Bahrain top performer among Arab delegations in Asian Games

1 / 2
Silver medallist Albert Rop of Bahrain, gold medallist Birhanu Balew of Bahrain (C), bronze medallist Tariq Ahmed Al-Amri of Saudi Arabia (R) celebrate during the medal ceremony for the men's 5000m at the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta on August 30, 2018. (AFP / Juni Kriswanto)
2 / 2
Bronze medallist Tariq Ahmed Al-Amri celebrates during the medal ceremony for the men's 5000m at the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta on August 30, 2018. (AFP / Juni Kriswanto)
Updated 03 September 2018
0

Bahrain top performer among Arab delegations in Asian Games

  • Bahrain’s remarkable late flurry of medals — eight in two days — took them to 26 for the Games
  • Saudi Arabia closed out their campaign early with two more medals over the weekend to take their total tally for the two-week multi-sport event to six

JAKARTA: The curtain on the 18th Asian Games came down yesterday, but Saudi Arabia closed out their campaign early with two more medals over the weekend to take their total tally for the two-week multi-sport event to six.

Runner Tariq Al-Amri finished third in the Men’s 5000m race, while Ramy Al-Duhami claimed bronze in the Jumping Individual Equestrian event. The two medals combined with a gold in team jumping last week, bronze and silver in karate, and a silver in shooting, means the Saudi delegation will return home with their worst haul in 28 years. 

Al-Duhami and his horse Ted were leading going into the final round at the Jakarta International Equestrian Park, but incurred a penalty of four points, seeing him drop to third. Kuwait’s Ali Al-Khorafi and Qatar’s Sheikh Ali Al-Thani finished in the gold and silver spots. 

“I am happy because we won the gold medal in the team event and then I won bronze in the individual category,” Al-Duhami said afterwards. “The competition is very strong here so we have work to do to improve before the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.”

Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah, president of the Asian Olympic Council, said he took great pride in seeing an all-Arab podium in equestrian. “The medals have been won in a competition that the Gulf people cherish because horses are their heritage,” said the Kuwaiti. “The victory of the Gulf people with gold, silver and bronze medals is a joy. I congratulate the Qataris and the Saudis, and, as a Kuwaiti, also congratulate my own countrymen.”

Inside the nearby Gelora Bung Karno Stadium, Al-Amri was part of another all-Arab podium as Bahrain’s Birhanu Balew clocked a time of 13 minutes 43.17 seconds to take gold ahead of his fellow countryman Albert Rop.  Twenty-seven year-old Riydh-born Al-Amri took bronze at the 2017 Asian Championships and emulated that achievement with a time of 13 minutes 56.49 seconds. 

Bahrain’s remarkable late flurry of medals — eight in two days — took them to 26 for the Games.  China, as they have done from 1986 onwards, topped the athletics medals table with 12 gold, 12 silver and nine bronze, but Bahrain were not far behind, with 25 medals — 12 gold, six silver and seven bronze. 

In the football final, South Korea beat Japan to ensure Son Heung-min and his teammates avoid mandatory military service, but in the bronze-medal match earlier in the day at Pakansari Stadium, the UAE defeated Vietnam to finish third. The Emirates drew 1-1 in regular time before triumphing 4-3 on penalties. It was the Young Whites third successful penalty shootout of the Games.

“We are happy and the most important thing is that you see your country’s flag being raised wherever you go. This is the most important thing for us,” heroic goalkeeper Mohammed Al-Shamsi told Arab News. “We were looking forward to the final, but this is football. We have to be happy with bronze and we come back stronger the next time we compete.”

 


Kyrgios withdraws from French Open, citing illness

Updated 24 May 2019
0

Kyrgios withdraws from French Open, citing illness

  • Roger Federer plays down chances of his winning the mega title

PARIS: After a tantrum in Italy last week, Nick Kyrgios withdrew from the French Open on Friday.

The ATP said the Australian player cited illness as the reason.

Last week at the Italian Open, the 36th-ranked Kyrgios was defaulted and fined during his second-round match after an outburst of rage. Trailing against Norwegian qualifier Casper Ruud, Kyrgios slammed his racket to the clay and kicked a water bottle. Then he picked up a white chair and flung it onto the court.

Kyrgios was fined and lost ATP points but escaped suspension and was expected to play in Paris.

His withdrawal came only days after Kyrgios posted a video online in which he said the French Open “sucks” when compared to Wimbledon, where he trained recently.

In 2015, Kyrgios insulted Stan Wawrinka with crude remarks during a match in Montreal. He was fined $12,500 and given a suspended 28-day ban. He also attracted criticism for deciding not to play at the Olympics because of a spat with an Australian team official, and for firing back at retired players who have offered advice.

Also on Friday, Roger Federer played down his chances of winning the French Open on his first appearance at Roland Garros since 2015, saying that title-winning form might not be “in his racquet.”

The 20-time Grand Slam champion missed the French Open in 2016 through injury before sitting out the next two clay-court seasons in order to focus on Wimbledon.

But he will make his Roland Garros return on Sunday with a first-round tie against unheralded Italian Lorenzo Sonego.

Federer admitted that he is unsure of his title chances, but did compare his current situation with when he ended a five-year Grand Slam drought at the Australian Open in 2017.

“(I) don’t know (if I can win the tournament). A bit of a question mark for me. Some ways I feel similar to maybe the Australian Open in ‘17,” the 2009 French Open winner said.

“A bit of the unknown. I feel like I’m playing good tennis, but is it enough against the absolute top guys when it really comes to the crunch? I’m not sure if it’s in my racquet.

“But I hope I can get myself in that position deep down in the tournament against the top guys. But first I need to get there and I know that’s a challenge in itself.”

Despite being the third seed, Federer faces a tricky draw, with a possible quarter-final against Greek youngster Stefanos Tsitsipas — who beat him in the Australian Open last 16 — and a potential last-four clash with 11-time champion and old adversary Rafael Nadal.

Meanwhile, Nadal said on Friday that he “doesn’t care” if he is the red-hot favorite to lift a record-extending 12th French Open title, insisting that there are a host of players in contention for the trophy.

The world number two holds an incredible French Open win-loss record of 86-2, and hit top form by winning his ninth Italian Open last week with a final victory over old rival Novak Djokovic.