Japanese Embassy promotes karate in Kingdom

Updated 12 December 2012
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Japanese Embassy promotes karate in Kingdom

In a move to boost bilateral ties, the Japan Foundation sent two karate experts to the Saudi Arabian Karate Federation and will stay in the Kingdom from Dec. 6 to Dec. 26.
The karate experts are Hideto Tsuchiya and Kiyohiko Tosa, both of whom are trainers and champions in the Asian Karate Championship. They will offer highly professional trainings to karate practitioners in the Kingdom.
They will also give lectures in karate clubs in Riyadh, Jeddah, Tabuk and Abha.
Dr. Ibrahim Al Gannas, president of the Saudi Arabian karate Federation, hosted a welcome ceremony for Tsuchiya and Tosa at the headquarters of the Saudi Arabian Karate Federation.
During the ceremony on Saturday , Yasunari Morino, charge d'affaires of the Japanese Embassy, presented a gift to the Saudi Arabian Karate Federation as a token of appreciation for its collaboration in bringing the two karate experts to the Kingdom.
The gift consisted of 39 karate costumes brought from Japan and DVDs and books useful for martial arts instructors.
The embassy said that it “appreciates the Japan Foundation for its initiative.”
Morino expressed appreciation for the long standing and fruitful cooperation between the Japanese Embassy and the Saudi Arabian Karate Federation in promoting Japanese traditional martial art all over the Kingdom.
Together with the Saudi Arabian Karate Federation, the Japanese Embassy organizes a national competition, called “Ambassador's Cup for Karate”.
The Japanese Embassy also introduced the martial arts to the Saudi public during the Janadriyah Festival in 2011 when Japan was invited as the guest country, through karate performance and an exhibition entitled “Spirits of Martial Arts.”
In Japan, karate is considered as a sport that can contribute to mental development of children and the youth with the introduction of discipline and concentration enhancement.


Saudi Arabia prepare to step up World Cup preparations with Italy test

Updated 50 min 22 sec ago
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Saudi Arabia prepare to step up World Cup preparations with Italy test

  • Green Falcons play the Azzurri in Switzerland
  • Mancini: 'Saudi Arabia are a fast and physical team'

Italy coach Roberto Mancini is wary of the threat posed by Saudi Arabia ahead of their friendly on Monday in St.Gallen in Switzerland.
The four-time global champions failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup and are looking to rebuild ahead of the 2020 European Championships. Mancini was appointed in May to take over the national team and breathe in some new life.
“This is a vital game for us,” Mancini told Saudi Arabian television ahead of the friendly. “We know that Saudi Arabia are preparing for the World Cup so this is a great chance for us to build for the future,” said the former Manchester City boss.
“Saudi Arabia are a fast and physical team,” added Mancini. “All of the players are technically very good and we are looking forward to the test. We have to be careful as some of the players are playing for their World Cup place.”
Mario Balotelli is set to win his first international cap in four years for Italy after being recalled by Mancini.
“We didn’t make the World Cup,” said Balotelli. “Now we have to forget about that and focus on the future.”
The former Manchester City, AC Milan and Liverpool forward is looking forward to the challenge on Monday.
“We have to forget about what happened earlier this year and the fact that we didn’t qualify,” said Balotelli. “That is history now and we are really looking forward to playing Saudi Arabia. I haven’t played for the national team for a long time and I feel that I still have a lot to offer.”
Saudi Arabia are coming off the back of two 2-0 friendly victories against Algeria and Greece in a Spanish training camp that took place in May, but a good result against Italy would increase confidence levels further.
The lowest-ranked of all the 32 teams at the World Cup have a busy preparation period and take on Peru and Germany after the Italy clash. Saudi Arabia will meet the hosts Russia in the opening game of the 2018 World Cup in Moscow on June 14. After that, the Green Falcons take on Uruguay and Egypt in Group A.
“Any game is an important one in the build-up to the World Cup,” Saudi Arabia coach Juan Antonio Pizzi said on Sunday. “But playing Italy is something special. If we can get a good result then it can give us confidence to go on and have a good tournament. The important thing for us is that we feel we believe at this level and that is why we can try and push Italy all the way.”
The Green Falcons have been in Switzerland for a week in what is the fifth and final leg of their World Cup preparations. “Preparations are running smoothly and perfectly,” said Nawaf Al-Temyat, the vice president of Saudi Arabian Football Federation and chairman of World Cup 2018 preparation team, in a video on the federation’s Twitter account.
“We look forward in the coming three weeks to strong preparations. We’ll be playing three tough games against tough opponents. The Italian team has a new coach, Mancini, which is a great motivation for us. The Peruvian team is also a strong one and might be full of surprises in the World Cup. The coach and the players are very skilled.”
The Green Falcons have won three, lost three and drawn one of the seven games since Pizzi replaced Edgardo Bauza.
“We always say in the Saudi team that performance should be good during friendlies and results should be good in official games,” added Al-Temyat. “This means results are not important in friendlies but our performance is.”