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Tuesday, March 5, 2024

British sports pays tribute to Queen as action resumes

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London—British sport paid tribute to Queen Elizabeth II on Saturday as action resumed after Friday’s shutdown following the monarch’s death.

The nation’s long-serving monarch died aged 96 on Thursday, sparking a period of mourning across the United Kingdom.

Football authorities, along with cricket, golf and rugby, all postponed their scheduled events on Friday.

But, although the Premier League and all other football in England has been cancelled this weekend in a show of respect to the Queen, the rest of the sports world is returning to the field.

In the PGA Championship at Wentworth, a two-minute period of silence was impeccably observed with DP World Tour chief executive Keith Pelley joining staff, players and caddies on the putting green in front of the first tee.

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Norwegian world number 10 Viktor Hovland, speaking after his round of 68 on Saturday, said: “Obviously it’s a sad thing that happened but maybe spin around and use the sport as a celebration and remember the Queen’s life and celebrate it in that way.

“It was eerily quiet on the course during the silence, but I think it’s a good thing that we all pay our respects.”

Denmark’s Soren Kjeldsen, who carded a round of 64 on Saturday, added: “Being a foreigner but having lived here I had some idea how much the Queen meant to the British public.

“But it was quite overwhelming and I was taken aback by how much she was loved. It was a very special moment.”
Spectators were also able to watch on big screens as King Charles III was formally proclaimed as monarch at the Accession Council.

At the Oval, England and South Africa cricketers joined staff and spectators to honour the Queen ahead of the start of play in the third Test.

The two sides, wearing black armbands, lined up on the outfield to observe a minute’s silence.

Soprano Laura Wright then sang God Save the King—the first rendition at a sporting event of Britain’s now altered national anthem.

As the final notes died away, prolonged spontaneous applause broke out as the players prepared for the first ball of the day.

There were also tributes ahead of the rugby Super League Play-Off Eliminator between Huddersfield and Salford.

Players, officials and supporters observed a minute’s silence and sang the national anthem before kick-off.

With the Queen’s funeral set for September 19, British horse racing chiefs announced races will not go ahead on that day.

The Queen was an avid racing fan and officials are keen to pay their full respects to the monarch.

“British racing will not go ahead on Monday 19 September for the funeral of Her Late Majesty The Queen,” the statement said.

“This will give everyone involved in British racing the opportunity to mourn Her Late Majesty’s passing and offer thanks for her contribution to our sport and the nation.

“The fixtures on Monday 19 will therefore be cancelled. Racing will take place as scheduled throughout the remainder of the intervening period.”

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