Saudi shooter Saeed Al-Mutairi kicks off Tokyo 2020 Skeet Men’s competition with steady performance

Saudi shooter Saeed Al-Mutairi kicks off Tokyo 2020 Skeet Men’s competition with steady performance
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Updated 25 July 2021

Saudi shooter Saeed Al-Mutairi kicks off Tokyo 2020 Skeet Men’s competition with steady performance

Saudi shooter Saeed Al-Mutairi kicks off Tokyo 2020 Skeet Men’s competition with steady performance
  • The 51-year-old is the oldest member of the squad and one of big Saudi hopes at the Olympics

Saudi shooter Saeed Al-Mutairi kept alive his hopes of progressing to the next stage of the Skeet Men’s competition at Tokyo 2020 when he finished the first day at Asaka Shooting Range with a score of 71 out of 75.

Al-Mutairi posted scores of 23, 25 and 23 in the three rounds of Qualification Day 1 on Sunday morning, leaving him in 22nd position in a field of 30. Kuwaiti shooter Abdullah Al-Rashidi finish the day in joint sixth position.

The early morning action was watched by Saudi Arabian Olympic Committee (SAOC) President Prince Abdulaziz Bin Turki Al-Faisal Al-Saud.

The 51-year-old Al-Mutairi will continue his quest for a medal in the two rounds on the second qualification day on Monday morning, starting at 4am Saudi Arabia time.

His vast experience means he remains one of the Kingdom’s biggest hopes of success at Tokyo 2020.

The oldest member of the Saudi delegation to Tokyo, Al-Mutairi won a gold medal at the Asian Games 1994 in Hiroshima, the first by a Saudi in the competition.

In 2003 he finished 4th at the World Championship in Cairo, and a year later claimed gold at the Asian Shooting Championship in Kuala Lumpur. Al-Mutairi proved his longevity with golds at the 2007 Pan Arab games and 10 years later at the Islamic Solidarity Games in Baku, before confirming qualification to Tokyo 2020.


Canelo Álvarez, Caleb Plant trade blows at news conference

Canelo Álvarez, Caleb Plant trade blows at news conference
Updated 22 September 2021

Canelo Álvarez, Caleb Plant trade blows at news conference

Canelo Álvarez, Caleb Plant trade blows at news conference

BEVERLY HILLS, California: Canelo Álvarez and Caleb Plant couldn’t wait until Nov. 6 to start throwing hands.
The super middleweight champions traded blows at their news conference Tuesday to promote their upcoming title unification bout, and the exchange left Plant with a cut under his right eye.
The fighters scuffled after exchanging verbal barbs during the ceremonial faceoff before the news conference began in the garden of the Beverly Hilton. Apparently in response to a comment from Plant about Álvarez’s mother, the Mexican superstar knocked Plant backward with a two-handed shove.
“You can say whatever you want to me, but not about my mother,” Álvarez said afterward.
Plant stepped forward and threw a left hook at Álvarez, who mostly dodged it and countered with a left hand to Plant’s face. Plant said the blow struck his sunglasses, which jammed into his cheek and caused the cut.
“We were just saying things, just the normal back-and-forth banter, and then he did what he did,” Plant said.
Álvarez put it succinctly on Twitter while posting video of the brouhaha: “Don’t talk about my mom.”
The fighters’ camps eventually separated them, but Plant was left dabbing at the blood on his cheek. He eventually put on his sunglasses for a frosty, combative news conference in which Plant repeatedly called out Álvarez for his doping violations in 2018.
Álvarez (56-1-2, 38 KOs) will risk his WBC, WBA and WBO super middleweight titles against Plant (21-0, 12 KOs), the unbeaten IBF champion from Tennessee, when they meet at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Plant repeatedly said Álvarez and trainer Eddy Reynoso are “cheaters.” Álvarez was suspended for six months for clenbuterol detected in a drug test, although the Mexican champ claimed the banned substance came from tainted meat.
“This sport is too dangerous for people to be popping positive,” Plant said. “He’s a cheater. It’s not up for discussion. Did he get suspended? Did he test positive? It’s not about what I say. It’s about what the (athletic) commission said. You have to take that up with them, not me.”
Reynoso responded angrily when pressed on Álvarez’s past positive test and the more recent failed doping test for Oscar Valdez, Canelo’s training partner. Speaking in Spanish, Reynoso didn’t directly address Plant’s comments, but instead profanely suggested Plant wasn’t training hard enough to win in seven weeks.
“Taking illegal substances doesn’t happen because you’re confident,” Plant said. “It happens because you’re afraid. That just gives me more confidence. I’ve dedicated a lot to this sport, and it will be my life’s work coming together in that one moment when I beat him. It would etch my name in the history books, and that’s what I’m here to do.”
Álvarez is unbeaten in 15 fights since his only career loss to Floyd Mayweather in 2013. He traded insults with Plant after their physical exchange, but kept his public comments more brief.
“For me, it’s for history, for Mexico, for my team,” he said. “I’m going to knock out this guy in less than eight rounds.”


Golden Shoe winner Lewandowski hopes to become ‘even better’

Golden Shoe winner Lewandowski hopes to become ‘even better’
Updated 22 September 2021

Golden Shoe winner Lewandowski hopes to become ‘even better’

Golden Shoe winner Lewandowski hopes to become ‘even better’
  • Lewandowski netted 41 times in 29 games for Bayern in the 2020-21 season

MUNICH: Europe’s “Golden Shoe” winner Robert Lewandowski sent out a warning to defenses around Europe on Tuesday when he likened himself to a ‘good wine’ that was still improving.
The Bayern Munich striker also offered warm praise and thanks to his wife Anna when he received the award as top scorer in European football last season.
Lewandowski netted 41 times in 29 games for Bayern in the 2020-21 season, breaking the great Gerd Mueller’s record of 40 goals in a Bundesliga season, set in 1971-72.
His tally represents the highest in Europe since Cristiano Ronaldo bagged 48 goals for Real Madrid in 2014-15.
The 33-year-old forward insisted, though, that there were still plenty more goals and titles yet to come.
“I’m still here, and I will be here for a long time!” said Lewandowski.
“Age is just a number, I feel very good, my form indicators have never been so good.
“I know that with my body I can still play for years at the highest level. I am like good wine and I hope to become even better.”
This season, Lewandowski has already scored seven goals in five days as champions Bayern top the early Bundesliga table.
“It’s not over yet, we are still hungry for titles,” said Lewandowski who hopes to help Bayern to a second Champions League title to add to the one he won with them in 2020.
“I don’t need to go and prove myself in another league,” said the striker who was linked with Real Madrid a few years ago.
“With the Champions League, I can measure myself against the best. I am 100 percent focused on Bayern and I don’t think about anything else.”
At the ceremony held at Bayern’s Allianz Arena, the Poland striker was effusive in his praise for his wife who is also his personal “motivation coach.”
“I have to thank my wife, she is a great support for me and a motivation when things are not going so well,” he said.
A former Polish international karateka, Anna Lewandowska is also a nutritionist and oversees her husband’s diet.
“I am very proud of him,” she said. “He is extraordinary as a person, as an athlete, as a partner, as a friend and as a husband.”
Lewandowski is only the second Bundesliga player to win the award after Mueller, who won in 1970 and 1972.
Lionel Messi has won the award a record six times while Ronaldo has taken it four times but they only scored 30 and 29 goals respectively in 2020-21.


Ras Al-Khaimah Half Marathon returns for 15th edition in February 2022

Ras Al-Khaimah Half Marathon returns for 15th edition in February 2022
Updated 22 September 2021

Ras Al-Khaimah Half Marathon returns for 15th edition in February 2022

Ras Al-Khaimah Half Marathon returns for 15th edition in February 2022
  • The northern emirate will once again welcome leading international athletes, regional participants and residents to the world’s fastest half marathon

RAS AL-KHAIMAH: The Ras Al-Khaimah Half Marathon is set to return to the northern Emirate on Feb. 18, 2022.

Returning for its 15th edition, the race will welcome back elite athletes, running enthusiasts and amateurs from across the globe, to participate in what is billed as the world’s fastest half marathon.

“Aligned with the continued recovery of the Emirate, we are delighted to welcome back an incredible line-up of elite athletes, as well as residents and visitors from across the globe, to the Ras Al-Khaimah Half Marathon in February 2022,” said Raki Phillips, CEO of Ras Al-Khaimah Tourism Development Authority.

“We are extremely proud to have hosted this prestigious race for 15 editions, making the Ras Al-Khaimah Half Marathon one of the most anticipated events on the global sporting calendar, adding to an expansive portfolio of world-class sporting events hosted in the Emirate,” he added. “We look forward to showcasing our stunning landscape and renowned hospitality to participants and spectators as they enjoy the world’s fastest half marathon.”

Taking place on Marjan Island, the event will include four established categories: Half marathon, a half marathon relay for teams of two, a 5km and a 1km fun run. The Ras Al-Khaimah Half Marathon is open to runners of all abilities and ages.

“We are delighted to announce the new 2022 date for the hugely popular Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon.” said Michele Napoli, CEO of race partners RCS Sports and Events. “Once again, it is an honour to support Ras Al-Khaimah Tourism Development Authority as this fantastic race returns to Marjan Island on Feb. 18 2022.

“The Ras Al-Khaimah Half Marathon has undoubtedly grown from strength to strength, with each edition gaining traction on both a regional and international scale, and we cannot wait for participants to experience the highly anticipated 2022 edition.

“We look forward to announcing our all-new offers for runners shortly, and to welcoming an incredible line-up of elite athletes,” he said. “The Ras Al-Khaimah Half Marathon is guaranteed to be an unforgettable experience for everyone.’’


Saudi Sports for All Federation marking 91st National Day with campaign celebrating nation’s sporting achievements

Saudi Sports for All Federation marking 91st National Day with campaign celebrating nation’s sporting achievements
Updated 22 September 2021

Saudi Sports for All Federation marking 91st National Day with campaign celebrating nation’s sporting achievements

Saudi Sports for All Federation marking 91st National Day with campaign celebrating nation’s sporting achievements
  • The SFA is commemorating the occasion with a series of events aimed at getting people active

RIYADH: The Saudi Sports for All Federation is marking Saudi Arabia’s 91st National Day with an online campaign that will allow residents from the Kingdom to share their sporting stories and achievements.

The federation’s activities leading up to National Day will be highlighted under a hashtag that translates into English as “Saudi sporting society” and which will serve as the banner for people from all walks of life to share their daily lifestyles and how they stay active throughout the day.

“The Sports for All Federation joins you all in congratulating the nation on the occasion of Saudi’s 91st National Day,” said SFA President Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed bin Talal. “The federation, in step with the nation’s leadership, is consistently working towards a health-first mindset across all our communities.

“We congratulate His Majesty, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman, and HRH Prince Mohammed bin Salman on the incredible accomplishments that have ignited the pride of our people all over the country. A healthy and active population is a prosperous one; we’ll be alongside you celebrating through our various activities that promote physical and mental well-being.”

Prince Khaled further highlighted that the support of the Quality of Life Program and a unified purpose under Vision 2030 continued to propel the SFA team to innovate programs and activities to meet the country’s wellness targets.

The federation is hosting several events to mark Saudi National Day. For example, Step Together, which organizes virtual walking and running challenges for communities throughout Saudi Arabia, is holding a special National Day challenge from Sept. 20 to 29. Participants completing the challenge will receive a medal to commemorate their achievement, along with a certificate of completion.

The SFA’s hosting of walking events and campaigns at Arabian Center malls across Saudi Arabia will also commemorate National Day. The walking track installed at Al-Nakheel Mall in Riyadh will host a National Day challenge, asking visitors to walk 2030 steps through the SFA app for a chance to win prizes. This initiative builds on the SFA’s goal of marking the nation’s progress through inclusive sporting events that bring people together irrespective of their age, ability, background or gender.

A special cycling event is also being held on Thursday in collaboration with the Saudi Cycling Federation and the MiSK Foundation. Cyclists in Riyadh, Jeddah and Khobar have signed up to cycle 15 km to mark the occasion.

The 91st Saudi National Day campaigns highlight the SFA’s support for the goals of the Quality of Life Program as mandated in the Saudi Vision 2030, which calls for increasing the number of people undertaking regular physical activity in the Kingdom to 40 percent by 2030.


Tyagi grabs dramatic 2-run win for Rajasthan in IPL

Tyagi grabs dramatic 2-run win for Rajasthan in IPL
Updated 22 September 2021

Tyagi grabs dramatic 2-run win for Rajasthan in IPL

Tyagi grabs dramatic 2-run win for Rajasthan in IPL
  • Punjab needed only four runs off the last over, with plenty of wickets left

DUBAI, UAE: Fast bowler Kartik Tyagi conceded just one run and took two wickets in the last over of the game as Rajasthan Royals snatched a dramatic two-run victory against Punjab Kings in the Indian Premier League on Tuesday.
Punjab needed only four runs off the last over, with plenty of wickets left, but Tyagi (2-29) had Nicholas Pooran (32) and Deepak Hooda both caught behind and managed to frustrate Fabian Allen (0 not out) off the last ball as Punjab finished at 183-4.
Earlier, Rajasthan slumped to 185 all out in 20 overs after being put in to bat. Punjab claimed seven wickets in the last six overs with fast bowler Arshdeep Singh ending up with 5-32.
“Tyagi was confident with his yorkers and executed them well against the new batters,” Rajasthan skipper Sanju Samson said. “We were happy with our score. On this wicket that was a good score.”
Punjab was heading for a big win after Rajasthan dropped Punjab captain K.L. Rahul three times. Mayank Agarwal (67) and Rahul (49) pounced on the sloppy fielding and provided their team a commanding start of 120 runs off 71 balls before both fell in successive overs.
Tyagi, who had earlier dropped Rahul on 31, finally grabbed one at short third man as Rahul tried to cut Chetan Sakariya in the 12th over. Agarwal, who hit seven fours and two sixes, tried to play one too many and sliced a catch at deep point against spinner Rahul Tewatia.
However, Pooran and South Africa’s Aiden Markram (26 not out) seemed to have the match in their hands before Tyagi delivered his sensational last over, which Punjab started on 182-2.
Earlier, Rajasthan looked set for a 200-plus total after opener Evin Lewis (36 off 21 balls) contributed to an opening stand of 54 by smashing seven fours and a six before he was out in the sixth over. But once fellow opener and top scorer Yashasvi Jaiswal fell for 49 in the 15th over, Rajasthan lost its way despite Mahipal Lomror (43) and Liam Livingstone (25) playing cameos.
Mohammed Shami also bowled well for his 3-21 that included the wickets of Tewatia and Chris Morris in his last over.
Rajasthan has eight points from eight games and is tied for fourth with defending champions Mumbai Indians. Punjab is in danger of missing out on the playoffs with only six points from nine games.
“Tough one to swallow,” Rahul said. “We need to see how we can handle pressure better. It’s happened to the best in the game.”