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sport has lost two of its biggest star

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    January 31, 2019 3:14 AM GMT

    AKRON, Ohio -- Jason Day pulled out of the Olympics on Tuesday because of the Zika virus, costing golf its No. . 1 player as it returns from a century-long absence at the games.The sport has lost two of its biggest stars in the last week, adding to the perception that the Olympics are not a high priority. Rory McIlroy, a four-time major champion, also said Zika will keep from competing in Rio de Janeiro.The sole reason for my decision is my concerns about the possible transmission of the Zika virus and the potential risks that it may present to my wifes future pregnancies and to future members of our family, Day said in a statement. I have always placed my family in front of everything else in my life.The 28-year-old Australian and his wife, Ellie, had their second child in November, and he has said they want more children.Shane Lowry of Ireland, who got married in April and plans to start a family, also withdrew Tuesday. That makes six golfers, including two of the most prominent athletes in Day and McIlroy, to specifically cite Zika for not going to Rio. The others are Charl Schwartzel and Branden Grace of South Africa, and Marc Leishman of Australia, whose wifes immune system has not fully recovered after she nearly died last year of toxic shock syndrome.With Rory and myself pulling, I dont know if that will trigger anyone else, Day said. Its not my decision. ... Some guys are in different situations. Some guys are younger and single and can take that chance, and some guys are in the same situation as me and have children or going to have children, get married and stuff like that. Its a difficult one for those guys.American cyclist Tejay van Garderen is among a handful of athletes outside of golf who also cited Zika as the reason behind not going to Rio. Basketball star Stephen Curry didnt specifically cite Zika but noted that other factors played a role in his decision to skip the games.Brazil has been the hardest hit of the approximately 60 countries that have reported an outbreak of Zika, the mosquito-borne virus linked to severe birth defects and possible neurological problems in adults.Day first expressed concern a month ago at the Memorial and said he had been consulting doctors so he could make a smart choice.I wouldnt be pulling out just because its not safe or something like that down there, because Ive never been down to Brazil and I dont know if it is safe or not, Day said at the Bridgestone Invitational. Im withdrawing from the Olympics because of the Zika, and thats the main reason here, because I just dont want to put my family at risk because of it.Australia has three players in the top 50 in the world, and all of them have withdrawn -- Day, Adam Scott (No. 8) and Leishman (No. 39). Next in line would be Scott Hend (No. 75) and Marcus Fraser (No. 81).Day had been among the strongest proponents of competing in the Olympics, as had McIlroy and other young stars. But as the July 11 deadline nears for qualifying for Rio, some top golfers have been wavering.Among the stars who plan to play or have not decided are Jordan Spieth, U.S. Open champion Dustin Johnson, Bubba Watson, Henrik Stenson of Sweden and Masters champion Danny Willett of England.Golf already has lost three of the top 10 players in the world. Scott was the first to withdraw. He said Olympics were never his priority in a year in which the schedule is crammed with major championships with far more historical significant than an Olympic medal.The sport has not been part of the games since 1904 in St. Louis.Louis Oosthuizen of South Africa cited scheduling concerns when he withdrew. Vijay Singh of Fiji briefly mentioned Zika but was more bothered by the schedule. Graeme McDowell, who was in line to replace McIlroy, withdrew late last week because his wife is due with their second child a few weeks after the Olympics and he did not want to be out of the country in the weeks leading to the birth. Atletico Madrid Jerseys . Most important, perhaps, it went off without a hitch. Organizers poked a little fun at the now-infamous opening ceremony gaffe that saw only four out of five snowflakes open up into rings, leaving the Olympics logo one ring short. .C. -- When North Carolina freshman Ryan Switzer reported to training camp in August he was a little miffed to learn he was third on the depth chart at punt returner. . Zvonareva, who won the tournament in 2009 and 10, couldnt handle her opponents big groundstrokes in only her third event back after 17 months out with a shoulder injury. Zvonareva made her comeback in January in Shenzhen and played in the Australian Open but lost her first matches at both tournaments.Tuesday on Sportswomen we are joined by members of Superleague Grand Finalists Surrey Storm and Manchester Thunder. After 14 rounds and a couple of thrilling semi-finals, we will look back on Saturdays games as well as start our countdown to on showpiece Grand Final at the Copper Box which will be live on Sky Sports 5 on Saturday May 7.Well have the latest on the discrimination claims at British Cycling, following the announcement that former Olympic rower Annamarie Phelps will chair an independent review. And with less than 100 days to go to the 2016 Olympic Games, weve got reaction from the athletes that attended the official Team GB kit launch for Rio, including sprinter Jodie Williams, Sky Sports Academy Scholar Olivia Breen and England rugby sevens captain Emily Scarratt. Thunder and Storm into final Manchester Thunder to meet Surrey Storm in Superleague semi-final The Lalla Meryem Cup begins next week, where women and men from the European Tour play at the same time on different courses at the Trophee Hassan in Morocco. .The Chief Executive of the Ladies European Tour explains why they want to introduce more events that bring the two tours together. And at the start of National Golf Month, were at a golf club in Cheshire which was aiming to mark its centenary in 2020 by introducing 100 girls to the game, but has hit its target within just three months.Voting will also open for the Sportswoman of the Month for April as we announce the nominees during the programme.Sportswomen is live on Sky Sports News HQ every Tuesday at 11.30am and on Sky Living every Sunday at 11.30am.  Also See: Thunder and Storm into final Wild beats Garner in Yorkshire GB&I name Curtis Cup team Wholesale NFL Jerseys Wholesale Nike NFL Jerseys NFL Jerseys From China Cheap Nike Basketball Jerseys Wholesale Hockey Jerseys China Nike Baseball Jerseys Cheap College Jerseys China Cheap Football Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Canada Wholesale NHL Jerseys Canada Wholesale Nike MLB Jerseys Canada Cheap NBA Jerseys Authentic Canada Stitched Soccer Jerseys Canada Cheap Jerseys Canada NFL ' ' '