Samlah records fastest time on first day of Jatha category at Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Camel Festival

Samlah records fastest time on first day of Jatha category at Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Camel Festival
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The first day of the Jatha stages were held at the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Camel Festival. (Supplied)
Samlah records fastest time on first day of Jatha category at Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Camel Festival
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The first day of the Jatha stages were held at the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Camel Festival. (Supplied)
Samlah records fastest time on first day of Jatha category at Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Camel Festival
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The first day of the Jatha stages were held at the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Camel Festival. (Supplied)
Samlah records fastest time on first day of Jatha category at Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Camel Festival
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The first day of the Jatha stages were held at the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Camel Festival. (Supplied)
Samlah records fastest time on first day of Jatha category at Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Camel Festival
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The first day of the Jatha stages were held at the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Camel Festival. (Supplied)
Samlah records fastest time on first day of Jatha category at Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Camel Festival
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The first day of the Jatha stages were held at the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Camel Festival. (Supplied)
Samlah records fastest time on first day of Jatha category at Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Camel Festival
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The first day of the Jatha stages were held at the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Camel Festival. (Supplied)
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Updated 12 February 2024
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Samlah records fastest time on first day of Jatha category at Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Camel Festival

Samlah records fastest time on first day of Jatha category at Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Camel Festival
  • Jatha category stages will conclude on Feb.13, including the running of the four Al-Ramz stages during the evening period
  • Jatha camels will cover a distance of 264 kilometers over 44 stages, each stage is 6 kilometers

RIYADH: Samlah, owned by Qatari Khaled Al-Hababi, recorded the fastest time on the first day of the Jatha stages at the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Camel Festival.

The festival, organized by the Saudi Camel Racing Federation, is being held at Al-Janadriyah field in Riyadh.

The Jatha category stages will conclude on Feb.13, including the running of the four Al-Ramz stages during the evening period.

A total of 968 camels are competing in the Jatha category.

The Jatha camels will cover a distance of 264 kilometers over 44 stages, each stage is 6 kilometers.

Camel racing in the Kingdom, seen as significant from both a sporting and a cultural perspecive, is supported by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman and by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.


Emotional Boult calls T20 World Cup exit his ‘last day’ for New Zealand

Emotional Boult calls T20 World Cup exit his ‘last day’ for New Zealand
Updated 18 June 2024
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Emotional Boult calls T20 World Cup exit his ‘last day’ for New Zealand

Emotional Boult calls T20 World Cup exit his ‘last day’ for New Zealand
  • Boult’s tally of 317 wickets in 78 Tests, is the fourth highest by any New Zealand bowler

Tarouba, Trinidad and Tobago, June 17, 2024 Agence France Presse: Left-arm paceman Trent Boult said he had played his “last day” of international cricket after New Zealand’s disappointing T20 World Cup campaign ended with a seven-wicket win over Papua New Guinea in Trinidad on Monday.
His 13-year stint in international cricket appeared to have ended in the downbeat setting of a ‘dead’ T20 World Cup game.
“It feels a little bit weird, a few emotions obviously the last couple of days,” said Boult.
Pressed on whether the game represented his final New Zealand appearance, Boult added an element of doubt: “I haven’t thought much further than this, I’m in no position to comment right now. I enjoyed being out there one last time.”
Defeats by Afghanistan and tournament co-hosts the West Indies earlier in Group C had helped end the Black Caps’ hopes of qualifying for the second-round Super Eights.
Papua New Guinea had also been eliminated before the match in front of a sparse crowd at the Brian Lara Stadium.
Boult took two wickets for 14 runs as PNG were skittled out for 78 in an innings where fellow quick Lockie Ferguson finished with a remarkable 3-0 from his maximum four overs but
“Gutted to not go any further, but I’m very proud of what I’ve done with the Black Caps and sad it’s my last day with New Zealand,” said Boult.
The 34-year-old has been infrequently selected for international duty since being released from his New Zealand central contract in August 2022, allowing him to play in more domestic T20 leagues abroad.
The swing bowler did feature in New Zealand’s 50-over World Cup campaign last year, where they reached the semifinals only to suffer a 70-run defeat by tournament hosts India at a packed Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.
Boult’s tally of 317 wickets in 78 Tests, is the fourth highest by any New Zealand bowler. Longstanding new-ball colleague Tim Southee (380 Test wickets) is second, behind Richard Hadlee (431 wickets).
“I’ve shared a dressing room with Tim Southee for well over a dozen years,” said Boult, with the pair both involved when New Zealand beat India in the inaugural 2021 World Test Championship final. “It’s a partnership I’ve enjoyed forming, and we’re very good friends off the field.”
Boult’s last Test was against England at Headingley nearly two years ago, with the World Cup semifinal the most recent of 114 one-day internationals that yielded 211 wickets in total.
New Zealand captain Kane Williamson paid tribute to Boult by saying he had been a “great servant of the game” who was “consistent in all formats.”
The star batsman added: “It’ll be sad to see him go, it’s been quite special being with him throughout his career.
“He’s got such an attitude for getting better. He trains very hard, he’s as fit as he’s ever been. He knows how he wants to operate in all formats. He sticks his chest out and performs well for his country.”
“He’s made a fantastic contribution to our game and he’s created a space for new players to come in and meet the standard that he’s set.”


Mbappé’s facial injury places doubt on his continued involvement in Euro 2024

Mbappé’s facial injury places doubt on his continued involvement in Euro 2024
Updated 18 June 2024
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Mbappé’s facial injury places doubt on his continued involvement in Euro 2024

Mbappé’s facial injury places doubt on his continued involvement in Euro 2024
  • Deschamps: “The French team with Kylian would always be stronger”

DUSSELDORF, Germany: Kylian Mbappé’s facial injury in France’s 1-0 win against Austria on Monday has put in doubt whether he will continue at the European Championship.
An aerial head-on-shoulder collision with Austria’s Kevin Danso left Mbappé curled on the field with his nose bloodied and swollen late in the Group D game at Dusseldorf Arena.
“I don’t have the elements in my hands,” France coach Didier Deschamps said. “He didn’t get off lightly. It is still to be seen. I cannot at this stage give the answer (if he will be ruled out).”
Mbappé’s obvious pain following the collision prompted Austria goalkeeper Patrick Pentz to signal for urgent medical assistance.
“He’s not doing well. He’s with the medical staff. His nose got badly hit that’s for sure,” Deschamps said. “We need to check, but it seems quite complicated, which is really unfortunate for us tonight.”
Mbappé’s injury likely struck fear in the hearts of France fans.
He is France’s talisman and widely considered the heir to Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo as the best player in the world. Also, he will finally wear the famous white jersey of Real Madrid next season after joining as a free agent from Paris Saint-Germain.
Mbappé tried to play on against Austria, but quickly fell to the ground again, holding his face and prompting whistles and jeers from opposition fans, who seemed to believe he was time-wasting as France held on for the win.
He was then booked by referee Jesus Gil Manzano and replaced by Olivier Giroud.
“We’re worried to see Kylian leave the field like that,” France midfielder N’Golo Kante said. “We still don’t know what the situation is. ... We hope that it’s not too severe and that he’s back with us for the rest of the competition.”
Mbappé produced a mixed performance before the injury but still showed his importance to France’s hopes of winning a record-equalling third European Championship and its first since 2000.
It was his moment of inspiration that led to Maximilian Wober scoring an own goal in the 38th minute that handed Deschamps his 100th win as national team coach.
With a flash of close-ball control, Mbappé beat Phillipp Mwene in the box and crossed in search of a teammate. In Wober’s desperation to cut out the danger, he inadvertently diverted the ball into his own net.
Mbappé was then guilty of a remarkable miss 10 minutes into the second half when failing to hit the target from close range with only the keeper to beat.
Bursting through on goal, he was too fast for Wober and had time to steady himself in the box before picking his spot. With France fans behind the goal just waiting for the net to bulge, Mbappe’s shot instead curled past the post to the relief of the Austrians.
He has yet to score in the European Championship, having failed to at the last Euros three years ago.
Deschamps, however, does not want to consider worst case scenarios.
“I’m not going to go into hypothesis,” he said. “The French team with Kylian would always be stronger. If the news doesn’t go along these lines then we’ll have to fight without him, but Kylian is Kylian and any team with him in the squad is obviously a lot stronger.”


Blind footballer brings game to visually impaired Iraqis

Members of Iraq's first national football team for the visually impaired, train at a sports club in Baghdad on May 22, 2024.
Members of Iraq's first national football team for the visually impaired, train at a sports club in Baghdad on May 22, 2024.
Updated 18 June 2024
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Blind footballer brings game to visually impaired Iraqis

Members of Iraq's first national football team for the visually impaired, train at a sports club in Baghdad on May 22, 2024.
  • The new Iraqi team for the visually impaired — though unofficial — was born in 2018. Kinani, from Karbala in central Iraq, shelved all other sports practice to manage the team and secure formal recognition

BAGHDAD: When football fanatic Othman Al-Kinani became blind in 2008, the loss of his sight hit him hard, not least because he thought he’d have to hang up his boots for good.
Now aged 51, Kinani described his struggle to rebuild his life. “I even forgot how to walk,” he told AFP.
“I had to rely on my hearing for everything,” he explained, after losing his sight to glaucoma, itself according to him the result of using incorrect medicines to treat allergies.
What made the situation worse “was being separated from football,” the Arabic language teacher added.
But years later Kinani’s persistence has led him to set up the country’s first national football team for the visually impaired.
“It became my life,” Kinani said at a training session in Baghdad as he described how the five-a-side sport — the format most popular with visually impaired football players — had reignited his passion.
Kinani returned to ball sports playing goalball, a game designed for disabled athletes, through a local NGO he helped create for the visually impaired in 2016.
But goalball, in which players shoot a ball from a prone position across a court, served only to whet his appetite for a return to football.
The new Iraqi team for the visually impaired — though unofficial — was born in 2018. Kinani, from Karbala in central Iraq, shelved all other sports practice to manage the team and secure formal recognition.
He said the process brought him out of his isolation and the sport allowed his “reintegration among friends.”
With the help of his daughter, who would write his emails, Kinani gained important support from the International Blind Football Foundation (IBF). In 2022 the Tokyo-based body agreed to send crucial equipment to the Iraqi team.
The official recognition Kinani sought finally came this year and Iraq’s 20-member squad is now preparing for a tournament in Morocco later this month.
To attend training in Baghdad, half of the team, which hails from other provinces, travels to the capital three times a week.
Blind football matches consist of two 20-minute halves, played on a 40-meter by 20-meter field.
So partially sighted players don’t gain an unfair advantage, all the players wear eye shades so that none can see anything as they follow the sound of the ball, which contains bells.
Only the goalkeepers are allowed to see and guides on the sidelines shout instructions to help the players find the way to the goal.

During the training session in Baghdad, as one player came within reach of the goal, a guide urgently called on him to “take three steps and shoot.”
But the game came to a sudden halt when a vendor selling water bottles arrived with blaring loudspeakers to promote his wares, leaving players unable to hear the sound of the ball or their guides’ instructions.
Though the sport is still in its infancy, the Iraqi Blind Football Federation hopes to expand the sport nationwide through additional teams.
Tarek Al-Mulla, the head of the federation, praises the “extraordinary abilities” of the players, despite the “difficulties” they face.
“Dribbling with a ball, mind and muscle coordination, these players distinguish themselves (by doing this) only through hearing,” he said.
Ali Abbas, head coach for the national team, said he hoped the squad would keep improving, one game at a time.
“The players are full of determination, which encourages me,” he said.
Iraq’s Paralympic committee is still waiting for parliamentary approval of the team’s funding, which would allow every player to receive a monthly salary of $230.
In the meantime 10 players will pay for their own travel expenses and accommodation for the upcoming competition in Morocco.
As he took a breather from training in Baghdad, captain, Haidar Al-Basir, 36, spoke of his team’s commitment to do their best, despite the obstacles.
But he explained that, beyond fear of injury, his greatest concern and his request to authorities is for transport to training.
“I had to remember the route to go from home to the stadium. There is also the lack of adequate transport,” he said.
But “we are here to train and to learn, to challenge and overcome obstacles,” he added.
 

 


France need own goal to edge Austria in Euro 2024 opener

France need own goal to edge Austria in Euro 2024 opener
Updated 18 June 2024
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France need own goal to edge Austria in Euro 2024 opener

France need own goal to edge Austria in Euro 2024 opener
  • France and the Netherlands meet next in Leipzig on Friday, while Austria face Poland earlier the same day in Berlin

DÜSSELDORF, Germany: Maximilian Woeber’s own goal was enough to give France a winning start to their Euro 2024 campaign on Monday as they edged Austria 1-0 in their opening game but Kylian Mbappe came off late on with a bloodied nose.
Woeber diverted Mbappe’s cutback into his own net seven minutes before half-time in Duesseldorf to allow the French, one of the leading contenders to win the tournament, to come through a stiff test.
Austria have been much-improved under Ralf Rangnick and their pressing game often made life uncomfortable for the 2022 World Cup runners-up, who saw Mbappe leave the field near the end after being hurt in a collision.
He had earlier failed to convert a glorious chance that would have allowed France to win by a wider margin.
While Les Bleus were not at their best, they will be relieved to have emerged victorious from the game after a build-up overshadowed by talk of politics rather than football.
Mbappe and other French players had spent much of their time before the media in recent days answering questions about upcoming elections in the country which could see the far-right National Rally become the biggest party.
Any slip-up here would have led to suggestions their minds had not been fully focused on the competition, as France aim to become European champions for the third time, and first since 2000.
Instead, the result leaves Didier Deschamps’ team level on three points in Group D with the Netherlands, who defeated Poland 2-1 in Hamburg on Sunday.
France and the Netherlands meet next in Leipzig on Friday, while Austria face Poland earlier the same day in Berlin.
Austria had enjoyed some impressive results coming into the tournament on a seven-game unbeaten run and their team is on familiar ground during these Euros — their coach Rangnick is from Germany and eight of their starting line-up played in the German Bundesliga last season.

The French, however, are arguably the most talented team at the tournament, led by their captain Mbappe.
He endured a miserable time at his only previous Euros three years ago, failing to score and missing the decisive penalty in a shoot-out defeat by Switzerland in the last 16.
The new Real Madrid signing will wonder how he did not score in this game, with his first big opportunity arriving inside eight minutes.
Antoine Griezmann and Theo Hernandez combined to release Mbappe, who cut in from the left as he loves to do and shaped to curl a shot into the far corner before instead aiming for the near post.
However, Austria goalkeeper Patrick Pentz was able to make the save.
The Austrians settled into the contest and passed up a wonderful chance of their own to go ahead on 36 minutes.
Skipper Marcel Sabitzer touched down a Michael Gregoritsch cross from the left for Christoph Baumgartner, but he was foiled by goalkeeper Mike Maignan.
That proved crucial as France went ahead two minutes later.
Ousmane Dembele gave the ball to Mbappe on the right, and he produced a stepover to get to the byline before his cutback was nodded into the far corner of his own net by the unfortunate Woeber.
Mbappe was then thwarted by Pentz as he tried to go around the goalkeeper in first-half stoppage time, but that was nothing compared to the chance he squandered 10 minutes after the restart.
Adrien Rabiot sent Mbappe away, bounding in behind the Austrian defense, but he somehow put his shot wide with just the goalkeeper to beat.
That left the game in the balance, and Austria continued to push for a leveller, but without success.
Their fans were less than impressed by what they perceived as timewasting late on from Mbappe, who needed treatment after colliding with Kevin Danso in the box.
He left the pitch with his shirt stained by blood, only to then come back on and sit down, earning himself a yellow card before being replaced by Olivier Giroud.


Turkiye to ‘honor’ massive Euro 2024 support, says Montella

Turkiye to ‘honor’ massive Euro 2024 support, says Montella
Updated 17 June 2024
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Turkiye to ‘honor’ massive Euro 2024 support, says Montella

Turkiye to ‘honor’ massive Euro 2024 support, says Montella
  • Turkiye’s Group F fixtures will effectively be home matches due to the huge numbers of Turkish fans living in Germany

DORTMUND, Germany: Vincenzo Montella said Monday that his Turkiye players will try to “honor” the huge support set to roar them on during Euro 2024, ahead of their opener with debutants Georgia.
Turkiye’s Group F fixtures will effectively be home matches due to the huge numbers of Turkish fans living in Germany, and those supporters will create a feverish atmosphere during Tuesday’s clash in Dortmund.
Montella got a taste of the kind of support his team can expect during a 3-2 friendly win over Germany in Berlin in November, their first away success against the Germans since 1951.
“We’ve already experienced this support having played in Germany. It’s a big responsibility for us. We don’t want to disappoint the Turkish people here nor the ones back home so we’ll honor the flag right to the end,” Montella told reporters.
“We hadn’t won in Germany for 72 years, we hadn’t ever won away against Croatia (before beating them in qualifying) and we managed to do it, so it’s the year of firsts.”
It will be a doubly special occasion for Salih Ozcan, who plays his club football for Borussia Dortmund and will be playing on familiar turf at the Westfalenstadion.
“It will be like a home match for is, we need to use that support to our advantage,” said Ozcan.
“It will be a particular experience for me to play in this stadium. I hope that it will be red and white on Tuesday, it’ll be a great match that we want to win.”
Turkiye will also face Portugal and the Czech Republic in Group F.