Jeddah Corniche Circuit nears completion ahead of inaugural Formula One STC Saudi Arabian Grand Prix

Jeddah Corniche Circuit nears completion ahead of inaugural Formula One STC Saudi Arabian Grand Prix
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The world’s fastest and longest street track, the Jeddah Corniche Circuit, is set to be completed in the coming days. (SAGP)
Jeddah Corniche Circuit nears completion ahead of inaugural Formula One STC Saudi Arabian Grand Prix
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The world’s fastest and longest street track, the Jeddah Corniche Circuit, is set to be completed in the coming days. (SAGP)
Jeddah Corniche Circuit nears completion ahead of inaugural Formula One STC Saudi Arabian Grand Prix
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The world’s fastest and longest street track, the Jeddah Corniche Circuit, is set to be completed in the coming days. (SAGP)
Jeddah Corniche Circuit nears completion ahead of inaugural Formula One STC Saudi Arabian Grand Prix
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The world’s fastest and longest street track, the Jeddah Corniche Circuit, is set to be completed in the coming days. (SAGP)
Jeddah Corniche Circuit nears completion ahead of inaugural Formula One STC Saudi Arabian Grand Prix
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The world’s fastest and longest street track, the Jeddah Corniche Circuit, is set to be completed in the coming days. (SAGP)
Jeddah Corniche Circuit nears completion ahead of inaugural Formula One STC Saudi Arabian Grand Prix
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The world’s fastest and longest street track, the Jeddah Corniche Circuit, is set to be completed in the coming days. (SAGP)
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Updated 24 November 2021

Jeddah Corniche Circuit nears completion ahead of inaugural Formula One STC Saudi Arabian Grand Prix

Jeddah Corniche Circuit nears completion ahead of inaugural Formula One STC Saudi Arabian Grand Prix
  • More than 30 nationalities have helped to build the Jeddah Corniche Circuit
  • Seven permanent landmarks and statues have been positioned inside the circuit

JEDDAH: With just two weeks to go until the long-awaited debut of the Formula One STC Saudi Arabian Grand Prix (SAGP), the world’s fastest and longest street track, the Jeddah Corniche Circuit, is set to be completed in the coming days.

Work on the track only began last April — no F1 circuit has been constructed so quickly, which is a testament to the dedication of the Saudi Grand Prix’s workforce, who have been striving to deliver the racetrack on time.

The completion of the circuit was accomplished under the strictest health and safety conditions, with millions of man-hours of work taking place on site with no serious incidents. All work was carried out according to Saudi Arabian Labour Laws, guaranteeing the protection of the rights of workers on-site, including the limiting of working hours in direct sunlight. All workers were required to participate in the ATLAS safety induction programme.

The promoter worked with 3,000 on-site contractors from approximately 50 companies. While many of these partners are Saudi Arabian, the event organizers also used suppliers from Germany, Austria, the UK, Spain and Italy.

Developed in partnership with Tilke Engineers and F1’s own Motorsports Division, the circuit’s design has made strong use of the long, sweeping roads along the Corniche area, utilizing this feature and existing roads as much as possible, resulting in one of the most challenging circuits to feature in Formula One.

The circuit includes a record number of corners (27 in total: 16 left and 11 right), in addition to three potential high-speed DRS sections and a 12-degree banked corner at Turn 13. The race will be staged under lights at night, setting the stage for a special atmosphere in Jeddah when the pinnacle of motorsport arrives in Saudi Arabia.

With the countdown now on until the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, here is list of key facts and figures that relate to the Jeddah Corniche Circuit

  • The Jeddah Corniche Circuit is 6,175 km long, making it the second longest circuit on the calendar after Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium and the longest street track in Formula One
  • Average speeds of 252km/h are expected, making it the fastest street circuit on the calendar, with top speeds estimated to peak at 322km/h between Turns 25-27
  • More than 30 nationalities have helped to build the Jeddah Corniche Circuit
  • More than 300 engineers have been involved
  • When the circuit is complete, about 2,000 trees will be planted around the circuit
  • 37,000 tons of asphalt have been used to make the track
  • The circuit has required 600,000 tons of cement, 30,000 square meters of bricks, and more than 1,400 tons of glass
  • Construction included building seven stands overlooking the track
  • Seven permanent landmarks and statues have been positioned inside the circuit
  • Lighting levels are set at 1,500 lux, with more than 200,000 meters of cabling laid to ensure everything is lit to perfection
  • The circuit designers are extending the popular Corniche walkway along the circuit and populating it with a series of outdoor recreational opportunities for children and adults including new walkways and cycling paths and children’s playgrounds. There will also be family-friendly restaurants, public restrooms, increased parking spaces and much more.

Racist abuse of Richarlison shows FIFA still has work to do

Racist abuse of Richarlison shows FIFA still has work to do
Updated 29 September 2022

Racist abuse of Richarlison shows FIFA still has work to do

Racist abuse of Richarlison shows FIFA still has work to do
  • In a statement, FIFA condemned the incident, saying: “First and foremost, FIFA strongly rejects any form of racism and violence and has a very clear zero tolerance stance against such behavior in football

MANCHESTER, England: When FIFA President Gianni Infantino dashed from Geneva to Paris to watch World Cup favorite Brazil in their final warmup game before Qatar, he cannot have expected to be confronted by such visual proof of the racism that continues to infect soccer.

Not least because the sport’s world governing body disbanded its anti-racism task force — declaring it had “completely fulfilled its temporary mission” — shortly after Infantino was elected in 2016.

FIFA has implemented a detailed strategy to combat all forms of discrimination, but the incident at the Parc des Princes on Tuesday, when a banana was thrown at Richarlison as he celebrated scoring a 19th-minute goal in Brazil’s 5-1 win against Tunisia, showed just how much work is still to be done.

The Tottenham striker later tweeted: “As long as it’s ‘blah blah blah’ and they don’t punish, it will continue like this, happening every day and everywhere. No time bro!”

In a statement, FIFA condemned the incident, saying: “First and foremost, FIFA strongly rejects any form of racism and violence and has a very clear zero tolerance stance against such behavior in football.

“FIFA will investigate the incident in yesterday’s game in Paris.”

Earlier that day, Infantino had been in Geneva to discuss human rights-related matters and their relation to soccer with Federico Villegas of the United Nations.

Later on, he witnessed first-hand the latest instance of racism and discrimination, which is prompting such concern within the sport.

Leading players have called out online abuse — but there have also been high-profile episodes within stadiums, with FIFA handing Hungary a two-game stadium ban and a fine of almost $205,000 after England players were subjected to racist abuse during a World Cup qualifier in Budapest last September.

UEFA also sanctioned Hungary for discriminatory behavior during Euro 2020.

It raises the question of whether there will be similar occurrences in Qatar at FIFA’s showpiece occasion.

The FARE network, an anti-discrimination organization which works with FIFA and UEFA to investigate cases of discriminatory behavior by fans, does not believe there is particular cause for concern within stadiums at the World Cup. But executive director Piara Powar says “international football has a huge problem.”

“There will be a lot of close monitoring of far right and racist banners (in Qatar). They will be taken down within minutes,” Powar told The Associated Press. “There will be specific analysts in security boxes. There will be a lot of people watching out for these things.”

FARE has contacted FIFA regarding the Richarlison incident.

“The wilful act of taking a banana and throwing it at black player after scoring a goal is breath-taking,” Powar added. “When we’re reminded what the act means — it is dehumanizing.”

Richarlison’s tweet pointed to his own lack of faith in soccer’s authorities to deal with racism.

On Wednesday, his club, Tottenham, voiced its support for the forward.

“We are disgusted by the racist abuse of Richarlison at last night’s game between Brazil and Tunisia,” it tweeted. “This has no place in football, or anywhere. We stand with you, Richy.”

Former Chelsea player Paul Canoville was subjected to racist abuse from fans of his own club during his career — and believes today’s stars will eventually take extreme measures in protest.

“It’s hard hearing about racism,” he told AP. “The truth is it’s happening throughout the world. Racism is a large problem in football and a huge problem in society.

“When I was warming up I’d hear fans calling me a monkey and throwing bananas. It’s telling me I am an animal.

“The players will walk off the pitch. That will be a statement. I can see that. It will be a team with Black players saying, “Enough is enough. Why should I play in these conditions?’

“Some people think that’s giving in. I don’t think it’s giving in — it’s standing up.”


Yankees star Judge hits 61st home run, ties Maris’ AL record

Yankees star Judge hits 61st home run, ties Maris’ AL record
Updated 29 September 2022

Yankees star Judge hits 61st home run, ties Maris’ AL record

Yankees star Judge hits 61st home run, ties Maris’ AL record

TORONTO: Aaron Judge tied Roger Maris’ American League record of 61 home runs in a season, going deep for the New York Yankees against the Toronto Blue Jays on Wednesday night.
The 30-year-old slugger drove a 94.5 mph belt-high sinker with a full-count from left-hander Tim Mayza over the left-field fence in the seventh inning at Rogers Center, a 117 mph drive that landed 394 feet from the plate. The tiebreaking, two-run drive, which put the Yankees ahead 5-3, clanked off the front of the stands and dropped into Toronto’s bullpen.
Judge’s mother and Roger Maris Jr. rose and huegged from front-row seats. He appeared to point toward them after rounding second base, them was congratulated by the entire Yankees team who gave him hugs after he crossed the plate
Judge moved past the 60 home runs Babe Ruth hit in 1927, which had stood as the major league mark until Maris broke it in 1961. All three stars reached those huge numbers playing for the Yankees.
Barry Bonds holds the big league record of 73 for the San Francisco Giants in 2001.
Judge had gone seven games without a home run — his longest drought this season was nine in mid-August. This was the Yankees’ 155th game of the season, leaving them seven more in the regular season.
The home run came in the fourth plate appearance of the night for Judge, ending a streak of 34 plate appearances without a home run.
Judge is hitting .314 with 130 RBIs, also the top totals in the AL. He has a chance to become the first AL Triple Crown winner since Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera in 2012.
Maris hit No. 61 for the Yankees on Oct. 1, 1961, against Boston Red Sox pitcher Tracy Stallard.
Maris’ mark has been exceeded six times, but all have been tainted by the stench of steroids. Mark McGwire hit 70 home runs for the St. Louis Cardinals in 1998 and 65 the following year, and Bonds topped him. Sammy Sosa had 66, 65 and 63 during a four-season span starting in 1998.
McGwire admitted using banned steroids, while Bonds and Sosa denied knowingly using performing-enhancing drugs. Major League Baseball started testing with penalties for PEDs in 2004, and some fans — perhaps many — until now have considered Maris the holder of the “clean” record.
Among the tallest batters in major league history, the 6-foot-7 Judge burst on the scene on Aug. 13, 2016, homering off the railing above Yankee Stadium’s center-field sports bar and into the netting above Monument Park. He followed Tyler Austin to the plate and they become the first teammates to homer in their first major league at-bats in the same game.
Judge hit 52 homers with 114 RBIs the following year and was a unanimous winner of the AL Rookie of the Year award. Injuries limited him during the following three seasons, and he rebounded to hit 39 homers with 98 RBIs in 2021.
As he approached his last season before free agent eligibility, Judge on opening day turned down the Yankees’ offer of an eight-year contract worth from $230.5 million to $234.5 million. The proposal included an average of $30.5 million annually from 2023-29, with his salary this year to be either the $17 million offered by the team in arbitration or the $21 million requested by the player.
An agreement was reached in June on a $19 million, one-year deal, and Judge heads into this offseason likely to get a contract from the Yankees or another team for $300 million or more, perhaps topping $400 million.
Judge hit six homers in April, 12 in May and 11 in June. He earned his fourth All-Star selection and entered the break with 33 homers. He had 13 homers in July and dropped to nine in August, when injuries left him less protected in the batting order and pitchers walked him 25 times.
He became just the fifth player to hold a share of the AL season record. Nap Lajoie hit 14 in the AL’s first season as a major league in 1901, and Philadelphia Athletics teammate Socks Seabold had 16 the next year, a mark that stood until Babe Ruth hit 29 in 1919. Ruth set the record four times in all, with 54 in 1920, 59 in 1921 and 60 in 1927, a mark that stood until Maris’ 61 in 1961.
Maris was at 35 in July 1961 during the first season each team’s schedule increased from 154 games to 162, and baseball Commissioner Ford Frick ruled if anyone topped Ruth in more than 154 games “there would have to be some distinctive mark in the record books to show that Babe Ruth’s record was set under a 154-game schedule.”
That “distinctive mark” became known as an “asterisk” and it remained until Sept. 4, 1991, when a committee on statistical accuracy chaired by Commissioner Fay Vincent voted unanimously to recognize Maris as the record holder.


Pakistan beat England by 6 runs in 5th T20

Pakistan beat England by 6 runs in 5th T20
Updated 29 September 2022

Pakistan beat England by 6 runs in 5th T20

Pakistan beat England by 6 runs in 5th T20
  • It was the second time in a row that England slipped while chasing a below-par total in the seven-match series

LAHORE: Captain Moeen Ali’s fighting unbeaten half century went in vain as Pakistan successfully defended a below-par total to beat England by six runs in the fifth Twenty20 on Wednesday.

Needing 15 runs off the last over, Ali could hit just one six off debutant fast bowler Aamer Jamal to reach his 50 before England got restricted at 139-7.

Mark Wood’s pace had earlier dismantled Pakistan for 145 in 19 overs in the lowest total so far of the series, which Pakistan now lead 3-2. David Willey and Sam Curran both grabbed 2-23.

It was the second time in a row that England slipped while chasing a below-par total in the seven-match series. They lost the fourth T20 at Karachi by three runs when Pakistan chipped in with the last three wickets for just one run.

Ali made an unbeaten 51 off 37 balls, but Pakistan strangled England through spinners Iftikhar Ahmed (1-16) and Shadab Khan (1-25) in the middle overs and the run-rate kept on climbing.

“Today was the most disappointing performance with the bat for sure,” Ali said. “I felt we needed two big hits, I managed to hit one ... but it was a very good last over and you can’t take anything away from him (Jamal).”

Top-ranked T20 batter Mohammad Rizwan’s belligerent form in the series continued as he anchored Pakistan innings with 63, his fourth half century in the series after Ali won his fourth toss and elected to field.

Pakistan’s middle-order stumbled against Wood’s pace, which got rid of captain Babar Azam with a steep short ball and then had the wickets of Haider Ali and power-hitter Asif Ali with sharp short-pitched pacey deliveries.

Pakistan slipped to 100-7 in the 14th over when Shadab got run out in a mix-up with Rizwan as England kept coming hard with regular wickets.

Rizwan also holed out at deep fine leg when he couldn’t clear Curran’s low full toss in the 18th over before Woakes wrapped up the innings off his last ball when Rauf was caught in the deep.

England also slipped to 31-3 early in their run-chase against pacers Rauf and Mohammad Wasim while Mohammad Nawaz had Alex Hales caught at point in his first over.

Shadab had reduced England to 54-4 when he successfully overturned an lbw decision of in-form Harry Brook (4) through television referral in the ninth over and Ali couldn’t accelerate against both spinners.

Ahmed then ended Dawid Malan’s nearly run-a-ball knock of 36 and Jamal got his first wicket off his second ball when Sam Curran holed out at long off in the 15th over.

Ali took the game deep with a 46-run stand with Woakes (10) before he fell to Haris Rauf in the penultimate over and the 26-year-old Jamal bowled some superb yorker length deliveries to Ali in the last over to deny England victory.

“It’s a team game and we believe if we are struggling (in one department), the other one (bowling department) chips in,” said Shadab, who was playing in his first game of the series after missing out the four games at Karachi. “Aamer Jamal had a believe in himself and we all backed him for the last over.”

Lahore will host the remaining two games of the seven-match series on Friday and Sunday.
 


FIFA judges detail why they rejected Chile World Cup appeal

FIFA judges detail why they rejected Chile World Cup appeal
Updated 29 September 2022

FIFA judges detail why they rejected Chile World Cup appeal

FIFA judges detail why they rejected Chile World Cup appeal
  • The 64-page appeal verdict released by FIFA is needed by the Chilean federation as the basis of another urgent legal challenge at the Court of Arbitration for Sport

GENEVA: FIFA judges comprehensively rejected the Chilean soccer federation’s entire case in a failed appeal this month to replace Ecuador at the World Cup, according to the detailed verdict published Wednesday.

Chile argued it had documents proving Ecuador defender Byron Castillo was actually Colombian and should have been ineligible for the eight World Cup qualifying games he played in.

However, “at no point did (Chile) provide ‘cogent evidence’ that the documents related to the individual born in Colombia indeed relate to the player,” the judges ruled.

The 64-page appeal verdict released by FIFA is needed by the Chilean federation as the basis of another urgent legal challenge at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

There are just 53 days left for that judgment to be issued before Ecuador is due to play in the World Cup opening game against host nation Qatar, on Nov. 20 in Doha.

If the FIFA appeal committee had ruled that Castillo was ineligible, Ecuador would have forfeited all eight games he played in — including two wins over Chile — as 3-0 losses and dropped out of contention in the South American qualifying group.

But the three FIFA-appointed judges wrote they were convinced both that there was no falsification of Castillo’s documents to get an Ecuadorian passport and identity document, and that he complied with the soccer body’s rules to play for the national team.

“There is no element on file that could suggest that the player would actually be Colombian, or bear another nationality,” wrote the judging panel chaired by Neil Eggleston, a former White House Counsel.

The case “revolved around three key sets of documents,” the judges said. They were: Birth certificates from Colombia and Ecuador; case files from the Ecuadorian soccer federation’s 2018 investigation into Castillo’s identity; court decisions in Ecuador plus national identification documents. Those included a passport issued on Nov. 13, 2017.

The passport and subsequent ID documents have “undoubtedly been issued by the competent state authorities and, as such, are to be considered genuine and authentic,” the verdict stated.

Castillo is eligible to play at the Nov. 20-Dec. 18 tournament in Qatar, where Ecuador will also play the Netherlands and Senegal in Group A.

He does face a separate FIFA disciplinary case which the judges requested because he did not take part in the Sept. 16 appeal hearing held by video link. Any potential punishment would not affect his ability to play in Qatar.

The detailed verdict confirmed that a Qatari judge originally selected by FIFA for the case withdrew after Chile objected to a potential conflict of interest because the case was to decide Qatar’s opponent in the opening game. An Iranian lawyer was picked instead.


‘All lights green’ for 2024 Paris Olympics opening ceremony: official

‘All lights green’ for 2024 Paris Olympics opening ceremony: official
Updated 28 September 2022

‘All lights green’ for 2024 Paris Olympics opening ceremony: official

‘All lights green’ for 2024 Paris Olympics opening ceremony: official
  • The opening ceremony on July 26, 2024, is not set to take place as is customary in the athletics stadium
  • The original plan was for an armada of 200 boats and some 600,000 spectators

PARIS: Organizers of the 2024 Paris Olympics intend to press ahead with an ambitious opening ceremony on the river Seine despite security concerns, a senior official said Wednesday.
“All the lights are green to organize this ceremony in good security conditions,” an aide to President Emmanuel Macron told reporters ahead of a top-level meeting to discuss preparations.
There had “never been a question” of abandoning the idea which was first announced by Macron himself, the aide added.
The French president is to chair a meeting with ministers, security forces, sports officials and the heads of Paris local authorities on Thursday to review the plans.
The opening ceremony on July 26, 2024, is not set to take place as is customary in the athletics stadium, but be celebrated with a flotilla down the river Seine.
The original plan was for an armada of 200 boats and some 600,000 spectators, but organizers are under pressure to scale down these ambitions.
Paris’ Olympics also face financial pressure, with the cost of energy and inflation rising sharply and Macron insisting “the Games must finance the Games.”
The aide confirmed that France was still discussing with the International Olympic Committee “if savings could be made” on some events and sites.
Paris was aiming to be the most energy-efficient and cost-effective possible, creating a “new model” for the competition, the aide added.