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The Star Online: Sports

Gymnastics body to weigh moving worlds from Japan

Posted: 31 Mar 2011 05:48 AM PDT

LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) - The International Gymnastics Federation will consider moving the world championships from Tokyo because of concern over Japan's nuclear crisis.

FIG said Thursday it will decide by the end of May whether to go ahead with the Oct. 7-16 championships at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium. The event is the main qualifier for the 2012 London Olympics.

"The FIG and the gymnastics family worldwide are aware of the difficult and critical situation in Japan," the governing body said in a statement. "Today, the consequences of the nuclear catastrophe are still unknown and there is a worldwide anxiety and concern."

FIG said it would work closely with Japanese officials and "follow the development of the nuclear catastrophe closely."

It expressed "the sincere hope that the world championships can be held as foreseen without taking any risk for the health of the participants."

A decision could be taken when the FIG executive committee meets May 18-20 in San Jose, California.

The governing body said gymnasts and officials expressed "deepest sympathy with their Japanese friends."

Japanese organizers have said they still want to host the worlds.

"We do believe that we will host the (championships) in Tokyo successfully and hope to turn grief and sorrow of Japanese people into energy and courage," Hidenori Futagi, president of Japan's gymnastics federation, wrote last week in a statement published on the official event website.

In the aftermath of the devastating earthquake and tsunami, Japan has already given up hosting rights to figure skating's world championships. The event, which was scheduled to open March 21 in Tokyo, is now being held April 24-May 1 in Moscow.

Earlier Thursday, FIG said it had moved an aerobic gymnastics World Cup event from Tokyo.

FIG said the "unknown repercussions" of problems at the Fukushima nuclear planet mean the competition can't be held as planned on April 22-24.

The final event of the three-round World Cup series will now be hosted west of Tokyo on June 4-5 in Hamamatsu.

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Ryo Ishikawa to give 2011 golf earnings to victims

Posted: 30 Mar 2011 09:51 PM PDT

TOKYO (AP) - Golfer Ryo Ishikawa says he is giving all of his tournament earnings this year to the victims of the earthquake and tsunami in his native Japan.

Kyodo News reported Wednesday that the 19-year-old Ishikawa also is pledging money for every birdie he makes. If he plays like he did last year, Ishikawa could wind up giving more than $2 million (1.4 million euros) toward relief efforts.

He was No. 3 on the Japan Golf Tour money list in 2010, making just over $1.8 million (1.2 million euros), which includes his earnings from the PGA majors and the World Golf Championship. He led the tour by making 341 birdies last year, which could amount to another $412,000 (290,000 euros).

His pledge was for 100,000 yen (850 euros) for each birdie.

Ishikawa won his first pro tournament as a 15-year-old amateur.

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