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The International Fencing Federation ( FIE) elected Alisher Usmanov as President. He succeeds René Roch, who was named Honorary FIE President. The Congress ratified the provisional affilia-tion of the following federations: Belize, Benin, Cameroon, Côte d'Ivoire, Gabon, Syrian Arab Republic, Sri Lanka and Togo. Info at www. fie. ch The International Basketball Federation ( FIBA) has announced the construction of the " Home of Basketball" in the town of Mies ( Switzerland). Work on building the new FIBA headquarters should begin in spring 2010 and end in early 2012. Press release at www. fiba. com. The International Boxing Association ( AIBA) has named Badar- Uugan Enkhbat ( Mongolia) and Katie Taylor ( Ireland) as the Best Boxers of 2008. Enkhbat won Olympic gold in the 54kg category at the Beijing Games, becoming the first Olympic boxing champion from Mongoli, while Taylor was world champion in the 60kg category. www. aiba. org The Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games saw the largest cumulated TV audience in the history of the Paralympic Games. Worldwide, more than 3.8 billion people in 38 monitored countries watched the best Paralympic athletes compete in Beijing during more than 1,800 hours broadcasted. Several more broadcasting records were broken in Beijing, including more Rights Holding Broadcasters seen at the Paralympics than ever before, 64 in total. China as the host country attracted the largest cumulated audience with nearly 1.4 billion people, followed by Japan ( 670 million), Germany ( 439 million) and France ( 329 million). IPC CEO Xavier Gonzalez said: " An audience of 3.8 billion is more than twice the total for the ATHENS 2004 Paralympics. These numbers confirm that there has been a great growth in interest for the Paralympic Games." The highest live audience was registered for the Closing Ceremony on 17 September at prime time on CCTV- 1 with 51 million viewers. Upon high public demand, NOS in the Netherlands re-aired the Opening Ceremony and aired the Closing Ceremony live, even though this was not previously planned. BBC received market shares of up to 10% for its daily highlight show " Paralympics 2008: Games Today", being aired during prime time at 19: 00 on BBC2. For the first time, an agreement was concluded with a rightsholder in the USA. NBC Universal Sports covered the Paralympics on their internet platform UniversalSports. com during the Games and created a 90min documentary about the Paralympics which was aired on 9 November 2008 nationwide on NBC and re- aired on NBC on 6 December 2008. Additionally, Universal Sports Television Network broadcasted 80 hours in November and will broadcast 28 hours from 24- 31 December. ParalympicSport. TV, the IPC's internet TV channel, streamed a total of 240 hours during Games time, 148 of which were live including the Opening and Closing Ceremony, and twelve Paralympic sports. Professional English commentary was provided and currently more than 150 hours of content have been uploaded as video on demand. Four million video clips were played on demand during Games time. The live stream received more than 300,000 views with an average viewing time of approximately 30 minutes. BelowThe 2008 Beijing Paralympic Games attracted record viewing figures TENNIS STARS FIFAPLAYERSOF THE YEAR 2008PARALYMPIC VIEWINGFIGURES The International Tennis Federation ( ITF) named world number ones Rafael Nadal ( Spain) and Jelena Jankovic ( Serbia) as 2008 ITF World Champions. Nadal was the winner of the Olympic title in Beijing. In the doubles, Canada's Daniel Nestor and Serbia's Nenad Zimonjic were crowned for the men; while Zimbabwe's Cara Black and the US's Liezel Huber won for the women. Among the juniors, the title went to Tsung- Hua Yang ( Chinese Taipei) and Noppawan Lertcheewakarn ( Thailand). Shingo Kunieda ( Japan) and Esther Vergeer ( Netherlands) were recognised in the wheelchair tennis category. Press release at www. itftennis. com. AboveSpain's Rafael Nadal won the men's tennis Olympic gold medal in Beijing Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo and Brazil's Marta were named 2008 World Player and 2008 Women's World Player respectively by the Fédération Internationale de Football Association ( FIFA) at the 18th FIFA Gala in Zurich ( Switzerland). Other awards were also handed out, including the FIFA Presidential Award, the FIFA Fair Play Award and, for the first time, the FIFA Development Award. Winners and full results on www. fifa. com. OLYMPIC REVIEW23 NEWS INBRIEF

While the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games broke records in terms of participation and performances, they also beat the records in terms of worldwide television coverage, with broadcasts in more territories than ever before ( over 220) and record viewership audiences in many territories. As the first Olympic Games to benefit from 100 percent high definition surround sound digital coverage, the Beijing Games were the most followed and watched in Olympic history. This participation of the world of television in the success of the Games was recognised by the IOC at the " Olympic Golden Rings" ceremony. Twenty seven films were watched by an international jury, chaired by IOC Honorary President Juan Antonio Samaranch. Gold, silver and bronze trophies were awarded in four categories. NBC Olympics won gold in The Best Olympic Feature with " The clock of their lives". Eurosport won The Best Athletes' Profile for an inspiring story on Thai/ German fencer Wiradech Kothny. Seven Network Australia collected gold for The Best Olympic Programme, while The Best Sports Coverage by the Host Broadcaster " BOB" was awarded to the coverage of sailing. During this ceremony, IOC President Rogge paid tribute to two personalities from the world of television who, throughout their respective careers, have made media coverage of the Games a priority. The first, Fernando Pardo, has covered the Games since Montreal 1976, through both Spanish TV ( TVE) and the European Broadcasting Union ( EBU), which he leaves this year after having occupied the role of Head of Sports Operations Group. As for Manolo Romero, in 2008 he celebrates his 40th year in the field of Olympic broadcasting. From Mexico City 1968 to Beijing 2008, he has been the key man in broadcasting all the editions of the Summer and Winter Games. Since 2001, he has been Chief Executive Officer of Olympic Broadcasting Services ( OBS). Created in 1976, the Olympic Golden Rings is a prestigious international contest through which the IOC seeks to promote and recognise the best TV images of the Olympic Games. This contest is organised every two years, on the occasion of the Summer and Winter Games, under the aegis of the IOC Radio & TV Commission. BelowIOC President Jacques Rogge with the winners in the Best Olympic Programme category: Peter Diamond, representing NBC ( silver), Dave Gordon, representing the BBC ( bronze), and Phillip Coles, representing Seven Network Australia ( gold) 2008OLYMPICGOLDEN RINGSAWARDS 24OLYMPIC REVIEW The Best Sports Coverage by the Host Broadcasting Organisation, the Beijing Olympic Broadcasting ( BOB) Gold: Sailing. Producer: Gary Milkis, BOB. Director: Christopher Lincoln, BOB. Coordinating Producer: Henry Mok, BOB Silver: Table Tennis. Director: Xue Zhaohui, China Central Television ( CCTV). Coordinating Producer: Bai Li, BOB Bronze: Equestrian. Producer: Geoff Johnson, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation ( CBC). Directors: Christopher Elias, Lawrence Isaac, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation ( CBC). Coordinating Producer: Ted Ayling, BOB The Best Olympic feature Gold: NBC Olympics, " The Clock of their Lives". Executive Producers: Dick Ebersol. Producers: David Neal, Mark Levy, Phil Parrish, Brian Brown Silver: ZDF German Television, " The Drama of Liu Xiang". Producer: Peter Leissl. Director: Eike Schulz Bronze: BBC SPORT, " China and Table Tennis". Producer: BBC Sport. Director: Richard Gort The Best Athletes' Profile Gold: Eurosport, Olympic Magazine - " Profile on Wiradech Kothny". Producer: Christian Seychal. Director: Eveline Jandrisits Silver: ZDF German Television, " Profile of Liu Xiang". Producer: Peter Leissl. Director: Eike Schulz Bronze: NBC Olympics, " Profile on Natalie Du Toit". Producers: Dick Ebersol, David Neal, Mark Levy, Brian Brown, Phil Parrish The Best Olympic Programme Gold: Seven Network Australia. Producer: Andy Kay, Director: Saul Shtein Silver: NBC Olympics. Producers: Dick Ebersol, David Neal, Tommy Roy, Sam Flood. Directors: Bucky Gunts, Andy Rosenberg, Drew Esocoff Bronze: BBC Sport. Producer: Alastair McIntyre, BBC Sport. Director: Richard Carr, BBC Sport Special mention Gold: Production of Opening and Closing Ceremonies by BOB ( Manolo Romero, Ma Guoli, Yiannis Exarchos, Pedro Rozas). Producer: Jose Ramon Diez, BOB. Directors: Tapani Parm, Kalevi Uusivuori, YLE Finnish Broadcasting Company 2008 WINNERS