Riyadh to host leg of Global Champions Arabians Tour

Riyadh will host a leg of the Global Arabian Horse Tour (GCAT) later in 2024. (Supplied)
Riyadh will host a leg of the Global Arabian Horse Tour (GCAT) later in 2024. (Supplied)
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Updated 25 February 2024
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Riyadh to host leg of Global Champions Arabians Tour

Riyadh to host leg of Global Champions Arabians Tour
  • Along with Riyadh, events will be held in Abu Dhabi, Muscat, Cannes, Valkenswaard in the Netherlands, and in Rome and Paris 

LONDON: Riyadh will host a leg of the Global Champions Arabians Tour later this year, it was announced on Sunday.

The event, whose date has yet to be confirmed, will be hosted by the Saudi Arabian Equestrian Federation.

Doha has already hosted the first event of the GCAT circuit and, along with Riyadh, events will be held in Abu Dhabi, Muscat, Cannes, Rome, Paris, and Valkenswaard in the Netherlands. 

SAEF President Prince Abdulaziz bin Fahd thanked King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for their support for equestrian sports in Saudi Arabia. 

“The great advancement we are witnessing today in the equestrian sector is a result of the unlimited support from our wise leadership,” Prince Abdulaziz said.

“This has made the Kingdom a global focal point for all equestrian sports, resulting in great successes in high-level organization, event diversity, and a clear vision that positions Saudi Arabia as the foremost global destination.

“I extend my sincere thanks to Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal, minister of sports, for his support and continuous follow-up.”

The SAEF hopes that hosting the event will provide competitive opportunities for local talent, attract new audiences and encourage investment in the sport. 

In April, Saudi Arabia will also host the FEI Jumping World Cup, which will be a first for the Middle East. And in 2026, the Kingdom is slated to host the World Challenge Championship.


England’s Jacks thankful for Kohli influence ahead of T20 World Cup

England’s Jacks thankful for Kohli influence ahead of T20 World Cup
Updated 27 May 2024
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England’s Jacks thankful for Kohli influence ahead of T20 World Cup

England’s Jacks thankful for Kohli influence ahead of T20 World Cup
  • Jacks goes into third game of England’s warm-up series against Pakistan having helped propel the hosts to a 23-run win on Saturday
  • The Surrey all-rounder struck a quickfire 37 in what proved to be a decisive stand with captain Jos Buttler as England went 1-0 up

LONDON: Will Jacks hopes to put the on-field “coaching” he received from Virat Kohli to good use when England bid to retain their T20 World Cup title next month.
Jacks goes into the third game of England’s warm-up series against Pakistan having helped propel the hosts to a 23-run win at Edgbaston on Saturday.
The Surrey all-rounder struck a quickfire 37 in what proved to be a decisive stand with captain Jos Buttler as England went 1-0 up in the rain-hit four-match series ahead of Tuesday’s game at Cardiff’s Sophia Gardens.
It was another example of Jacks’ power hitting after he recently struck an unbeaten century off just 41 balls — including 28 runs from one Rashid Khan over — as Royal Challengers Bengaluru chased down 200 to beat Gujarat Titans in a high-pressure situation, with India star batsman Kohli looking on from the other end.
“The big thing with the IPL is that every game is such an occasion, the crowd, the atmosphere,” Jacks told reporters on Monday, just over a week from England’s World Cup opener against Scotland in Barbados.
“Every game you feel like you’ve got to step up and that’s similar to international cricket.”
As for batting with Kohli, the 25-year-old added: “He’s a very good role model. The way he approaches all the training and every aspect of the game off the field, his intensity, everything he does is a 100 percent attention.
“He’s done it for such a long time and I can appreciate that as a young guy who often doesn’t want to do the hard yards, but you see him doing it and want to copy that.”
Jacks added: “When we were batting together, he was coaching me through there. I learned some valuable things about chasing in that innings and pacing the game, which was really helpful.
“I was really proud of the way I stayed in the partnership, didn’t throw it away.”
Now Jacks, whose England career currently consists of a mere two Tests, seven one-day internationals and 12 T20s, is looking forward to a major global tournament.
“Playing in a World Cup is something I’ve dreamed of since I was a little kid. I’m really excited to do it,” he said. “It’s getting closer now and we’re building in the right direction.”
Jacks labelled his England T20 record of 218 runs at 18.16 a “mixed bag,” although his cause has not been helped by switching between opening the innings and batting at three.
“I’ve probably opened half my games and batted number three in the other half,” he said. “It’s no lie that I’m new to batting at three, I’m learning on the job.”
He added: “I’ve been getting starts every game and it’s about how do I change those into match-winning scores. That’s more of a mindset thing. It doesn’t matter what I’m averaging: if the team’s winning, then it’s good.”


England captain Buttler set to miss 3rd T20 against Pakistan

England captain Buttler set to miss 3rd T20 against Pakistan
Updated 27 May 2024
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England captain Buttler set to miss 3rd T20 against Pakistan

England captain Buttler set to miss 3rd T20 against Pakistan
  • The 33-year-old struck a match-winning 84 as the hosts took a 1-0 lead in Birmingham on Saturday
  • He is set to miss Wednesday’s third T20 in Cardiff, with vice-captain Moeen Ali in line to lead England

LONDON: Jos Buttler has left the England squad ahead of Tuesday’s Twenty20 international against Pakistan to be with his wife, who is about to give birth to the couple’s third child.
The 33-year-old England captain struck a match-winning 84 as the hosts took a 1-0 lead in the rain-affected four-game series in Birmingham on Saturday.
But he is now set to miss Wednesday’s third T20 in Cardiff, with vice-captain Moeen Ali in line to lead England at Sophia Gardens instead.
This series, which concludes at The Oval in London on Thursday, is serving as a warm-up for the T20 World Cup in the Caribbean and the United States, with reigning champions England starting their title defense against Scotland in Barbados on June 4.
England fast bowler Jofra Archer could be rested for the Cardiff match ahead of the Oval finale.
Archer has been beset by elbow injuries since his starring role in helping England win the 50-over World Cup in 2019.
But the 29-year-old marked his long-awaited return to international cricket by taking two wickets as England beat Pakistan by 23 runs at Edgbaston following a washout at Leeds.
Archer, on his first international appearance for 14 months, and first on home soil since 2020, bounced back from an expensive first over, which went for 15 runs, to finish with 2-28.


Crafting champions: The artistry behind the ‘Ring of Fire’ trophy belt

Nasser Farsi, one of the master engravers from Farsi Jewelry House, is seen in action. supplied
Nasser Farsi, one of the master engravers from Farsi Jewelry House, is seen in action. supplied
Updated 27 May 2024
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Crafting champions: The artistry behind the ‘Ring of Fire’ trophy belt

Nasser Farsi, one of the master engravers from Farsi Jewelry House, is seen in action. supplied
  • Engraving tools with diamond tips and tungsten carbide tips were used, depending on the function
  • Each stroke of the engraving tool was not just a mark on metal, but also a tribute to the sport’s rich heritage and the warriors who have graced the ring

Riyadh: In the world of boxing, where legends are made and history is written with every punch, there exists a tangible symbol of triumph and glory — the championship belt.

And behind every iconic belt lies a story of craftsmanship and dedication, as exemplified by the artisans at Farsi Jewelry House, entrusted with engraving the trophy belt for the historic “Ring of Fire” fight between Britain’s Tyson Fury and Ukraine’s Oleksandr Usyk.

In an exclusive interview with Arab News, one of the master engravers from Farsi Jewelry House, Nasser Farsi, provided insights into the meticulous process that went into crafting the emblem of sporting greatness.

“We used engraving tools with diamond tips and tungsten carbide tips, depending on the function,” said the artisan, highlighting the attention to detail and precision required for such a task. From planning and drawing, to engraving and quality checking, every step was executed with the utmost care and precision.

The artisan is seen engraving the champion's name on the belt. supplied

The engraving of the host city and date, along with the champion’s name and the names of the boxing legends preceding them, imbues the belt with a sense of history and reverence. Each stroke of the engraving tool was not just a mark on metal, but also a tribute to the sport’s rich heritage and the warriors who have graced the ring.

Despite their expertise, the artisans faced challenges along the way, particularly with the unexpectedly strong metal used for the belt. “The most challenging part was that the metal used for the belt was much stronger than we expected. It was done in a superb quality metal,” Farsi said. However, the engravers overcame the challenge “by adding an additional step, which is micro hammering with a diamond tip,” ensuring that the final product surpassed expectations in quality and craftsmanship.

For the artisans at Farsi Jewelry House, the opportunity to contribute to such a high-profile event is a source of immense pride and honor. “It was such a privilege and honor for me personally as my work was literally writing down a historical moment,” Farsi said. The sentiment was echoed by his colleague for the task, Samuel Nacario, whose passion for boxing and martial arts made the experience “a dream come true.”

Samuel Nacario, one of the master engravers from Farsi Jewelry House, is seen in action. supplied

While the engraving was done in-house by Farsi’s team, the assistance and artwork of people like Nacario, who Farsi sees as a “teacher,” played a crucial role in bringing the project to life.

Though the cultural significance of Riyadh may not have directly influenced the belt’s design, the event’s hosting in the Saudi capital sent a powerful message to the world. “It was a message that we are way ahead of our plans to reach what was anticipated for Vision 2030,” said Farsi, highlighting the event’s broader significance in the context of the Kingdom’s cultural and economic aspirations.

The artisan hinted at future projects, promising further glimpses of his craftsmanship. While the details remain under wraps, one thing is clear — Farsi Jewelry House is poised to continue leaving its mark on the world of sports and beyond.

In the realm of boxing, where every victory is immortalized and every defeat serves as a stepping stone, the craftsmanship of Nasser Farsi stands as a testament to the enduring legacy of champions.

As the “Ring of Fire” trophy belt changes hands and journeys through the annals of history, one thing remains certain — it is more than just a belt; it is a symbol of excellence, perseverance and the indomitable spirit of the human endeavor.


Three things we learned from the Monaco Grand Prix

Three things we learned from the Monaco Grand Prix
Updated 27 May 2024
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Three things we learned from the Monaco Grand Prix

Three things we learned from the Monaco Grand Prix

MONTE CARLO: Charles Leclerc confirmed his potential as a world championship contender and raised more questions about Red Bull and Max Verstappen’s era of domination with his emotional home triumph on Sunday.
By winning a dull and processional Monaco Grand Prix with a flawless drive from pole position to chequered flag, while Verstappen started and finished sixth, the 26-year-old Monegasque lifted a monkey from his back as the Dutchman bemoaned his fate.
After a troubled weekend for the champion team, which saw second driver Sergio Perez crash out on the opening lap, AFP Sport looks at three things we learned from the star-studded spectacle in the Mediterranean principality:
Ferrari team chief Fred Vasseur cut through the emotional aftermath of Leclerc’s victory to identify how important it can be for him in future races. “Firstly, everyone will stop asking him each year what will happen next time, what happens this weekend and blah blah blah.... It’s over now. It’s behind us all.
“He had a kind of weight on his shoulders for years here now. Sometimes, he made a small mistake, sometimes he was unlucky, like with a brake failure, and he was under pressure.
“Now, I think he can make a big step forward, for sure. His self-confidence and approach at other events will change.”
Vasseur spoke before his team began celebrations at Jimmy’z nightclub, but shortly after a tearful Arthur Leclerc, Charles’ younger brother, led widespread tributes by wishing their father Herve had been alive to see him win.
His victory was a realization of a family dream shared with their father Herve, who died in 2017, before Charles entered Formula One.
“I am so happy,” said Arthur, a Ferrari academy driver. “It’s the first time I cried seeing my brother win. It’s just such an incredible feeling and I just wish my father was there as well to see this moment.”
Leclerc is now only 26 points behind Verstappen in the drivers’ title race after eight of this year’s 24 races, while Ferrari are only 24 points behind in the teams’ contest. He may protest that it too soon to judge, but many believe Verstappen faces a fight ahead to keep his crown.
Max Verstappen and his father Jos issued clear signals that Red Bull have been caught by their rivals and now require emergency action if they are to remain the dominant team.
“We’ve had this problem since 2022,” said the three-time champion, referring to his car’s sensitivity to bumps and riding kerbs.
His father Jos Verstappen went further and suggested Red Bull’s era of dominance is over and the team need to reconsider their priorities after a period of controversies surrounding team boss Christian Horner’s alleged inappropriate behavior and the exit of technical chief Adrian Newey.
“The era when Red Bull had the dominant car really seems to be over now,” said Verstappen senior. “Maybe they should start focusing a bit more on racing and mutual communication again, rather than on other things.”
With Ferrari and McLaren winning races and closing in, and Mercedes advancing, Red Bull face a challenge on and off the track.

The future of the calendar’s most glamorous and historic event was the subject of fresh speculation after Sunday’s ‘snooze-fest’ race amid calls for F1 to revise some rules specifically to enliven the Monaco Grand Prix.
“I got myself a yoghurt and an espresso,” said Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff. “I’ve never done that in 12 years.”
“I should have brought my pillow,” said Verstappen. “How boring was that?“
Mercedes driver George Russell replied: “They need to change something... maybe compulsory pitstops...”
“Or a compulsory nap,” replied Verstappen.


Alexander-Arnold adamant tame finish cannot disguise Liverpool’s progress

Alexander-Arnold adamant tame finish cannot disguise Liverpool’s progress
Updated 27 May 2024
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Alexander-Arnold adamant tame finish cannot disguise Liverpool’s progress

Alexander-Arnold adamant tame finish cannot disguise Liverpool’s progress
  • When the Merseysiders won the English League Cup in February they were in contention for an unprecedented quadruple of trophies
LONDON: Liverpool defender Trent Alexander-Arnold has insisted Liverpool had a good season despite a lacklustre end to Jurgen Klopp’s last campaign in charge at Anfield.
When the Merseysiders won the English League Cup in February they were in contention for an unprecedented quadruple of trophies.
But Liverpool then lost to bitter rivals Manchester United in the FA Cup and then dropped out of the Europa League before fading in the race for the Premier League title during two damaging weeks in April.
As a result, Klopp was denied the fairytale finish to his Liverpool career but for Alexander-Arnold a third-place finish in the Premier League, and with it a return to the Champions League, was evidence of the club’s progress.
“It was a good season, built on last season, got better as a team, challenged for the title, took it far and we improved,” Alexander-Arnold told Liverpool’s website.
“Any time you improve means that it’s a good season. Take the positives and move forward and hopefully (do it) again next season.”
The 25-year-old, bidding to be a member of England’s Euro 2024 squad, suffered personal frustrations after two months out a knee injury.
“Of course it’s never nice to be injured. You want to play as many games as you can and help the team, but sometimes these things happen,” he added.
“It was a tough time, it was one that taught me to be patient and a time that was difficult. It just makes you stronger, appreciate the times when you’re fit and able to play games.”