Charley Hull, Anne Van Dam, Catriona Matthew and Minjee Lee latest golfers confirmed for $1 million Aramco Team Series — London

Charley Hull, Anne Van Dam, Catriona Matthew and Minjee Lee latest golfers confirmed for $1 million Aramco Team Series — London
1 / 2
Anne van Dam will be one of the top European names at the $1 million Aramco Team Series - London. (LET)
Charley Hull, Anne Van Dam, Catriona Matthew and Minjee Lee latest golfers confirmed for $1 million Aramco Team Series — London
2 / 2
Australian No.1 Minjee Lee has joined the strong field at the $1 million Aramco Team Series - London. (LET)
Short Url
Updated 24 June 2021

Charley Hull, Anne Van Dam, Catriona Matthew and Minjee Lee latest golfers confirmed for $1 million Aramco Team Series — London

Charley Hull, Anne Van Dam, Catriona Matthew and Minjee Lee latest golfers confirmed for $1 million Aramco Team Series — London
  • European trio and Australian No.1 confirmed for next month’s three-day tournament at Centurion Club, the first of five Ladies European Tour (LET) events in 2021 sponsored by Aramco

London: European trio Charley Hull, Anne Van Dam and Catriona Matthew are the latest big names confirmed for next month’s $1 million Aramco Team Series — London, taking place July 8-10 at the Centurion Club, just two months ahead of this year’s Solheim Cup.

Both Hull and Van Dam played a key role in the European team, captained by Matthew, that snatched a pulsating one-point victory over the US at Gleneagles back in 2019.

US superstar Lexi Thompson was part of the travelling party, and with July’s event already scheduled to be her only English appearance of the year, she will be looking to lay down a marker against the trio who she will compete with just eight weeks later in Ohio.

In the unique format of the Aramco Team Series — London, which sees 36 team captains paired with two other professionals and one amateur, Thompson could even play alongside a European rival.

Former Women’s British Open champion, Georgia Hall, double-major winner, Anna Nordqvist, and 2021 Ladies European Tour (LET) Race to Costa del Sol champion, Emily Kristine Pedersen, have already confirmed participation in the event.

They will also be joined by Australia’s Minjee Lee, an eight-time champion across both the LET and LPGA, and Australia’s No.1 ranked golfer.

“It’s certainly shaping up to be quite the field, which is understandable, considering the exciting new format of the team tournament and what’s up for grabs,” Matthew said. “Being just a couple of months before the Solheim Cup adds a real bit of spice to the mix, especially with so many major-winners from both sides of the pond playing.

“As the Solheim Cup has proven, team golf is a format that really gets the heart racing and brings so much additional excitement,” she added. “Introducing four new Aramco Team Series events in four regions, I find a really fantastic initiative from the LET and I really am excited to see how it will propel women’s golf forward.”

World No.14 Lee said: “When this format of event was trialed in Saudi Arabia last year, you could really feel how positively the women who played in it responded to it. It was something completely different but a format of golf that offered so much excitement, both for teams and individual players, and that’s what you want to see as often as possible on tour.

“It’ll be really fun to play in and I can’t wait to get over to London and play as part of a team, something I love but almost never get to do.”

July’s London event is the first of five Aramco-sponsored events scheduled on the LET calendar for 2021.  They include the Aramco Team Series — Sotogrande (Aug. 5-7), the Aramco Team Series — New York (Oct. 14-16) and the Aramco Team Series — Jeddah (Nov. 10-12). The Jeddah event will take place just days after the Aramco Saudi Ladies International presented by the Public Investment Fund, being held Nov. 4-7. 

Each Aramco Team Series tournament will see 36 teams of four compete to shoot the lowest combined score over three days of golf. All teams will feature three LET players paired through a unique draft system, in which captains choose one player and are randomly assigned another.

The fourth member of each team will be an amateur golfer — a position open to all golfers in the UK for the Aramco Team Series — London through the tournament’s world-first Team Up competition. Fans can apply by uploading a video or image to social media before June 25 using the hashtag #ATSTeamUp, showing they have what it takes to play in an actual LET event.


Early losses see 3 Algerian wrestlers depart Tokyo 2020

Early losses see 3 Algerian wrestlers depart Tokyo 2020
Updated 22 min 48 sec ago

Early losses see 3 Algerian wrestlers depart Tokyo 2020

Early losses see 3 Algerian wrestlers depart Tokyo 2020
  • Abdelhak Kherbache, Fateh Benferdjallah failed to progress from round of 16 in freestyle categories

RIYADH: Three Algerian athletes ended their participation in the Tokyo 2020 wrestling men’s competition after suffering round of 16 and repechage losses at Makuhari Messe Hall on Wednesday.

The first of the medal hopefuls to depart the Olympics was 26-year-old Abdelhak Kherbache, who lost 11-0 to Georgi Vangelov of Bulgaria in the 57-kilogram freestyle category.

Shortly afterwards, Fateh Benferdjallah followed his compatriot after losing to Swiss wrestler Stefan Reichmuth in the 86-kg freestyle. The 20-year-old Algerian put on a brave performance but was ultimately defeated 6-2.

Finally, Sid Azara scored a solitary point in a 5-1 loss to Serbian wrestler Zurabi Datunashvili in their men’s Greco-Roman 87-kg repechage contest having lost his quarterfinal to Zhan Beleniuk of Ukraine the previous day.


Tokyo 2020 gold result of new Moroccan generation’s long-term planning: Soufiane El-Bakkali

Tokyo 2020 gold result of new Moroccan generation’s long-term planning: Soufiane El-Bakkali
Updated 20 min 12 sec ago

Tokyo 2020 gold result of new Moroccan generation’s long-term planning: Soufiane El-Bakkali

Tokyo 2020 gold result of new Moroccan generation’s long-term planning: Soufiane El-Bakkali
  • 25-year-old overcame formidable challenges of Ethiopian, Kenyan runners to win 3,000m steeplechase

TOKYO: Moroccan gold medalist Soufiane El-Bakkali has revealed how his 3,000-meter steeplechase triumph at Tokyo 2020 was the result of years of intensive training with the Moroccan national team.

The 25-year-old runner, who just missed out on a medal at Rio 2016 after finishing fourth in the event, stormed to victory in Tokyo with a time of 8:08:90, ahead of Lamecha Grima of Ethiopia in second and Benjamin Kigen in third.

“It’s an historic achievement for me,” El-Bakkali told Arab News Japan outside Tokyo’s Olympic Village on Tuesday.

“The Tokyo Olympics is like no other tournament, especially that it was delayed for a year. Thankfully I came with a plan and was able to reach a high standard which allowed me to win the gold medal.”

El-Bakkali belongs to a school of young Moroccan athletes nurtured by the track and field Royal Moroccan Athletics Federation, and he paid tribute to its programs and the conditions that have helped him to become a champion.

He said: “Spending three years on the national team helped me so much. In Morocco, we have all the facilities available, and the climate is favorable and unique in the cities Rabat and Fez that wanted to put the country on the map of top runners in the world. It focused on the new generation of 21 to 25-year-olds.”

El-Bakkali pointed out that his victory was the culmination of many years of preparation and training, and from competing with the Kenyan and Ethiopian runners who had dominated the races for years. Tokyo proved the perfect moment for him to take the lead.

“In the previous races, I managed to save my energy for the final, where I started the race fast from the start.”

He also highlighted the impact of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic on the Games. “The crisis overshadowed the Olympics indeed, and this was difficult for the athletes in particular. But I took precautions before I came to Japan. I followed the same approach that I had adhered to before to protect myself and others from the virus.

“In Japan, I found strong precautions in place already, and I remained protected from the pandemic until the time of the competition,” he added.


UEFA targets FA for discipline over fan chaos at Euro final

UEFA targets FA for discipline over fan chaos at Euro final
Updated 03 August 2021

UEFA targets FA for discipline over fan chaos at Euro final

UEFA targets FA for discipline over fan chaos at Euro final
  • Fans without tickets forced their way into the stadium and there were ugly scenes in the stands
  • European soccer's governing body added that more information "will be made available in due course”

NYON, Switzerland: UEFA opened disciplinary proceedings against the English Football Association on Tuesday over the behavior of some England fans at the European Championship final at Wembley Stadium.
Fans without tickets forced their way into the stadium and there were ugly scenes in the stands during the July 11 game, which Italy won 3-2 on penalties.
“Following an investigation conducted by a UEFA ethics and disciplinary inspector into the events involving supporters which occurred inside and around the stadium during the UEFA Euro 2020 final match between the national teams of Italy and England played on 11 July at Wembley Stadium, London, disciplinary proceedings have been opened against the English Football Association for a potential violation of Article 16(2)(h) of the UEFA Disciplinary Regulations for a lack of order or discipline by its supporters,” UEFA said.
European soccer’s governing body added that more information “will be made available in due course.”
Fans without tickets broke through security barriers and turnstiles to get in to see England’s first major tournament final in 55 years. England defender Harry Maguire said last month that his father sustained rib injuries during “a stampede” of fans.
The official attendance was around 67,000 of the stadium’s 90,000 capacity, with many seats intended to be left empty to distance fans during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The FA itself had described the scenes as ” disgraceful ” and earlier commissioned an independent review.
“We are determined to fully understand what happened outside and then inside Wembley Stadium at the UEFA Euro 2020 final on Sunday 11 July,” the FA said last month.
The FA had vowed to work with law enforcement “to identify those responsible and hold them to account.”


Right decision to hold Tokyo 2020, says head of Jordan Olympic Committee

Taekwondo silver Medallist Saleh Elsharabaty of Jordan wearing a kaffiyeh celebrates after his bout. (Reuters)
Taekwondo silver Medallist Saleh Elsharabaty of Jordan wearing a kaffiyeh celebrates after his bout. (Reuters)
Updated 03 August 2021

Right decision to hold Tokyo 2020, says head of Jordan Olympic Committee

Taekwondo silver Medallist Saleh Elsharabaty of Jordan wearing a kaffiyeh celebrates after his bout. (Reuters)
  • Country participating with delegation of 14 athletes

TOKYO: Holding the Tokyo 2020 Olympics was the right decision, according to the secretary-general of the Jordan Olympic Committee.

Nasser Al-Majali told Arab News Japan that it was the “correct decision” to go ahead with the event despite calls to cancel it due to the pandemic.

“The dreams of our players would not have been realized without holding the Olympics,” he said. “Many Arab and non-Arab players had the opportunity to realize their dreams.”

Al-Majali singled out Jordan’s silver Taekwondo medal from Saleh Elsharabaty and Qatar’s high jump gold from Mutaz Barshim as highlights.

When asked about his impression of the general atmosphere in Tokyo, especially with concerns over the spread of COVID-19, Al-Majali thanked the Japanese for their hospitality.

“They try as much as possible to be hospitable, and they really are. The Japanese are apologizing to us because they can't do more due to the coronavirus situation. Even outside the Olympic Village they are very civil, and that's their nature.”

Al-Majali said it was a shame that the games had to be held with so many restrictions, and that the Jordanian Olympic delegation in Japan had been exercising caution throughout.

“We spend most of the time in the village and between the tournament hotels, in compliance with the laws in force, to reduce the possibility of anyone being infected inside or outside the Olympic Village. But we hoped that we would have the opportunity to learn about Japanese culture.”

He extended his gratitude to the city of Noshiro, in Akita Prefecture, which hosted the Jordanian Olympic delegation in a pre-game camp.

“I would like to extend special thanks to the city of Noshiro. We receive messages from the people of Noshiro all the time asking us to send them Jordanian flags signed by the athletes. We thank them and hope that we will have the opportunity to visit them with our athletes in the future.”

Jordan is participating with an Olympic delegation of 14 athletes and Al-Majali said the standard had been good in general.

The most important performance was that of Elsharabaty, whose silver was the second Olympic medal in Jordan’s history, after the gold won by Ahmad Abu Ghosh, also in Taekwondo, at the 2016 Rio Olympics.


Egyptian Equestrian star Nayel Nassar qualifies for Tokyo 2020 Jumping Individual Final after near-faultless ride

Egypt's Nayel Nassar rides Igor van de Wittemoere in the equestrian's jumping individual qualifying during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Equestrian Park in Tokyo on August 3, 2021. (AFP)
Egypt's Nayel Nassar rides Igor van de Wittemoere in the equestrian's jumping individual qualifying during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Equestrian Park in Tokyo on August 3, 2021. (AFP)
Updated 03 August 2021

Egyptian Equestrian star Nayel Nassar qualifies for Tokyo 2020 Jumping Individual Final after near-faultless ride

Egypt's Nayel Nassar rides Igor van de Wittemoere in the equestrian's jumping individual qualifying during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Equestrian Park in Tokyo on August 3, 2021. (AFP)
  • He will be joined in the 30-athlete field by compatriot Mood Zeyada

DUBAI: After a near-faultless ride at Tokyo’s Equestrian Park, Egypt’s Nayel Nassar qualified for the Olympic Jumping Individual Final taking place on Wednesday where he will be joined by compatriot Mouda Zeyada in the quest for gold.

The 30-year-old Nassar, riding the horse Igor van de Wittemoere, and 26-year-old Zeyada, on Galanthos Shk, will be among 30 top performers from the 73 that took part in the Qualifier on Tuesday afternoon.

Their success came on a day that also saw Egypt’s handball team reach the Tokyo 2020 semifinals after beating Germany 31-26.

Nassar in particular has been center of attention since the weekend after Bill Gates, father of his wife Jennifer Katharine Gates, sent him a message of good luck on social media that went viral.

“I support many athletes in the Tokyo Olympics at the moment, but there is no athlete I support more than my son-in-law Nayel Nassar. Good luck Nayel,” Gates, the founder of Microsoft, posted on his official Instagram account.

Nassar proposed to the daughter of the billionaire founder of Microsoft at the start of last year, the two Stanford graduates having been in a relationship for four years.

As well as taking part in equestrian competitions that have helped him amass a reported net worth of $75 million, the Chicago-born Egyptian also owns Nassar Stables, established in 2014 and based in the city of Encinitas in California.