Pigeon racing beats snooker to the sporting start line in England | Daily News


Pigeon racing beats snooker to the sporting start line in England

LONDON, Monday - Pigeon racing will beat snooker and horse racing to be the first sport to return following the easing of coronavirus lockdown restrictions in England on Monday.

Sport has been shut down since March but the British government on Saturday approved the return of domestic competitive action behind closed doors from June 1.

Premier League football is scheduled to restart on June 17 while cricket chiefs still hope to stage a full international programme during the English summer.

But pigeon racing will have a brief moment in the spotlight.

More than 4,000 birds belonging to members of the Barnsley Federation of Racing Pigeons in the north of England are being released from a park ahead of a 90-mile sprint.

Organiser John Greenshield said he was expecting his 35 pigeons in the race to start arriving back around one hour and 50 minutes after they were released.

Retired miner Mr Greenshield, 72, said the green light came earlier than many expected and so many of the birds are far from "match fit".

But he said the return of racing will be a blessing for many in his community and was "like putting oxygen back into the area".

"The racing is something for people to get out of bed for," he said. "People are really looking forward to it." Reigning world champion Judd Trump will launch snooker's return behind closed doors in the opening match of the Championship League. – AFP


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