UAE leading the way for Arab nations at Asian Games, Saudi Arabia hoping for more

At the midway stage of the Asian Games, Saudi Arabia have already won two medals, but the second week of the world’s second-largest multisport event is where the Kingdom hopes to enjoy more success. (AFP)
Updated 25 August 2018
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UAE leading the way for Arab nations at Asian Games, Saudi Arabia hoping for more

JAKARTA: At the midway stage of the Asian Games, Saudi Arabia have already won two medals, but the second week of the world’s second-largest multisport event is where the Kingdom hopes to enjoy more success.
Hussain Al-Harbi secured the Saudi National Olympic Committee its first medal of the 2018 Games — a silver — on Friday when he finished one-point behind winner Youngjeon Choi in the Men’s 300m Standard Rifle shooting event in Palembang. The 42-year-old was then accompanied into the record books 24-hours later in Jakarta by Tareg Ali Hamedi, who defeated Shadykanov Adilet of Kyrgyzstan 4-0 in the bronze medal match of the men’s +84kg karate event.
“This is not for me alone, but for all the Saudi people,” Al-Harbi said after scoring 568 points across the three disciplines: kneeling, prone, and standing. “The competition was strong, especially with the Korean players. My ambition was gold, but I was denied by a single point. Thanks and appreciation must go to the Saudi delegation. Our sport is moving in the right direction.”
Hamedi, 20, was named by the World Karate Federation in 2016 as the sport’s most promising and distinguished player, but lost 4-1 to eventual gold medallist Sajad Ganjzadeh in the semifinal. The Dammam-born athlete’s bronze medal was Saudi Arabia’s seventh in Karate across the 10 Asian Games the Kingdom has competed. Although the wait for gold continues, karate is now the country’s second-most successful sport behind athletics.
Saudi have won 29 medals in athletics, including 17 golds, since first participating in the 1978 Asiad.
It is hoped that this figure will be added to in the coming week as 17 of Saudi’s 169-athlete delegation take to the track and field inside the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium. The last time Saudi left an Asian Games with less than seven medals was in 1990 so expectations are high.
Abdullah Abkar Mohammed will contest the 100m semifinal on Sunday after finishing second in his qualifying heat, just 0.02 seconds behind Chunhan Yang of Chinese Taipei who clocked 10.13.
Mohammed competed at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro and has a personal best of 10.04.
Meanwhile the football team must beat Japan on Sunday to reach the semifinal, the volleyball side face Taipei this evening, and the water polo team get their campaign underway this afternoon against Vietnam. Jiu jitsu action will also take place on Sunday, although Saudi have yet to show they can compete at the same level of their Gulf neighbors, the UAE.


The Emirates in fact top the medal standings among the Arab countries, in large part to their jiu-jitsu contingent who have so far secured two golds, four silvers and a bronze. Ali Allanjawi also won gold for his country in the Runabout Limited category of jet-ski to help the Emirates climb to 12th in the overall standings. Jordan are similarly strong in combat competition, sharing their seven medals across jiu-jitsu (one silver and two bronze) and taekwondo (one gold and three bronze).
Lebanon with one gold and a bronze in shooting, a silver in wrestling and bronze in taekwondo, sit 22nd in the table, narrowly ahead of Iraq, who won gold in weightlifting through Safa Rashed, and Bahrain, who won two silvers in athletics. Meanwhile Saudi and Qatar share 27th place with two medals apiece after Qatar won silver in weightlifting and bronze in shooting.


Leonard stars as Raptors claw back with win over Bucks

Updated 20 May 2019
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Leonard stars as Raptors claw back with win over Bucks

  • Milwaukee’s MVP finalist Giannis Antetokounmpo struggles to just 12 points
  • He then fouled out in the first minute of the second overtime period

LOS ANGELES: Kawhi Leonard scored eight of his 36 points in the second overtime period Sunday to lead the Toronto Raptors to a gritty 118-112 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks in the NBA Eastern Conference finals.
The Raptors, who dropped the first two games of the best-of-seven series in Milwaukee, clawed their way back to 2-1 in front of home fans and will try to level the set when they host game four on Tuesday.
Pascal Siakam scored 25 points and Spanish center Marc Gasol added 16 for the Raptors, who got off to a quick start and led much of the night but had to battle to put the Bucks away.
“We just played a lot tougher,” Raptors coach Nick Nurse said. “We were up guarding, we were physical. We were ready to play tonight.”
Milwaukee’s Most Valuable Player finalist Giannis Antetokounmpo struggled to just 12 points on five-of-16 shooting.
Antetokounmpo’s 23 rebounds helped the Bucks stay in touch, but he didn’t reach double figures in points until the middle of the fourth quarter and he produced eight of the Bucks’ 20 turnovers.
Antetokounmpo fouled out in the first minute of the second overtime period.
Moments later the Bucks managed to edge ahead 105-103 — taking the lead for the first time since Antetokounmpo scored the game’s opening basket — but Leonard and the Raptors roared back.
Leonard’s steal and dunk put Toronto ahead 112-109 and his driving bank shot gave Toronto a 114-110 lead with 32.4 seconds remaining.
Leonard played a key role in limiting Antetokounmpo and Nurse said his defensive play was “probably the biggest key of the game.”
“Not only did he just play good, but he made some huge plays with some steals and rip-aways and break aways,” Nurse said.
“Offense was hard to come by there for both teams for a while and any time you can get a steal and a break out it’s a huge momentum play.”
Toronto had a chance to win it in regulation, but they let a 96-91 lead slip away in the final 1:13 of the fourth quarter.
Milwaukee guard Khris Middleton’s putback basket from his own miss with 2.2 seconds left in regulation forced overtime.
The Raptors led 103-99 with 1:29 remaining in the first extra session.
But Malcolm Brogdon floated in a shot and George Hill drained two free throws to tie it before Leonard’s jump shot fell short.
The Raptors overcame a slow night from Kyle Lowry, who scored 11 points before fouling out with 6:12 left in the fourth.
Although Leonard scored 19 points in the fourth quarter and both overtimes, some grimaces from the Raptors star sparked concerns he might be injured.
“I’m feeling all right,” he said. “This is playoff basketball. Everybody’s hurting, you just have to keep fighting.”
Hill led the Bucks with 24 points and fellow reserve Brogdon added 20. Center Brook Lopez led the Bucks starters with 16 points.
“I feel like we gave ourselves several chances,” Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said. “We weren’t able to get over the hump.
“When you have opportunities you’ve got to make them and we didn’t quite make enough of our good ones. I think we’ll be better in game four, Giannis, everybody.”