Saudi Yoga limber up for first-ever international championship

Saudi Yoga limber up for first-ever international championship
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Updated 04 June 2023
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Saudi Yoga limber up for first-ever international championship

Saudi Yoga limber up for first-ever international championship
  • Bader Al-Ghamdi, 8, is the team’s youngest athlete
  • Contest from June 8 to 10 in Kathmandu, Nepal

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s national yoga team are limbering up to participate in their first-ever international contest, the second Mt. Everest International Yoga Championship from June 8 to 10 in Kathmandu, Nepal.

The team arrived on June 1 in the capital, where they are undergoing special training under the supervision of head coach Vijay Yadav, winner of more than 50 medals, including five gold, during his career.

Nouf Al-Marwaai, president of the Saudi Yoga Committee, said she was proud of the team and confident that they would outperform many other countries.

She said the team include Ahmed Shilati, Samaher Al-Malki, Jouda Sharaf, Joud Abed and Bader Al-Ghamdi, the Kingdom’s youngest athlete, at age 8.

At a press conference before their departure, Al-Malki, who is also a yoga instructor, told Arab News that the team was ready for their first international championship.

“We are ready to participate in the yoga championship in Nepal to raise the flag of Saudi Arabia. And the spread of yoga has become (important) for us. It is always better to start from a young age to practice this sport.”

The youngster Al-Ghamdi said he was looking forward to representing Saudi in the junior category and hopes to win a medal.

“I love yoga because it teaches me how to breathe, how to exercise and how to balance, and my dream is to be a professional yoga player,” said Al-Ghamdi.

At the press conference, Ahmed Al-Saadi, executive director of the Saudi Yoga Committee, said he was confident the team would perform well.

“The Saudi team has distinguished players and can help any coach in achieving good results because they have quality and intelligence,” Al-Saadi said.

“We know there will be good players at the championship. Reaching this international yoga championship (was) the target of our committee,” he added.

Before her arrival in Kathmandu, Al-Marwaai represented Saudi Arabia in the working group for civil society, C20, under the auspices of the G20 Summit to be held in India this year.

“It was an honor to be part of the International Yoga Program in India under the theme ‘One Earth, One Family, One Future Through Yoga.’ Grateful to our leadership for their unwavering support and empowerment.

“A heartfelt thank you to the Indian government and organizers for their warm reception and exceptional hospitality. Wishing the Indian presidency of the G20 all the success. Together, let’s embrace.”


PGA Tour says LIV merger attracts unsolicited investor interest

PGA Tour says LIV merger attracts unsolicited investor interest
Updated 22 sec ago
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PGA Tour says LIV merger attracts unsolicited investor interest

PGA Tour says LIV merger attracts unsolicited investor interest
  • Bloomberg News said inclusion of outside investors could help appease politicians who have voiced concerns the deal would amount to a takeover of a US institution by LIV Golf, bankrolled by the PIF
  • Talks with Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund and DP World are progressing, with the goal of reaching a definitive agreement by Dec. 31

NEW YORK: PGA Tour said its planned merger with Saudi-backed LIV Golf and DP World Tour has garnered unsolicited interest from investors as it continues to finalize an agreement with the Public Investment Fund and the DP World Tour.

The PGA said that while it did not solicit additional investment interest, it has a responsibility to members, sponsors and fans to thoroughly evaluate all potential options.

“Our focus continues to be on finalizing an agreement with the Public Investment Fund and the DP World Tour, however, our negotiations have resulted in unsolicited interest from other investors,” PGA said in a statement on Wednesday.

Any investments that come from the talks will be made into PGA Tour Enterprises, a subsidiary of the PGA Tour, which it would permanently control.

Bloomberg News, which earlier reported the news, said inclusion of outside investors could help appease politicians who have voiced concerns the deal would amount to a takeover of a US institution by LIV Golf, bankrolled by the PIF.

PGA said additional investor interest is not about politics, but because the PGA Tour has, for the first time, created an investment vehicle in PGA TOUR Enterprises and its business is strong.

PGA added talks with Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund and DP World are progressing, with the goal of reaching a definitive agreement by Dec. 31.

In June the PGA Tour, DP World Tour and LIV circuit announced an agreement to merge and form one unified commercial entity.


Real Madrid back to winning ways as Girona go top after their 6th straight victory in Spanish league

Real Madrid back to winning ways as Girona go top after their 6th straight victory in Spanish league
Updated 5 min 13 sec ago
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Real Madrid back to winning ways as Girona go top after their 6th straight victory in Spanish league

Real Madrid back to winning ways as Girona go top after their 6th straight victory in Spanish league
  • The win at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium moved Madrid to second place, one point behind Girona, which came from behind to win 2-1 at Villarreal
  • Girona are two points ahead of fellow Catalan club Barcelona, the defending champions that had their five-game winning streak halted by a 2-2 draw at Mallorca on Tuesday

MADRID: Real Madrid got back to winning ways by beating Las Palmas 2-0 on Wednesday while Girona are top of the Spanish league after their sixth straight victory.

Brahim Díaz and Joselu scored for Madrid, who were coming off a 3-1 loss at city rivals Atletico Madrid after opening the season with five straight league victories.

The win at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium moved Madrid to second place, one point behind Girona, which came from behind to win 2-1 at Villarreal.

Girona, who are enjoying their best-ever start to the league with six wins and a draw in seven games, host Madrid on Saturday.

“It’s not easy to win six in a row in the first division,” Girona coach Michel said. “We have to enjoy this moment. The game against Madrid will be precious, against one of the best teams in the world.”

Girona are two points ahead of fellow Catalan club Barcelona, the defending champions that had their five-game winning streak halted by a 2-2 draw at Mallorca on Tuesday.

Madrid were in control from the start at the Bernabeu and missed chance after chance until Díaz finally opened the scoring with a high shot from near the penalty spot three minutes into first-half stoppage time.

The hosts had 18 attempts in the first half alone, with eight of them on target. Las Palmas had no shots on target until after halftime.

Newly arrived striker Joselu grew increasingly frustrated after failing to capitalize on several good scoring opportunities until finally finding the net with a header in the 54th.

Díaz started in place of new signing Jude Bellingham. The 20-year-old England midfielder started on the bench for the first time this season after scoring six goals in his first seven matches with Madrid in all competitions.

Forward Vinícius Junior, returning from injury, also started on the bench. He replaced Joselu early in the second half.

“The players are well aware how important it is to rotate,” Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti said. “I try to manage the squad and we have to do that the best we can in the coming games. That will be the case until the next international break because fatigue does play a big part and there are lots of injuries in this period.”

Madrid endured yet another injury setback when defender David Alaba was substituted in the first half because of an apparent muscle problem. The club has been playing without goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois and defender Éder Militão because of long-term knee injuries.

It was the fourth loss for promoted Las Palmas, who beat Granada in the previous round for their first win of the season.

GIRONA KEEPS WINNING

Girona rallied to beat Villarreal and extend their stunning start to the season.

Dani Parejo put the hosts ahead by converting a 49th-minute penalty kick, but Artem Dovbyk and Eric García gave Girona the lead with goals in the 56th and 61st minutes.

Girona, controlled by City Football Group, the parent company of Manchester City, opened the season with a 1-1 draw at Real Sociedad.

Villarreal are winless in three matches in all competitions.

OTHER RESULTS

Fourth-place Athletic Bilbao drew 2-2 against Getafe at home, while Cadiz and Rayo Vallecano finished 0-0.

Valencia lost 1-0 to visiting Real Sociedad.


Inter crash to first defeat as Osimhen boosts Napoli past Udinese

Inter crash to first defeat as Osimhen boosts Napoli past Udinese
Updated 9 min 31 sec ago
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Inter crash to first defeat as Osimhen boosts Napoli past Udinese

Inter crash to first defeat as Osimhen boosts Napoli past Udinese
  • Domenico Berardi hit the winner as Sassuolo claimed all three points to follow up last week’s win over Juventus
  • After a defeat and two draws, champions Napoli returned to winning ways with Osimhen playing a starring role in a 4-1 win over Udinese

MILAN: Inter Milan crashed to their first defeat of the Serie A season on Wednesday, going down 2-1 at home to Sassuolo as controversial striker Victor Osimhen starred for Napoli despite an apparent rift with the champions.

Inter went into the game with a perfect record of five wins in five and looked in control at 1-0 ahead thanks to a Denzel Dumfries goal on the stroke of halftime at the San Siro.

Sassuolo leveled in the 54th minute when Nedim Bajrami scored with a long-range effort which caught out goalkeeper Yann Sommer.

Domenico Berardi hit the winner 10 minutes later as Sassuolo claimed all three points to follow up last week’s win over Juventus.

Inter remain top of the table on goal difference ahead of AC Milan who earlier defeated Cagliari 3-1.

“After a good first period where we should have scored more than one goal, but we lost our focus especially after the equalizer,” said Inter coach Simone Inzaghi.

“Losing in front of our home crowd hurts us, we have to understand what happened, even if the schedule, with our next match on Saturday, doesn’t really give us time to take a step back.”

After a defeat and two draws, champions Napoli returned to winning ways with Osimhen playing a starring role in a 4-1 win over Udinese.

The Nigerian striker scored his fourth goal of the season after 39 minutes with Khvicha Kvaratskhelia ending a long goal drought by finding the net in the second half.

Osimhen, top scorer in Serie A last season, had cut a controversial figure at the weekend when he showed his displeasure at being taken off by coach Rudy Garcia in the 0-0 draw with Bologna.

On Tuesday, his agent threatened Napoli with legal action for having published a video on the club’s TikTok account, since deleted, mocking the striker for missing a penalty in that game.

Osimhen removed photos of himself in Napoli colors from his own social media, fueling speculation that he will demand a move in the next transfer window.

“I have a very good relationship with Victor,” insisted Garcia.

“I am happy for him because he scored tonight. After the match in Bologna, we were all frustrated, angry, Victor in particular, because he missed the penalty.

“On the sporting aspect and on other levels, especially on TikTok, there have been a lot of things to manage in recent days,” smiled Garcia.

“But I can assure you that Victor loves this jersey and that he is invested in 100 percent in our project.”

Napoli are now fifth in the table with 11 points, four points behind the two Milan clubs.

AC Milan fought back from a goal down to defeat Cagliari.

Milan were without injured goalkeeper Mike Maignan as well as strikers Olivier Giroud and Rafael Leao.

Cagliari, searching for a first win of the campaign, grabbed a shock 29th-minute lead through Angolan winger Zito Luvumbo who capitalized on a mix-up in the Milan defense to shoot past Marco Sportiello.

Milan, however, hit back with Noah Okafor levelling in the 40th minute when he beat goalkeeper Boris Radunovic from a cross by Christian Pulisic.

In first-half injury-time, Fikayo Tomori added Milan’s second thanks to the work of Yacine Adli who was starting a game for only the second time since his arrival at the club in July 2022.

Stefano Pioli’s side made sure of the three points on the hour mark when Ruben Loftus-Cheek hit the target.

The win was a fifth in six matches for AC Milan who are level on 15 points with Inter.

“We deserved our victory in a match which was not a formality,” said Pioli who celebrated his 200th win as a coach in Serie A.

However, he admitted there had been “naivety” over the goal Milan conceded.

“We know that it is the matches against our direct rivals for the title which will impact our place in the table, but these matches which, on paper, seem simple will be very important at the end of the season,” he added.

Empoli, who sacked coach Paolo Zanetti last week after a 7-0 thrashing at the hands of Roma, celebrated their first win of the season.

Tommaso Baldanzi scored the only goal in a 1-0 win over Salernitana.


Saudi athletes ready to shine at Riyadh’s 2023 World Combat Games

Saudi athletes ready to shine at Riyadh’s 2023 World Combat Games
Updated 27 September 2023
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Saudi athletes ready to shine at Riyadh’s 2023 World Combat Games

Saudi athletes ready to shine at Riyadh’s 2023 World Combat Games
  • Total of 127 men and women from the Kingdom to challenge for gold
  • Athletes to compete in 12 disciplines

Riyadh: A total of 127 Saudi male and female athletes are set to compete in the prestigious Riyadh 2023 World Combat Games between Oct. 20-30.
A media statement on Wednesday said the Saudis were confident that their efforts will put them in with a realistic chance of a podium finish at the action-packed tournament which is to be held at the King Saud University Arena.
The Saudi contingent includes 87 male athletes, 40 females, and a dedicated team of 56 coaches and administrators.
Saudi contestants will compete in 12 combat disciplines: aikido, boxing, fencing, judo, ju-jitsu, karate, kickboxing, muaythai, sambo, taekwondo, wrestling, and wushu.
Wrestling and fencing will boast the most Saudi nationals with 24 in each. Aikido has 17 Saudis while muaythai will see 15 participating.
The statement added that the Saudi athletes’ aspirations are high and fueled by the hope of bringing honor to the Kingdom.
Tickets for the event can be purchased through the official website at https://tickets.riyadh2023.com/
Priced at SR15 ($4), each ticket grants access to all competition venues and the fan zone, while offering complimentary parking. Athletes’ families, children under 12, and seniors over 65 will be admitted free of charge.
Tickets for the competition’s final day will include access to the closing ceremonies.
The World Combat Games aims to promote physical excellence, cultural exchange and international collaboration.


Australia end losing streak with consolation win over India

Australia end losing streak with consolation win over India
Updated 27 September 2023
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Australia end losing streak with consolation win over India

Australia end losing streak with consolation win over India
  • Glenn Maxwell returns career-best figures of 4-40 to spearhead Australia to victory
  • Mitchell Marsh led batting onslaught by scoring 96 runs to take Australia to 352-7

RAJKOT: Glenn Maxwell returned career-best figures of 4-40 to end Australia’s five-match losing streak with a consolation 66-run win over India in the third one-day international on Wednesday.
Mitchell Marsh led the batting onslaught with his 96 as Australia posted 352-7, a total their bowlers defended by bowling out India for 286 in Rajkot.
The hosts took the three-match series 2-1 but Australia finish on a high ahead of the World Cup starting October 5 in India.
Maxwell, who returned to the team alongside Mitchell Starc after the two players recovered from injuries, scored just five with the bat but made an impact with his impressive off-spin.
“I feel like I’ve come into this World Cup nice and fresh and I’m excited to hit the ground running,” Maxwell said after being named man of the match. 
“Nice to get a nice result tonight.”
The all-rounder added: “It’s nice to chip in, if Mitch Marsh was there on the field, we would have chopped and changed (on the bowling). Since he was not there, had to bowl more. That will be the role of the allrounders in this World Cup.”
Maxwell got the first three wickets including skipper Rohit Sharma, for 81, and star batsman Virat Kohli, for 56, after a brisk start by India.
Rohit raised his fifty in 31 balls and seemed to have the chase in control but Maxwell got the captain with a stunning caught and bowled in his second over.
He then sent back Kohli soon after the former captain’s 66th ODI fifty and, despite a fighting 48 by Shreyas Iyer, the Indian batting folded in 49.4 overs.
Pace bowler Josh Hazlewood took two wickets as Australia ended the losing streak which started in South Africa earlier this month.
Batsmen set up victory after Marsh tore into the Indian bowlers in attacking partnerships that included a second-wicket stand of 137 with Steve Smith, who hit 74.
The top four batsmen stood out with Marsh, David Warner (56), Smith and Marnus Labuschagne (72) all contributing to a mammoth total that looked like going beyond 400 before India hit back.
Indian pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah took three wickets while left-arm wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav took two.
India had only 13 players to pick for their XI with some rested and a virus in the camp that made Ishan Kishan miss out.
Rohit said the players are fresh and raring to go.
“When we talk about the 15 we are very clear what we want,” said Rohit.
“We are not confused, we know where we are headed as a team. It’s a team sport and you need everyone to play their part and that’s how we win championships.”
Marsh took on Bumrah with three boundaries and a six in the paceman’s first two overs and the left-handed Warner soon joined in the charge.
Warner hammered Prasidh Krishna for three fours and a six in the seventh over and raced to his fifty in 32 balls in the next with another hit over the fence.
Marsh reached his half-ton in 45 balls but was denied a century when he casually slapped Kuldeep straight to cover. His 84-ball knock included 13 fours and three sixes.
Smith, Alex Carey and Maxwell fell at regular intervals, slowing the tourists down before Labuschagne took control until he was undone by Bumrah’s slower ball in the penultimate over.
The two teams now head into the World Cup warm-ups before they meet in the 50-over showpiece tournament on October 8 in Chennai.