International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach has confirmed that Budapest, Hamburg, Los Angeles, Paris and Rome are the five cities bidding to host the 2024 Olympics and Paralympics.

It was well known that all five would be putting themselves forward and there have been no surprise late entries to the contest ahead of today's announcement.

Paris, the French capital, will seek to host the Games exactly 100 years after they last did so in 1924, while Italian capital Rome also held the Summer Olympics previously, in 1960.

If Los Angeles is successful the American city will become a three-time host after staging the Games in both 1932 and 1984, while Hamburg is seeking to become the first German host since the Munich Olympics of 1972.

Hungarian capital Budapest has never been a host.

"The IOC welcomes five outstanding cities to this strong competition to host the Olympic Games in 2024," said Bach.

"We are delighted to see that all five have really embraced Olympic Agenda 2020.

"Olympic Agenda 2020 has shaped the Candidature Process more as an invitation and the cities have responded by engaging with the IOC through dialogue and cooperation.

"We look forward to a fascinating and fair competition.

"It is a diverse and creative field."

The IOC have also confirmed that they will pay $1.7billion (£1.1billion/€1.5billion) in cash and services to the organising committee of the winning city.

A deadline for cities to submit applications expired at midnight.

Canada's largest city Toronto had been mulling over a bid, but its Mayor John Tory confirmed they wouldn't be entering yesterday.

Azerbaijan's capital Baku was also a contender to enter the race but have not done so on this occasion.

When asked if he expected more than five entrants, Bach said: "I didn’t expect more.

"This competition is about quality and not about quantity."

The President also played down the merits of continental rotation for Olympic hosts with the three Winter and Summer Games after Rio 2016 all taking place in Asia and four of the 2024 candidates coming from Europe.

"I do not think that this will play a major role," he said.

"We have now three Olympic Games in a row in Asia, this shows that this informal rotation which we always saw in the past is losing importance in a more globalised world.

"This continental rotation is losing importance."

A final decision will be made by the IOC at their session in Lima, Peru, in September 2017.


Trinidad-based regional sporting network, WI Sports has upped the ante on its involvement with the Secondary Schools’ Football League (SSFL) for the newly commenced 2015 – 2016 season.

Founded in 2010, WI Sports is the only local network dedicated solely to the promotion of local and regional sports and airs on Flow Channel 14.

In addition to filming and broadcasting two games per week live on and providing ambulance services at the games to be broadcasted, WI Sports will also provide significant advertising of the league on its channel and on popular Flow channels every week.

Now visible in neighbouring islands such as Curacao, Barbados, St Vincent and St Lucia, WI Sports has also partnered with the Public Transport Service Corporation (PTSC) to provide bus transportation to visiting schools throughout the season.

The main sponsors of the Secondary Schools’ Football League are BGTT and First Citizens.

WI Sports’ Founder and Managing Director, Peter C Lewis extended best wishes to all the players and teams in the SSFL, thanked Flow for their continued support and reiterated the network’s commitment to promoting the sporting talents of the nation – and by extension, the region.

“WI Sports has been working closely with the SSFL since our inception,” he explained, “but coming into the new season we really wanted to do more to impact upon the lives of these young and talented student-athletes… So we thought about various ways in which we could add to the efficiency and the promotion and the allure of the tournament.

We came up with a number of initiatives and incentives for the players, the longstanding sponsors, as well as for the viewing audience and the host of family members and friends who support the league.

“We look forward to working with Flow, the SSFL and all the sponsors who support the development of our next generation of student-athletes.” PTSC’s General Manager, Carl Ramdeo said the corporation is delighted to be associated with the SSFL. “We have been involved with sport across TT but this is a new addition,” said Ramdeo.

“We have been associated with cricket and we have been the transportation supplier for the National Football Team. We have also helped with tennis, chess, volleyball and basketball and today we are thrilled to be associated with the Secondary Schools’ Football League, as we get on the road with our young people aiming for the next World Cup and for several World Cups to come.”


Britain will host the 2016 International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation (IBSF) Congress, it has been announced.

The decision was made following the recent Congress in the Belgian city Ghent and the British Bobsleigh and Skeleton Association are hoping to stage the event in London in June.

At the Congress, the venue for the 2020 IBSF World Championships will be decided and the race calendar for the 2017 season will be confirmed and announced.

Around 150 delegates from approximately 38 nations are set to descend on London for the Congress, which will mark the 90th anniversary of the founding of the sport’s governing body in Britain.

“Bobsleigh and skeleton are Britain's most successful winter sports and we are immensely proud to have been selected to host the Congress of the International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation,” British Bobsleigh and Skeleton Association chairman Christoper Rodrigues said.

“Welcoming colleagues and competitors to Great Britain in our 90th year is a particular honour and will be a centrepiece of our anniversary celebrations.”

It is only the second time since 2007 that Britain has played host to the world’s largest gathering of delegates in the sport and the announcement comes off the back of a successful year for bobsleigh and skeleton for the nation.

Lizzy Yarnold won skeleton gold at the FIBT World Championships in Winterberg, Germany, to add to the Olympic title she claimed at the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi.

Britain’s four-man bobsleigh team have also enjoyed a reasonably successful year, however, they have made a habit of agonisingly finishing fifth.

They have managed the feat at the last three major championships, including Sochi 2014.

At the 2015 Congress in Ghent, members of the IBSF unanimously approved a change in the organisation’s name.

The world governing body had previously been called the FIBT - Fédération Internationale de Bobsleigh et de Tobogganing - but they will now be known as IBSF.


Olympic track gold medallist Mark Lewis-Francis has become the latest sprinter to move into bobsleigh.

The 33-year-old, who triumphed at Athens 2004 with Great Britain's 4x100 metre relay team, has joined British Bobsleigh's squad ahead of the new season of the Winter sport.

He is now aiming to medal again at the next Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, in 2018.

"I'm all about challenges, I’ve already won a gold medal in the Summer Olympics and if I can win a medal at the Winter Olympics, I’ll be a happy man,” said Lewis-Francis.

"We’ve got a strong team already, they’ve come fifth at the last two World Championships and the Olympics so if I can slot in there somewhere and help them gain two or three places, it’s job done.

“The success the team have had really excites me.

"I’m definitely not coming just for the ride.

"I don’t just want to help them win medals - I want to be a big part of it.

"I want to put as much work in as the rest of the guys and achieve what they want they want to achieve.

“I’m loving the fact that British Bobsleigh and the British Bobsleigh & Skeleton Association have given me this opportunity and I’m going to grab it with both hands.”

Americans Lauryn Williams and Lolo Jones are among the other athletes who have competed in both sports.

British Bobsleigh described the acquisition of Lewis-Francis as a "major coup".

“For an Olympic gold medalist to want to come and be a part of the programme shows that we’re on the right track,” said Performance Director Gary Anderson.

“We’ve made the sport attractive to guys like Mark, they know there is a chance of a medal, and that’s what they want.

“Mark is a guy who likes to engage, and that’s something that we like about him.

"He’s extremely confident and has lots of ability.

"He’s won the highest accolade you can in sport and he was part of a team when he won that medal.

"That’s also very important to us because he clearly knows how to interact with the group.

“We know how fast Mark can run and we know his pedigree - that’s a given.

"We’ve been inducting him into the sport down at our push track facility in Bath, and that’s quite a fast process.

"He’s met the athletes and trained with them and he’s working with the coaches to look at transferring his speed into pushing, because that’s what we do - we push a sled.

“I’m fairly certain that Mark will push a sled quickly: he has everything that our research suggests he needs to do that and I’m excited about seeing him out on the ice this winter.”


The US Attorney General Loretta Lynch has strongly suggested that a further wave of arrests in relation to the FIFA corruption scandal could come about.

Lynch was speaking in Zurich at press conference organised by the International Association of Prosecutors updating the world on the investigation by US authorities alongside Swiss Attorney General Michael Lauber.

In May, 14 senior FIFA-linked officials were arrested in Zurich and Lynch that day revealed details of the fraud, conspiracy and corruption charges against the charged men just days before Sepp Blatter was re-elected as FIFA president.

However, the impact of the scandal played a decisive role in his decision, only four days later, to announce his intention to stand down. A new president will be elected at an extraordinary congress on February 26.

Lynch said: “In the four months since May our work and the investigation has continued. Thirteen of the 14 defendants have been arrested either by us or by other authorities. Three have been arraigned in a federal court in Brooklyn; 10 others are pending extradition in Switzerland and three other countries.

“Our investigation is ongoing and has expanded since May. On the basis of new evidence we anticipate pursuing additional charges against individuals and entities.”

Lynch refused to comment on whether Blatter was one of those who could be charged in the future and extradited.

She said: “I have no comment on individuals who may or may not be subject to the next round of arrests so I cannot give you any information about Mr Blatter’s travel plans.”

However, she did have a stern warning about the need for urgent reform in the sport.

“The problem of corruption in soccer is global and we will remain vigilant,” Lynch said. “One hallmark has guided our work: all individuals involved in soccer, this beloved sport through which we teach sportsmanship, integrity and fair play, must be committed to reform and compliance with the rule of law.

“To anyone who seeks to live in the past, this global response sends a clear message: You are on the wrong side of progress and do a disservice to the integrity of this wonderful sport.”

Lauber confirmed that as part of the Swiss authorities investigation, which is not directly linked to the US one, assets had been seized including real estate in the Swiss Alps.

However, he would not reveal who they belonged to for “tactical reasons”.

Lauber also revealed that around 11 terabytes of data had been collected.

The investigations continue.


Richard “Torpedo” Thompson will be in Florida in the first week of November, training under the watchful eyes of his new coach Ato Boldon.

Thompson, who cut short his 2015 season because of a knee injury, told the Express he is eagerly anticipating his partnership with Trinidad and Tobago's quadruple Olympic medallist.

“I'm looking forward to the move. I can't want to start training with Ato. It's the change that I need. There's no guarantee that it will work but I think any athlete has to give himself the best chance and opportunity to perform at a high level.”

Thompson earned silver at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China, finishing second to Jamaican sprint legend Usain Bolt in the men's 100 metres dash. Thompson also has two Olympic 4x100m silver medals, as well as a World Championship sprint relay silver. Individually, though, he has not been able to reproduce his Beijing 2008 podium success at the global level.

“I always say out of any bad situation something good comes. Being injured this year gave me a lot of time to sit back and reflect on the past couple of years as a professional athlete. I know I haven't performed to the standard I expect for myself and what others expect from me as well. As a result I decided to make a switch.

“I wanted a new environment,” the triple Olympic silver medallist explained, “and I wanted a new programme. I'm extremely grateful to coach Dennis Shaver and everything coach and the LSU (Louisiana State University) programme has done for me over the years. They've been great to me and moulded me into the professional athlete that I am today.

“But I just felt like I had gotten to a point in my career where I had been stagnant. I had literally been doing everything, from massages, strength and conditioning training, all the different things, and utilising the necessary resources and tools to get myself better, and I wasn't seeing the improvement that I wanted to make.”

Boldon, meanwhile, was coaching teenager Khalifa St Fort in Florida. The American-born teenager made huge strides under Boldon's guidance. She lowered her personal best in the 100m to 11.19 seconds, and earned silver for T&T at the 2015 IAAF World Youth Championships and gold at the Pan American Junior Championships. She was also part of the women's 4x100m squad that bagged bronze at the IAAF World Championships.

“It came to my attention,” said Thompson, “that Ato was coaching Khalifa, who I believe is a huge talent and has great potential to do big things eventually. I always said that I think Ato would make a great coach. He's very knowledgeable, he's very up to the time, and he's a very proud person so if he puts his hands on something he wants it to be done in a particular way.

“I thought about it for a while,” the Torpedo continued, “then I picked up the phone and I called him, and I asked him if he would be interested in helping me to prepare for the 2016 Rio Olympics. He jumped at the opportunity, he was extremely enthusiastic about it. We started planning one time. It's a great, great relationship. It moved from Ato being my idol to becoming my friend to becoming my mentor and motivator, to now being my coach.”

Thompson is currently in Trinidad, preparing for his move to Florida.

“Shayne Cooper is helping me, Orlando Ortega, Peter Campbell. They are pretty much preparing me to be ready for Ato. I know Ato's programme is going to be tough, and I want to show up ready for whatever he has in store for me to do. I had a knee injury this year and that's something we had to focus on as well.

“I will officially start training with Ato in the first week of November. Ato is the head of the table. He is the one in charge and has the final say.”

Thompson said he will benefit from being part of a small training group.

“There's Khalifa, and also the possibility of another athlete coming over. Regardless of who it is, it still means intimate work. It wouldn't be a big group of us. That way Ato has time to have a special eye on us. That's essentially what I need right now. I need eyes on me full-time to straighten out some of the mistakes I've been making. These little details sometimes make a huge difference.”

Thompson, the national record holder in the 100m at 9.82 seconds, is confident he can still compete with the world's best sprinters.

“With the level Bolt and (Justin) Gatlin are performing at right now, and young kids like Trayvon Bromell and Andre De Grasse coming up and medalling in World Championships this year, it's tough competition. In order to put myself back in the mix again, there's a lot of work to be done.”

Bolt, the reigning world and Olympic champion in both sprints, will be the man to beat at the Rio Games.

“Just mounting the podium again would be a huge success for me,” said Thompson. “Bolt proved himself to be not just a physical champion this time, but he proved himself to be a mental champion, and he's a very difficult person to overthrow. People always say to shoot for the stars and you could beat whoever you put your mind to, which I essentially believe.

“But I also believe,” the 30-year-old T&T track star continued, “it has to be incrementally done, and you have to take small steps to eventually make it to the finish line. Right now I'm just taking those small steps, and it means me being 100 percent healthy again and working very hard running amongst the elite again. A medal in Rio would be the icing on the cake.”