Drivers get to grips with Gen3 car at Diriyah double-header of Formula E 9th season

Drivers get to grips with Gen3 car at Diriyah double-header of Formula E 9th season
 This season, laps have replaced the previous 45-minute timed races and pit stops are also back with the “attack charge” to be trialed at select races. (Arab News)
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Updated 29 January 2023

Drivers get to grips with Gen3 car at Diriyah double-header of Formula E 9th season

Drivers get to grips with Gen3 car at Diriyah double-header of Formula E 9th season

DIRIYAH: Formula E is back for its ninth season and after a two-week break following an opener in Mexico City, the Diriyah E-Prix kicked off on Friday in the Saudi capital with two days of racing on the Diriyah Street Course.

TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team driver Pascal Wehrlein won round two of ABB FIA Formula E.

British racer Jake Dennis for team Avalanche Andretti said that the big difference between the Gen3 car from the Gen2 is in the grip and power of the vehicles. “But I think we did a really good debut night race here. You know, it was a lot of overtaking for everyone. It seemed like the race was action-packed the whole time. So I think we can be really happy with, you know, the good show and the pre-race build looks pretty cool as well with the fireworks and the drone display. So yeah, very happy for everyone involved to put on a good show today,” he said.

“Yeah, those Gen3 cars are massively different. They have more power, we have different tires. Also, the energy management is completely different. So, we have a lot to learn still. We are still figuring out how this animal works. But overall, I think we were making good progress. Especially I did a big step from yesterday to today. finishing fifth today for me, is quite a good result,” said Rene Rast, a German driver with McLaren.

 

 

Portuguese driver Antonio Felix da Costa of Porsche described it as “awesome” to be back in Saudi Arabia. “It’s impressive to see the evolution of this place or the area, where everything’s being built around and how we are always welcome,” he said, adding that the Kingdom always gives a warm welcome to the Formula E. “The track is one of the most fun tracks of the year. And it’s a big challenge. But it’s a lot of fun.”

He added that every track is different, but that the Diriyah course has a lot of character. “You know, there’s a sector, too, it’s kind of high speed, you know, a good sequence of corners which is a good challenge for us and makes it fun,” he said.

This season, laps have replaced the previous 45-minute timed races and pit stops are also back with the “attack charge” to be trialed at select races.


Jeddah MMA fighter eyes success as Saudi’s leading contender

Jeddah MMA fighter eyes success as Saudi’s leading contender
Updated 27 March 2023

Jeddah MMA fighter eyes success as Saudi’s leading contender

Jeddah MMA fighter eyes success as Saudi’s leading contender
  • 22-year-old Nawef Chahlal has already competed in the flagship French MMA Supreme League, as well as across Europe

RIYADH: Long established as one of the world’s fastest-growing spectator sports of the 21st century, Mixed Martial Arts is starting to get a foothold in Saudi Arabia as a participatory one as well.

It might still be relatively early, but hopefuls from across the Kingdom are slowly but surely making their move into regional and, in the future, international competitions.

For one of them, Nawef Chahlal, inspiration came from a close source.

The 22-year-old prodigy from Jeddah told Arab News that his father’s passion for boxing served as the impetus for him to enter the sport.

“My father, he always supported me, since my beginnings. He used to come to my fights when I was a kid, he used to assist me, he even coached me sometimes,” said Chahlal.

After growing up in France as a big fan of Bruce Lee, considered by many as the godfather of MMA, Chahlal competed in the country’s flagship MMA Supreme League, as well as across Europe.

“One of the biggest competitions I had the opportunity to participate in was the Supreme League, and (I) also had the chance to fight in many countries in Europe, notably in Hungary, Switzerland, Croatia and Spain, but in another discipline, K1,” he said.

Chahlal’s record in K1 is 8-3-0, and with the flyweight fighter looking to sign his first MMA contract next week - a three-fight deal in AEF Championship - his first professional bout is set to take place on Oct.14.

The road ahead — as was the case with his journey so far — will be a difficult one, and Chahlal explained that there are many challenges for him to overcome in order to thrive in the sport, including finances and other rising talents.

“We weren’t poor, but let’s just say that as we grow up, we all have expenses that accumulate and it’s a bit complicated sometimes,” he said. “Beyond the money, if we stay really focused on the sport, there is also the fact of the strong competition in the field, which is a real challenge but which pushes us to surpass ourselves.”

Chahlal aspires to be the biggest name for KSA in the world of MMA.

“I visualize a very precise goal: to be the first Saudi world champion in different MMA organizations, and one day to reach the biggest world federations such as UFC, One, KSW, and to represent the flag of Saudi Arabia.

"Give me some time. I will make you proud and make our country go down in the history of combat sports,” he said.

Chahlal’s coach Mathis Nazil, from the French Atch Academy, believes the Saudi has what it takes to succeed.

“He is a fighter who has a lot of potential and we have to work to be at the best level. He is very dedicated in what he does,” Nazil said.

“As far as our future is concerned, we try to go slowly, step by step and we hope to be at the best level.”


Chelsea FC hosts open iftar for Muslims at Stamford Bridge

Chelsea FC hosts open iftar for Muslims at Stamford Bridge
Updated 27 March 2023

Chelsea FC hosts open iftar for Muslims at Stamford Bridge

Chelsea FC hosts open iftar for Muslims at Stamford Bridge
  • Ramadan celebrated at football club as part of its No To Hate campaign

LONDON: Chelsea football club hosted its first Open Iftar on Sunday, bringing Muslims together to break their fast at the Stamford Bridge stadium. 

The iftar was organized in partnership with the Ramadan Tent Project, a UK charity dedicated that brings communities together and expands understanding of the holy month. 

(Supplied/Chelsea FC)

The event began with a speech by Dowshan Humzah, advisory board member of the charity and was followed by speeches from Daniel Finkelstein, the chairman of the Chelsea Foundation, and former Chelsea player Paul Canoville.

”We are a big community with lots of supporters from different backgrounds and we want to honor, respect and share the joy of every single fan,” Finkelstein said.

“This is about saying yes to love, inclusion, community and yes to everyone who wants to be a Chelsea fan. 

“It’s very special to be the first Premier League club to host an Open Iftar and something we are extremely proud about.”

(Supplied/Chelsea FC)

Imran Abu Hassan led prayers after the speeches.

The event was part of Chelsea and the foundation’s No To Hate campaign against racism and discrimination.


Saudi national team in training ahead of Bolivia friendly

Saudi national team in training ahead of Bolivia friendly
Updated 27 March 2023

Saudi national team in training ahead of Bolivia friendly

Saudi national team in training ahead of Bolivia friendly
  • The Green Falcons are holding one final training session before the Bolivia match on Monday evening, open to the media

JEDDAH: The Saudi Arabia national team continued their training camp on Sunday ahead of Tuesday's friendly with Bolivia at the Prince Abdullah Al-Faisal stadium.

The training session was held under the supervision of head coach Herve Renard, and included possession exercises and mini-matches.

Players Hassan Al-Tambukti, Abdel-Rahman Al-Aboud and Riyad Sharahili had to miss out on the training session due to injury.

The Green Falcons are holding one final training session before the Bolivia match on Monday evening, which is open to the media.


Legends of the game renew acquaintances at LIV Golf Orlando

Legends of the game renew acquaintances at LIV Golf Orlando
Updated 27 March 2023

Legends of the game renew acquaintances at LIV Golf Orlando

Legends of the game renew acquaintances at LIV Golf Orlando
  • LIV Golf Orlando takes place at Orange County National in Florida from March 31-April 2
  • Danny Lee of Iron Heads GC sank a birdie putt on the third playoff hole to claim the individual LIV Golf Tucson title

ORLANDO: The third event of the LIV Golf League, LIV Golf Orlando, takes place at Orange County National in Florida from March 31-April 2.

Bryson DeChambeau’s Crushers GC and Charles Howell III were the team and idividual winners at the league opener, LIV Golf Mayakoba, in Mexico. 

Fireballs GC, featuring captain Sergio Garcia, Abraham Ancer, Eugenio Chacarra and Carlos Ortiz, subsequently captured the team win at LIV Golf Tucson in Arizona

Danny Lee of Iron Heads GC sank a birdie putt from off the green, on the third playoff hole, to claim the second individual title, in dramatic style, in Tucson.
 
LIV Golf’s 12 teams include reigning Open Champion Cameron Smith, World Golf Hall of Famer Phil Mickelson, two-time major winner Dustin Johnson and four-time major winner Brooks Koepka.

More than a quarter (13) of the league’s star-studded, international field are major champions, with 24 major victories amongst them. The field of 48 players represents 16 different nations, includes 18 Olympians, and has made 125 combined appearances in the Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup, with more than half of the league having competed in the biennial team events.

In total, LIV Golf League players have amassed 530 worldwide wins across multiple tours, and four players have held the title of World No. 1.

This is the first official season of the LIV Golf League, with a 14-tournament schedule being hosted in seven different countries at some of the world’s top courses. Players are in pursuit of the 2023 LIV Golf Individual Championship and 2023 Team Championship, and after two events, Charles Howell III sits atop LIV Golf`s individual standings with 56 points.

The team standings, which decide seeding for the season-ending Team Championship, are currently led by captain Dustin Johnson’s 4Aces GC (48 points).


UFC 294: Predicting fight line-up for Abu Dhabi in October

UFC 294: Predicting fight line-up for Abu Dhabi in October
Updated 27 March 2023

UFC 294: Predicting fight line-up for Abu Dhabi in October

UFC 294: Predicting fight line-up for Abu Dhabi in October
  • As UFC heads to Yas Island stellar main event may see return of Ireland’s favorite son
  • Potential bouts could see Islam Makhachev defend title, Khamzat Chimaev back in action

ABU DHABI: UFC 294 will see the all-conquering mixed martial arts promotion return to Abu Dhabi on Oct. 21.

The event will mark the last of the current five-year deal between the UFC and the UAE capital.

There will likely be another partnership announced before a fist is thrown in anger at the Etihad Arena, but as with the previous sold-out shows it is expected UFC 294 will be one of the most talked-about cards of the year.

So far, no official bouts have been announced, but there will certainly be a title fight or two. Here are some likely scenarios that will shape the latest Abu Dhabi showdown.

Islam Makhachev to defend his lightweight title

The Dagestani has happy memories of fighting in Abu Dhabi. At UFC 280 he grabbed the lightweight championship from Charles Oliveira with a dominant display that had the Etihad Arena crowd on their feet.

Similar to Khabib Nurmagomedov before him, Islam Makhachev commands a huge following in the UAE, and it will be no surprise to see him topping the bill at UFC 294.

There is currently no natural challenger from the lightweight division that makes sense. Oliveira (ranked No. 1) is taking on Beneil Dariush (No. 4) on May 5, while Dustin Poirier (No. 2) and Justin Gaethje (No. 3) do not currently have a fight booked.

The most likely option is to book another super fight between Makhachev and the current featherweight champion, Alexander Volkanovski. Makhachev may have grabbed a unanimous decision victory over the Australian back in February, but the fight was his toughest test to date. Makhachev versus Volkanovski part two would be a worthy headlining bout. But there could be a surprise in the mix for Makhachev. More on that to come.

Khamzat Chimaev finally gets a fight

For various reasons, the undefeated Khamzat Chimaev has not fought since rag-dolling Kevin Holland and beating him within three minutes in September. His bogeyman status in the welterweight division seems to have had an effect on potential matchups.

If the Chechnya-born fighter is to be believed, then he has been ducked by Colby Covington (No. 2) and most of the middleweight division too.

One thing is for certain, he wants to fight in Abu Dhabi.

Chimaev told “The MMA Hour”: “October will be a big show in Abu Dhabi — it’s like, for me, home country. I like that place. It feels good there.”

His target? The current welterweight champion, Leon Edwards. Although this would be what many fans would want, it is unlikely the British fighter would be willing to climb back into the octagon so soon after his March victory over Kamaru Usman.

Barring any injuries, Chimaev will be on the card. Who he fights is another question entirely.

Jiri Prochazka versus Jamahal Hill for the light heavyweight title

Jiri Prochazka had to relinquish the light heavyweight belt following a shoulder injury that a UFC doctor described as “the worst” he had ever seen.

The always-entertaining Czech fighter had to sit on the sidelines and watch Jamahal Hill overcome Glover Teixeira for the vacant title. Prochazka is still recuperating but told MMA Fighting that “it (the injury) is getting much better than people expected” as he targets a summer return.

However, given the nature of the injury, a slightly longer spell is likely required, and Prochazka against Hill could be the second title fight on the UFC 294 card.

The return of Conor McGregor

It is a long shot, and there would need to be an incredible series of events to allow it, but Conor McGregor fighting at UFC 294 is not impossible. Unlikely, sure, but there is a chance.

McGregor has been out of the octagon for the past two years. A broken leg and then a role in the upcoming “Road House” movie reboot has delayed the return of the UFC’s biggest draw. His next fight will be against fellow lightweight contender Michael Chandler.

The pair are currently opposition coaches on “The Ultimate Fighter” TV show, the finale of which will see the two square off against each other. The earliest this bout can take place is in August, which would not leave much time to recover and recuperate before UFC 294 in Abu Dhabi.

But, and it is a huge one, if the Irishman was to make light work of Chandler and escape unscathed, then a title fight with Makhachev is possible.

It is not exactly fair to the fighters that have remained active in the division, but putting McGregor at the front of the queue for a shot at Makhachev’s belt breaks all kinds of UFC PPV records. Stranger things have happened.