Winning start for Madagascar as they seek more glory in African Cup of Nations

Rayan Ravelson, shown in this file photo, scored on the 19th minute to give Madagascar a 1-0 victory over Ethiopia in the last Africa Cup of Nations in Johannesberg on Saturday. (Screengrab from YouTube video)
Updated 17 November 2019

Winning start for Madagascar as they seek more glory in African Cup of Nations

JOHANNESBURG: Madagascar, the surprise team of the last Africa Cup of Nations, kicked off their 2021 qualifying campaign with a 1-0 win over Ethiopia on Saturday through a Rayan Raveloson goal.

The 22-year-old midfielder from French second-tier side Troyes netted on 19 minutes in Antananarivo for the hosts, who are ranked 95th in the world, 56 places above their rivals.

It was a tentative start in Group K by the Malagasys with French coach Nicolas Dupuis admitting it will be hard to match the achievements of earlier this year in Egypt.

The Indian Ocean island nation stunned three-time African champions Nigeria, then upset the Democratic Republic of Congo before losing to Tunisia in the quarter-finals.

“We need to build on the work that has been done to show that hard work pays off,” stressed the 51-year-old, who also coaches a French lower league club.

“Otherwise, our achievements in Egypt could become a one-off,” said the coach who was rewarded for his efforts in Egypt with a new four-year contract.

Ivory Coast host Niger in Abidjan later Saturday in the other Group K matchday one fixture.

Meanwhile, a poor start by Bosnian Vahid Halilhodzic as coach of Morocco continued when lower ranked Mauritania forced a 0-0 Africa Cup of Nations matchday one qualifying draw in Rabat.

Morocco are ranked 42nd in the world, 63 places above Mauritania, and the barren deadlock left Halilhodzic with only one win from five matches since succeeding Herve Renard three months ago.

In warmup matches at home for the Cup of Nations, the Atlas Lions beat Niger, were held by Burkina Faso and Libya and lost to Gabon.

Frenchman Renard twice failed to bring the Cup of Nations trophy to Morocco, whose lone success in the premier African national team competition came 43 years ago in Ethiopia.

 

 


SFA launches Saudi Arabia’s first walk-run event in the summer

Photo/Supplied
Updated 13 July 2020

SFA launches Saudi Arabia’s first walk-run event in the summer

  • Staged under the banner of the Quality of Life program, the Step Together walk-run series aims to contribute to Vision 2030 by ensuring that physical activity levels are maintained and grow during the summer months

RIYADH: The Saudi Sports for All Federation (SFA) has announced its first outdoor event of the summer season, a series of competitive walk-runs called Step Together.
The first Step Together virtual walk-run is open to individual and teams. Participants can register from July 17 until the closing date of July 26.
Adults taking part can choose to complete either a 42 kilometer full marathon or a 21 kilometer half marathon over a period of 10 days, commencing on July 17. Children under the age of 15 taking part in the challenge will complete a shorter 10 kilometer race over the same period.
The event is the first organized by the SFA since lockdown restrictions were eased. It is designed to appeal to all ages, abilities and demographics by offering both walk and run options. Participants who meet the distance goals will be awarded with finishing medals and electronic certificates celebrating their achievement.
Participants will be able to use their own preferred digital fitness tracker. They will upload data and images every day to the race platform to register progress and compare their results with other participants on the race leaderboard.
Community sports groups (CSGs) are also encouraged to join Step Together, with the event featuring an exclusive leaderboard for groups. Members of CSGs can complete simultaneously in both individual and group categories.
Registered users will each receive email confirmations with a unique link and instructions for the Race Result platform.
The dedicated link allows each participant to enter distance and elapsed time each day, validated by a screenshot from any digital fitness tracker.
A results tab on the platform allows users to enjoy friendly competition and compare results with other participants.
There are also leaderboards for various categories on the same page, including age, gender and distance.
Staged under the banner of the Quality of Life program, the Step Together walk-run series aims to contribute to Vision 2030 by ensuring that physical activity levels are maintained and grow during the summer months.
The aims to promote a renewed excitement and energy for outdoor fitness.
A recent SFA report said there was a 60 percent increase in walking in Saudi Arabia since March, while running became 30 percent more popular.
The report added that the increases mainly came from people who were previously less active.
The SFA aims to further encourage enjoyment of physical fitness within this demographic.

Step Together participants can register on the Race Result platform at sfa.sa/STen.