Recce underway for all-new Dakar Saudi Arabia 2021 route

Recce underway for all-new Dakar Saudi Arabia 2021 route
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Updated 06 October 2020

Recce underway for all-new Dakar Saudi Arabia 2021 route

Recce underway for all-new Dakar Saudi Arabia 2021 route
  • rganizers of Dakar Saudi Arabia continue to put the final touches before announcing details of the stages and the total distance of the race

RIYADH: Preparations for the second edition of Dakar Saudi Arabia took a major step forward as a recce got underway from Jeddah to determine the all-new route for the world’s most challenging desert race.

Organizers of Dakar Saudi Arabia continue to put the final touches before announcing details of the stages and the total distance of the race, which will launch on 3 January from Jeddah and travel throughout the Saudi desert before crossing the finish line and crowning the winners back in Jeddah on 15 January.

With the inaugural race in January 2020 taking the motorsport world through 7,500 kilometers of Saudi desert beauty, reconnaissance for next year’s event aims to guarantee the same levels of quality the first edition has produced. It also reflects the progress made in Saudi Arabia’s preparations as the country continues to build its legacy as a regional and international motorsports hub.

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READ MORE: New route, more technically challenging Dakar Rally promised in Saudi Arabia next year

Dakar Saudi Arabia 2021 participants to benefit from wide range of incentives

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The countdown to Dakar Saudi Arabia 2021 started in June when organizers unveiled initial details about the new route, which will feature a rest day in Hail on 9 January. The official announcement also featured the new technical and safety regulations that will be introduced in the 43rd edition of Dakar Rally. Registration is now open for drivers and teams to take part in the race.

Dakar Saudi Arabia 2021 will see the debut of Dakar Classic, a new category for vehicles that were designed before 2000 and previously competed in Dakar as well as vintage cars and trucks.

A set of new regulations will include handing out the road book just 10 minutes before the start of the race stages, while competitors will also receive aural warnings as they approach danger zones to keep them alert and maximize their safety

Dakar Saudi Arabia 2020 saw 563 pilots register from 68 countries to compete in five categories across 7,500km of unique terrain throughout the Kingdom’s uncharted desert.

Dakar Rally is being staged in Saudi Arabia for the second consecutive year as part of a 10-year agreement between the kingdom and Dakar Rally organisers Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO).


Saudi Arabia wins 4 medals at 2021 Arab Athletics Championship 

Saudi Arabia wins 4 medals at 2021 Arab Athletics Championship 
Updated 23 June 2021

Saudi Arabia wins 4 medals at 2021 Arab Athletics Championship 

Saudi Arabia wins 4 medals at 2021 Arab Athletics Championship 
  • The Kingdom’s track team claimed a first-place podium finish in the men’s 4x100-meter relay race at the Stade Olympique de Radès in Tunisia
  • Saudi Ambassador to Tunisia Abdulaziz bin Ali Al-Saqr was in attendance when the national team members from the short-distance relay were awarded their gold medals

Saudi Arabia’s athletes returned home from the 2021 Arab Athletics Championship with a medal haul that included two golds, a silver and a bronze, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.

The Kingdom’s track team claimed a first-place podium finish in the men’s 4x100-meter relay race at the Stade Olympique de Radès in Tunisia.

Saudi Ambassador to Tunisia Abdulaziz bin Ali Al-Saqr was present when the national team members from the short-distance relay were awarded their gold medals.

More than 500 athletes from 14 countries competed in 44 events while Morocco won 31 medals, followed by Algeria (21), Egypt (19) and host Tunisia (16).


Police officer guilty of manslaughter in soccer star’s death

Police officer guilty of manslaughter in soccer star’s death
Updated 23 June 2021

Police officer guilty of manslaughter in soccer star’s death

Police officer guilty of manslaughter in soccer star’s death
LONDON: A British police officer was convicted Wednesday of manslaughter in the death of Dalian Atkinson, a former professional soccer player who died after being Tasered and kicked in the head.
A jury unanimously found Constable Benjamin Monk guilty of manslaughter but cleared him of murder.
Former Aston Villa star Atkinson, 48, died in August 2016 after police were called to his father’s home in Telford, central England. He went into cardiac arrest on the way to a hospital and died around an hour after officers used a Taser to subdue him. Prosecutors said Monk used a stun gun for 33 seconds against Atkinson — more than six times longer than was standard.
Monk, 43, said he had been afraid for his life after Atkinson, who appeared to be having a mental health crisis, made threats and smashed a glass door pane. He claimed he acted in lawful self-defense, first using a stun gun eight times and then aiming kicks at the athlete’s shoulder. His boot hit Atkinson at least twice in the head.
The officer was convicted after a six-week trial. Atkinson’s family members said in a statement they were “hugely relieved that the whole country now knows the truth about how Dalian died.”
Jurors at Birmingham Crown Court are still deliberating on an assault charge against another police officer who was Monk’s girlfriend at the time.
It is extremely rare for police in Britain to be convicted of manslaughter or murder over deaths in custody or during contact with the public. According to the charity Inquest, the last such conviction was in 1986.
Atkinson was a forward who played in England’s top division for Sheffield Wednesday and Aston Villa. During a Villa game against Wimbledon in October 1992 he scored one of the Premier League’s most famous goals when he ran from inside his own half, evaded a number of challenges, then chipped the ball over the goalkeeper.
He scored 20 Premier League goals for Villa and also netted in the 1994 League Cup final in the team’s 3-1 win over Manchester United. Atkinson also had spells with Real Sociedad in Spain, Fenerbahce in Turkey and in South Korea.

16km cycling track to be built alongside Dubai’s Jumeirah Beach

16km cycling track to be built alongside Dubai’s Jumeirah Beach
Updated 23 June 2021

16km cycling track to be built alongside Dubai’s Jumeirah Beach

16km cycling track to be built alongside Dubai’s Jumeirah Beach
  • Track is part of plans by crown prince to transform Dubai into bicycle-friendly city

DUBAI: A new 16-km cycling track that will run alongside Jumeirah Beach in Dubai has been announced, the Emirates News Agency (WAM) reported.

The design and construction of the track have come on the orders of Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, crown prince of the emirate and chairman of the Dubai Executive Council.

The new track will connect the existing Jumeirah Street cycling track parallel to the Dubai Water Canal with the one that runs alongside King Salman bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud Street in Dubai Internet City.

“The construction of this cycling track is part of our efforts to realise the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, to improve the quality of life of people and enhance their happiness,” Mattar Mohammed Al-Tayer, director general and chairman of the board of executive directors of the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), said in a statement. “It is also a step to advance sustainable mobility.”

Al-Tayer said the new track is part of Sheikh Hamdan’s plans to transform Dubai into a bicycle-friendly city, and will contribute to the Dubai 2040 Urban Master Plan.

The first sector of the track will have a width of 4 meters stretching alongside Jumeirah Beach in parallel to the existing jogging and walking tracks that extend from Dubai Water Canal to Umm Suqeim Park.

The second sector, which will have a width of 3 meters, will run alongside Jumeirah Street and King Salman bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud Street up to Dubai Internet City.

It will serve locations alongside Jumeirah Beach such as the Sunset Mall, Open Beach, Dubai Sailing Club, Kite Beach, Umm Suqeim Park, and Burj Al Arab.

“The public can use the track for cycling alongside a beach that boasts a variety of service facilities. They can also benefit from the shared bike services available at the Sunset Mall, Al-Manara Mosque and Umm Suqeim Park. The speed limit set for this track is 20 km/h and is classified among mobility, sports and leisure tracks,” said Al-Tayer.

“The cycling track along Jumeirah Beach is part of a master plan for constructing cycling tracks to link vital areas of the emirate,” he added.

“The Master Plan for Cycling Tracks 2026 envisages the construction of additional cycling tracks extending 276 km, which will bring the total length of cycling tracks in the emirate to 739 km. The plan aims to link the tracks at the coastal areas, such as Jumeirah, Al-Sufouh and Al-Marina with the external tracks at Al-Qudra, Seih Assalam and Nad Al-Sheba via Al-Barsha, Dubai Hills.”

Dedicated cycling tracks in Dubai completed by the end of 2020 extend a total of 463 km, and the RTA is seeking to further extend the length to 739 km by 2026.

The RTA has also set a speed limit of 30 km/h for tracks dedicated to cyclists, while tracks in urban areas dedicated to cyclists or shared with pedestrians have a speed limit of 20 km/h.


Mauritania beats Yemen 2-0 to qualify for 2021 FIFA Arab Cup

Mauritania beats Yemen 2-0 to qualify for 2021 FIFA Arab Cup
Updated 23 June 2021

Mauritania beats Yemen 2-0 to qualify for 2021 FIFA Arab Cup

Mauritania beats Yemen 2-0 to qualify for 2021 FIFA Arab Cup
  • African nation joins Tunisia, UAE, Syria in Group B of tournament

DUBAI: Mauritania has qualified for the 2021 FIFA Arab Cup after goals from Ismael Diakite and Hemeya Tanjy secured a 2-0 win over Yemen in the qualifier that took place in Doha.

Mauritania joins Tunisia, the UAE and Syria in Group B of the tournament that will take place between Nov. 27 and Dec. 18.

The match began at a fast pace with both teams trading attacks. Mauritania came closest to breaking the deadlock after six minutes, only for Adama Ba’s free kick to be tipped onto the post by Khairalah Mohammed in Yemen’s goal.

The Africans did get the opener in the 18th minute, and in some style. Ba, from the back, spotted Diakite’s run behind the Yemen backline and delivered a fine long ball over Yemeni defense. Diakite did the rest, finishing clinically after some impeccable control.

Yemen’s chances of a comeback took a massive hit shortly before half time when Mudir Al-Radaei was sent off for a deliberate handball.

After the break, the Yemenis did their best to get back into the game, but the disadvantage meant they were facing an uphill task.

Diakite had a half chance to double the lead for Mauritania when he burst down the right, but he failed to trouble Khairalah.

The second goal eventually came in the dying minutes of the match when Tanjy’s effort slipped under the Yemen goalkeeper to seal a 2-0 victory.

Yemen did finally put the ball in the net in stoppage time, but the effort was ruled out for an offside.


WHO concerned about eased virus curbs around Euro 2020

WHO concerned about eased virus curbs around Euro 2020
Updated 22 June 2021

WHO concerned about eased virus curbs around Euro 2020

WHO concerned about eased virus curbs around Euro 2020
  • WHO is concerned about easing of restrictions in some of the host countries, said a WHO official
  • Britain Tuesday said over 60,000 spectators will be allowed at London’s Wembley stadium semi-finals and final

COPENHAGEN: The World Health Organization on Tuesday said it was concerned about the easing of Covid-19 restrictions by nations hosting Euro 2020 matches, noting that some were already seeing rising cases.
“WHO is concerned about easing of restrictions in some of the host countries,” Robb Butler, an executive director at WHO’s Regional Office for Europe, said in an emailed statement to AFP.
“A few of the stadiums hosting the tournament are now increasing the number of spectators allowed,” Butler said.
The UN health agency did not single out any cities, but Britain announced Tuesday that more than 60,000 spectators will be allowed at the Wembley stadium in London for the semifinals and final of the tournament.
Originally, it was intended to limit the crowd to 40,000.
UEFA has also been in talks with the UK government to ease virus-related travel restrictions to allow up to 2,500 VIPs to attend the final on July 11.
In some “host cities, Covid-19 cases are already on the rise in the area where matches will be held,” said Butler.
In areas where infection rates are on the rise, WHO Europe called on the cities concerned to act quickly.
“Learning from experience, we must act fast on signals showing increasing cases.
“Expanding testing and sequencing; stepping up contact tracing; and building very high vaccine uptake fast among those vulnerable and most at risk,” he added.
In Denmark, 29 cases have been detected in connection with the Euro games taking place in Copenhagen.
The reported infections involved people who were either already ill during the match or were infected during the game, Anette Lykke Petri, a health authority official, told a Tuesday press briefing.
“In theory, there could be more people infected,” she added.
In Denmark, the permitted audience has also recently been increased to 25,000, from 16,000. The higher number was first applied for last Thursday’s game between Denmark and Belgium.
In Budapest, games at the Puskas Arena, which has a capacity of 68,000, have been played to a full stadium.
UEFA had also stripped two cities, Dublin and Bilbao, from hosting games in the tournament because the capacities allowed were too low.
Among the host cities, Russia’s St. Petersburg in particular has reported an increase in the number of cases in recent days.
Meanwhile the trend has been downward in Spain’s Seville and in Rome, Italian authorities assure that no cases of Covid-19 linked to the competition have been detected.
While the situation across Europe has improved over the past two months, the WHO has nevertheless urged continued caution.
“Although we have come far, we have not come far enough,” Hans Kluge, WHO’s regional director for Europe, warned in early June.
Vaccine uptake was still too low to protect the region from a resurgence, he said.