AS IT HAPPENED: Saudi Arabian Grand Prix raceday in Jeddah

AS IT HAPPENED: Saudi Arabian Grand Prix raceday in Jeddah
Short Url
Updated 06 December 2021

AS IT HAPPENED: Saudi Arabian Grand Prix raceday in Jeddah

AS IT HAPPENED: Saudi Arabian Grand Prix raceday in Jeddah
  • Stay tuned for the F1 action throughout the evening

JEDDAH: The eyes of the sporting world turned to Jeddah on Sunday as the inagural Saudi Arabian Grand Prix revved into action under the lights along Jeddah's Corniche coast.

Seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton won the race from pole position after Saturday's qualifying session, while his world championship title rival Max Verstappen could only finish second, in what was a topsy-turvy contest.

The Dutchman had held an eight-point advantage over the British legend in the championship standings going into the race, but will now have to battle it out for glory in Abu Dhabi next weekend.

See how the action of the evening unfolded below. (All times AST)

22:45 - IT'S ALL OVER! Lewis Hamilton wins a dramatic, thrilling and at times crazy Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

22:20 - The two at the front touch - Verstappen and Hamilton are still running on the track but the Brit ran into the back of the Red Bull driver, and Verstappen had been told to give the position back to Hamilton before the collision.

21:55 - Just as we get going again, we end up with another yellow flag and a Virtual Safety Car after Japanese driver Yuki Tsunoda hits the wall...

--------

PLAY THE ARAB NEWS F1 GAME HERE

--------

21:40 - After some to-ing and fro-ing between the FIA race director and the teams, they have accepted the order of Esteban Ocon, Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen on the restart...

21:20 - And it's another red flag, as multiple cars are involved in a crash at the restart...

21:15 - And due to the damage to the tyre wall, the red flag came out, which meant Verstappen who hadn't pitted took the lead of the race and will restart at 21:15 local time at the front of the pack...

20:50 - And we have a yellow flag on the course, Mick Schumacher has hit a wall. And tells the team over radio he is okay...

20:35 - GO! It's a great start for Lewis Hamitlon as Verstappen just didn't look like he was got the pace off the line, but he's coming back into it...and fast!

20:25 - Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman got a tour of the pitlane ahead of the national anthem ceremony and the start of the race.

 

 

20:10 - With concerns overnight about the gearbox of Max Verstappen, Red Bull team principal Christian Horner, told Sky Sports: "It has passed all the tests we would normally do so we have to believe in our measurements and our tools. We have to go for it, Max has been driving beautifully, just a shame to not convert that (into a pole) but there is a lot of racing to be done."

19:50 - A nice moment on the track, as the drivers and teams take a moment of silence to honor the late Frank Williams, former principal of his namesake team and who had a long association with Saudi motorsport.

19:30 - With the race just an hour awayF1 fans from all over the world made their way to the Jeddah Corniche Circuit by the Red Sea for the Kingdom’s inaugural Grand Prix. Read more from the fans below...

READ MORE

The countdown to big Saudi race has F1 fans awaiting serious action. Click here for more.

18:45 - It was a dramatic F2 race, the event which is run before the Formula 1, as Enzo Fittipaldi and Theo Pourchaire have a huge collision on the starting grid. Both drivers were transferred to a local hospital concsious, and the race was run with half points being awarded.

17:30 - Fans are streaming in, and we still have three hours left until lights out. Teams are busy in the pitlane making last minute changes and fine tuning the cars before the big race.

15:45 - In case you missed it, Arab News spoke to Saudi trailblazing female racing driver Reema Juffali ahead of the race, see what she makes of Jeddah hosting Formula One and who she thinks will win below...

READ MORE

Formula One is transforming Jeddah, says Saudi trailblazer Reema Juffali. Click here for more.

15:00 - Saudi Arabia's sport minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal was impressed with what he saw on Friday, and is looking forward to the big race today...


Saudi Arabia reach 2023 World Handball Championship after beating Uzbekistan in Dammam

Saudi Arabia reach 2023 World Handball Championship after beating Uzbekistan in Dammam
Updated 56 sec ago

Saudi Arabia reach 2023 World Handball Championship after beating Uzbekistan in Dammam

Saudi Arabia reach 2023 World Handball Championship after beating Uzbekistan in Dammam
  • 31-24 win in final match of second group stage takes hosts to semifinals of Asian Handball Championship, securing their spot for next year’s tournament in Poland And Sweden

Saudi Arabia have qualified for the World Handball Championship for the tenth time in their history after beating Uzbekistan 31-24 in the Asian Handball Championship on Wednesday night.

The victory at the Ministry of Sports Hall in Dammam in their final second-round group match means the Saudis have progressed to the semifinals, guaranteeing a top five placing, which ensures progress to the 2023 World Handball Championship in Poland and Sweden.

Saudi Arabia will be joined in the last four by Qatar, from Group I, while Iran and Bahrian progressed from Group II.

The Saudis benefited from the South Korean team’s failure to play their fixture against Qatar due to an outbreak of COVID-19 in their squad. With the Koreans forfeiting their match, the team from the Kingdom did not have to worry about any complicated scenarios that might have led to their elimination.

On Saturday, the Saudi team contest the semifinal against Bahrain, who had overcome Iran 36-26 to win Group II. Qatar and Iran will face off in the other last four clash on the same day.

Thursday is a rest day in the tournament, and playoffs positions 9-16 will resume on Friday.


Newcastle lead race to sign Bruno Guimaraes from Lyon

Newcastle lead race to sign Bruno Guimaraes from Lyon
Updated 27 January 2022

Newcastle lead race to sign Bruno Guimaraes from Lyon

Newcastle lead race to sign Bruno Guimaraes from Lyon
  • The Magpies are said to have lined up a $45 million deal for the Brazil international
  • Eddie Howe’s team seem to have beaten Juventus and Arsenal to the punch to land the midfielder

NEWCASTLE: Newcastle United appear to have stolen a march on European giants Juventus and Arsenal by lining up a deal to sign Brazil international Bruno Guimaraes.

Arab News understands that while the player’s current club, Olympique Lyonnais, have publicly stated a deal has yet to be finalized, the framework for the transfer has already been agreed between the buyers, the sellers, the player and his representatives.

The fee is believed to be in the region of $45million, although the finer points of the deal are still to be ironed out.

Guimaraes is on international duty with Brazil, who face Ecuador at the Estadio Rodrigo Paz Delgado in Quito tomorrow evening. It is thought he could undergo a Newcastle medical check upon his return to Brazil on Friday.

The signing of the much-coveted Lyon midfielder would represent a real statement capture for United, who so far have only managed to land Kieran Trippier and Chris Wood during the January transfer window.

Arsenal and Juventus have been tracking Guimaraes this season but both failed to show their hands, leaving the door wide open for Newcastle’s transfer negotiators, Amanda Staveley and Steve Nickson.

The player is understood to be happy at the prospect of swapping Ligue 1 for the top flight in England, even with the Magpies locked in a battle to avoid relegation.

At this stage, however, Lyon continue to make it clear, publicly at least, that a sale is not yet agreed. A statement posted on the club’s website on Wednesday read: “Olympique Lyonnais categorically denies the false information disseminated by many media reporting an agreement between Newcastle and OL for the transfer of Brazilian international midfielder Bruno Guimaraes.

“In this transfer window period where the slightest rumor is often presented as reality, Olympique Lyonnais reminds that only information officially released by the club is to be taken into consideration.”

As recently as December, Guimaraes, 24, expressed frustration with French football and revealed he is keen to learn English.

He told Brazilian media outlet Globo: “In France, there are moments where we play like robots; nobody tries to dribble, to find a pass, for example.

“That irritates me sometimes, it is a bit frustrating. I think that those who have talent should profit from that; try to dribble, try to link moves. If you do that, your game will be complete.

“There are moments where I should be more egotistical, as in try to finish well. Because I have a good pass, I think always that my pass will be what is necessary, so I pass when it is the moment to shoot.”

United are keen to recruit at least another three or four players before the transfer window in England closes at 11pm local time on Monday, Jan. 31.

The Magpies are hoping to tie down a deal for Bayer Leverkusen and Netherlands left-back Mitchel Bakker. It’s understood a deal is ready to be signed but can only progress if the Bundesliga outfit find a replacement for him between now and the end of the window. A fee believed to be in the region of $21.5million has been agreed between the clubs.

Meanwhile United’s frustrating pursuit of Brazilian Diego Carlos seems to have come to an end, with the club walking away from the deal. While an offer of about $40million remains on the table, Sevilla are said to want more than $50million, a price United are unwilling to pay for a player a little over a year away from turning 30.

With Newcastle in need of central defensive recruits, the club’s transfer committee, which consists of head coach Eddie Howe, assistant Jason Tindall, director Staveley and chief scout Nickson, have now turned their attention to domestic targets.

Geordie Dan Burn, currently with Brighton and Hove Albion, is one player United are keen on, and moves for Liverpool’s Nat Phillips and Tottenham Hotspur’s Joe Rodon cannot be ruled out.

It is understood that another high-profile move, for Jesse Lingard, has hit the rocks over the fee that Manchester United insisted on being paid should the Magpies remain in the Premier League come the end of the season. This was said to be on top of a loan fee paid up front for the 29-year-old.

The England international’s contract at Old Trafford ends in June and all parties were thought to be happy to strike a loan deal until the end of the Premier League season. However, the Red Devils’ financial demands put an end to the negotiations, at least for now.
 


Footballers suffering from Covid effects after initial recovery

Footballers suffering from Covid effects after initial recovery
Updated 27 January 2022

Footballers suffering from Covid effects after initial recovery

Footballers suffering from Covid effects after initial recovery
  • There have been several high-profile cases of Covid-19 effects preventing players returning to the pitch immediately after testing negative for the virus
  • Bayern Munich midfielder Joshua Kimmich, who was unvaccinated, missed two months of action due to lung damage, while Juventus forward Paulo Dybala said he struggled with a "shortness of breath"

PARIS: Very few top-level footballers have suffered from life-threatening bouts of Covid, but the longer-term effects of the virus are now being seen in the game, with one study suggesting even players’ passing quality can suffer.
There have been several high-profile cases of Covid-19 effects preventing players returning to the pitch immediately after testing negative for the virus.
Bayern Munich midfielder Joshua Kimmich, who was not vaccinated, missed two months of action due to lung damage, while Juventus forward Paulo Dybala said he struggled with a “shortness of breath” when he returned in 2020 after testing positive.
Even seven-time Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi admitted that he needed “more time than expected to recover” after contracting Covid over the winter break.
There have been a handful of more serious cases in professional football.
Newcastle goalkeeper Karl Darlow spent three days on a hospital drip, Montpellier winger Junior Sambia was hospitalized in intensive care and Nantes’ Jean-Kevin Augustin has not started a first-team game since 2019 due to long Covid.
But many coaches have also expressed fears in recent weeks about short and medium-term effects.
“When players have the virus and then come back, it’s not done just by a click of the fingers. Even they feel it, it takes time,” said France’s World Cup-winning manager Didier Deschamps.
Researchers from the universities of Duesseldorf and Reading saw results from a study, into 257 Bundesliga and Serie A players who returned after suffering with Covid, that suggested performance levels also fell.
The study found that players’ passing success rate fell by up to five percent and that the virus affected footballers over the age of 30 more seriously.
It also suggested that teams with the most players who had recovered from Covid had worse results than their rivals.
“So far, the results suggest a permanent alteration in the player’s abilities,” said James Reade, director of the economics department at the University of Reading and co-author of the study, albeit with a caveat.
“The majority of players had not been vaccinated (at the time of the study) and this remains a complicating factor.”
There have been reports of players struggling from cardiac inflammation, including Gabon duo Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Mario Lemina, who both left the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations to recover from Covid.
But French football federation medical director Emmanuel Orhant said there was no definite link between the virus and increased risk of cardiac problems for footballers.
He found, in December 2020, that 2.2 percent of 350 players who tested positive had a cardiac issue.
“All were mild and disappeared within a few weeks, and it is impossible to say that all were linked to Covid,” Orhant told AFP.
But he did say that players were taking longer to recover from Covid than they usually do from the flu.
“We know that the virus has an impact on short-term ventilation,” Orhant said.
“With the flu, we can put the players back on the pitch as soon as they are better. This requires a longer rehabilitation time.”
But with the vast majority of cases in European countries now being caused by the omicron variant, it is expected that the effects will be far less severe.
“We can no longer talk about omicron in the same way we talked about the first infections, which were much nastier,” added Orhant. “Today, most players have almost no symptoms.”


Saudi authorities honor qualifiers for the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics

Vice President of SOPC Prince Fahd bin Jalawi bin Abdulaziz honors the members of the Saudi winter sports team who qualified for the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. (SOPC)
Vice President of SOPC Prince Fahd bin Jalawi bin Abdulaziz honors the members of the Saudi winter sports team who qualified for the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. (SOPC)
Updated 27 January 2022

Saudi authorities honor qualifiers for the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics

Vice President of SOPC Prince Fahd bin Jalawi bin Abdulaziz honors the members of the Saudi winter sports team who qualified for the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. (SOPC)
  • Three athletes from the Kingdom earned enough qualifying points to be eligible to compete at the Games but only one could be selected
  • The Saudi Olympic and Paralympic Committee chose Fayik Abdi to represent the country in Beijing; he will compete in the giant slalom

RIYADH: Prince Fahd bin Jalawi bin Abdulaziz, vice president of the Saudi Olympic and Paralympic Committee, honored the members of the Saudi winter sports team who made history by qualifying for the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.

On behalf of Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal, the minister of sport and president of SOPC, Prince Fahd congratulated alpine skiers Salman Al-Howaish (slalom) and Fayik Abdi (giant slalom), and cross country skier Rakan Alireza during a reception at the Prince Faisal bin Fahd Olympic Complex in Riyadh.

All three earned enough qualifying points to be eligible to compete in Beijing but Saudi Arabia was only allocated one place at the Games, which was ultimately awarded by the SOPC to Abdi after a technical comparison of the qualifiers.

“Qualifying in itself is an honor and a victory,” Prince Fahd told them, adding that their names will go down in history of sport in the Kingdom as the first Saudis to reach the qualification standard for the Winter Olympics.

He urged Abdi to do his best and represent the Kingdom in a fitting manner, and said that all three will receive a financial award for qualifying.

Abdulaziz Al-Anazi, the secretary-general of the SOPC, and Ahmed Al-Tabbaa, the president of the Saudi Winter Sports Federation, also attended the reception.

The 2022 Winter Olympics begin in Beijing on Feb. 4


Eddie Howe impressed with first-class treatment in Saudi as he eyes Newcastle transfer progress

Eddie Howe impressed with first-class treatment in Saudi as he eyes Newcastle transfer progress
Updated 26 January 2022

Eddie Howe impressed with first-class treatment in Saudi as he eyes Newcastle transfer progress

Eddie Howe impressed with first-class treatment in Saudi as he eyes Newcastle transfer progress
  • Magpies are 3 days into Jeddah warm weather training camp and will face Al-Ittihad behind closed doors on Friday
  • In Howe’s absence from the UK, the club have been busy working their way through a transfer wanted list, with four new players being targeted

JEDDAH: Newcastle head coach Eddie Howe has been impressed with United’s first-class welcome to Saudi Arabia.

The Magpies are three days into a six-day warm weather training camp in the Middle East as they prepare for their next Premier League outing against manager-less Everton on Feb. 8.

And Howe admits that he has been left impressed with the Kingdom and its facilities, even if a little less so with the climate.

Speaking from the club’s Jeddah training facility, Howe said: “It has been good. It has been hot, which is great when you’re not training. When you’re training, the humidity is tough for the players.

“We have finished a good day, and got what we wanted out of the session. Spirits are high — obviously boosted by the last result.”

While Howe was keen to stress that the visit would be a working trip for his Magpies first-team squad, it has definitely not been a case of all work, no play, in Saudi so far.

Discussing the facilities and his side’s schedule, Howe said: “It is very good. The pitches are of a good standard. We have used the gym regularly since we have been here. We have everything we need.

“We have done a couple of team-building activities as well — really pleased so far. There are some days to go and plenty of work still to do.”

Howe, who greeted local youngsters sharing the club’s Al-Ittihad training facility base, added: “The people have been great and the hotel has been first class. We have been treated well.

“It was nice there (after training) to share a moment with the kids and to see what they are doing with developing their youngsters,” he said. “It has been mutually beneficial from both sides — our side and theirs.”

On Friday evening, Howe’s Magpies take on Saudi Pro League leaders Al-Ittihad at the Prince Abdullah Al-Faisal Stadium in Jeddah.

The game itself will be behind closed doors, with no fans in attendance and no livestream or footage of the match available.

Howe thinks the game is of definite value for his squad, although he hopes they come out of the challenge unscathed.

“I think a game is a good thing for us,” said Howe. “When you don’t have a game for a while, I think the damage can be, or the doubt can be that you don’t get a feel for the pitch dimensions. We will be back with the correct match distances, which will be good.”

“The most important thing for us is to not get any injuries from the game. Touch wood it goes well and we will be back at 100 percent.”

On the injury front, Howe has revealed that the three players who succumbed to knocks during the 1-0 win at Leeds United last weekend are yet to train with the first-team squad in the Kingdom.

Skipper Jamaal Lascelles, record signing Joelinton and left-back Paul Dummett were all taken off at Elland Road by Howe.

“The three players who came off haven’t trained. We didn’t expect them to immediately,” said the head coach. “I am not sure of the extent of the injuries. It may be that we need scans to determine that — and we haven’t had the luxury of doing that yet.”

One player who is getting closer to availability is Argentine defender Federico Fernandez.

The center-half, widely regarded as United’s best defender, has not played since mid-December, with a thigh issue.

“He is edging closer to returning to the group,” said Howe. “He is not quite there and it is at a delicate stage with him.”

“We want him back but we don’t want to push him and have a setback. We need to manage the next bit right,” he added.

In Howe’s absence from the UK, the club have been busy working their way through a transfer wanted list, with four new players still being targeted before Monday’s 11 p.m. (GMT) transfer deadline.

A move for Brazilian midfielder Bruno Guimaraes is most advanced currently, although United’s transfer deal-makers — Amanda Staveley and Steve Nickson — do have a number of irons in the fire heading towards the final few days of the window.

Howe has set his sights on adding at least “a couple” of new players to his relegation-threatened squad.

He said: “There is a lot of hard work being done back in England. I think I have no news to tell anyone at the moment, but I am being kept regularly updated. My finger is on the pulse with what is happening.

“As we know, it is a tough window, but we just hope we can get a couple more additions to boost the squad.”