Pigeon race beats snooker at sports start line in England | More sports news

LONDON: Pigeon racing will beat snooker and horse racing to be the first sport to return after the coronavirus lockdown restrictions in England were eased on Monday.
The sport has been closed since March, but the UK government on Saturday approved the return of domestic competitions behind closed doors from June 1.
Premier League football is set to restart on June 17 as chiefs of cricket still hope to stage a full international program during the English summer.
But the pigeon sport will have a brief moment in the spotlight.
Over 4,000 birds belonging to members of the Barnsley Homing Pigeon Federation in the north of England are released from a park before a 90 mile sprint.
Organizer John Greenshield said he expected his 35 racing pigeons to start coming back around an hour and 50 minutes after their release.
Retired miner Mr Greenshield, 72, said the green light has come earlier than expected and so many birds are far from “in shape”.
But he said the return from the race would be a blessing to many in his community and was “like putting oxygen back in the area.”
“Running is something people can get out of bed for,” he said. “People are really looking forward to it.
Reigning world champion Judd Trump will kick off the return of snooker behind closed doors in the Championship League opener.
The televised tournament, which takes place in the English town of Milton Keynes, is the first event since the Gibraltar Open in March.
Trump described in a tweet how he was tested for the coronavirus before the event: “Arrived in Milton Keynes the test was done, hopefully, for action tomorrow… dabbing the nose is not at all nice, enjoy it for everyone. ”
Trump faces David Grace and Stuart Carrington tackle Jak Jones in the opening games on Monday.
Five-time world champion Ronnie O’Sullivan’s first game will be against Kishan Hirani on Friday while Mark Selby, who has three world titles, will face Lee Walker on Thursday.
“It will be myself, my opponent and the referee,” Selby told Sky Sports. “I have to play Thursday. I’m going down Wednesday and get tested.
“Then straight to the hotel and lock me in my room and wait for the results to come back.”
The races return to Newcastle without spectators to watch the 10 flat races and the masked coaches, jockeys and grooms.
Main flat coach Hugo Palmer said the resumption of racing was a “huge opportunity” for the sport.
“There isn’t much else to look at, although this coincides with the day the government allows more people to meet outside,” he added.
The 2000 Guineas, June 6 at Newmarket, will be the first of the “Classic” races of the flat season.


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