Dutch golf star Anne van Dam joins Saudi deep diver Mariam Fardous to explore Kingdom’s coral reefs

Dutch golf star Anne van Dam joins Saudi deep diver Mariam Fardous to explore Kingdom’s coral reefs
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Dutch golf star Anne van Dam and Saudi Ladies International ‘Ladies First’ ambassador Mariam Fardous explore Saudi Arabia’s coral reefs. (Supplied)
Dutch golf star Anne van Dam joins Saudi deep diver Mariam Fardous to explore Kingdom’s coral reefs
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Saudi Ladies International ‘Ladies First’ ambassador Mariam Fardous briefs Dutch golf star Anne van Dam before they plunge into the Red Sea. (Supplied)
Dutch golf star Anne van Dam joins Saudi deep diver Mariam Fardous to explore Kingdom’s coral reefs
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Dutch golf star Anne van Dam joins Saudi deep diver Mariam Fardous to explore Kingdom’s coral reefs
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Updated 14 November 2020

Dutch golf star Anne van Dam joins Saudi deep diver Mariam Fardous to explore Kingdom’s coral reefs

Dutch golf star Anne van Dam joins Saudi deep diver Mariam Fardous to explore Kingdom’s coral reefs
  • The 25-year-old is competing for $1million prize at the Royal Greens Golf and Country Club

JEDDAH: Dutch golf star Anne van Dam joined Saudi Ladies International ‘Ladies First’ ambassador Mariam Fardous to explore Saudi Arabia’s coral reefs.

The Dutch athlete, who is taking part the Aramco Saudi Ladies International golf tournament, took time away from the tournament to see King Abdullah Economic City’s untouched coral reef.

‘I’ve heard Saudi Arabia has some of the best diving so I wanted to head out and see what the fuss was all about,” said five times Ladies European Tour winner van Dam - the longest driver on tour.

The 25-year-old, who is competing for $1million prize at the Royal Greens Golf and Country Club, was guided on her diving trip by Fardous, the first-ever Saudi woman to deep dive in the North Pole.

 

“Saudi Arabia is full of beautiful places. So many of them are undiscovered yet with beautiful coral reefs,” said Mariam. “I was excited to take Anne and show her one of the most important spots to dive in King Abdullah Economic City”.

In addition to her diving exploits, the multi-talented Fardous is a qualified physician and devoted humanitarian who was honoured by several African pilgrimage missions for her services.

“It was great to be out with Mariam,” added Anne. “She’s such an inspirational person for her achievements diving in the North Pole. For her to take me out there was really special. Golf has bought me to many incredible places and so it’s nice to be here to experience this.”

The $1m Aramco Saudi Ladies International presented by PIF culminates on Sunday with the $500,000 Saudi Ladies Team International taking place Nov. 17 to 19. They are Saudi Arabia’s first ever ladies golf events.

To celebrate the historic nature of Saudi Arabia’s first women’s events, Golf Saudi has launched a world-first ‘Ladies First Club’, which will offer free golf to 1,000 women living across the Kingdom.


Postponed Tokyo Olympics to cost extra $2.4bn

Updated 04 December 2020

Postponed Tokyo Olympics to cost extra $2.4bn

Postponed Tokyo Olympics to cost extra $2.4bn
  • The extra costs come as officials work to build enthusiasm for the first Games postponed in peacetime,
  • Tokyo 2020 said an additional $1.5 billion would be needed for operational costs related to the delay

TOKYO: The coronavirus-delayed Tokyo Olympics will cost at least an extra $2.4 billion, organizers said Friday, with the unprecedented postponement and a raft of pandemic health measures ballooning an already outsized budget.
The extra costs come as officials work to build enthusiasm for the first Games postponed in peacetime, insisting the massive event can go ahead next year even if the pandemic is not under control.
But more spending, on top of the previous budget of about $13 billion, could further harden public opinion in Japan, where polls this year showed a majority of people think the Games should be postponed again or canceled together.
“Whether it’s seen as too much or that we have done well to contain the costs, I think it depends on how you look at it,” Tokyo 2020 CEO Toshiro Muto told reporters.
“We have done all we can to earn the public’s understanding,” he added.
Tokyo 2020 said an additional $1.5 billion would be needed for operational costs related to the delay, with another $900 million in spending on coronavirus countermeasures.
The dollar figures are calculated at an exchange rate of 107 yen, and the total is around $2.56 billion at today’s rate. The costs look set to rise further, with Tokyo 2020 saying it would also release an additional $250 million in “contingency” funds.

The new spending swells a budget that was set last year at around $13 billion, and will add to disquiet about the cost of the Games after an audit report last year argued the national government was spending significantly more than originally planned.
The extra costs will be split between Tokyo, the organizing committee and the national government. The International Olympic Committee will not be chipping in, but has agreed to waive its sponsor royalty fee for the first time, organizers said.
The unprecedented decision to delay the Games has thrown up a plethora of extra costs, from rebooking venues and transport to retaining the huge organizing committee staff.
And with organizers committed to hosting the Games even if the pandemic remains a threat, extensive safety measures will be needed.
Tokyo 2020 this week released a 54-page plan they said would make it possible to hold the Games, including restrictions on athletes touching and fans cheering, and an infection control center in the Olympic Village.
Organizers have tried to scale back elements of the Games, offering fewer free tickets, scrapping athlete welcome ceremonies and making savings on mascots, banners and meals, but so far they have cut just $280 million in spending.
And on Thursday, they said 18 percent of Olympic tickets sold in Japan will be refunded, with domestic fans demanding their money back on about 810,000 of the 4.45 million tickets sold in the country.


Organizers hope to now resell those tickets, and demand for seats at the Games was high before the pandemic.
But enthusiasm has since waned, with a poll in July revealing that just one in four people wanted to see the event held in 2021, and most backing either further delay or cancelation.
Tokyo 2020 President Yoshiro Mori said the spending plan was carefully considered and he hoped people would accept it.
“If you have a drink, you could say your glass is half-full, or half empty. It depends on how you look at it,” he told reporters.
“There’s a rationale behind this plan. I hope the Japanese people will understand it.”
Tokyo 2020’s final price tag has been hotly disputed, with an audit report last year estimating the national government spent nearly 10 times its original budget between 2013-2018.
Organizers countered that the estimate included items not directly related to the Games.