Saudi Arabia’s Saleh Alabdelali wins Hail Nissan Rally

1 / 5
The rally was organized by the Saudi Automobile and Motorcycle Federation, under the chairmanship of Prince Khalid bin Sultan Al-Faisal. (Supplied)
2 / 5
The rally was organized by the Saudi Automobile and Motorcycle Federation, under the chairmanship of Prince Khalid bin Sultan Al-Faisal. (Supplied)
3 / 5
The rally was organized by the Saudi Automobile and Motorcycle Federation, under the chairmanship of Prince Khalid bin Sultan Al-Faisal. (Supplied)
4 / 5
The rally was organized by the Saudi Automobile and Motorcycle Federation, under the chairmanship of Prince Khalid bin Sultan Al-Faisal. (Supplied)
5 / 5
The rally was organized by the Saudi Automobile and Motorcycle Federation, under the chairmanship of Prince Khalid bin Sultan Al-Faisal. (Supplied)
Short Url
Updated 09 February 2020

Saudi Arabia’s Saleh Alabdelali wins Hail Nissan Rally

  • Mohammed Al-Balooshi and Riyadh Al-Oraifan win bike and quad categories

HAIL: Saudi driver Saleh Alabdelali and Norwegian navigator Ole Floene won the 15th Hail Nissan Rally with the second quickest time on the fourth 181-km selective section of the event through the An Nafud Desert on Saturday.

The Hummer driver began the stage near Gazala with an overall lead of 12min 52sec and was able to steer clear of trouble to earn the biggest result of his career in his Yazeed Racing Team car.

Pre-race favorite Yazeed Al-Rajhi and co-driver Michael Orr suffered a major setback with a component failure on day two, but Al-Rajhi hit back strongly to claim another fastest time on the last stage with a time of 1hr 29min 47sec at the finish, near Shatieb.

Czech driver Miroslav Zapletal and his Slovakian navigator Marek Sykora guided their Ford F-150 Evo to the runner-up spot, 12min 57sec behind the winning Hummer, to collect a valuable haul of points at the start of the 2020 Saudi Desert Championship.




Prince Abdulaziz bin Saad bin Abdulaziz, governor of Hail region, crowned the winners of the Nissan Hail Rally 2020 on Saturday. (SPA)

Alabdelali said: “Today’s stage was very fast, very rough and there were a lot of stones. Like the previous stages, it needed a lot of navigational skills. After 40 km, I had a puncture and lost a couple of minutes. Then I pushed to regain the minutes that I had lost. I was sure that Zapletal was going to push and try his best to win the stage today. Any small problem would have cost me the rally. In the end, Zapletal was not able to gain any advantage, so I am extremely happy to have won the rally. I am happy for Yazeed Racing.”

Al-Mushanna and Mazen Al-Shammeri displaced Mutair and Hani Al-Shammeri in the battle of the Nissans for third place. Saleh Al-Saif and Yasser Al-Shammeri held on to fifth to confirm victory in the T3 category.

Muneef Al-Salmani confirmed sixth overall in his Nissan, Abdullah Al-Shegawi finished in seventh and Sami Al-Shammeri was eighth.

Khaled Al-Hamazani pipped Salman Al-Shammeri to victory in the T2 category for series production cross-country vehicles and Khalil Al-Tuwaijri topped the T4 standings from Fahad Al-Naim.




Prince Abdulaziz bin Saad bin Abdulaziz, governor of Hail region, crowned the winners of the Nissan Hail Rally 2020 on Saturday. (SPA)

Ibrahim Al-Muhanna and his faithful crew of Osama Al-Sanad and Raed Abo Theeb were the sole entrants in the T5 truck section in their Mercedes.

Mohammed Al-Balooshi took a 3min 06sec lead over his brother Sultan into the last stage and the Emirati KTM duo held on second a one-two finish for the Al-Balooshi family, Mohammed winning the rally by 6min 05sec. Saudi Arabia’s Ahmed Al-Nasser finished a distant third.

Sulfyan Al-Omar began the final stage with a 13-second lead over Riyadh Al-Oraifan in the quad section but Al-Oraifan won the stage to clinch victory by the margin of 6min 47sec. Sultan Al-Masoud, Abdul Aziz Al-Shayban and Ahmed Al-Harbi rounded off the top five.

The rally was organized by the Saudi Automobile and Motorcycle Federation, under the chairmanship of Prince Khalid bin Sultan Al-Faisal and the supervision of the Hail Regional Development Authority, in cooperation with the General Authority for Tourism and National Heritage and the General Authority for Sport.

The rally was held under the patronage of Hail Gov. Prince Abdul Aziz bin Saad bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud and Prince Faisal bin Fahd.

Prince Khalid said: “The achievement of organizing the Hail International Rally as a candidate for next year’s FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies will add more responsibilities on us to develop the event and preserve the reputation of this rally. This rally has become a platform for Saudis to participate in international events within the 2030 Vision reform plan. We are hopeful that we will be up to these responsibilities. Thanks to the efforts made by all respected authorities in Hail for the success of this sporting event, which has become an annual gathering for desert rallying enthusiasts.”


Woods, Manning win TV charity match as good as real thing

Updated 26 May 2020

Woods, Manning win TV charity match as good as real thing

  • Donations for COVID-19 relief funds kept piling up, and entertainment didn’t stop

NEW YORK: Tom Brady delivered the shot of the match that made it easy to forget the rest of his swings. Tiger Woods didn’t miss a fairway and earned a small measure of revenge against Phil Mickelson.

The PGA Tour is set to return in just over two weeks, and it has a tough act to follow.

In the second and final charity match that brought live golf to TV, this exhibition was as entertaining as the real thing.

Woods lagged a long birdie putt close enough that his partner, Peyton Manning, didn’t have to putt. That secured a 1-up victory over Mickelson and Brady in “The Match: Champions for Charity.”

The goal was to raise $10 million or more for COVID-19 relief funds, and online donations sent money climbing toward about twice that much.

This made-for-TV exhibition would have  worth pay-per-view, the model Woods and Mickelson used for a $9 million winner-take-all match in Las Vegas over Thanksgiving weekend in 2018 that Mickelson won in a playoff under lights. It felt forced, lacked banter and turned out to free because of technical issues.

Throw in two NFL greats in Brady and Manning, and this allowed viewers to ride along for 18 holes at Medalist Golf Club among four of the biggest stars in sport.

Justin Thomas pitched in as an on-course reporter, bringing a mixture of humor and insight with the right amount of words.

Woods and Manning took the lead on the third hole and never trailed, building a 3-up lead in fourballs on the front nine, with Manning making two birdies (one was a net par).

Brady, whose six Super Bowl titles are more than any NFL quarterback in history, took a beating on social media and in the broadcast booth from Charles Barkley, who twice offered $50,000 of his own money toward charity if Brady just hit the green on a par 3. He missed so far right it would be comparable to a pass that landed three rows into the stands.

New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton weighed in on Twitter, noting Brady signing as a free agent with Tampa Bay by saying he liked the “Florida” Brady much better.

Brooks Koepka offered $100,000 if Brady could just make a par.

One shot shut everyone up.

Never mind that Brady had to take a penalty drop before getting back to the fairway on the par-5 seventh. With his fourth shot, with Barkley needling him relentlessly, Brady’s shot landed beyond the pin and spun back into the cup.

“Shut your mouth, Chuck,” said Brady, whose microphone piece dangled off the back of his pants.

Woods still thought he won the hole with a 25-foot eagle putt that instead spun hard off the back of the lip. All that, and they ended up halving the hole.

Donations for COVID-19 relief funds kept piling up, and the entertainment didn’t stop even as the rain returned. It caused a 45-minute delay at the start, and as Woods said on the practice range, “I don’t normally play in conditions like this.”

Mickelson brought out his “Tiger Slayer” putter that he used to shoot 64 at Pebble Beach in 2012, the last time they were in the final group on the PGA Tour. Woods shot 75 that day. It didn’t help Lefty with a few critical birdie putts to square the match, though he rolled in a 15-foot par putt to stay 1 down with two to play.

The back nine was modified alternate shot — all players hit tee shots, and it was alternate shot from there. It was key for the quarterbacks to find the fairway for the pros to hit shots into the green, and Brady came through until the 18th.

Woods was playing for the first time since Feb. 16 when he finished last at Riviera in Los Angeles. He chose not to play the next four weeks with his back not feeling just right, and then the pandemic shut down golf and sports worldwide.

Woods looked sharp for the most part, with his game and his words. Mickelson on the fifth hole asked Woods to mark his ball from some 80 yards away.

“You want me to mark with a US Open medal,” said Woods, a three-time champion of the only major Mickelson has not won.

“Do you have one? I have some silver ones,” Mickelson said, referring to his record six runner-up finishes.

Mickelson boasted about taking Woods down on his home course at Medalist, and now their TV matches are tied at 1-1, even with each getting a little help. Mickelson says he was a little nervous on the front nine until he found his groove, driving the green on the par-4 11th with Brady making a 20-footer for eagle that began their rally.

“Phil said he was nervous. I know Tom and I were comparing notes,” Manning said. “To be behind the ropes in these guys’ worlds, to be in the arena with them, it was really a special experience. I was not comfortable the entire time. Knowing $20 million was raised and helping people going through tough times, it was an honor to be invited.

“It’s something I’ll always remember.”