03-31 08:16:54
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Roger Federer of Switzerland hits to Yoshihito Nishioka of Japan in a first round match on day two of the 2018 US Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Centre. Aug 28, 2018; New York, NY, USA (Photo: USA TODAY Sports)
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A portion of the Billie Jean King National Tennis Centre is set to transform into a 350-bed temporary hospital on Tuesday, the USTA said, as the coronavirus outbreak strains resources in New York City, which has been dramatically affected by the pandemic.

The site of the US Open and the crown jewel of American tennis, the venue has been thrust into the fray amid a medical crisis that has gripped the world and brought professional sports to a sudden and indefinite halt.

* Augusta National Golf Club said on Monday it is donating US$2 million to assist the Augusta area in the fight against the coronavirus that has already forced it to postpone the Masters tournament it typically hosts every April. The club, the only permanent home for one of golf's four majors, said US$1 million would go to Augusta University to help expand coronavirus testing, while another US$1 million would go to the Central Savannah River Area's recently-launched COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund.

* If British industry succeeds in saving lives during the coronavirus pandemic it will be due in part to the pioneering role played by Formula One racing teams in the country. Seven of the 10 Formula One teams have joined forces with leading aerospace and engineering companies to ramp up production of ventilators while Mercedes has also worked with medics and academics to produce an alternative breathing aid.

* The British & Irish Lions tour of South Africa in July 2021 will not be shifted despite a direct overlap with the new dates for the Tokyo Olympic Games that were announced on Monday. The Olympics have been pushed back a year due to the global coronavirus pandemic and will now start on July 23, 2021, the day before the first of three tests on consecutive weekends between the Lions and world champions Springboks.

* UEFA will discuss the fate of this season's Champions League and its other competitions that have been suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic in a video conference meeting on Wednesday, European soccer's governing body said in a statement. All UEFA competitions have been halted because of the flu-like virus that has killed around 34,000 people, while this year's European Championship has been pushed back to 2021.

* Athletics' global governing body said on Monday it was now seeking dates in 2022 for its World Championships that had been scheduled for 2021. The championships had been scheduled for Aug 6-15, 2021 in Eugene, Oregon.

* Barcelona players will make an extra contribution on top of the 70% pay cut they have agreed to take during the enforced La Liga break so that the club's other employees can earn their full salaries during the coronavirus crisis, captain Lionel Messi said. The club's all-time top scorer was among many Barcelona players who released identical statements on social media on Monday to confirm the decision.

* Japan defender Gotoku Sakai has tested positive for coronavirus, his club Vissel Kobe confirmed on Monday, becoming the first J-League player to be named as having the virus. Sakai, who has 42 caps for Japan, first reported having a fever on Wednesday and was diagnosed with acute upper respiratory infection in a hospital the following day. His positive test for coronavirus was confirmed on Monday, the club said.