Victory for Saudi handball team in Asian Games as tennis duo, fencers bow out

Victory for Saudi handball team in Asian Games as tennis duo, fencers bow out
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Saudi Arabia’s mens handball team were victorious in their second game at the Asian Games on Monday, beating Mongolian 45-15. (Supplied)
Victory for Saudi handball team in Asian Games as tennis duo, fencers bow out
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Saudi Arabia’s mens handball team were victorious in their second game at the Asian Games on Monday, beating Mongolian 45-15. (Supplied)
Victory for Saudi handball team in Asian Games as tennis duo, fencers bow out
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Saudi Arabia’s mens handball team were victorious in their second game at the Asian Games on Monday, beating Mongolian 45-15. (Supplied)
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Updated 26 September 2023
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Victory for Saudi handball team in Asian Games as tennis duo, fencers bow out

Victory for Saudi handball team in Asian Games as tennis duo, fencers bow out
  • In Boxing, the Kingdom’s Abdulaziz Al-Otaibi qualified for the round of 16 in the 51kg category

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s mens handball team were victorious in their second game at the Asian Games on Monday, beating Mongolian 45-15.
Saudi Arabia were seeking to revive their tournament after loosing to Japan in the opening game. They are now in joint second place in Group D alongside Iran, who they play on Wednesday.
In Boxing, the Kingdom’s Abdulaziz Al-Otaibi qualified for the round of 16 in the 51kg category, while teammate Raghad Al-Naimi bowed out after losing to Kazakhstan’s Natalia Bogdanova in the 66kg weight class. 


Saudi rower Haia Al-Mami finished 12th in the overall standings of the W1x competition with a time of 8.84 minutes on Monday. 


In the taekwondo competition, it was the end of the road for Dania Abu Talibn after losing to China’s Guo Qing, who won the silver medal in the 2022 World Championships, by a round to nil in the sub-49kg weight category for women. 


Also heading out of the games were fencers Adel Al-Mutairi and Mohammed Al-Omar in the saber competition. Al-Mutairi defeated Jordan’s Osama Al-Masri 15-12 before losing 6-15 in the round of 16 to South Korea’s Oh Sang-uk, who won gold at 2020 Tokyo Olympics. And Al-Omar lost in the round of 32 to Japan’s Yoshida Kento. 


The Saudi shooting team, Misfer Al-Ammari, Bader Al-Otaibi, and Hussein Al-Harbi, finished their participation in the 10m air rifle competition. Al-Ammari ranked 12th with 624.5 points, Al-Otaibi ranked 24th with 615.8 points, and Al-Harbi ranked 50th with 614.5 points. As a team, they finished 12th with a total of 1854.8 points. 


Saudi tennis duo, Ammar and Yara Al-Hogbani, also bowed out of the games after a loss in the doubles competition. 

 


Despite criticism, David Warner named in Australia squad for first Pakistan test

Despite criticism, David Warner named in Australia squad for first Pakistan test
Updated 16 sec ago
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Despite criticism, David Warner named in Australia squad for first Pakistan test

Despite criticism, David Warner named in Australia squad for first Pakistan test
  • Warner wants to end his career at Sydney, his home ground, while continuing to play white ball cricket
  • Pakistan are scheduled to play against the Prime Minister’s XI at Canberra between December 6 and 9

SYDNEY: David Warner has been handed the chance of a hoped-for Sydney Cricket Ground farewell after being named in Australia’s squad for the first of three home tests against Pakistan.
The squad named Sunday, which includes the 37-year-old opener, is only for the first test at Perth from Dec. 14-19.
If he holds his place for the second test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground starting on Boxing Day, Warner will be in line for his dream farewell on his home ground in Sydney from Jan. 3 to 7.
Warner’s recent test form has been mixed and he has averaged 28 in test matches since the summer of 2019 when he made a triple century against Pakistan at Adelaide. He has made clear his wish to end his Baggy Green career at Sydney while continuing to play for Australia in white ball cricket.
Warner will start the summer opening the batting with Usman Khawaja while opener candidates Cameron Bancroft, Matt Renshaw and Marcus Harris will have a chance to stake their claims with the Prime Minister’s XI which plays Pakistan at Canberra from Dec. 6 to 9.
Fast bowler Lance Morris is closer to a test debut after being recalled to the 14-man squad. Cameron Green also returns after previously losing his test spot to Mitch Marsh and Alex Carey has been named wicketkeeper after losing that role at the recent one-day World Cup.
Spinner Nathan Lyon is back after recovering from a calf injury which ruled him out of the latter stages of the Ashes series. He replaces Todd Murphy.
Chairman of selectors George Bailey said the incumbents had earned the opportunity to play the first test of the summer after an outstanding winter in which Australia won the World Test Championship and retained the Ashes.
“Thirteen members of the squad were part of the victorious World Test Championship and successful Ashes tours over the winter and Lance Morris has been recalled after recovering from his back injury over the same period,” Bailey said.
“As ever, there will be opportunities in the short to medium term to break into this squad and we look forward to seeing the continued strong performances from players who have been performing domestically, many of whom will get a tremendous opportunity in the PM’s XI fixture against Pakistan later this week.”
Morris has taken 11 wickets at 25.5 in three Sheffield Shield matches for West Australia since returning from the back injury which ruled him out of the Ashes.
Warner’s decision to publicly announce his hope for a Sydney finish was met with strong criticism from his former Australia teammate, fast bowler Mitchell Johnson.
In a column Sunday in the West Australian newspaper, Johnson took issue with Warner.
“As we prepare for David Warner’s farewell series, can somebody please tell me why?” Johnson wrote. “Why a struggling test opener gets to nominate his own retirement date.
“And why a player at the center of one of the biggest scandals in Australian cricket history warrants a hero’s send-off?”
Johnson made reference to the Sandpapergate ball-tampering scandal involving the Australia team in South Africa in 2018. Warner received a 12-month ban for his role in the scandal.
“Although Warner wasn’t alone in Sandpapergate, he was at the time a senior member of the team and someone who liked to use his perceived power as a “leader,” Johnson wrote. “Now the way he is going out is underpinned by more of the same arrogance and disrespect to our country.”


Emirates Team New Zealand sail away to win 2nd America’s Cup Preliminary Regatta in Jeddah

Emirates Team New Zealand sail away to win 2nd America’s Cup Preliminary Regatta in Jeddah
Updated 03 December 2023
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Emirates Team New Zealand sail away to win 2nd America’s Cup Preliminary Regatta in Jeddah

Emirates Team New Zealand sail away to win 2nd America’s Cup Preliminary Regatta in Jeddah
  • CEO Dantly thanked Saudi Arabia for hosting the Preliminary Regatta

JEDDAH: Emirates Team New Zealand won the America’s Cup Preliminary Regatta on Saturday in Jeddah ahead of its Italian challenger Luna Rossa.

The New Zealand team clinched the victory after three days atop the standings and exploiting its speed advantage to pick up back-to-back wins.

The Italian team Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli closed the second preliminary event of the 37th America’s Cup in second place, having raced brilliantly in the final race.

“We’ve been sailing so well all week, haven’t done too many things wrong and we’re super happy to come away with the win here in Jeddah,” New Zealand skipper Peter Burling told the crowd.

“It has been awesome here and a great showcase for our sport, to have a couple of breezy days here, it’s been amazing.”

Luna Rossa skipper Marco Gradoni said: “We definitely didn’t race very well but we were there with the Kiwis.”

Hundreds of fans visited the America’s Cup Race Village on Jeddah Corniche to see the New Zealand team claim victory in the final race.

Badr Al-Kadi, Saudi deputy minister of sports, and Grant Dantly, CEO of the America’s Cup, also attended the trophy ceremony.

Dantly thanked Saudi Arabia for hosting the Preliminary Regatta and praised everyone involved in organizing the race.

“It was a very successful race, weather conditions were great, and we really enjoyed being here in Saudi Arabia,” he said.


Nervy Arsenal extend Premier League lead, Burnley score five

Nervy Arsenal extend Premier League lead, Burnley score five
Updated 02 December 2023
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Nervy Arsenal extend Premier League lead, Burnley score five

Nervy Arsenal extend Premier League lead, Burnley score five
  • Bukayo Saka opened the scoring and Arsenal doubled their lead when Oleksandr Zinchenko cut the ball back for Martin Odegaard
  • The home side came agonizingly close to a third goal when Gabriel Martinelli cannoned a shot off the post toward the end of the first half

LONDON: Arsenal survived a late scare against Wolves on Saturday to extend their lead at the top of the Premier League as Burnley lifted themselves off the bottom with a 5-0 trouncing of 10-man Sheffield United.
The big win for Vincent Kompany’s men briefly sent Everton to the foot of the table but Sean Dyche’s team beat Nottingham Forest 1-0 in the evening kick-off to edge clear.
Mikel Arteta’s Gunners, brimming with confidence after their 6-0 hammering of Lens in the Champions League in midweek, raced into a 2-0 lead at the Emirates within 13 minutes.
Bukayo Saka opened the scoring and Arsenal doubled their lead when Oleksandr Zinchenko cut the ball back for Martin Odegaard, who picked out the bottom corner as they threatened to run riot.
The home side came agonizingly close to a third goal when Gabriel Martinelli cannoned a shot off the post toward the end of the first half.
But they failed to put the game to bed and were made to sweat when Wolves forward Matheus Cunha found the top corner in the 86th minute to set up a tense finale.
Despite the wobble, Arsenal, last year’s runners-up, held on to win 2-1 and notch their 10th win in 14 league games, which moves them four points clear of champions Manchester City, who host Tottenham on Sunday.
“I can only praise the players,” said Arteta.
“They were excellent. We played against a really good side and generated so much and conceded almost nothing. The scoreline should have been very different. We were very unlucky because we hit the post three times I think.
“At the end we made an error close to the goal — in the Premier League you get punished big time for that. Then it’s game on. Overall I’m really happy with how we performed again.”
At the other end of the table, Burnley put five goals past Sheffield United at Turf Moor.
Jay Rodriguez fired the home side ahead with just 15 seconds on the clock — the fastest goal of the season so far.
Jacob Bruun Larsen extended their lead and Sheffield United’s task was made almost impossible when Oli McBurnie received a second yellow card shortly before the break.
Zeki Amdouni made it 3-0 in the 73rd minute, with Luca Koleosho and Josh Brownhill also finding the net as the floodgates opened.
Paul Heckingbottom’s men are now bottom — stuck on just a single win and they have now conceded five goals or more on three occasions this season.
But Burnley are just two points from safety after only their second win of the season — and Kompany said he hoped the three points would be a launch pad.
“I think the guys have deserved it,” he told the BBC. “They have performed well for a while. This league is brutal.
“I haven’t felt the nerves (from the team). I could barely contain them, they were raring to go. The frustration of last week (conceding two late goals against West Ham) didn’t turn into negativity. It turned into ‘we’ll show people’.”
Luton, just outside the drop zone, sank to a 3-1 defeat at Brentford, with Neal Maupay, Ben Mee and Shandon Baptiste on target for the Bees.
Everton, hit last month with a swingeing 10-point deduction for breaking Premier League financial rules, against which they have appealed, are above Burnley on goal difference.
Dwight McNeil broke the deadlock midway through the second half, smashing the ball into the top corner, as Everton secured a third consecutive away win.
In the late match, Newcastle face Manchester United at St. James’ Park, where a win for either side would lift them to fifth place in the table at the expense of Tottenham.


Euro 2024 draw ceremony interrupted by noises in German concert hall in claimed social media prank

Euro 2024 draw ceremony interrupted by noises in German concert hall in claimed social media prank
Updated 02 December 2023
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Euro 2024 draw ceremony interrupted by noises in German concert hall in claimed social media prank

Euro 2024 draw ceremony interrupted by noises in German concert hall in claimed social media prank
  • The interruption, which seemed to sound like sexual noises, was clearly heard for several minutes
  • A British prankster claimed credit on social media for the stunt

HAMBURG, Germany: The draw ceremony for the European Championship in men’s soccer was disrupted by unexplained noises that competed for attention with the team names being read out on stage on Saturday.
The interruption, which seemed to sound like sexual noises, was clearly heard for several minutes on the ceremony broadcast from a concert hall in Hamburg.
A British prankster claimed credit on social media for the stunt and posted footage of himself making cell phone calls to activate a ring tone in the venue which has excellent accoustics.
UEFA director of competitions Giorgio Marchetti noted the noise in his commentary before continuing with the draw for the last five places for lower-ranked teams in the 24-nation tournament lineup. The sound continued sporadically until the draw was completed.
Similar noises disrupted a BBC live broadcast of an English soccer game in January between Wolverhampton and Liverpool. It turned out to be a prank use of a mobile phone next to the studio.
Euro 2024 is being played in 10 Germany cities from June 14 to July 14.


Pakistan Cricket Board drops ex-captain Salman Butt from selection panel after backlash

Pakistan Cricket Board drops ex-captain Salman Butt from selection panel after backlash
Updated 02 December 2023
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Pakistan Cricket Board drops ex-captain Salman Butt from selection panel after backlash

Pakistan Cricket Board drops ex-captain Salman Butt from selection panel after backlash
  • The PCB announced the appointment of Butt as consultant to Pakistan chief selector on Friday
  • The 39-year-old was sentenced to prison in 2011 in a spot-fixing scandal, banned for 10 years

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has dropped ex-cricketer Salman Butt from its panel of consultants for team selection, Chief Selector Wahab Riaz announced Saturday, following backlash over Butt's appointment. 

The PCB announced the appointment of Butt along with Kamran Akmal and Rao Iftikhar Anjum as consultants to Riaz on Friday, amid a reshuffle in the national side and the board’s management.  

Pakistanis took to social media and strongly criticized the PCB for the appointment of Butt, who was sent to prison in 2011 and banned from playing for 10 years for his part in a conspiracy to bowl deliberate no-balls during a 2010 Test match against England at Lord's. 

Speaking at a press conference at Lahore's Gaddafi Stadium, Riaz said it was his decision to appoint Butt his consultant as he understood cricket. 

"Salman Butt's name has now been withdrawn," he said, adding that there was no pressure from anyone. 

"I took the decision to make Salman Butt a consultant. Now, I am also taking the decision to remove Salman Butt." 

Butt represented Pakistan in 33 Tests, 78 ODIs and 24 T20Is. He made 5,209 runs spanning the three formats with 11 international centuries. He was in the T20 World Cup winning squad in 2009. 

His appointment came as part of a reshuffle that began amid Pakistan's poor show at the World Cup that saw the national side crashing out of the showpiece tournament even before the semi-final stage. Pakistan finished fifth in the 10-team World Cup tournament that culminated last month, with Australia lifting the trophy for a record sixth time. 

Following below-par performance of the team, Babar Azam resigned from the captaincy in all formats and Shan Masood was made test captain. Shaheen Afridi was appointed as skipper of T20 side.  

Riaz was appointed Pakistan’s chief selector last month, after Inzamam-ul-Haq stepped down in October following allegations of a conflict of interests, while former captain Mohammad Hafeez was named as team director, who will also be the head coach of the team on the twin tours of Australia and New Zealand. 

The PCB last month also appointed former international players Umar Gul and Saeed Ajmal as bowling coaches for the national team.