The Germany women's national team have fired a broadside to their own country ahead of the Women's World Cup, saying: "We play for a nation that does not know our names!"

In a commercial for Commerzbank, Germany's players highlighted the relatively low profile they have in public, despite the superstar status of many members of the men's team.

Lyon midfielder Dzsenifer Marozsan appears at the start of the commercial alongside Bayern Munich playmaker Melanie Leupolz and Wolfsburg forward Alexandra Popp, who will all feature in Martina Voss-Tecklenburg's squad at the World Cup in France next month.

In the commercial, which was later shared featuring English subtitles by DW Sports, Popp asks: "Do you know my name?"

A narrator continues: "We play for a nation that does not know our names."

The advert also features Turbine Potsdam forward Svenja Huth, Wolfsburg midfielder Sara Doorsoun-Khajeh and Bayern Munich midfielder Sara Dabritz alongside graphics and archive footage illustrating the team's success through the years.

Germany's women won the World Cup in 2003 and 2007, and they have clinched eight European Championship titles between 1989 and 2013, as well as Olympic gold in 2016.

They face China, Spain and South Africa in Group B at the World Cup, with their first game kicking off on June 8.

"It's okay," the advert's narrator continues.

"You do not have to remember our name. Only what we want: to play."

Rory McIlroy has said he is likely to represent Ireland at the 2020 Olympic Games, while Tiger Woods is also keen to participate in Tokyo.

Golf returned to the Olympic programme, after a 112-year absence, in Rio in 2016, but McIlroy was one of several leading players who opted not to play due to concerns over the Zika virus.

Asked about the Tokyo Games in a news conference at this week's US PGA Championship, McIlroy said: "I don't know. More likely than not I will play. I think it would be a great experience.

"It's just one of those things where it's just in the middle of a really busy stretch. But yeah, right now in my mind I'll most likely play."

Prior to his withdrawal from the Rio Olympics, McIlroy announced he would represent Ireland rather than Great Britain.

On Tuesday, he added: "I think as a young boy it was always my dream to play for Ireland. I wanted to play for Ireland. I was very proud to put on that shirt or that blazer.

"It's the same as like the rugby players, right? There's players that play for Ulster, but they want to play for Ireland. It's seen as a whole island sport, just like hockey is, just like most of the sports are.

"I had an unbelievable amateur career, and I don't mean that in terms of results, but I mean that in the experiences I had and the trips that I had and the friendships that I made and the friendships that I still have to this day. That was all because of playing for Ireland and getting close to some of those guys.

"I'm excited to be going to the Olympics. I'm excited to play for Ireland. It's going to be a great experience, and probably a little bit nostalgic because it'll bring me back to 15 years ago, whenever I was doing that with the same people. So it's going to be cool."

In an earlier news conference, resurgent Masters champion Woods said: "Would I like to play in the Olympics? Yes. I've never played in the Olympics, and I'm sure that I won't have many more opportunities going forward at 43 years old now to play in many Olympics.

"Yes, that would be a first for me and something that I would certainly welcome if I was part of the team.

"Getting there and making the team is going to be the tough part. How many events do I play, do I add a couple more to get in? These are all questions that will be answered going forward. I just know that if I play well in the big events like I did this year, things will take care of itself."

Pita Taufatofua hopes to create a splash at a third straight Olympic Games after revealing his plan to compete in kayaking at Tokyo 2020.

The Tongan shot to fame in 2016 when, as his country's flagbearer, he entered the stadium in Rio in traditional dress, including covering his bare torso in coconut oil.

Taekwondo was Taufatofua's sport in Rio, though he was back on a global stage two years later in PyeongChang when he switched seasons, becoming Tonga's first skier at a Winter Olympics.

Now the 35-year-old has set his target on competing at the next Olympics too - only this time in the water.

"I want to be a sprint kayaker," he told BBC Sport.

"It's a sport that's close to my heart as it's what my ancestors did for thousands of years when they colonised the Polynesian islands."

However, a major issue for Taufatofua is a lack of equipment. He used crowd-funding campaigns for previous Olympics but hopes to find "a partner or two" this time who can help finance his grand plan for next year.

"I'm currently training with a recreational kayak which is a completely different size and weight to the professional ones you'll see at the Olympics," he revealed.

"A new kayak could be anything up to $10,000, but I'm also looking for a partner or two that wants to be part of this journey and believes in what we're doing."

SportsMax will provide wire to wire coverage of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.  Today officially marks 500 games to the big event. 

To kick things off we take a look at the historic exploits of the Jamaica duo of Authur Wint and Herb McKenley along with T&T javelin thrower Keshorn Walcott.

Members of the SportsMax Team link up at the home of champions for a weekly, lively discussion surrounding the latest happenings in the world of sports.  This week's topics included the upcoming Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, the Caribbean stars expected to shine and our favourite Olympic moments.  Join us for SportsMax MidWeek Live, streaming live on Facebook, this and every week. 

Tick tock, tick tock. The Tokyo Olympic clock has hit 500 days to go.

Organizers marked the milestone on Tuesday, unveiling the stylized pictogram figures for next year's Tokyo Olympics. The pictogram system was first used extensively in 1964 when the Japanese capital lasted hosted the Summer Olympics — just 19 years after the end of World War II.

A picture system to illustrate sports events was used in the 1936 Berlin Olympics, and 12 years later in London. Other Olympics sporadically used some drawings for the same purpose.

But the '64 Olympics originated the standardized symbols that have become familiar in every Olympics since then.

Japanese athletes posed with the pictograms and their designer, Masaaki Hiromura. Organizers also toured regions that will host Olympic events, including the area north of Tokyo that was devastated by a 2011 earthquake, tsunami, and resulting damage to nearby nuclear reactors.

"They are simple but yet dynamic," Hiromura said, explaining his designs to several hundred people. "These are pictograms that look like they are about to start moving."

Hiromura designed 50 pictograms for 33 sports. Some sports will use more than one pictogram when the Olympic open on July 24, 2020.

The '64 Tokyo Olympics came up with the pictograms, partly because the games were the first in Asia and held in a country where the language was inaccessible to many international visitors.

Unlike other recent Olympics, construction projects are largely on schedule. The new National Stadium, the centrepiece of the games, is to be completed by the by the end of the year at a cost estimated at $1.25 billion.

That's not to say these Olympics are problem free.

Costs continue to rise, although local organizers and the IOC say they are cutting costs — or at least slowing the rise.

As an example, last month organizers said the cost of the opening and closing ceremonies had risen by 40 percent compared with the forecast in 2013 when Tokyo was awarded the games.

USA Cycling has announced Olympic team pursuit silver medallist Kelly Catlin has died.

Catlin was part of the four-woman team at Rio 2016 that finished second behind Great Britain in the gold-medal race.

The 23-year-old won three successive world titles from 2016 in the event, while also forging a career on the road with Rally UHC Cycling.

Her death was confirmed by USA Cycling on Sunday following reports she had passed away on Friday.

"The U.S. cycling community suffered a devastating loss with the passing of Kelly Catlin, USA Cycling National Team member," said president Rob DeMartini.

"Kelly was more than an athlete to us, and she will always be part of the USA Cycling family. 

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the Catlin family. This is an incredibly difficult time and we want to respect their privacy.

"The entire cycling community is mourning this immense loss. We are offering continuous support to Kelly's team-mates, coaches and staff. We also encourage all those who knew Kelly to support each other through the grieving.

"We are deeply saddened by Kelly's passing, and we will all miss her dearly. We hope everyone seeks the support they need through the hard days ahead, and please keep the Catlin family in your thoughts."

Rally UHC Cycling also tweeted their condolences following the news of Catlin's death.

"The news of Kelly’s passing has hit the team hard," they said. "Losing an incredible person at such a young age is very difficult. 

"Kelly was our friend and team-mate. Our heartfelt condolences go out to her family and those who were fortunate enough to know her best."

North Korea and South Korea want to co-host the 2032 Olympic Games and have requested permission for unified teams to enter qualification for Tokyo 2020.

The IOC confirmed on Friday that the two countries have declared their desire to host the Games together, although the candidature process for 2032 is yet to begin.

IOC president Thomas Bach said of the initiative: "The discussions at the working meeting today are one further step showing how sport can once more make a contribution to peace on the Korean Peninsula and the world.

"We have a good foundation to build on and make further progress ahead of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. Sport will continue to build bridges and demonstrate the unifying power of the Olympic Games.

"Therefore, we warmly welcome the historic initiative of the two Koreas to put forward a joint Korean candidature for the Olympic Games 2032."

Delegations from North Korea and South Korea marched together at the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang last year and joined forces for a women's ice hockey team.

The two Koreas hope to enter unified teams into the Tokyo 2020 qualification process for women's basketball, women's hockey, the judo mixed team event and in three rowing events apiece for men and women.

"There are still ongoing talks between the [National Olympic Committees] of [South Korea] and [North Korea] and their governments on possible additional unified Korean teams in other sports," read an IOC statement.

"The IOC informed them that it will consider further requests if these are made in due time ahead of the Olympic qualification competitions."

All medals at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games will be made from recycled waste after organisers revealed they were on track to reach their target of collecting enough metals.

In April 2017, the organising committee launched an initiative to recoup unwanted electronic devices with companies across Japan, as well as athletes and the general public, lending their support to the drive.

The scheme planned to collect 30.3 kilograms of gold, 4,100kg of silver and 2,700kg of bronze in order to produce the medals, and on Friday it was confirmed that those targets were expected to be achieved by the end of March.

The release from organisers confirmed that over five million mobile phones had been handed in, contributing to almost 50,000 tons of devices.

As of the end of October 2018, 93.7 per cent of the gold and 85.4 per cent of the silver required had been collected, while the full amount of bronze had been sourced as early as June of that year.

The designs for the medals for both Games are due to be revealed later in 2019.

Rafael Nadal confirmed he would like to play at this year's Davis Cup, while he is also eyeing the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

The Spanish 17-time grand slam champion played one Davis Cup tie last year – against Germany in April.

But the event has been remodelled, drawing some criticism, to a shorter format, with the Finals to be played during one week in Madrid in November.

Nadal, who started his year by reaching the Australian Open final, said he wanted to feature for the hosts in a boost for the Davis Cup, largely reformatted due to top players making themselves unavailable.

"I would like to be there, but there are still a lot of months to go, seven or eight months, almost nine," he said on Thursday.

"It's very difficult to predict what is going on in nine months, but my hope is to be there."

Nadal has also set his sights on the Olympics next year as he looks to add to the men's singles gold medal he won in 2008.

"You are talking about more than a year and a half away. I don't know what is going to happen but, as I already said, my hope is to be there," he said.

"I know Tokyo's going to be spectacular so I will do my best to be there."

Nadal is expected to resume his season at the Mexican Open, which begins in Acapulco on February 25.

The 2012 Olympic men's high jump champion Ivan Ukhov is among 12 Russian athletes to be banned for doping by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

CAS on Friday announced that Ukhov will be stripped of the gold medal he won in London following an investigation into allegations of anti-doping violations.

Ukhov has been hit with a four-year ban, starting on February 1, and his results achieved between July 16, 2012 and December 31, 2015 have been disqualified.

Svetlana Shkolina, winner of a women's high jump bronze medal in the London Games seven years ago and world champion in Moscow in 2013, has been given the same punishment by CAS.

Tatyana Lysenko, crowned world champion for the second time in her homeland six years ago, and fellow hammer-thrower Gulfiya Agafonova were banned for eight years – backdated to July 2, 2016 and January 6, 2017 respectively.

Tatyana Firova, Lyukman Adams, Anna Bulgakova, Ivan Yushkov, Yekaterina Galitskaia and Yuliya Kondakova were given four-year suspensions.

Mariya Bespalova, suspended since 2015, had her results from July 17, 2012 to October 26, 2015 chalked off, while Vera Ganeeva was banned for two years from July 2, 2018.

CAS carried out the disciplinary procedures as the Russian Athletics Federation is suspended from doing so and took evidence from the McLaren report, which found that Russia operated a state-sponsored doping programme.

 

Lindsey Vonn, the most-successful female skier of all time, has announced she will retire after next week's FIS Alpine World Ski Championships.

Over her illustrious career Vonn has earned 82 World Cup wins, 20 World Cup titles, three Olympic medals and seven podium finishes at the World Championships.

But the past few years have seen her endure several brutal crashes that cost her most of the 2013 and 2014 seasons.

A knee injury sustained during a super-G training run in November delayed her start to the 2018-19 World Cup campaign and changed her initial retirement plans.

However, she struggled on her return and the pain of racing has brought her decision forward, meaning the downhill and super-G in Are next week will be her final races.

"It's been an emotional two weeks making the hardest decision of my life, but I have accepted that I cannot continue ski racing," Vonn – who will finish four short of equalling Ingemar Stenmark's record of 86 World Cup wins - posted on Instagram.

 

"I have always pushed the limits of ski racing and it has allowed me to have amazing success but also dramatic crashes. I have never wanted the storyline of my career to be about injuries and because of that I decided not to tell anyone that I underwent surgery this past spring.

"A large portion of cartilage that had delaminated from my bone was removed. My crash in Lake Louise last year was much more painful than I let on, but I continued to race because I wanted to win a medal in the Olympics for my late grandfather.

"Again, I rehabbed my way back this summer and I felt better than I had in a long time. Then I crashed in Copper [Mountain] this November and injured my left knee, tearing my LCL plus sustaining three fractures. Despite extensive therapy, training and a knee brace, I am not able make the turns necessary to compete the way I know I can.

"My body is broken beyond repair and it isn't letting me have the final season I dreamed of. My body is screaming at me to STOP and it's time for me to listen."

In her retirement message, Vonn added that she is merely starting a "new chapter" in life.

She added: "I always say, 'Never give up!' So to all the kids out there, to my fans who have sent me messages of encouragement to keep going … I need to tell you that I'm not giving up!

"I'm just starting a new chapter. Don't lose faith in your dreams, keep fighting for what you love, and if you always give everything you have you'll be happy no matter what the outcome."

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) may talk to whistleblower Grigory Rodchenkov if it has any questions regarding Russia's anti-doping laboratory.

On Tuesday, WADA announced that the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) would remain compliant as long as it continues to apply the conditions set out upon its reinstatement last September.

RUSADA, originally suspended in November 2015 following revelations of widespread, state-sponsored doping, missed the December 31, 2018 deadline to allow WADA inspectors to retrieve data from a Moscow laboratory.

That data was later handed over, which was considered enough by WADA to negate the need for a fresh ban, and the world body now plans to analyse the material it has received.

Rodchenkov, the former head of Russia's anti-doping laboratory, is living in witness protection in the United States after he revealed details of his country's illegal practices, including in 2017 Netflix documentary film Icarus.

"For the process itself we will not [consult Rodchenkov] because we have our experts," said WADA director of intelligence and investigations Gunter Younger.

"But if there is anything we need to address or understand regarding the laboratory we will definitely approach him as a witness and try to clarify whatever questions we have."

Asked if he was confident that the RUSADA saga will be cleaned up before the start of the next Olympics in Tokyo in 2020, Younger replied: "We are in a good position, we know exactly what we're looking for.

"We'll inspect the raw data...everything is together, we needed the last piece of the puzzle which is the raw data.

"We're very confident that we can go forward with cases very soon after authentication of the data is confirmed."

Trinidad and Tobago’s (T&T) 4x100 Olympic team are a step closer to collecting the gold medals they won at the 2008 Olympic Games after Jamaica, who won the event at the time, were disqualified courtesy of an adverse analytic finding to Nesta Carter, their first-leg runner. 

The president of Japan's Olympic Committee has denied reports that he has been indicted after French judicial authorities launched an investigation into allegations of corruption in relation to the awarding of the 2020 Tokyo Games.

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