Election fraud in Nigeria; Olympic misspending in Moscow
IOC refused to recognize Sani Ndanusa as head of Nigerian Olympic Committee
Investigations have begun into misspending by Russian senators on national team
Andrecia Wasson wins boxing world title; Brady Ellison wins archery title
Brady Ellison took another step toward a world No. 1 ranking, stunning Olympic gold medalist Im Dong-hyun of South Korea to win the World Cup Archery final in Edinburgh, Scotland on Sunday. Ellison first rallied from a 5-1 deficit in the second set against India's Jayanta Talukdar in the semifinals, winning the match on a one-arrow shoot-off. Ellison, 22, then beat Im Dong-hyun in the finals to earn the title and avenge an earlier loss to Im two years ago in Antalya, Turkey.
Ellison was a two-time world junior champion in the compound bow, a discipline that is not contested at the Olympics. Several years ago coaches convinced Ellison, who began shooting while he was still in diapers, to change to the recurve bow in order to pursue the Olympics. Ellison made his first Olympic team in Beijing, where he lost in the second round of the individual event and in the elimination round of the team competition.
With women's boxing soon joining the Olympic program, U.S. hopeful Andrecia Wasson of Center Line, Mich. made a big statement Saturday when she became the first U.S. boxer since 2001 to win a world title, outpointing England's Savannah Marshall, 5-4, during their welterweight bout in Barbados. Wasson, 18, used strong defense to frustrate Marshall and maintain an early lead. Two other U.S. boxers, lightweight Queen Underwood and light welterweight Cashmere Jackson, won bronze medals, giving the team three medals for the tournament. Devonne Canady was the last U.S. woman to box her way to world gold.
Look for the names of Tara Roenicke and Summer Ross on the sand in the next few years. Roenicke and Ross won the Under-21 World Championship in Antalya, Turkey on Sept. 18, topping Italy's Marta Menegatti and Viktoria Orsi Toth in the finals, 19-21, 26-24, 15-13. Amazingly, for all the success of U.S. beach volleyball players at the senior level, the victory marked the first world title for any U.S. junior beach team. Roenicke is a Houston Cougar. Ross became the youngest woman to qualify for an ATP Tour event when she teamed with Natalie Hagglund at age 16 last summer. She is currently a Washington Huskie recruit for the university's indoor volleyball team.
On the heels of the problems with India's Olympic program, the IOC refused to recognize last week's election of Sani Ndanusa as head of the Nigerian Olympic Committee. According to the IOC, the election results were held by a sports governing body that it has not sanctioned and thus does not recognize. The "congress assembly" conducted by Nigeria's National Sports Commission, in effect, selected Ndanusa, its former chairman, by a unanimous vote of 23 attending delegates, under rules that contravened the IOC charter regarding national Olympic committees. A new election is scheduled for Thursday for the office that IOC member Olabanji Oladapo officially still holds. Oladapo's supporters have accused Ndanusa of forging and altering documents regarding his group's operations.
And there is more news of organizational shenanigans in Moscow, where an investigation into possible misspending by Russian senators on the national team's winter Olympic preparations has begun. The chief target is sports minister Vitaly Mutko, a once respected soccer official, who expensed 97 breakfasts during his 20-day stay in Vancouver and spent $1,500 a night on his hotel room; a bit more than the $135 maximum permitted by the government. In all, Mutko spent $32,400 over three weeks. Still, the minister has claimed his innocence, noting that his bills are on par with others in his position around the world. His lavishness might never have become an issue were it not for the country's poor showing of 15 medals in Vancouver just four years before Sochi is scheduled to host the Games in 2014.
U.S. Figure Skating announced this week that it would nominate the entire 1961 U.S. world team to its Hall of Fame to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the tragic plane crash that took the lives of the entire delegation. The team was traveling to Prague for the World Championships in March of that year when the Sabena flight carrying the 18 skaters and 16 support staff crashed just before a stop in Brussels. The Owen family was hit especially hard. Coach Maribel Vincent Owen perished, as did her daughters, Maribel V., an ice dancer, and Laurence, the ladies champion that year and an SI cover subject. The championships were subsequently cancelled.