Ingebrigtsen makes Euro history, Duplantis and Jacobs delight

Ingebrigtsen makes Euro history, Duplantis and Jacobs delight
Norway's athlete Jakob Ingebrigtsen celebrates winning the men's 1,500m final during the European Athletics Championships at the Olympic stadium in Rome on June 12, 2024. (AFP)
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Updated 13 June 2024
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Ingebrigtsen makes Euro history, Duplantis and Jacobs delight

Ingebrigtsen makes Euro history, Duplantis and Jacobs delight
  • Olympic champion Ingebrigtsen at just 23 years of age claimed his third successive 1,500/5,000m double after winning the 1,500m in a championship record of 3min 31.95sec.
  • Duplantis, the Olympic and two-time world champion, was untouchable in the pole vault, an event he has dominated in recent seasons

ROME: Jakob Ingebrigtsen became the most successful male European athlete in Rome on Wednesday, while Armand ‘Mondo’ Duplantis won his third pole vault title and Marcell Jacobs set the crowd alight with a second gold as part of the Italian relay team.

In a high-octane night of track and field featuring some of the leading competitors on the global stage, the large crowd at the Stadio Olimpico was treated to some sterling performances.

Not least from Olympic champion Ingebrigtsen, who at just 23 years of age claimed his third successive 1,500/5,000m double after winning the 1,500m in a championship record of 3min 31.95sec.

Those six golds establish him as Europe’s leading male athlete, beyond Britons Mo Farah and Roger Black and then-West Germany’s Harald Schmid, who all also won six European medals, but whose tallies included five golds and a silver.

“I just do my best in every race and sometimes it goes out very well,” said Ingebrigtsen.

Duplantis, the Olympic and two-time world champion, was untouchable in the pole vault, an event he has dominated in recent seasons. He bettered his own championship record by 5cm to 6.10m for gold and went close on three occasions to improving his own world record of 6.24m.

Italy topped the medals table with 11 golds, nine silvers and four bronzes for an overall haul of 24. France, Britain, Norway and Switzerland each collected four golds.

Given Team Italia’s dominance, it was fitting that Olympic champion Jacobs, who had retained his 100m crown on Saturday, had the final word by helping the 4x100m relay team to victory.

Jacobs teamed up with Matteo Melluzzo, Lorenzo Patta and Filippo Tortu for victory in 37.82 seconds.

Draped in Italian flags, Jacobs immediately led his teammates up into the stands to embrace Italy President Sergio Mattarella, government and federation officials, to wild applause and cheers from the partisan crowd.

Lke Jacobs, Britain’s women’s 100m winner Dina Asher-Smith led her country’s quartet to victory in the 4x100m relay in 41.91sec.

There was a second British gold thanks to Keely Hodgkinson, who retained her 800m title with a trademark gun-to-tape race for victory in 1:58.15 ahead of fast-finishing Slovak Gabriela Gajanova.

Hodgkinson, a two-time world silver medallist who also won silver at the Covid-delayed Tokyo Olympics, was in control for the duration of the race, confirming her status as one of the hot favorites for the two-lap race at the Paris Games.

Germany’s Malaika Mihambo, the reigning Olympic champion, two-time former world gold medallist and European champion in Berlin in 2018, claimed victory in the women’s long jump with a world-leading 7.22m.

It was the third best result ever at a Euros, behind Heike Drechsler’s 7.30m in 1990 and 7.27m in 1986.

The relays saw a handful of athletes ensure they leave for home with more than one medal.

Gold medallist in the 400m hurdles, Femke Bol secured her second gold and third medal of the championships (after also sealing a bronze as part of the 4x400m mixed relay) as she anchored the Dutch women’s 4x400m relay team to victory.

Bol, along with Lieke Klaver, Cathelijn Peeters and Lisanne de Witte timed 3:22.39.

Ireland took silver in a national record of 3:22.71, allowing Rhasidat Adeleke to also pick up her third medal after a silver in the 400m flat and gold in the mixed relay.

“I wanted to give all my own for our team and we took this amazing victory,” said Bol. “I feel a lot of enthusiasm: my teammates did a great job and I made sure to complete their job.”

There was also a second gold for 400m champion Alexander Doom, who superbly anchored the Belgian quartet also featuring Jonathan Sacoor, Robin Vanderbemden and Dylan Borlee to victory in the men’s 4x400m relay in 2:59.84, finishing ahead of Italy and Germany.

Switzerland’s Dominic Lobalu followed up on his 5,000m bronze with gold in the 10,000m in 28.00.32, while Czech Olympic silver medallist Jakub Vadlejch denied Germany’s Julian Weber back-to-back European javelin titles with a best of 88.65m for gold.


‘An achievement for all Arabs’: PSG President Nasser Al-Khelaifi takes part in Olympic Torch Relay in Paris ahead of opening ceremony

‘An achievement for all Arabs’: PSG President Nasser Al-Khelaifi takes part in Olympic Torch Relay in Paris ahead of opening ceremony
Updated 18 sec ago
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‘An achievement for all Arabs’: PSG President Nasser Al-Khelaifi takes part in Olympic Torch Relay in Paris ahead of opening ceremony

‘An achievement for all Arabs’: PSG President Nasser Al-Khelaifi takes part in Olympic Torch Relay in Paris ahead of opening ceremony

PARIS: Nasser Al-Khelaifi, president of Paris Saint-Germain, took part in the Olympic Torch Relay on Monday afternoon ahead of this Friday’s opening ceremony of the 2024 Summer Olympic Games in Paris, France.

The Torch Relay is passing through more than 400 towns and cities across France and its overseas territories with the help of a host of illustrious figures from the world of sports, entertainment, and culture, including the prince and princess of Monaco, Formula One driver Charles Leclerc, and Hollywood actress Halle Berry.

In recognition of Al-Khelaifi’s contribution to French sport, as well as to the upcoming competition, the International Olympic Committee offered the PSG president the chance to collect the Olympic torch in Vigneux-sur-Seine in the southern suburbs of the French capital, where he carried it for close to 500 meters before passing it to 84-year-old Marie-Rolande Biro, the former head of the Epinay judo club.

A former ATP tennis player from Qatar who is now also chairman of beIN Media Group and Qatar Sports Investments, Al-Khelaifi was greeted on the street by throngs of fans cheering and calling his name. After posing for photos and interacting with supporters, he spoke about how sport has influenced his life and work ethos and helped him connect with people from all walks of life.

“It was an immense honor to carry the Olympic torch and flame of Paris 2024, representing such powerful symbols of unity, friendship and peace,” he said. “It is an indescribable feeling to carry it, as a Qatari, Arab, and Muslim in the French capital, Paris. It is an achievement for all Arabs, not just the state of Qatar, and I thank God for this honor. When I was an athlete and I played tennis, I always had this dream. Today that dream has come true.”

Nasser Al-Khelaifi, president of Paris Saint-Germain, takes part in the Olympic Torch Relay on Monday afternoon. (Supplied)

Al-Khelaifi carried the torch along Avenue Henri Barbusse, some 27 km south of the Parc des Princes, home of PSG. The club’s distinguished stadium will host 10 football matches during the Games, including the first event of Paris 2024 this Wednesday, a men’s tie between Uzbekistan and Spain, as well as the men’s and women’s football finals on Aug. 9 and 10, respectively.

“Paris Saint-Germain is so proud that 26 of our male and female athletes — across men’s and women’s football, handball and judo — are competing in the Games, and we look forward to a magnificent sporting spectacle in our home city of Paris,” added Al-Khelaifi. “This is an honor for Paris Saint-Germain, for me personally, for all club members, and for the state of Qatar.”

Qatar is taking a delegation of 14 athletes to Paris 2024, including Mutaz Barshim, regarded as one of the best high jumpers of all time after securing gold in the 2020 Tokyo Games and silvers in the 2012 London and 2016 Rio Olympics, as well as weightlifter Fares Ibrahim Hassouna, who also won gold in Tokyo.

PSG meanwhile has had representatives competing in Olympic sports for 40 years. At the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, the French club celebrated 15 Olympic and four Paralympic medalists. This year, as well as the 26 athletes, more than 70 staff are also helping in various capacities across event management, operations, and technical support.

The 2024 Olympic Games will start on July 26, preceded by preliminary events in soccer and rugby sevens, which start on July 24. The closing ceremony on Aug. 11 will mark the conclusion of the quadrennial event.


Iran slams Israel participation in Paris Olympics

Iran slams Israel participation in Paris Olympics
Updated 10 sec ago
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Iran slams Israel participation in Paris Olympics

Iran slams Israel participation in Paris Olympics
  • “They do not deserve to be present at the Paris Olympics because of the war against the innocent people of Gaza,” Iran’s foreign ministry said on X
  • Iran does not recognize Israel and prohibits all contact between Iranian and Israeli athletes

TEHRAN: Iran condemned on Tuesday the “reception and protection” of Israeli athletes at the Olympic games in Paris, demanding their exclusion over Israel’s handling of the Gaza war.
Israel’s delegation, which headed to France on Monday ahead of Friday’s opening ceremony, is being tightly protected in the French capital amid growing international outrage over the high civilian casualty toll and unfolding humanitarian crisis in Gaza.
“Announcing the reception and protection of the apartheid terrorist Zionist regime’s delegation means giving legitimacy to the child killers,” Iran’s foreign ministry said in a post on X.
“They do not deserve to be present at the Paris Olympics because of the war against the innocent people of Gaza,” it added, calling on organizers to ban Israel.


The Gaza war was triggered by the October 7 attacks on Israel by Iran-backed militant group Hamas, which led to the deaths of 1,197 people in Israel, most of them civilians, according to an AFP tally of Israeli official figures.
Israel’s retaliatory offensive against the militants has killed at least 39,090 people in Gaza, also mostly civilians, according to figures from the Hamas-ruled territory’s health ministry.
Iran does not recognize Israel and prohibits all contact between Iranian and Israeli athletes.
The Islamic republic has made support for the Palestinian cause a centerpiece of its foreign policy since the 1979 Islamic revolution.
In February, Iran’s football federation asked the sport’s governing body, FIFA, to suspend its Israeli counterpart over the war in Gaza.
Last August, Iranian authorities imposed a lifetime ban on weightlifter Mostafa Rajaei after he shook hands with an Israeli competitor at an event in Poland, state media reported at the time.
In 2021, Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei urged athletes “not to shake hands with a representative of the (Israeli) criminal regime to obtain a medal.

 


What we know about the Paris Olympics opening ceremony

The moon rises behind the Olympic rings displayed on the Eiffel Tower in Paris ahead of the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. AFP
The moon rises behind the Olympic rings displayed on the Eiffel Tower in Paris ahead of the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. AFP
Updated 45 min 47 sec ago
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What we know about the Paris Olympics opening ceremony

The moon rises behind the Olympic rings displayed on the Eiffel Tower in Paris ahead of the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. AFP
  • Up to 500,000 people are set to watch in person from specially built stands
  • Two-thirds of the ceremony will take place in daylight, then dusk

Paris: Organizers of Friday’s opening ceremony for the Paris Olympics — the first time it will be held outside a stadium — have provided teasers for their spectacular plans but refused to give specifics.
Here is what we know about the concept, the artists, and the music based on public statements over the last few months and press leaks:
Instead of using the main athletics stadium for the opening parade, as is customary, organizers have moved the event outside and into the heart of the capital — in keeping with their motto “Games Wide Open.”
Around 6,000-7,000 athletes are set to sail down a six-kilometer (four-mile) stretch of the river Seine from the Austerlitz bridge in the east to the Eiffel Tower, on 85 barges and boats.
Up to 500,000 people are set to watch in person from specially built stands, where tickets have been sold for up to 2,700 euros ($2,900), on the riverbanks for free, and from the overlooking balconies and apartments.
“Organizing a ceremony on the Seine is not easier than doing it in a stadium... but it has more punch,” chief organizer Tony Estanguet told AFP earlier this month.
Because of the size and complexity of the parade, it has never been rehearsed in full.
The show has been designed by prodigious theater director Thomas Jolly, a 42-year-old known for the hit rock opera musical “Starmania.”
He brought on board a creative team that includes the writer of the French TV series “Call My Agent,” Fanny Herrero, best-selling author Leila Slimani, and renowned historian Patrick Boucheron.
The show has been split into 12 different sections, with around 3,000 dancers, singers, and entertainers on both river banks, bridges, and nearby monuments.
A tribute to Notre Dame Cathedral, in the process of being renovated after a devastating fire in 2019, is guaranteed, possibly with dancers on its scaffolding.
Starting at 07:30 p.m. (1730 GMT), two-thirds of the ceremony will take place in daylight, then dusk — Jolly is hoping for one of Paris’s stunning summer sunsets — and will end with a light show.
The music will be a mix of classical, traditional ‘chanson francaise’, as well as rap and electro.
Franco-Malian R&B star Aya Nakamura is widely tipped to perform despite criticism from far-right politicians, including Marine Le Pen who suggested an appearance by her would “humiliate” France.
French electro superstars Daft Punk said they had turned down an invitation to play, while globe-trotting French DJ David Guetta has been overlooked — much to his irritation.
Asked to sum up his message last week, Jolly said it was “love.”
Despite the risk of irking conservatives, he said his work would be a celebration of cultural, linguistic, religious and sexual diversity in France and around the world.
“I think the people who want to live together in this diversity, this otherness, are much more numerous, but we make less noise,” he told AFP.
It is fair to assume it will be nothing like the widely panned retro-styled opening ceremony of last year’s Rugby World Cup, which featured a succession of French cliches from baguettes to berets and the Eiffel Tower.
Jolly’s team is also wary of over-emphasizing France’s historic contribution to the development of democracy and the concept of universal human rights thanks to its Enlightenment philosophers and 1789 Revolution.
“We wanted to avoid our natural tendency to lecture people,” Herrero told Le Monde newspaper recently.
And don’t expect a three-hour tribute to French greatness to rival the nationalistic pageantry seen at the Beijing Games in 2008.
“The opening ceremony in Beijing in 2008 was exactly what we did not want to do,” Boucheron told Le Monde.
With so much still under wraps, it’s hard to predict.
A performance by Aya Nakamura, after so much controversy about her role, would be a major moment so soon after parliamentary elections that saw the anti-immigration far-right gain a historic 143 seats in the national parliament.
Jolly has strongly hinted that a submersible or submarine could emerge from the waters of the Seine at some point.
“You have the sky, you have bridges, you have water, you have banks, you have so much space to make poetry,” Jolly told reporters last week. “So why not under the river also?“
The biggest moment of all might simply be the end if everyone gets home safely.
The ceremony has given French police cold sweats ever since it was unveiled in 2021 because of the difficulty of securing so many people over such a vast urban area.
Around 45,000 members of the security forces will be on duty.


Gaimin Gladiators and NAVI enter the club championship race to close out week 3 of Esports World Cup

Gaimin Gladiators and NAVI enter the club championship race to close out week 3 of Esports World Cup
Updated 23 July 2024
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Gaimin Gladiators and NAVI enter the club championship race to close out week 3 of Esports World Cup

Gaimin Gladiators and NAVI enter the club championship race to close out week 3 of Esports World Cup
  • Canada’s Gaimin Gladiators won ‘Dota2 Riyadh Masters’ and NAVI was victorious in all-European ‘Counter-Strike 2’ grand final

RIYADH: Week three of the Esports World Cup has culminated with two new clubs showcasing their club championship credentials at Boulevard Riyadh City.

Canada’s Gaimin Gladiators won the “Dota 2 Riyadh Masters” with a 3-0 score against Team Liquid of the Netherlands in Sunday’s Grand Final, to win the $1.5 million first prize and enter the race for the EWC Club Championship.

A capacity crowd inside the SEF Arena witnessed more jubilant scenes hours later as Natus Vincere, or NAVI, etched their name in the esports history books by winning the ‘Counter-Strike 2’ competition.

In the first-ever all-European EWC Grand Final, the Ukrainian club came from behind to beat Germany’s G2 Esports 2-1, taking home the title and the $400,000 first prize.

The “PUBG Mobile World Cup 2024” also made its highly anticipated EWC debut in week three. The $3-million tournament kicked off this past Friday with 24 clubs and continues this coming week with the survival stage and main tournament.

Elsewhere over the last seven days, two football icons visited Boulevard Riyadh City to see the action for themselves. Al-Hilal and Brazil winger Neymar attended over the weekend as did Liverpool and Portugal forward, Diogo Jota.

The Esports World Cup began on July 3 and runs until Aug. 25 with 22 tournaments across 21 titles.

Week four kicks off on Tuesday, with the “PUBG Mobile World Cup 2024” returning and two new tournaments make their highly anticipated EWC debuts. These are the “Mobile Legends: Bang Bang Women’s Invitational 2024” and “Overwatch 2.”


De Bruyne won’t be leaving Man City says Guardiola

De Bruyne won’t be leaving Man City says Guardiola
Updated 23 July 2024
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De Bruyne won’t be leaving Man City says Guardiola

De Bruyne won’t be leaving Man City says Guardiola

LONDON: Pep Guardiola insists Kevin De Bruyne will not leave Manchester City this season after reports the Belgium star could move to Saudi Arabia.
De Bruyne has just one year left on his current City contract and the midfielder revealed recently he has spoken with his wife Michele about his future plans.
“For Michele an exotic adventure is OK,” De Bruyne said in a hint that he could end his successful spell at Premier League champions City.
Saudi Pro League club Al-Ittihad were believed to be interested in De Bruyne.
But UK press reports on Tuesday said City manager Guardiola had rejected any thought of the 33-year-old being allowed to walk away this season.
Speaking ahead of Manchester City’s friendly against Celtic in North Carolina, Guardiola told reporters “Kevin isn’t leaving.”
De Bruyne returned after missing the first half of last season due to injury and helped City make history with a fourth successive Premier League title.
He has been with City since joining from Wolfsburg in 2015, winning 15 major trophies including six Premier League titles and one Champions League crown.
While Guardiola is adamant, his influential playmaker will stay at the Etihad Stadium this term, it remains to be seen if he can persuade the Belgian to remain in Manchester longer than that
“My eldest (child) is now eight years old and knows nothing but England. He also asks how long I will play at City. Once the time comes, we will have to deal with it in a certain way,” De Bruyne said in a recent interview.
“At my age, you have to be open to everything. You talk about unbelievable amounts in what may be the end of my career. Sometimes you have to think about that.
“If I play there for two years, I will be able to earn an incredible amount of money.”
Meanwhile, Guardiola claimed City would not make major changes to his squad before their Premier League season kicks off against Chelsea on August 18.
Crystal Palace winger Eberechi Eze has been linked with the champions, while City goalkeeper Ederson has potential offers from Saudi Arabia.
“Of course, until the last day, we have chances (to make transfers), I don’t rule it out the option to have new players but I think there is an 85,90 percent chance we will have the same squad,” Guardiola said.
“I feel comfortable, because the quality of human beings we have in the squad is difficult to be replaced, and the quality is there.
“But we’ll see, I don’t know in the last moment if someone comes for some players and they leave, we’re going to decide.
“If someone leaves, we’re going to talk about that.”