Bubbles as Saudi Arabia holds its first women’s golf tournament

Bubbles as Saudi Arabia holds its first women’s golf tournament
Players will be kept entertained by a bowling alley and gyms at their hotels. (Supplied)
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Updated 11 November 2020

Bubbles as Saudi Arabia holds its first women’s golf tournament

Bubbles as Saudi Arabia holds its first women’s golf tournament
  • More than 1,500 coronavirus tests to be carried out during the events

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia is welcoming back international live sports with safe zones as it prepares to hold its first professional women’s golf tournament.

“Bubbles” and a biosecure environment at King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC) will be in place throughout the elite-level European Ladies Tour golf tournaments that are starting from next week.

The $1 million Aramco Saudi Ladies International, presented by the Kingdom’s Public Investment Fund, runs between Nov. 12-15, while the $500,000 Saudi Ladies Team International takes place between Nov. 17-19.

The bubbles will be home to between 500 and 600 people across three weeks, and the tournament will see more than 1,500 COVID-19 tests conducted, including at least three each for the events’ 110 players. There will also be testing for caddies and tournament staff.

Ladies European Tour players, event staff and personnel will have COVID-19 tests upon arrival in KAEC, before being permitted to enter the safe zones ahead of the tournament, where they will be in hotels for the event duration. 

These measures have been implemented to ensure the health and safety of everyone, with all aspects of player and staff safety watched over by independent specialists who are experts in risk assessment and COVID-19 best practices. They include Dr. Andrew Murray, key adviser to Sport England and a technical advisor to the World
Health Organization.

There will be daily symptom checking on everyone within the bubbles, with contingency plans in place.

Majed Al-Sorour, CEO of Golf Saudi and the Saudi Golf Federation, said: “We have been building a safe and secure zone to bring back international sports to the Kingdom while adhering to COVID-19 precautionary measures. The area is designed to ensure that we can provide a secure environment to host Ladies European Tour golfers, but also protect the wider community. The landmark event will allow us to showcase that Saudi Arabia is ready to once again host major global events, while also developing the great game of golf and inspiring the next generation of young Saudis and Saudi golfers.”

The tournament is at the Royal Greens Golf & Country Club, which has been adapted to suit COVID-19 precautionary measures and will be sanitized throughout the run-up and duration of both events. 

A 2-meter physical distance must be maintained at all times, with players and caddies the exception to this rule.

Away from the golf course, players will be kept entertained by a bowling alley, games room, cinema screen, gyms and swimming pools at their hotels.

Both tournaments will attract many of the world’s best golfers, with the Saudi Ladies Team International set to be the first time in women’s golf history that professionals — themselves competing in the Kingdom for the first time — will partner with amateurs in a points-earning Tour event.

The tournament marks the return of major international sporting events to the Kingdom, with the country aiming to inspire the next generation under the Saudi Vision 2030 reform plan.


LeBron confirms vaccinated but ‘not my job’ to persuade others

Updated 5 sec ago

LeBron confirms vaccinated but ‘not my job’ to persuade others

LeBron confirms vaccinated but ‘not my job’ to persuade others
LOS ANGELES: LeBron James confirmed he had been vaccinated against Covid-19 on Tuesday but said it was “not my job” to convince other NBA players to follow suit.
The Los Angeles Lakers superstar had declined previously to say whether he had been vaccinated, saying it was a “private” matter for him and his family.
However he told reporters on Tuesday he had now been vaccinated, part of a Lakers drive to ensure that 100 percent of the squad and staff had taken the vaccine.
“At the end of the day you’re always trying to figure out ways that you can be available and protect one another and put yourself in the best possible chance where you are available to your team-mates, available to do what we need to do on the floor,” James said.
“The ultimate goal is to win a championship and it starts with being healthy which is the number one thing.
“We’re excited to know that we’ve given ourselves another opportunity to be available to each other, and that’s what it came down to.”
James said he had opted to be vaccinated after deciding it was in the best interests of himself and his family.
“When it comes to me I can speak for myself,” James said.
“I think everyone has their own choice to do what they feel is right for themselves and their family and things of that nature.
“I know that I was very skeptical about it all but after doing my own research I felt like it was best suited for me and my family and my friends. That’s why I decided to do it.”
Around 90 percent of players in the NBA are believed to have been vaccinated as the new season approaches.
However there remains a significant number who have either said they will not take the vaccine or have refused to confirm their status.
Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving on Monday said he was keeping his decision private while Washington Wizards ace Bradley Beal has said he is declining the vaccine for “personal reasons.”
When pressed Tuesday over whether he could play a greater role in persuading individuals over the vaccine, James said it was not his place to do so.
“You’re talking about individual’s bodies,” James said. “You’re not talking about something that’s political, or racism, or police brutality. You’re talking about people’s bodies and well-being.
“I don’t feel like for me personally I should get involved in what people do for their bodies and their livelihoods. It would be like me talking about whether somebody should take this job or not. You have to do what’s best for you and your family.
“I know what I did for me and my family. But as far as speaking for everybody and their individualities and what they want to do... that’s not my job.”

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Prince Saud bin Mishal in UAE to watch Indian Premier League action

SACF President Prince Saud bin Mishal (center) with board member Dalal Al-Mutlaq and Chairman of Dubai Sports City Khalid Al-Zarooni. (SACF)
SACF President Prince Saud bin Mishal (center) with board member Dalal Al-Mutlaq and Chairman of Dubai Sports City Khalid Al-Zarooni. (SACF)
Updated 28 September 2021

Prince Saud bin Mishal in UAE to watch Indian Premier League action

SACF President Prince Saud bin Mishal (center) with board member Dalal Al-Mutlaq and Chairman of Dubai Sports City Khalid Al-Zarooni. (SACF)
  • President of Saudi Arabian Cricket Federation was accompanied to game by board member Dalal Al-Mutlaq, Dubai Sports City Chairman Khalid Al-Zarooni

DUBAI: President of the Saudi Arabian Cricket Federation Prince Saud bin Mishal and board member Dalal Al-Mutlaq are in the UAE to watch the latest action from the ongoing Indian Premier League.

The representatives of the Saudi federation, which over the last year has transformed the cricket landscape in the Kingdom with a series of game-changing initiatives and competitions, were pictured with the chairman of Dubai Sports City, Khalid Al-Zarooni, at one of the matches currently taking place in the UAE.

The IPL, the world’s richest cricket tournament, resumed in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Sharjah on Sept. 19, more than four months after it was suspended due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

The Chennai Super Kings currently lead the table on 16 points from 10 matches, followed by the Delhi Capitals with 16 points from 11, and the Royal Challengers Bangalore with 12 from 10.


Women’s Cycling Challenge to take place at Dubai’s Al-Qudra track in October

The second edition of the Women’s Cycling Challenge is set to take place at Dubai’s Al-Qudra Cycle Track in Al-Marmoom Desert Conservation Reserve. (Facebook/The Women's Cycling Challenge)
The second edition of the Women’s Cycling Challenge is set to take place at Dubai’s Al-Qudra Cycle Track in Al-Marmoom Desert Conservation Reserve. (Facebook/The Women's Cycling Challenge)
Updated 28 September 2021

Women’s Cycling Challenge to take place at Dubai’s Al-Qudra track in October

The second edition of the Women’s Cycling Challenge is set to take place at Dubai’s Al-Qudra Cycle Track in Al-Marmoom Desert Conservation Reserve. (Facebook/The Women's Cycling Challenge)
  • 2nd edition of Dubai Sports Council-organized race will be contested over 40-km, 70-km distances

DUBAI: The second edition of the Women’s Cycling Challenge is set to take place at Dubai’s Al-Qudra Cycle Track in Al-Marmoom Desert Conservation Reserve on Oct. 8, Emirates News Agency WAM has reported.

The event is being presented by logistics firm DP World and held under the umbrella of Dubai Sports Council and Dubai Women’s Sports Committee, in association with the UAE Cycling Federation.

The challenge, over 40-kilometer and 70-kilometer distances, is open to cyclists of all skill levels who can take part as individuals or in teams.

A DSC spokesperson said: “The Women’s Cycling Challenge supports a healthy and active lifestyle for women, providing them with an opportunity to practice sports and physical activity that enables them to compete in an environment that conforms to the customs and traditions of the UAE. It is one of our strategic objectives, and the Women’s Cycling Challenge is an initiative that seeks to further those aims.

“We are pleased that DP World is a partner and supporter of this important sports event for women in the UAE, championing the opportunities and initiatives that women have to participate in sports at every level in the country.”

Nabil Qayed, director of people and general administration for the UAE in DP World’s people department, said: “As a global logistics leader, we not only enable smart trade, but work to create a better future for everyone.

“In alignment with this goal and our sustainability strategy that impacts people, communities, and the environment, we take pride in our association with the Women’s Cycling Challenge that is dedicated to promoting female health and wellness.

“At an organizational level, we have constantly supported women and are committed to increasing female representation in every sphere, thus promoting women’s aspirations in the UAE,” Qayed added.

Riders will race through the Al-Marmoom Desert Conservation Reserve, which is home to 204 species of native birds, 158 species of migratory birds, many endangered animals, as well as Arabian oryx, Arabian sand gazelles, foxes, and wild cats.

The 3,000-year-old Saruq Al-Hadid archaeological site — one of the oldest in the country dating back to the Iron Age — is also located within the reserve.

Ruth Dickinson, the event’s director, said: “Women cycling for recreation and as a way to keep fit is popular in Dubai and across the UAE. Around the region, it is a fast-growing sport and pastime for women of all levels of fitness and riding capability.

“In Dubai, we have excellent facilities and easy access to cycle tracks around the city and this has encouraged more women to take up cycling competitively and socially.

“We are encouraging women at every level of ability to join the challenge. We would like to see women come and ride to compete, or cycle just for fun and enjoy a great experience,” she added.


Saudi Arabia names 25-man squad for upcoming World Cup qualifiers

Saudi Arabia will face Japan and China in October’s Asian Qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup. (SAFF)
Saudi Arabia will face Japan and China in October’s Asian Qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup. (SAFF)
Updated 28 September 2021

Saudi Arabia names 25-man squad for upcoming World Cup qualifiers

Saudi Arabia will face Japan and China in October’s Asian Qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup. (SAFF)
  • The Green Falcons sit second in Group B and will host Japan on Oct. 7 and China on Oct. 12 at King Abdullah Sports City Stadium in Jeddah
  • The top two finishers in each of the two six-team groups will qualify for Qatar 2022 while third-place finishers will meet in a play-off round

DUBAI: Saudi Arabia coach Herve Renard on Tuesday named a 25-man squad for the team’s upcoming Asian qualifiers for the 2022 FIFA World Cup against Japan and China.

The Kingdom will host Japan on Oct. 7 before facing China on Oct. 12. Both fixtures will be held at King Abdullah Sports City Stadium in Jeddah.

The Green Falcons sit second in Group B of the third round of AFC qualification behind Australia, having won their opening two fixtures against Vietnam (3-1) and Oman (1-0).

The top two finishers in each of the two six-team groups will qualify automatically to Qatar 2022 while the third-place finishers will meet in a play-off round.

The squad list revealed by the Saudi Arabian Football Federation includes Mohammed Al-Owais, Zaid Al-Bawardi, Fawaz Al-Qarni, Mohammed Al-Yami, Mohammad Khobrani, Abdullah Mado, Abdulelah Al-Amari, Ali Al-Bulaihi, Saud Abdulhamid, Hussain Qassim, Sultan Al-Ghannam, Yasser Al-Shahrani, Nasser Al-Dossari, Ali Al-Hassan, Abdulelah Al-Malki, Mohammed Kanno, Sami Al-Najei, Salman Al-Faraj, Mohammed Al-Kwaikbi, Fahad Al-Muwallad, Abdulrahman Ghareeb, Abdulrahman Al-Obud, Firas Al-Buraikan, Ayman Yahya and Saleh Al-Shehri.


Chelsea midfielder Kante tests positive for coronavirus

Chelsea midfielder Kante tests positive for coronavirus
Updated 28 September 2021

Chelsea midfielder Kante tests positive for coronavirus

Chelsea midfielder Kante tests positive for coronavirus
  • France’s World Cup winner will miss Chelsea’s Champions League match at Juventus

LONDON: Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante has tested positive for the coronavirus and is isolating for 10 days.
The France World Cup winner will miss Chelsea’s Champions League match at Juventus on Wednesday and the English Premier League match against Southampton on Saturday.
Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel said he did not know the percentage of his squad that has been vaccinated against COVID-19. Tuchel has been vaccinated.