Bakhraiba triumphs in cross-country race

Updated 18 January 2013
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Bakhraiba triumphs in cross-country race

Seventy-three runners took part in the annual mid-season ending cross-country race in the Jeddah Road Runners calendar of events recently in the north of Jeddah, sponsored jointly by Suntop and Carrefour.
In keeping with tradition, as this is always a ‘cross-country’ event, the course comprised two laps to test the strength of the legs on varied terrain (hard and soft sand), and make up for the absence of any major hills. The main race of two laps (7 kms.) attracted 43 runners; another 30 runners completed one lap covering half the distance (3.5kms).
Conditions were ideal for a late afternoon start, and temperatures were nearly perfect for some good performances.
Last year’s third-placed finisher, Bakhraiba, improved on his previous time by over a minute, winning comfortably from Assiri by 16 secs.
Junior Al Kaff, improved his time by an even larger margin than in 2011, by nearly 5 minutes, finishing third overall. Based on this performance, he has the potential to be club champion in the short-term future.
There were several close finishes to excite the spectators: Ahdal, Rasheed, Robito and Mohagab, all finished within 18 seconds; K. Oloffson pipping Magalong by a second at the finish line as did E. Olofsson from Goscioco.
Al Harbi edged Elliston by a few seconds. In the ladies, the Arab News own staff, S. Roth, comfortably won, finishing a very creditable eighth position overall.
Guiterez, Zamora and Shouaib brought up the rear, to a well-earned round of applause from the group. Club member Awni won the one-lap race, from Yamani, Hawsawi, and Alsubhi.
The club committee thanked Binzagr CO-RO and Carrefour for their excellent support for the running community, and for the product and give-aways that were given to all the runners.
Results:
Overall winner: Bakhraiba (28.20)
Open category: Assiri (28.36); Dehwah (30.42); Saideya (33.16)
Veterans category: Bucher (34.34); Messum (36.21); Albert (38.40)
Masters category: Zeibnan (33.13); McIvor (36.16); Alkhaibari (40.14)
Seniors: 1st Malloch (40.23)
Ladies: Roth (35.26); 2nd K. Olofsson (44.46); Elliston (45.12)
Juniors: Al Kaff (29.44); E. Olofsson (49.53); Gosioco (49.54)


Why even the #WengerOut brigade should lament Arsene Wenger's exit from Arsenal

Updated 20 April 2018
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Why even the #WengerOut brigade should lament Arsene Wenger's exit from Arsenal

  • The Frenchman revolutionised the game in England across all leagues, not just the Premier League.
  • After initial success he found the going tough in the second half of his reign, but will still go down as an all-time great.

Over the past few seasons it has been fashionable to view Arsene Wenger as some sort of figure of fun — a man living in the past, left behind by the modern game, but too stubborn to realize it.
In time, though, even the most ardent, frothing-at-the-mouth #Wenger Out believer would have to agree that the Frenchman will go down not just as one of the best managers Arsenal have had, but also among the greatest in English club football.
As with any caricature, there is a hint of truth in the picture created, crude as it sometimes is. Yes, Wenger’s past few years at the Emirates have been painful to watch. Yes, he was stubborn when it came to both activity in the transfer market and belief in his methods and tactics. Yes, it is fair to say he leaves the club, on the pitch at least, in a bit of a mess. And, yes, he should have left two or three years ago.
But if there is one thing that any sane fan should remember about Wenger’s 22 years as Arsenal boss, it is this: He was a game-changer, a manager who oversaw not only a revolution of the Gunners, but also of the English game.
As soon as Wenger landed in England in 1996, he banished Arsenal’s Tuesday drinking club and munching of Mars bars — in their place came stretching sessions and broccoli. Hardly profound or radical in today’s game, but this was the era when change in English football invariably meant no pies and pints on a Friday night.
The technical, passing, possession football that is now the norm for any side with ambitions to remain in the Premier League, let alone win it, and the idea that eating vegetables rather than a tub of lard would help player performance, were brought in by Wenger alone.
He won the double in his first full season in charge, signed unheralded foreign talent such as Emmanuel Petit and Patrick Viera — who went on to become world-class players — and created teams that were a joy to watch, culminating with “The Invincibles” of 2003-04, who won the Premier League without losing a match.
The irony is that the one-time revolutionary ended up being viewed as a throwback, a stuck-in-the-mud anachronism; a manager who harked back to a time when playing with the owner’s chequebook was not seen as the only path to success and when paragraphs were favored over 140 characters.
And that perhaps explains why so many Arsenal fans seemingly wanted him gone: Wenger is not of the Twitter generation, of instant opinions for the 24-hour news agenda and of hype over humility. The man who was once seen as the future stuck to principles that were deemed as belonging to the past.
It is clear there is a lot of bad blood at the club — a ridiculous Facebook post by an Arsenal fan claimed Wenger’s announcement he was leaving made it the “greatest day in Arsenal’s history.”
But for all the bluster and nonsense, Wenger’s legacy will be that of “The Invincibles” — one of the greatest club sides of modern times; of beautiful football played at pace and with artistry; of being a decent, yet flawed, man who was never anything but articulate and courteous.
Having been in charge of Arsenal for 22 years, he is undoubtedly the last of a kind, and in the era of trigger-happy owners, short-term fixes and sensationalism over stability, that is something everyone, even the #WengerOut brigade, should lament.