Kimi Raikkonen warns Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes Ferrari are after the constructors title

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Having seen Hamilton win the drivers' title Raikkonen and Ferrari now have their sights set on the constructors' crown. (AFP)
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Updated 08 November 2018
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Kimi Raikkonen warns Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes Ferrari are after the constructors title

SAO PAULO: Kimi Raikkonen congratulated Lewis Hamilton on his fifth world title, but warned him that Ferrari are going all out to stop Mercedes completing a Formula One championship double at this weekend’s Brazilian Grand Prix.
The Sauber-bound Finn conceded that Ferrari are not in a strong position — they trail Mercedes by 55 points in the constructors’ standings with two races to go — but made it clear they will not be giving up.
“Obviously, we’re not in a good position, but we’re still in it and we’ll do our best... We’re trying to win,” he told reporters.
Raikkonen, who famously won the drivers’ title for Ferrari in Brazil in 2007, said that Hamilton deserved to win this year’s crown and rejected the idea that his Ferrari team-mate Sebastian Vettel had lost it through team and individual errors.
“For sure he won it,” he said. “Whoever has the most points has won it. In the end, if you ask 10 people, they all have different views how it’s been won or lost.
“It makes no difference... He won it. Fair play and congratulations to him.”

Hamilton won his fifth drivers' title this year. 


He added that it was more important for the team to succeed in the constructors’ championship.
“There’s a drivers’ championship, but if you go to any team they’re probably going to say this is more important for them — the constructors’ championship more than the drivers.
“That’s what we’re trying to do... and we’ll see in two races’ time.”

VETTEL BULLISH FOR THE FUTURE

Vettel admitted he was disappointed that Hamilton had clinched this year’s drivers’ title in Mexico with two races remaining, but said he remained motivated for the future, including this weekend.
“Obviously, the last race was a tough one to swallow and probably the winter will be as well,” said the four-time world champion. “But giving up is not an option...
“Three times now, I have been in a position like that with 2017, 2009 and this year. For me, probably ‘09 was the worst — and my lowest point.
“You never know what the next year brings so you never know whether you get another chance. I have worked very hard for it and I am confident it will come, but ultimately I don’t know.
“You can’t predict. None of those moments were nice.”
Looking back on this year, in which his title challenge faded in the second half of the season, he said: “There is a lot of stuff that happened this year and we will, as a team and as an individual, be able to learn from it and take it forward and raise the bar next year.
“Obviously, along the way, something went wrong and we need to learn from it. Something went wrong and we didn’t go and develop in the right direction...
“Clearly we missed something and not because something was on purpose by default set wrong. So it’s up to us to find a fix for it and make sure it doesn’t happen again, but it’s not so simple to find and fix it as it sounds.
“I still have a mission here and I still want to win. That hasn’t changed.”


KSA’s martial arts heroine: ‘I got into kickboxing by coincidence, as I just wanted to join a gym’

Updated 19 March 2019
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KSA’s martial arts heroine: ‘I got into kickboxing by coincidence, as I just wanted to join a gym’

  • Young Saudi triumphant at Open International Tournament despite just two years of training
  • Zahra Al-Qurashi took the gold in the women’s 70 kg category, beating Jordanian Heba Wasfi

JEDDAH: Zahra Al-Qurashi never expected to be where she is today: A gold medal winner in full contact kickboxing at the Open International Tournament for Clubs aged just 21. What started out as a gym class two years ago soon turned into a passion, leading to her victory in Amman on Sunday.

“I got into kickboxing by coincidence, as I just wanted to join a gym. I found the class and gave it a try, and decided to keep attending the classes,” she said. “A year ago, I joined Flagboxing Gym, and started training with my coach Grethe (Kraugerud). With her help, I developed my style and I am improving every day.”

Full contact is a discipline of kickboxing where punches and kicks must be delivered to legal areas of the body. According to the World Association for Kickboxing Organizations’ rules, it is legal to attack the front of the head and front and side of the torso, using “ankle-level foot sweeps.” It is prohibited to attack the throat, lower abdomen, back, legs, joints, back of the head and top of the shoulders.

A medal at her first international competition, then, speaks volumes about Al-Qurashi’s tenacity. She took the gold in the women’s 70 kg category, beating Jordanian Heba Wasfi.

“As soon as I entered the ring, everything went blank, I couldn’t hear or see anyone but my opponent, so I don’t really recall hearing my name even,” said Al-Qurashi. “I got a couple of really good kicks and punches, but she was a good opponent. I was in my own zone though, following every move and made sure I didn’t make mistakes.”

Zahra Al-Quraishi, 21, is already a gold medal winner at an international event despite being a virtual rookie in the demanding sport of kickboxing. (Supplied photos)

Hala Al-Hamrani, the owner of Flagboxing Gym in Jeddah, said: “I am over the moon. I have dreamt about this happening for 16 years, ever since I started coaching. My goal was to eventually provide the ladies of this country with an opportunity to compete.”

For approximately two months, Kraugerud, from Norway, oversaw Al-Qurashi’s workouts, adding more sparring, interval training and intense ring practice.

“I’ve had Zahra spar with men, who are bigger and stronger than her, to give her a sense of what to expect in the ring, to give her more confidence and make her mentally prepared,” said Kraugerud. “I was very proud of her as she entered the ring, you could see the respect for the sport reflected in her. We did a really good job at Flag, we really pushed for this together as a team. She’s young, but she’s talented and she will go far.”

Al-Hamrani, a member of the Saudi Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) Federation, added: “We got her ready by providing her with the right practice and training. It’s a dream come true and it’s very overwhelming because it was such a long process for something like this to happen. Zahra is an up-and-coming athlete who hopefully has a long future and I’m extremely excited to see what that future holds.”

Abdul Aziz Julaidan, chairman of the Saudi MMA Federation, hailed the result after a tough bout between the two competitors, and thanked Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal, chairman of the General Sport Authority, for the support he had given to the team.

Upon returning to her hometown of Jeddah, Al-Qurashi was greeted by her mother. “I was hugging her and crying and mom, being mom, asked if I was crying because I got hit,” she laughed. “That was her way of saying: I’m proud of you.”