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Melbourne announced as host city of 2026 Commonwealth games

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The Australian state of Victoria and the city of Melbourne will host the 2026 Commonwealth Games

The opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games will be held at Melbourne’s MCG, giving a much-needed injection of life back to the city once known for the world’s longest lockdown.

Premier Daniel Andrews said there will be a strong focus on hosting events in regional areas to help boost the economy.

The MCG will host the opening ceremony, however, most events will be hosted in regional hubs.

Photo: Courtesy of the MCG

“This will be a Commonwealth Games like no other. We promised we wouldn’t be doing a re-run of 2006, as successful as that was,” Premier Andrews said.

Photo: Premier Daniel Andrews.

Four hubs in Geelong, Bendigo, Ballarat and Gippsland will be established each with an athletes’ village. Shepparton will also host a series of events.  

Premier Andrews said hosting the games is an opportunity to highlight regional parts of Victoria and invest in sporting infrastructure in those areas.

Photo: Stadium in Geelong, which will focus on hosting swimming, diving, gymnastics, hockey, table tennis, triathlon and beach volleyball events.

He thanked the  Commonwealth commitee for accepting a bid focusing on reviving the regions.

“I’m sure from their point of view, it’s a bit riskier than just running it in the middle of a large city,” Premier Andrews said.

The Victorian government has estimated prosperous employment opportunities with over 4,000 jobs in the lead-up and throughout the games and another 3000 thereafter.

Minister for Regional Development Mary-Anne Thomas added, “We’ve always known the value of regional Victoria, and the 2026 Commonwealth Games will provide a chance to showcase all we have to offer to the world.”

Negotiations are continuing into commercial deals of the event.

The 2026 Melbourne Commonwealth Games will be the next event after this year’s event hosted in Birmingham, UK. Photo: Arena Birmingham

Amanda Gunn contributed to this report

Sport

Williams loses first round at Wimbledon

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There’s been a bit of drama on the court as the most prestigious tennis Grand Slam gets underway

Spectators filled the All England Club on Monday to watch the biggest tennis stars hit the court at Wimbledon.

After coming back from a lengthy break, Serena Williams lost in three sets to 24-year-old, Harmony Tan.

“When I saw the draw, I was really scared. I don’t know what to say, I’m so emotional now because she’s a superstar,” Tan says.

Tan took the first set 7-5, before Williams took over 6-1. Tan fought back to win a thrilling third set tie-breaker.

“Because it’s Serena Williams, she’s a legend. I was like, oh my God. How can I play? If I could win one game, or two games, it’s really good for me.”

HARMONY TAN

Despite her dramatic loss, the former world number one is brushing off retirement rumours.

Kyrgios spits at crowd

Meanwhile, in men’s singles, Aussie tennis star, Nick Kyrgios, caused a bit of a stir calling the chair umpire a “snitch” after she supposedly complained to the court umpire about his behaviour.

The 27-year-old will likely be up for a fine for also spitting towards a fan during the match.

Kyrgios says there was a lot of disrespect from the crowd, which is why he admitted to spitting towards a fan.

“I’ve been dealing with hate and negativity for a long time, so I don’t feel like I owed that person anything,” he says.

The ATP remains in crisis talks over Wimbledon’s Russia ban.

Katerina Kostakos contributed to this report

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Mike Riley steps down as referee chief

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One of the biggest names in the referee world, Mike Riley, has confirmed he will be stepping down as head of the English League referees

After 13 years, Mike Riley has confirmed he will be stepping down from his role as managing director of Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL).

The iconic referee leader will finish his role at the end of the 2022-23 season. Riley says he has enjoyed working in such a ‘dedicated group’.

“I am proud of the contribution our match officials have made to the professional game and have enjoyed working with a such a dedicated, professional and high-quality group at all of the levels that PGMOL manages.

As the elite referee development plan begins to take shape, now is the right time to plan for the future and allow the new leadership team to build on the strong foundations that we have in place. I look forward to working with the new team over the next season and giving them my support before I step down.”

mike riley

The Premier League formally thanked Riley for his contributions and commitment over the last 13 years.

“On behalf of the Premier League, I would like to thank Mike for his valuable contribution and significant commitment to PGMOL over the last 13 years as well as his considerable service to the game as an elite referee for 20 years,” said the Premier League chief executive, Richard Masters.

“During his time at PGMOL, he has worked hard to deliver and develop high-quality match officials across the professional game and led on the implementation of VAR into the Premier League three seasons ago.”

PGMOL

The search is now on to replace the top spot with Riley collaborating with the new team before officially stepping down.

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Hero coach rescues U.S. swimmer at Olympic event

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U.S. Swimming coach, Andrea Fuentes, has saved the life of an American Swimmer, Anita Alvarez, at the FINA World Championships

Fuentes dived into the pool to rescue unconscious Alvarez from the bottom after her Olympic qualifying event.

In a nightmare moment, the 25-year-old didn’t return for breath after her synchronised swimming event and instead began to sink.

In a split-moment decision, Coach Fuentes jumped into the pool to rescue her, after the lifeguards failed to act.

When a swimmer finishes their routine, the first thing they want to do is breathe and so I saw that instead of going up, she was going down and I told myself, ‘Something is going on’ … So I went in as fast as I could.”

Andrea Fuentes

The young Olympic medalist was unconscious and not breathing but quickly received medical attention on the edge of the pool.

She was taken to hospital and is now reportedly in ‘good health’.

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