Coronavirus: Here’s what’s happening in the sports world on Friday

The latest on how the coronavirus outbreak is affecting sports around the globe:

Pro tennis tournaments in Canadian cities cancelled

Tennis Canada announced the cancellation of three more events Friday due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Winnipeg National Bank Challenger men’s event, a women’s Challenger event in Saskatoon and the Odlum Brown VanOpen in Vancouver join the list of cancelled tennis events in Canada this season that includes the Rogers Cup women’s tournament in Montreal.

The Winnipeg and Saskatoon events were scheduled to take place July 13-19. The 18th edition of the Odlum Brown VanOpen, a mixed event on the ATP Challenger Tour and the ITF World Tennis Tour, was scheduled from Aug. 16-23.

Friday’s cancellations come one week after the announcement of the cancellation of two Quebec-based tournaments: the Granby National Bank Challenger and the National Bank Canadian Open Junior Championships in Repentigny.

World Triathlon Grand Final in Edmonton cancelled

The 2020 World Triathlon Grand Final in Edmonton has been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The International Triathlon Union announced the cancellation Friday, saying the global pandemic has made it impossible to stage the event.

The races were originally scheduled to take place Aug. 17-23.

“World Triathlon, along with the Edmonton Organising Committee, the City of Edmonton and all stakeholders and the community partners will continue to work closely together to find new options for the event to take place in the future, when it is safe to do so,” the ITU said in a release.

UFC returning to action without fans

The UFC is returning to competition on May 9 with three shows in eight days in Jacksonville, Fla.

The mixed martial arts promotion announced its plans Friday to return to action after postponing and cancelling several shows due to the coronavirus pandemic.

UFC 249 will be held May 9 at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville with no fans in attendance. The postponed pay-per-view show will still be headlined by Tony Ferguson’s interim lightweight title bout against Justin Gaethje.

UFC President Dana White also plans to hold shows on May 13 and May 16 at the same arena in Florida. Only “essential personnel” will be in the arena, according to White.

Nationals GM expects to see baseball in 2020

Washington Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo expects there to be a 2020 major league season.

Baseball has been on hold since last month because of the coronavirus pandemic, right along with most sports and other aspects of everyday life.

Rizzo said on a conference call Friday: “I’m optimistic, as is the commissioner, that we’ll have baseball in 2020. I’m upbeat about that. The most important thing is to do it in the right way and the safest manner we can. But I believe that we will have baseball.”

The GM said the owners of the World Series champions have committed to giving Nationals employees full salary and benefits through the end of May.

Summer X Games in Minneapolis cancelled

A Summer X Games stop in Minneapolis scheduled for July has been cancelled due to the coronavirus.

Earlier, the X Games postponed a winter event stop in Chongli, China, scheduled for February and cancelled an installment in Shanghai in May.

The action-sports event in Minneapolis was to be the fourth and final go-around in the city. The deal was originally for 2017 and ’18, but two more years were added after a successful first year.

X Games vice-president Tim Reed praised Minneapolis for its hosting of the event.

The X Games plans to bring regular and original programming through the World of X Games TV series and on digital and social channels. They will kick off an event called “Real Street” in May. It’s an all-video, all-street skateboarding competition shown on

A cure for bored sports fans

They’re ready to go live in Vanuatu.

A tropical island in the South Pacific is very likely to be the only venue in the world hosting a competitive cricket final on Saturday, as most international sport remains shuttered around the globe.

Vanuatu Cricket Association chief executive Shane Deitz is inviting anyone missing live action to tune in to a live stream.

“It’s one of the only live sports around the world at the moment. We can showcase a bit of cricket for everyone who is in lock down,” Deitz told the Associated Press.

Bored sports fans, he added, “can see something a bit different. We can offer some entertainment — that’s what we’re trying to do.”

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