Abu Dhabi hosting World Triathlon Championship Finals on Yas Island

Abu Dhabi hosting World Triathlon Championship Finals on Yas Island
The 2022 World Triathlon Championship Finals will be held at Yas Island in November. (ADSC)
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Updated 16 March 2022

Abu Dhabi hosting World Triathlon Championship Finals on Yas Island

Abu Dhabi hosting World Triathlon Championship Finals on Yas Island
  • Finale of 2022 world series will run from Nov 23-26 this year
  • Event to attract more than 7,500 local, international triathletes to UAE capital

ABU DHABI: Abu Dhabi Sports Council (ADSC) and World Triathlon today announced plans for Abu Dhabi to host the World Triathlon Championship Finals 2022 on Yas Island.

Abu Dhabi will join a list of major cities that previously hosted the event, including London, Budapest, Beijing, Chicago, Lausanne and the Gold Coast. It will also mark the first time that the prestigious season finale of the global series will be hosted in the MENA region.

Organizers revealed that the prestigious World Triathlon Championship Finals, the world championship of the race format, will take place on Nov. 23-26 across the waterways, tracks and roads of Yas Island. The event village will be hosted on Yas Bay, in front of Etihad Arena.

“We are delighted to announce that Abu Dhabi will be hosting the World Triathlon Championship Finals 2022 in November,” Aref Al-Awani, general secretary of Abu Dhabi Sports Council, said. “This reflects our vision and ambitious plans to be the leading destination for major global and international sporting events, cementing Abu Dhabi’s leading reputation in this field.

“We are proud of the great trust given to Abu Dhabi by international sporting federations, and we value the fruitful partnership with World Triathlon, which has resulted in many important achievements and milestones for triathlon sport in the UAE,” he said.

The event is expected to attract more than 7,500 local, regional and international triathletes who will compete across five categories: Elite Men & Women, Elite U23 Men & Women, Elite Para Men & Women,Age Group Men & Women (super sprint and standard distance) and Community Races. The event promises to be a fantastic four days of elite competition and grassroots community participation, with athletes of various age levels and abilities invited to enter.

“The partnership with the UAE Triathlon Federation and Miral has played an important role in the UAE throughout the years and together we are proud to welcome over 7,500 triathletes from all over the world to Abu Dhabi’s premier sporting destination, Yas Island,” Al-Awani said.

Abu Dhabi’s journey to hosting the world championship of the sport started in 2010.

From 2010 to 2014, on Abu Dhabi’s Corniche, the capital hosted five editions of the Abu Dhabi International Triathlon — an all-inclusive race welcoming an exhibition field of elite athletes who raced alongside age-grouper and junior triathletes.

In 2014, the prestigious season-opening date on the World Triathlon Championship Series became available and Abu Dhabi stakeholders took the opportunity to host the first and only WTCS event in the region.

The inaugural World Triathlon Championship Series Abu Dhabi took place in March 2015 on Abu Dhabi’s Corniche. The following edition in March 2016 was also hosted in the same location, before moving to Yas Island in 2017. With the ambitious vision of eventually bidding to host the World Championship Finals in future years, the move to Yas Island was a strategic one. The new host venue partnership with Miral created additional capacity to keep up with the ever-growing participation, paving the way to hosting the World Championship in 2022.

Marisol Casado, president of World Triathlon and IOC board member, said: “For all the triathlon family it is a pleasure to return to Abu Dhabi, this time for the crown jewel of our events, the Championship Finals.”

“It is amazing to witness first hand how the Abu Dhabi event has grown from a small community race to the top level of our events,” said Casado. “The best athletes of the world have always delivered incredible races here, and I am positive that in November we will crown here in Abu Dhabi the best triathletes of the new generation.’’

In addition to hosting the finale for the first time, Abu Dhabi and the UAE will have another reason to celebrate during the World Triathlon Championship Finals: Team UAE will go head-to-head against the world’s best amateur triathletes.

The UAE Triathlon Federation announced that a team of athletes will be selected to represent the UAE in Age Group races around the world, starting with the World Championship in Abu Dhabi this coming November. The team will be selected from a mix of UAE national and UAE-resident members of the UAE Triathlon Federation, with the selection criteria due to be announced soon. Team UAE will represent the country at the prestigious “parade of nations” during the opening ceremony of the World Championships, as well as toeing the line in UAE racing kit.

“We look forward to opening qualification for athletes wishing to represent Team UAE at triathlon races around the world, starting with the World Championships in November,” said Khaled Al-Fahim, president of the UAE Triathlon Federation.

“Watching Team UAE athletes lining up on the start line will be a proud moment — the culmination of many years of hard work building the triathlon community in the country,” he added. “I encourage all those who would like to take part to check out the qualification criteria, which will be announced soon.

“November’s World Triathlon Championship Finals is an incredible opportunity for Emirati and UAE-resident triathletes, and aspiring triathletes, to race at a World Championship event on home soil.”


Qatar: COVID-19 vaccinations not compulsory for World Cup fans

Qatar: COVID-19 vaccinations not compulsory for World Cup fans
Updated 7 sec ago

Qatar: COVID-19 vaccinations not compulsory for World Cup fans

Qatar: COVID-19 vaccinations not compulsory for World Cup fans
  • All visitors aged over six would have to produce negative COVID-19 tests before taking flights to Qatar for the tournament
DOHA: Coronavirus vaccinations will not be mandatory for the million-plus fans going to the World Cup in Qatar later this year, authorities in the Gulf state said on Thursday.
All visitors aged over six would have to produce negative COVID-19 tests before taking flights to Qatar for the tournament that starts November 20, the authorities said in new health guidelines.

Saudi Arabia take on Bahrain in opening qualifier of ICC U-19 Men’s Cricket World Cup Division 2

Saudi Arabia take on Bahrain in opening qualifier of ICC U-19 Men’s Cricket World Cup Division 2
Updated 29 September 2022

Saudi Arabia take on Bahrain in opening qualifier of ICC U-19 Men’s Cricket World Cup Division 2

Saudi Arabia take on Bahrain in opening qualifier of ICC U-19 Men’s Cricket World Cup Division 2
  • Top two teams of qualification campaign in Oman will advance to final 2023 Asia Qualifier with place in 2024 World Cup at stake

Saudi Arabia on Thursday morning take on Bahrain in their opening fixture of the ICC U-19 Men’s Cricket World Cup Division 2 — Asia qualifiers taking place in Oman.

The youngsters from the Kingdom will then face the hosts on Saturday, Oct. 1, before concluding their Group A matches with a fixture against Bhutan on Monday, Oct 3.

The eight-team qualification campaign also includes Hong Kong, Qatar, Singapore and Thailand, who make up Group B, and will feature 16 matches over nine days.

The top two teams will then advance to the 2023 Asia Qualifier alongside already-qualified Kuwait, Malaysia, Nepal and the UAE, with a place at the ICC U19 Men’s Cricket World Cup 2024 at stake.

The Saudi squad landed in Muscat on Wednesday after concluding a 45-day intensive training camp in Riyadh in preparation for the World Cup qualifiers.


John Cena enters Guinness Book of World Records for Make-A-Wish Foundation landmark

John Cena enters Guinness Book of World Records for Make-A-Wish Foundation landmark
Updated 29 September 2022

John Cena enters Guinness Book of World Records for Make-A-Wish Foundation landmark

John Cena enters Guinness Book of World Records for Make-A-Wish Foundation landmark
  • WWE superstar and actor honored after granting his 650th wish earlier this year

RIYADH: WWE superstar John Cena has officially entered the Guinness Book of World Records.

The multiple wrestling champion has set a new record for the most wishes granted through the Make-A-Wish Foundation, by reaching 650 for their beneficiaries.

Cena’s total was called a “herculean” effort by the Guinness World Records website as no celebrity had managed more than 200.

Make-A-Wish revealed that Cena, who over the last 16 years has become a Hollywood superstar as well, is their most requested celebrity since the foundation’s inception in 1980.

Cena first worked with Make-A-Wish in 2002, and reached his landmark record on July 19, 2022.

“I will drop what I’m doing and be involved because I think that’s the coolest thing,” the 45-year-old WWE superstar said in an interview with Reuters after being honored for completing 500 wishes in 2015.

“If I can offer a fantastic experience, I’ll be first in line to do my part,” Cena added.

This isn’t the first time John Cena has had a major landmark with Make-A-Wish. He also granted the foundation’s 1,000th wish back in 2012.

Inside the ring, Cena is a 13-time WWE Champion, three-time World Heavyweight Champion, two-time WWE Tag Team Champion, two-time World Tag Team champion, five-time US Champion, two-time Royal Rumble match winner, and a 10-time Slammy Award Winner.

He is also tied with “Nature Boy” Ric Flair for the most world championship reigns in professional wrestling history.

The Make-A-Wish Foundation helps grant wishes for children aged two to 18 who have critical illnesses. The non-profit organization provides children the opportunity to meet their favorite celebrities, go to an event of their choice or grant a gift to someone else.

In 1980 a seven-year-old child Chris Greicius, who had been diagnosed with leukemia a year earlier, was granted a wish to be a policeman for a day by an officer he had befriended in Arizona.

The story inspired the creation of the Make-A-Wish Foundation, which granted its first official wish to Frank “Bopsy” Salazar in 1981.


Saudi women’s team lose 4-2 to Bhutan in Abha

Saudi women’s team lose 4-2 to Bhutan in Abha
Updated 29 September 2022

Saudi women’s team lose 4-2 to Bhutan in Abha

Saudi women’s team lose 4-2 to Bhutan in Abha
  • The defeat came in the side’s second-ever international match on home soil

The Saudi women’s national football team on Wednesday night lost 4-2 to Bhutan in their second-ever international on home soil.

The defeat at Sultan bin Abdul Aziz Stadium in Abha came four days after Monika Staab’s team had drawn 3-3 against Bhutan at the same venue.

The visitors broke the deadlock on 22 minutes through Shereng Yangdin before the same player doubled the lead only seven minutes later to leave the Saudis trailing 2-0 at the break.

Saudi Arabia reduced the deficit from a penalty by Maryam Al-Tamimi eight minutes into the second half, but Bhutan restored their two-goal lead as Yangdin completed her hat trick with another spot kick six minutes later.

Staab made several substitutions to raise her team’s tempo, but Bhutan asserted their dominance with a fourth goal on 68 minutes. Saudi star Al-Bandari Mubarak did manage to pull one goal back in the 72nd minute but there would be no addition to the scoreline as Bhutan ran out 4-2 winners.

The double-header of matches against Bhutan over the last five days marked the first matches the Saudi women’s team have played in the Kingdom, having previously played only two internationals, against the Seychelles and Maldives in February.


Saudi Sports for All launches multipurpose venue in Dammam

Saudi Sports for All launches multipurpose venue in Dammam
Updated 29 September 2022

Saudi Sports for All launches multipurpose venue in Dammam

Saudi Sports for All launches multipurpose venue in Dammam
  • 150,000 visitors expected in next 12 months, with over 250,000 in the following period
  • Jeddah’s ‘Dome’ expected toward the end of 2022

DAMMAM: The Saudi Sports for All Federation is set to open a multipurpose sports facility in Dammam this month, among several “Domes” to be launched across the country over the coming years.

Supported by the Ministry of Sports and the Quality of Life Program, the state-of-the-art facility has been set up to empower people in communities across the Kingdom by providing greater access to world-class sports and fitness resources.

Marking the launch of the new dome, the Saudi Minister of Sports Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal, said: “We are very pleased, and praise be to Allah, on the implementation of such sports projects in the Kingdom. The facilities embody the unlimited support that the leadership of this country provides to the sports sector. The opening of the domes reflects the level of achievement, development, and prosperity required to achieve the Vision 2030 objectives.”

“The Ministry of Sports is working hard to contribute to implementing the Quality of Life Program initiatives, which reflects the wise leadership’s vision in creating the right environment to improve the lifestyles of people across the Kingdom,” he added. “The facilities will enhance participation in cultural, recreational, and sporting activities that help people lead healthier lives, create jobs, promote investment opportunities, and diversify economic activity.”

The opening ceremony, in advance of the doors opening later September, was attended by the President of the Saudi Sports for All Federation Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed bin Talal Al-Saud, Deputy Minister of Sports Badr bin Abdulrahman Al-Kadi, Managing Director of the Saudi Sports for All Federation Shaima Saleh Al-Husseini and several other dignitaries.

The inaugural SFA Dome will support the growth and development of sports and physical activity in the Eastern Province. Housing up to nine courts and facilities, it will cater for basketball, volleyball, tennis, five-a-side football, handball, and table tennis.

Individuals and groups can book facilities at the SFA Dome through the SFA App.

The multipurpose destination is also fully equipped to host corporate events, community programs, and educational engagements that promote sports development — such as inter-school, inter-university, and federation events.

Prince Khaled said: “We are proud to see so much enthusiasm in Dammam around the launch of the SFA Dome, the first purpose-built facility meant to bring us all closer to our goals of health and wellness. This venue is for you, your space to thrive, and we’ve launched it as part of our mission to create curated opportunities and well-designed spaces that put health and well-being first on the agenda.”

“The launch of the SFA dome marks another significant step towards enhancing the Kingdom’s wellness infrastructure for all society, its world-class features contributing to the development of the country’s ever-growing lifestyle and leisure landscape,” Prince Khaled said.

Khalid bin Abdullah Al-Bakr, CEO of the Quality of Life Program, said: “We are pleased to support the opening of the SFA Dome in Dammam: A world-class offering that will enhance our work to empower more people of all ages to practice sports. Through the launch of such modern and community focused projects, we aim to inspire an active, sports-loving generation of Saudi citizens and residents — a community of happy, healthy, and productive people that contribute to the ongoing development of Saudi society.”

The SFA expects to welcome 150,000 participants to the SFA Domes over the next 12 months, with the figure rising to more than 250,000 the following year.

The next one is opening in Jeddah before the end of 2022.

The Domes are part of the SFA’s Active Places initiatives, which aim to create an enabling environment for communities to improve their wellbeing.