Guardiola signs new deal to remain at Man City until 2021

Manchester City’s Spanish manager Pep Guardiola celebrates winning the 2018 Premier League title with players and fans. If he completes five years at the Abu Dhabi-owned club, for which he has signed a contract extension, it would represent his longest tenure in a coaching job. (AFP)
Updated 17 May 2018
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Guardiola signs new deal to remain at Man City until 2021

  • Guardiola moved to Manchester in 2016 and endured criticism through a trophyless first season but he completed his second campaign at City this month as a double winner.
  • He spent four years at Barcelona, winning three Spanish league titles and the Champions League twice among 13 honors.

LONDON: Pep Guardiola, fresh from winning the Premier League title, has signed a new Manchester City contract through 2021 to make the strongest long-term commitment of his managerial career.
Completing five years at the Abu Dhabi-owned club would represent Guardiola’s longest tenure in a coaching job.
He spent four years at Barcelona, winning three Spanish league titles and the Champions League twice among 13 honors.
After taking a sabbatical, Guardiola took charge of Bayern Munich and won the Bundesliga in each of his three years in Germany.
Guardiola moved onto Manchester in 2016 and endured criticism through a trophyless first season but he completed his second campaign at City this month as a double winner.
After collecting the League Cup in February, City sealed the Premier League with five games to spare.

“I am so happy and excited. It’s a pleasure to be able to work here,” Guardiola said Thursday. “I enjoy working with our players every day and we will try to do our best together in the coming years.
“As a manager, you have to feel good to be with the players — and I feel good.”
Guardiola’s principle target at City is to deliver the club’s first Champions League title.
“I will focus on the desire of my players to become a better team and every day that’s what I will try to do — to improve on the pitch and improve our players,” the 47-year-old Guardiola said.
“We have a young squad with an average age of 23 and we want to keep taking steps forward and maintain the levels we’ve achieved this season.”
City appears to have found stability after a decade under Abu Dhabi ownership, with a manager aiming to cement the team’s dominance after winning three titles since 2012.
“In his two seasons with us, he has fostered an incredible spirit within the squad and significantly contributed to our progress both on and off the field,” City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak said.
“In doing so he has embodied the passion and commitment we all have for the club. I am very much looking forward to the continued impact of his work and to fulfilling our shared ambitions in the coming seasons.”


‘Man, I was so surprised’: Saudi Olympian Al-Muawi clinches bronze in Argentina games

The podium for the Athletics Mens 200m: Haruto Deguchi JPN (centre, Gold Medalist), Daniel Huller HUN (left, Silver Medalist) and Mohammed Duhaim M Almuawi KSA (right, Bronze Medalist) at the Athletics Field, Youth Olympic Park. The Youth Olympic Games, Buenos Aires, Argentina, Tuesday 16th October 2018. Photo: Ivo Gonzalez for OIS/IOC. (Handout image supplied by OIS/IOC)
Updated 17 October 2018
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‘Man, I was so surprised’: Saudi Olympian Al-Muawi clinches bronze in Argentina games

  • Al-Muawi has been racing hurdles for five years after picking it out as a sport he could excel in at the age of 12

BUENOS AIRES: With his bag packed and preparing to leave the Youth Olympic Park one last time on Tuesday night, Mohammed Al-Muawi was called back to the scene of the 400-metres Hurdles event, in which he had just finished fourth overall. With doping officials thronged at the entrance, he assumed he must have been randomly selected for testing. Instead, he got the news he will now never forget.

The 17-year-old Saudi is an Olympic bronze medallist.

“Man, I was so surprised to find out,” he told Arab News after being promoted onto the podium after South Africa’s Lindukhule Gora was disqualified. “It was my first competition and my first medal, so it’s amazing. This here means everything to me. When I finished the race, I was like ‘OK, fourth is OK’. I put my clothes back on and got ready to leave, but then they told me: ‘Come back, come back! You have a bronze medal!’ I was like, ‘What? How is that even possible?’”

Under a blistering sun and having led for much of the first 300m, Al-Muawi tired as the home straight loomed, crossing the finish-line fifth with a time of 53.05s. With Gora being disqualified for stepping out of his lane, however, Al-Muawi was immediately pushed up a place. Then, having bettered France’s Martin Fraysse’s time in the first-stage heat, it came down to the calculator.

Al-Muawi was 0.37s faster than Fraysse in the first heat, while Fraysse finished the second just 0.33s ahead. The result: the Asian Youth Championships silver-medallist posted a combined time of 1.45.81, making him the third quickest across a field of continental winners, beating Fraysse by just 0.04s.

“It's confusing for sure, but across the two heats, I was second and fourth, so I feel third is deserved," he said, looking down and caressing the bronze medal hanging from his neck. "It was a very strong field in the final. I started well, but the last 100m or so was very tiring and I was unable to really open my legs. It’s been an amazing experience though. Wow. I love the competition, the village, eating the different foods…it’s been unforgettable. And this just tops it all off.”

Al-Muawi splits his time between schooling in Bisha in the south of the Kingdom and training in Los Angeles, California, with World Championships silver-medallist Ryan Wilson. Saudi athletics delegation head, Saad Al-Asmari — himself a former 3000m Asian champion — expects this to be the start of more success not only for Al-Muawi but for Saudi athletics.

“Mohammed did very well,” said Al-Asmari. “He ran very well and it was only in the final 100 metres he had some problems. This result is very good for him and I’m very happy because he is only 17. Also, we have many other talents like this in Saudi Arabia. We have many athletes, but we need good coaching.

“Mohammed has been training since May in LA, which is where we send all our best athletes. When they come back, we always notice little differences: their body shape changes, their technique, endurance, everything.”

Al-Muawi has been racing hurdles for five years after picking it out as a sport he could excel in at the age of 12. He will head home to Bisha now to spend time with his family and continue his studies for two months before returning to LA to prepare for next year’s Asian Championships. The most important lesson he has learnt from Wilson in the United States is not physical, but rather psychological, he said.

“It’s has been a great experience for me over there so far,” he added, his English having improved considerably since his switch. “My coach there has shown support throughout, always telling me that I can do it. Always urging me to never give up. He tells me that before every competition I must tell myself: ‘I am hungry’. He tells me always that I’m a different breed too, so I guess I then begin to believe it — yes, I am a different breed."