Qatar’s artistic gymnastics team (boys-girls) won 12 medals (4 gold, 3 silver, and 5 bronze) in the Confederations Cup Championship held in Anadia, Portugal.During the competition, Fayrouz Hisham won two gold medals in the general individual and vaulting horse equipment competitions.Dorra al-Feki won one gold in the individual apparatus competitions. Ahmed Samir won four gold medals (apparatus parallel bars – apparatus horizontal - vault apparatus – and pommel horse gymnastics apparatus).The three silver medals were won by Loujain Attia in the vaulting horse equipment, Ahmed Samir in the general individual competition, and Omar al-Hafnawi in the floor apparatus.The four bronze medals were achieved in the team category by Yasmine al-Qasimi in the general individual and balance beam competitions (two bronze), Ahmed Samir in the floor apparatus competition, and Omar al-Hafnawi in the pommel horse.President of Qatar Gymnastics Federation Ali al-Hitmi praised the achievements of Qatar’s artistic gymnastics team in the Confederations Cup Championship in Portugal. Al-Hitmi said in a press statement that the victory of the national teams players in a large number of various medals, is considered a great achievement in light of the fierce competition from various countries in this very strong tournament, and an achievement that satisfies our ambition and we look forward to more in the upcoming tournaments.He added that this achievement is the result of the efforts of all the employees of the Qatar Gymnastics Federation, pointing out that Qatari gymnastics is on the right path, expressing his hope that the national teams champions will achieve the largest number of medals in the upcoming championships.
Amy Yang of South Korea posted a 6-under 66 in her final round to win the CME Group Tour Championship on Sunday in Naples, Florida.Yang, 34, had not won on the LPGA Tour since February 2019 and missed significant time with a tennis elbow injury that happened while rock climbing.That didn’t hold her back in the final round as she earned the tournament’s $2mn first prize, the largest paycheck on tour.Yang shot 27-under 261 for the week at Tiburon Golf Club to outpace Alison Lee and Japan’s Nasa Hataoka by three strokes. Lee also shot 66 on Sunday and Hataoka settled for a 69.“You know, I still can’t believe I did it,” Yang said. “So great to have – and feeling honoured to have – my first win in the US, especially CME Group Tour Championship.”Lilia Vu finished a distant fourth at 21 under, but her final-round 65 was enough for her to secure the Rolex Player of the Year Award. Vu, who also owns the No. 1 world ranking, won four tournaments this year, including two major championships.Vu, who is notoriously hard on herself, said she still was self-critical this season, “but much nicer.”“Just kept my goals really small, and I think that really helped me achieve Player of the Year,” the 26-year-old from California said.“Honestly, I don’t think I thought much about it today. I just was trying to play my best out there.“Probably have more time to reflect tonight and figure out what it means to me.“I mean, I went to the Rolex dinner on Thursday and Annika (Sorenstam) is an eight-time Player of the Year and I thought it was just amazing to be up there with her.”The highlight of Yang’s round was an eagle 2 from the fairway at the par-4 13th hole.“That hole, I had about 80 yards to the pin, and it was helping down a little,” Yang said. “Had a 58 wedge in my hand and I played about 75, just a little off. It went straight to the pin and I saw it land really close to the pin. I had just a quick feeling that, ‘Oh, this might go in.’ And was just so excited to see it went in.”That brought Yang to 25 under for the tournament, where she was safe from the rest of the field before finishing with two of her five birdies at Nos. 17 and 18.Lee did not record a bogey either Saturday or Sunday and birdied six holes in her final round, but it wasn’t enough to keep up with Yang. Lee finished second for her third straight LPGA start.“I feel like I put up a good fight today,” Lee said. “Did everything I could to put some pressure on (Yang and Hataoka). Amy had a phenomenal round. Once she made her eagle on 13 I think, I mean, I think that really turned the course of the whole entire day for her.“She just played so unbelievable and played super solid and it was really tough to catch. I feel like I tried my best to put some birdies on the board, put some pressure on them, but she just played way too good. Definitely hurts a little bit.”Atthaya Thitikul of Thailand shot a bogey-free 66 and finished fifth at 20 under. She won the Vare Trophy for the season’s lowest scoring average at 69.533.Ruoning Yin (69) and Xiyu Lin (70), both of China, tied for sixth at 19 under. Nelly Korda (68) and Australia’s Minjee Lee (70) tied for eighth at 18 under.US PGA Tour RSM Classic scoresMiami: Leading final-round scores in the PGA Tour RSM Classic at St. Simons Island, Georgia (USA unless noted):253 - Ludvig Aberg (SWE) 67-64-61-61257 - Mackenzie Hughes (CAN) 68-66-60-63260 - Tyler Duncan 68-65-62-65, Eric Cole 66-66-61-67263 - Adam Svensson (CAN) 68-66-67-62, Ben Kohles 66-67-67-63, Denny McCarthy 65-67-66-65264 - Taylor Montgomery 69-65-67-63, Ben Griffin 67-67-69-61, Austin Eckroat 65-68-66-65, Ryan Moore 70-67-62-65, Greyson Sigg 66-68-64-66265 - J.J. Spaun 68-70-64-63, Russell Henley 72-66-65-62, Charley Hoffman 68-70-62-65, Peter Kuest 67-66-66-66, Vince Whaley 66-69-64-66, Sam Ryder 67-65-65-68
India dominate the business side of global cricket by virtually every metric but Australia showed commercial clout counts for little when teams battle on the game’s biggest stage.With a pitch offering little comfort for pace bowlers and terraces packed with blue-clad fans, Sunday’s World Cup final could not have been better set up for the hosts to emerge unbeaten champions.Instead, Australia, led by a Travis Head century and their brilliant trio of quicks, humbled India and their batting riches in a dominant six-wicket win that may rank the finest of their six World Cup triumphs.Having claimed the World Test Championship in June, Pat Cummins’s team have shown greatness across formats and will no doubt fancy completing a sweep of the game’s biggest prizes at next year’s T20 World Cup in the United States and West Indies.Australia’s ‘golden era’ under captains Steve Waugh and Ricky Ponting, when they won three one-day World Cups in succession from 1999-2007, has cast a long shadow over the teams that followed.But some feel Cummins’s squad is at least worthy of comparison.“They’ve won a T20 World Cup, they’re the world Test champions and now they’re the World Cup winners in India,” former England captain Michael Vaughan said on BBC Test Match Special. “This group now needs to be talked about in a similar vein.”As a spectacle, the final in Ahmedabad could not hold a candle to the tied 2019 classic in which England edged New Zealand on boundary count.Australia, however, do not do nail-biters. Their opponents in finals are not so much beaten as remorselessly crushed by technical brilliance and consummate execution.Since losing the 1996 final to Sri Lanka, Australia have walloped every team they have faced in the decider, starting with an eight-wicket thrashing of Pakistan in 1999.India were embarrassed in a 125-run defeat in the 2003 final, Sri Lanka hammered by 53 runs in the rain-hit 2007 decider, and in 2015 New Zealand crashed to a seven-wicket loss at a heaving Melbourne Cricket Ground.Six years later, Australia added their first T20 World Cup title to the mix, cruising past New Zealand in the Dubai final.With Australia’s pedigree of big-match success, Cummins gave short shrift to the idea of his team being underdogs before Sunday’s final.“At least a dozen of the 15 have won a World Cup and know what it takes,” he said of his squad. “(They) won’t be afraid to go out there and be brave, take the game on.”And so it proved.Cummins, Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood took seven wickets between them, choking the life out of an Indian batting lineup that had dominated the tournament. Already ranked among the best Australian pace attacks, the trio leave India with reputations further enhanced.Australia’s fielding was in the crosshairs earlier in the tournament with a series of dropped catches but on Sunday they gave nothing away, holding India without a boundary for an hour at one point.Cummins also departs with doubts about his captaincy banished.The Test skipper entered the World Cup having led the ODI side only a handful of times but has now joined Waugh, Ponting and Allan Border as Australia’s title-winning captains.In Sunday’s final, his gutsy decision to field first, his decisive bowling changes and his taking of Virat Kohli’s wicket set the tone for a team who thrives when the stakes are highest.
Gresini Racing’s Fabio Di Giannantonio stormed to a maiden MotoGP victory at the Qatar Grand Prix yesterday, denying championship leader Francesco Bagnaia in the dying stages, while title contender Jorge Martin finished a lowly 10th.Di Giannantonio, who does not have a MotoGP ride next season, threw caution to the wind at the floodlit Lusail International Circuit and took on Bagnaia to claim his first win while pole-sitter Luca Marini of VR46 Racing finished third. Victory marked a special weekend for Di Giannantonio, who also finished second in Saturday’s sprint.“Man, what do I say. It’s been an incredible weekend, the race was unbelievable. I was struggling with the front (tyre) but I saw Pecco (Bagnaia) making little mistakes so I thought ‘Maybe there is my opportunity’. I’m speechless,” a grinning Di Giannantonio said in a post-race interview. “This was revenge, first for myself and others with me. Now we did it, now I’m a MotoGP winner.”Bagnaia lost the lead with four laps to go but the Ducati rider has still put one hand on the rider’s championship after extending his lead over Martin to 21 points. The Italian can even secure back-to-back world titles in next Saturday’s sprint at the season-ending Valencia Grand Prix next weekend. Bagnaia and Martin started fourth and fifth on the grid – separated by seven points – but it was the Ducati rider who had the perfect launch as he shot off the line to take the lead from Marini going into turn one.On the other hand, Martin nearly lost control of his Pramac bike due to wheel-spin, dropping to eighth in the opening lap, and he was forced to pick his way through the pack as Bagnaia surged ahead. While Bagnaia kept Di Giannantonio at arm’s length, Martin was falling further behind and he lost so much pace that even the slower Honda of Marc Marquez, Yamaha’s Fabio Quartararo and KTM’s Jack Miller managed to get past the Pramac rider.Up front, Di Giannantonio did not let up. With four laps to go he ignored team warnings and made his move to get past Bagnaia. The Ducati rider nearly threw it away on the next lap with a risky move to retake the lead at turn one where he ran wide and then backed off while shaking his head, knowing second place was better than nothing.“We managed to do a perfect start, I tried to create a gap but Diggia (Di Giannantonio) was incredible. I got sucked into his slipstream at the first braking (zone) and I went wide,” Bagnaia said. “But we’ve managed to open a gap on Jorge.”Once Bagnaia saw Martin had finished 10th, there were no hard feelings as he and several other riders stopped their bikes by the side of the track to congratulate an emotional Di Giannantonio.Di Giannantonio is being replaced by six-time world champion Marc Marquez at Gresini and does not have a ride for next season, with few saddles still available.Martin points blameat ‘bad tyre’Martin has pointed the finger firmly at a ‘bad tyre’ for leaving his title hopes on the ropes. The Pramac rider weaved hopelessy away from the grid with his rear wheel spinning at the start of the Grand Prix.“For sure I wasn’t comfortable. You saw already at the start that I had a big spin and you can understand what happened; the rear tyre wasn’t working okay,” Martin said.“I’m really disappointed that the championship is decided by a bad tyre. But this happened to me. It’s a pity. But it is what it is. I struggled a lot. I didn’t have rear grip. I couldn’t stop the bike. I couldn’t turn. I couldn’t open the throttle. It was like wet conditions. I think with my experience, I was able to at least make some points [tonight] which wasn’t easy. Now we move on and hopefully we can do it in Valencia.”Martin added: “Everything can happen in Valencia. Pecco can make a mistake. I can win for sure both races - but I can win if I don’t have a tyre like today! For sure [the title is] not decided yet but it’s not the same arriving in Valencia close, than in this condition just because of a [bad] tyre. A bit frustrated, but I feel like they didn’t beat us on the track. They beat us outside. So I’m quite relaxed and I feel like we deserve this championship.”Aldeguer claims thirdconsecutive Moto2 winFermin Aldeguer, the 18-year-old Spaniard who is expected to take one of the few available seats in MotoGP next season, won his third successive Moto2 race with compatriot Pedro Acosta, who had already clinched the title, eighth.Jaume Masia won in Moto3 to take the title but the victory was cloaked in controversy for the way Masia and his Leopard Honda team-mate Adrian Fernandez repeatedly bumped the Husqvarna of his title rival Ayumu Sasaki, who finished sixth.
Pat Cummins may be an unusual captain, but yesterday he played a role described as “phenomenal” as he led Australia to their sixth World Cup triumph in a victory over India.Cricket teams are often reluctant to appoint fast bowlers such as Cummins as their skipper because of concerns the extra workload will distract them from taking wickets. But Cummins, thrust into the captaincy just days before the start of the 2021/22 Ashes after Tim Paine’s shock resignation after a ‘sexting’ scandal, still led Australia to a 4-0 series win over England.Then in June this year, Cummins oversaw Australia’s 209-run thrashing of India in the World Test Championship final at The Oval.Cummins, 30, also doesn’t fit the ‘macho’ image of an Australia captain established by abrasive skippers such as Ian Chappell, Allan Border and Steve Waugh, although the paceman was accused of plotting the downfall of the similarly gritty former coach Justin Langer. Following a defeat by India in the second Test in Delhi this year, Border said: “I’d be playing with a harder edge...The Kiwis (New Zealand), they are the ones that play the goodie two shoes.”Cummins’ membership of the ‘Cricket for Climate’ group, meanwhile, led to suggestions he had influenced Cricket Australia to abandon a sponsorship deal with energy company Alinta - an accusation both he and his bosses denied. He has been labelled “woke” by some critics. “I don’t even know what ‘woke’ means,” Cummins told the Sydney Morning Herald in January. “It’s a label, it means nothing.”But few opponents would call Cummins, an outstanding bowler with 239 wickets in 55 Tests at 22.94 apiece and 141 in 88 one-day internationals at 28.66, a soft touch.His steel was evident when he refused to withdraw an appeal after Jonny Bairstow was controversially given out stumped during an Ashes Test at Lord’s in July, despite the England batsman thinking the ball was dead.Australia won that match and retained the Ashes in a series drawn 2-2.Cummins knows about resilience given injuries meant he endured a six-year wait for a second Test appearance after a debut as an 18-year-old.And Cummins, a shining light following the 2018 ball-tampering scandal in South Africa that cost Steve Smith the captaincy, has now led his country to a record-extending sixth World Cup title - despite defeats in their opening two matches.“Pat Cummins was phenomenal, I think he’s been phenomenal all tournament with his decision making,” said teammate Mitchell Starc yesterday. Cummins has also demonstrated calmness when required.That was evident when, with Australia having collapsed to 91-7, he held up an end as Glenn Maxwell’s spectacular double century sealed a remarkable three-wicket pool victory over Afghanistan in Mumbai.He also then held his nerve with the bat in a tense semi-final run-chase against South Africa. “We’ve had to fight for every win, but we’ve found a way to win,” he said.
Nicolai Hojgaard carded a 64 in a dramatic final-round to win the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai yesterday by two-strokes and take home the winner’s cheque of $3mn and finish second in the Race to Dubai.The Dane finished 21-under-par overall, two-strokes ahead of Viktor Hovland, Tommy Fleetwood and Matt Wallace, and will climb to a career-high 50th in the world rankings.“This is a great way to finish the season,” Hojgaard said.“It’s hard to put into words right now after what just happened, it feels amazing.”Hojgaard had led after the first two days in Dubai, but entered the final round three shots off the lead, but managed to pull himself back up the leaderboard with a front nine score of 33.Wallace began the final day with a one-stroke lead over Fleetwood and Hovland, but was unable to maintain the form which had seen him hit nine back birdies on Saturday.This left the Ryder Cup trio of Hojgaard, Fleetwood and Hovland to set the pace and after the opening nine holes, the Dane sat one-stroke off the leading pair after hitting three birdies.The opening three holes on the back nine saw Fleetwood take control, hitting two birdies to Hojgaard’s one birdie and one bogey, which left him three-strokes adrift of Fleetwood.After that, it was Hojgaard who clawed back the deficit and hit the front with five consecutive birdies, but the 22-year-old was left to sweat in the clubhouse after missing what looked like an easy putt for a birdie on the final hole.“To bogey the 12th was a bit annoying but we managed to bounce back with five in a row and had a good chance to make it six on the 18th,” Hojgaard said.“Having a putt to close it out and it slips by, I thought it was quite a tough moment for me actually, I was like, did it just slip away now and do we have to go into a play-off.” Hovland hit the water with his second shot on the final hole but the Norwegian managed to salvage a par to finish on 19-under, which left Fleetwood out on the course as the man who could steal Hojgaard’s win.The Englishman, however, hit a bogey on the 17th and a par on the final hole, with Wallace hitting three birdies on the final five holes to join Fleetwood and Hovland on 19-under-par for the tournament, and Hojgaard could finally celebrate.“I’ve got family here, this one is for the family,” an emotional Hojgaard said.“Everything they’ve put in over the years, there’s just so much hard work going into this and for it to happen like this is unbelievable,” he said.World number two Rory McIlroy carded a 70 on the final day to finish on 10-under-par overall.
Red Bull’s Max Verstappen sang “Viva Las Vegas” after racing to a record-extending 18th victory of the season and joining Sebastian Vettel in third place on Formula One’s all-time winners’ list.The triumph on a spectacular night in Sin City was the 53rd of the triple champion’s career, and sixth in a row, and came after a five-second penalty for forcing Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc off track at the start and then a collision with Mercedes’ George Russell.Leclerc finished second after starting on pole position, losing and regaining the lead and then losing it again before passing Sergio Perez on the final lap to deny Red Bull a seventh one-two of the season.The win was Red Bull’s 20th in 21 races, another record for a single season, and delivered the racing that had risked being swamped in a wave of hype as Vegas hosted a grand prix for the first time since the 1980s.It also completed a sweep of three US wins in 2023 for their 26-year-old Dutch driver, who was also dominant in Miami and Austin. “It was a tough one,” said Verstappen, whose race suit paid homage to the signature jumpsuit of the late “King of Rock and Roll”, Elvis Presley.“I tried to go for it at the start, I think we both braked quite late and then I just ran out of grip and we ended up a bit wide so the stewards gave me a penalty for that.“That put us a little bit on the back foot, I had to pass quite a few cars...It was definitely a lot of fun.”Red Bull played the timeless Elvis song over the team radio, after pop star Justin Bieber waved the chequered flag, and Verstappen showed he is a far better driver than singer by joining in.Leclerc, whose team are the only ones to beat Red Bull this season, showed all his fighting spirit after the initial setback.“I wanted that win so bad but what a race,” he gasped over the radio after finishing 2.070 seconds behind Verstappen.It was the second race in a row that Perez had lost out on the last lap, with the Mexican passed by Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso at the line in Brazil.Perez at least had the consolation of securing second in a championship won long ago by his teammate - another first for Red Bull who have never previously ended a season with their drivers one-two.SAFETY CARSEsteban Ocon was fourth for Alpine with Lance Stroll fifth for Aston Martin and Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz sixth. Mercedes seven times world champion Lewis Hamilton was seventh, ahead of a demoted Russell, Alonso and McLaren’s Australian rookie Oscar Piastri, who took a bonus point for fastest lap.While Red Bull won both titles long ago, Ferrari closed the gap to second-placed Mercedes to four points with one race remaining in Abu Dhabi.The lack of grip was evident from the start as cars accelerated past the floodlit casinos and hotels and down the Strip.As Verstappen forced Leclerc wide to take the lead, without giving the place back, Alonso spun and was hit twice by Alfa Romeo’s Valtteri Bottas with Perez also involved. The Mexican pitted for a new front wing as the virtual safety car was deployed but McLaren’s Lando Norris then brought out the full safety car when he crashed on lap three.Norris was taken to the University Medical Centre for further precautionary investigations.When racing resumed on lap seven, stewards handed Verstappen a five second penalty but he shrugged off the decision. “Yeah, that’s fine, send them my regards,” he told race engineer Gianpiero Lambiase.Leclerc retook the lead on lap 16, with Verstappen pitting and serving the penalty with a 7.7 second stop that dropped him to ninth.Perez took over at the front on lap 22 when Leclerc pitted, with the Mexican also helped by the safety car being deployed again on lap 27 to recover debris from the clash between Verstappen and Russell, who was given a five second penalty.The 10:00pm (0600GMT) start was the latest in F1 history.
Jakarta: Gaganjeet Bhullar shot a final-round 67 to stroll to a five-stroke victory at the Indonesian Masters yesterday, his fifth tournament victory in the country.The 35-year-old Bhullar finished at 24-under par 260, well clear of compatriot Karandeep Kochhar who carded a 63 to finish on 19-under par.New Zealand’s Ben Campbell, who won the Hong Kong Open a week ago, was a stroke further back in a tie for third with Spain’s David Puig.Bhullar’s win was set up by Saturday’s third-round of eight-under-par 63 that left him at 20-under with a commanding seven-shot for the final day at Royale Jakarta Golf Club.Bhullar’s bid for an 11th Asian Tour victory - the most by any player from his nation - never looked in doubt as he led all four rounds. He sealed the Asian Tour’s International Series finale in style with an eagle three at the 18th hole. “Today I played pretty well actually,” said Bhullar who also had a chip-in at the 16th for a birdie three.“I struggled a bit in the middle of the round, there was a stretch when I was trying my level best but I was not making the birdies, but the chip-in turned around everything.“And, of course the eagle on the last was the icing on the cake.”Bhullar had three previous wire-to-wire wins on the Asian Tour -- at the Macau Open in 2012 and 2017, and the 2013 Indonesia Open.Andy Ogletree had already wrapped up the International Series order of merit before this week’s final event in Jakarta where he finished tied 41st on six-under par.The American has booked his place on the LIV Golf circuit for next year as a result. Bhullar’s win lifted him from 46th place to eighth on the final International Series order of merit.
Novak Djokovic won a record-breaking seventh ATP Finals title yesterday after beating local hero Jannik Sinner 6-3, 6-3 in Turin. World number one Djokovic moves clear of retired great Roger Federer in victories at the season-ending tournament after denying Italian Sinner a triumph on home soil.Djokovic came into the Finals at the end of a year which has brought three Grand Slams, taking his total to an all-time best of 24, and a 40th Masters 1000 title. And he has crowned an incredible season – in which he also reached the Wimbledon final – with yet another record, comfortably seeing off two of the game’s best young players in the process.Sinner was bidding to become the first ever Italian to claim a Finals crown and looked like the right man to do it after his impressive group stage win over Djokovic. But the 22-year-old, like Carlos Alcaraz in Saturday’s semi-final, simply could not handle Djokovic, a man on a mission who hit his best form at exactly the right time in the tournament.It is a testament however to how far Sinner has come in the past year that he had Djokovic’s tournament fate in his hands at the end of the group stage, when defeat by Holger Rune would have sent the Serb home early. Sinner saved Djokovic’s skin and in the end paid for it in the final, but the quality of his performances at the Pala Alpitour has been a cause for much optimism in Italy and suggests that he should be a Grand Slam contender next season.Djokovic took control early in the match, breaking Sinner at the first opportunity in game four and then comfortably serving out the opening set. Such was his dominance that Djokovic silenced a partisan crowd which has been rambunctious for all of Sinner’s matches, and he immediately broke serve again at the start of the second set.He reeled off 14 straight points from the start of the final game of the first set into the third game of the second, which was eventually won by Sinner to just hold his serve. Sinner looked like he was going to be walked over but he showed huge heart and brought the crowd to its feet when he held his serve in game seven, a 15-minute mini-epic in which Djokovic had two break points, to stay at 4-3. However in the end he couldn’t stay with Djokovic and in the end surrendered the match in disappointing fashion with a double fault.Earlier, Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury retained their ATP Finals doubles title on Sunday as they cruised to a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballos. The US Open champions kept hold of their crown with a near-perfect campaign in Turin, going unbeaten in their five matches.American Ram and Briton Salisbury took their winning streak at the season-ending tournament to 10 matches after also sweeping to last year’s title undefeated. Granollers and Zeballos missed out on the year-end top spot in the world rankings following the straight-sets defeat, with their eliminated Green Group opponents Ivan Dodig and Austin Krajicek remaining in first.
Four years ago, on a warm September night, in a 2022 World Cup Qualifiers outing against Qatar, a gritty India survived a wave of attacks to hold the powerhouse of Asian football to a goalless draw in Doha. The man who guided India from the sidelines was Head Coach Igor Stimac.The Croatian would once again sit on the bench when India will cross swords tomorrow with Qatar again in another World Cup qualifying match, this time for the 2026 edition in the US, Canada and Mexico.No doubt, Stimac and his wards would take the pitch at the Kalinga Stadium here a far more confident lot than they were at the start of the campaign. The win against Kuwait in the tie brought a magical change to the entire scenario. Now there are serious expectations surrounding Sunil Chhetri and his men; a positive result against Qatar would definitely not leave anyone bewildered.Stimac agreed that India are now perfectly capable of pulling off a surprise or two, but is not ready to lower his guard. “We have analysed Qatar from every angle and position and know very well what they are capable of in terms of speed and strength. Their defensive and offensive positions are immaculate, which they demonstrated against Afghanistan by scoring eight goals. They could well have scored eight more. It is going to be very difficult and I just want the boys to enjoy their game in the next match. The first and bigger part was accomplished by winning against Kuwait, now I want the boys not to take any pressure and show their quality against Qatar,” he said.“It is very motivating as we defeated the best opponents for the second position. We have to be in the top two positions to go to the next round of the qualifiers so, this helps in our goal of reaching the next round. Qatar are one of the pre-tournament favourites from the group. We do not have high expectations but we know we have a chance and we have to grab that with both hands,” said Stimac.The head coach, whose boys had a good day of training yesterday, said there was no new-found confidence in the team. “I would say that we were never short of self-confidence. But each win boosts your self-confidence. We showed that we had high self-confidence in the King’s Cup and Merdeka Cup.“We have worked on the change of the mindset over the last few years. Now our boys believe that they can beat anyone,” he pointed out. Coming back home from Kuwait with three points in the pocket is, according to Stimac, a matter of huge relief and a creditable achievement.“Our main worry was the impact on the quality of the starting XI owing to the injuries. Losing the likes of Anwar (Ali), Ashique (Kuruniyan) and Jeakson (Singh) was a big blow for us as they were the young players who brought energy and quality to this side. But we were able to get over that crisis against Kuwait by sheer hard work and also by having a good pool of players for the national team that helped us find the right replacements,” he said. (www.the-aiff.com)
Badminton world number one Viktor Axelsen won his first title since September yesterday in Japan but said he was “not feeling great” heading into the season’s final stretch.The dominant Dane, who is set to celebrate two unbroken years atop the world rankings on December 1, beat China’s Shi Yuqi 22-20, 21-17 to capture the inaugural Kumamoto Masters title. Axelsen said he was determined to celebrate his first success on the tour since the China Open and was putting the upcoming China Masters to the back of his mind for the moment. “Going into the China Masters, I’m not feeling great, I’m very tired, I don’t want to think about it,” he told the Badminton World Federation. “I have a rule that when you play a final and you’re done, you have to enjoy it so I’m not thinking about next week at all.”Axelsen said he would “enjoy an extra piece” of sushi after beating number four seed Shi. The Dane was also appearing in his first final since the China Open and he said he was happy with his performance in a match “played at a really high level”. “Shi is a very strong opponent and I think if he had managed to win the first game, it could have gone either way today,” he said. “I was really happy with how composed I stayed, especially at the end of both games.”Indonesia’s Gregoria Mariska Tunjung beat China’s Chen Yufei 21-12, 21-12 in the women’s final. The win gave the number six seed her second title on the world tour, following her triumph at the Spain Masters in April.Number three seed Chen, the Tokyo Olympics champion, had ended South Korean top seed An Se-young’s 31-match unbeaten streak in the semi-finals. But Tunjung said she “just tried my best to win every single point”. “The key to the win today was my patience,” said the 24-year-old, ranked number seven in the world. “Chen Yufei also made a few mistakes and that helped me believe in myself more and believe that I could counter anything she threw at me.”The three doubles finals were all contested by Chinese players. Top mixed doubles seeds Zheng Siwei and Huang Yaqiong beat number three pair Feng Yanzhe and Huang Dongping 25-23, 21-9.In women’s doubles, number 3 seeds Zhang Shuxian and Zheng Yu beat Liu Shengshu and Tan Ning 12-21, 21-12, 21-17. And in men’s doubles, He Jiting and Ren Xiangyu got the better of Liu Yuchen and Ou Xuanyi 21-14, 15-21, 21-15.
Serbia had to come from behind to secure a 2-2 draw against Bulgaria at the Dubocica Stadium stadium in Leskovac yesterday which booked their qualification for next year’s European Championships in Germany.The Serbs finish second in Group G behind Hungary who snuffed out any hopes Montenegro had of progressing by beating them 3-1 in Budapest. Centre-back Milos Veljkovic put Serbia ahead in the 17th minute before substitute Georgi Rusev levelled for Bulgaria in the 59th.Ten minutes later Kiril Despodov put the visitors ahead but Srdjan Babic equalised eight minutes from time to ensure Serbia would become the 17th team to qualify for Euro 2024. Montenegro needed Serbia to lose to have any hope of taking their place in Germany but also needed to win against the Hungarians who have eased impressively through qualifying.Slobodan Rubezic put Montenegro ahead after 36 minutes but Hungary hit back in the second half with two goals in three minutes from Dominik Szoboszlai before Zsolt Nagy rounded off the win in added time.France smash records in 14-0 win, Dutch, Swiss and Romania qualifyKylian Mbappe scored a hat-trick in France’s record-breaking 14-0 thrashing of 10-man Gibraltar as the Netherlands, Switzerland and Romania booked their places at Euro 2024 on Saturday. Les Bleus set a new record margin of victory in European qualifying and a national record in Nice.Ethan Santos’ own goal and Marcus Thuram had already opened the floodgates before 17-year-old Warren Zaire-Emery scored. That was Zaire-Emery’s last contribution as the PSG midfielder was forced off with an ankle injury but a red card for Santos after just 18 minutes allowed the World Cup finalists to run amok.Mbappe’s penalty made it 4-0 and Jonathan Clauss, Kingsley Coman and Youssouf Fofana all scored before half-time. Adrien Rabiot, Coman again and Ousmane Dembele kept the score ticking over before Mbappe struck twice to seal his hat-trick in style.The France captain lobbed Dayle Coleing from just inside the Gibraltar half to register his 300th career goal aged just 24. Olivier Giroud then came off the bench to grab the final two goals and ensure the history books were re-written. But the scoreline will raise fresh questions over the need for such clashes between giants and minnows in a congested fixture calendar.Just one goal was enough to ensure the Dutch joined France in qualifying from Group B with a 1-0 victory over the Republic of Ireland. Wout Weghorst’s powerful drive separated the sides in Amsterdam in what is likely to be Irish boss Stephen Kenny’s final competitive game in charge.Romania reached just a second major tournament since 2008 by ending Israel’s chances of automatic qualification with a 2-1 win. Despite being forced to play what should have been a home fixture in Hungary due to the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, Israel went in front after just two minutes through Eran Zahavi.But Romania hit back quickly to level through George Puscas and secured their place in Germany thanks to Ianis Hagi, son of Gheorghe Hagi who inspired the Romanians famous run to the 1994 World Cup quarter-finals.Switzerland also qualified despite being held 1-1 at home by Kosovo. Romania are now in pole position to win Group I with a draw at home to the Swiss on Tuesday enough to secure top spot. Wales’ hopes of reaching a third consecutive European Championship were dealt a huge blow by a 1-1 draw away to Armenia. Croatia moved into second place in Group D thanks to a 2-0 win in Latvia as Lovro Majer and Andrej Kramaric struck inside the first 16 minutes. Wales must beat already-qualified Turkey in Cardiff on Tuesday and hope Croatia fail to beat Armenia at home.
Australia won a record-extending sixth 50-overs World Cup title after opener Travis Head smashed a magnificent century to fashion their six-wicket victory in Sunday's final against the tournament's form team India.Put into bat, India rode battling half-centuries by KL Rahul and Virat Kohli to post a below-par 240 all out in exactly 50 overs at a packed Narendra Modi Stadium.Australia suffered a top order wobble of their own but Head's 137 off 120 balls saw them romp home with seven overs to spare in match that never reached great heights.The majority of those present in the 132,000 capacity ground sat in deathly silence as the home team, who had won 10 matches in a row to make the final, succumbed to their first loss of the tournament in the all-important summit clash."What we've achieved today is unbelievable," a teary-eyed Marnus Labuschagne, who combined with Head in a match-winning partnership of 192, said."It's the best achievement I've ever been part of."India have been the team of the tournament, but you knew if you play your best cricket, you have a chance."Earlier, Pat Cummins's decision to field, primarily to avoid operating with a dewy ball in the night, bemused many but Australian bowlers, aided by some superb fielding, stifled their opposition.India captain Rohit Sharma had been playing tone-setting knocks in their batting template in the tournament and it was no different in the final despite the early loss of Shubman Gill.Rohit smashed three sixes in his entertaining 47 but fell just before the end of powerplay.The opener stepped out against Glenn Maxwell but miscued his shot on the offside. Head ran backwards from cover to take a tumbling catch to get rid of the India captain.Kohli (54) hit Mitchell Starc (3-55) for three boundaries in a row but India slumped to 81-3 in the 11th over when Cummins dismissed Shreyas Iyer caught behind.Kohli and Rahul (66) then combined in a dour rebuilding job even if it meant going 16.1 overs without a boundary.Kohli brought up his ninth 50-plus knock in 11 innings but soon departed after chopping a Cummins delivery on to his stumps.Rahul hit just one four in his half-century illustrating how difficult the pitch was for shot-makers like him.Australia wicketkeeper Josh Inglis took five catches, which is a record in a World Cup final.Australia, when they came out to bat, slumped to 47-3 seven overs into what had looked like a straight-forward chase for them.Mohammed Shami dismissed David Warner in his first over and Jasprit Bumrah removed Mitchell Marsh and Steve Smith in his successive overs to inject some excitement into the match.Player-of-the-match Head then combined with Labuschagne, who made 58 not out, to kill off the contest."What an amazing day! Just thrilled to be a part of it," said the opener who missed first half of the tournament with a broken hand."It was a great decision to bowl first and the wicket got better as the game went on."After a stellar knock that included 15 fours and four sixes, Head missed out on hitting the winning runs when he holed out to Gill with just two runs required for victory.That honour went to Glenn Maxwell, who ran two to seal their victory in front of a crestfallen Indian crowd, which had already seen the writing on the wall and started thinning out.The Australian cricketers stormed the field, rushing past their disconsolate Indian opponents.Rahul sank to his knees, while Mohammed Siraj was in tears after the sad end to their remarkable run in the tournament.Kohli, who was adjudged player-of-the-tournament for leading the run charts, sported a vacant look like most of his team mates."The result hasn't gone our way and we know that we were not good enough on the day, but I'm proud of the team," Rohit said."I thought when KL and Virat were batting, we were looking at 270-280 at that point but we kept losing wickets.""With 240 on the board, we wanted early wickets but credit to Travis Head and Marnus."They put us completely out of the game and I thought the wicket got better to bat under lights."
A second batch of tickets for the AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2023 will be available to the public as of 20 November. The announcement was made by the tournament’s Local Organising Committee (LOC) with just under two months to go until the tournament kicks off at the iconic Lusail Stadium.Fans can purchase tickets online through the tournament’s official ticketing website. Prices for group stage match tickets start at QR25. Ticket sales from Qatar, Saudi Arabia and India led the way during the first batch of tickets. A total of 51 matches are set to be played across stadiums between 12 January and 10 February, 2024.The overwhelming response to tickets in the first batch is reflective of Qatar’s standing in the world of football, as fans from across the world look forward to enjoying the beautiful game in Qatar’s state-of-the-art stadiums.Excitement in Qatar, across the region and beyond is building amongst fans. Twenty-four of Asia’s best teams will compete for glory in FIFA World Cup stadiums, in what will surely be a wonderful display of football. Beyond the pitch, fans will enjoy a festive like atmosphere where they will be treated to a memorable cultural experience.The AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2023 will be the first time where the competition will be played on FIFA World Cup stadiums. Seven of the nine stadiums selected for the tournament previously hosted matches during Qatar 2022. This includes the iconic Lusail Stadium, which will host both the opening and final matches. Qatar’s compact tournament means that the farthest distance between stadiums is 75kms. This means that fans and players alike can stay in one place of accommodation throughout the tournament.All stadiums will be equipped with accessible seating options to ensure that disabled fans can enjoy a barrier-free experience. This includes wheelchair accessible seating as well as seats for people with limited mobility. The LOC has also recruited a total of 6,000 volunteers to provide support across 20 functional areas.All match tickets for the AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2023 are digital and can be downloaded and presented on any mobile device. Hayya will not be a mandatory prerequisite to enter stadiums.For more information about the AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2023 one may visit http://asiancup2023.qa and follow @Qatar2023 on X, formerly known as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
Pramac Racing’s Jorge Martin stormed into Qatar Grand Prix sprint victory to cut Francesco Bagnaia’s world championship lead to seven points after the Ducati rider came fifth at the Lusail International Circuit yesterday.Martin, who started fifth on the grid, was at his aggressive best as he finished ahead of Gresini Racing’s Fabio Di Giannantonio while polesitter Luca Marini of VR46 Racing took the final place on the podium under the floodlights. Martin’s victory ensured that MotoGP will have back-to-back final round title deciders for the first time in history, with the season concluding in Valencia next weekend.Bagnaia seemed to be struggling with grip on his rear tyre and he could do nothing to catch up with the leaders, finishing behind Gresini’s Alex Marquez. “I felt I was going to be strong today. I was behind Marquez and Pecco (Bagnaia) and they’re amazing riders, but I had the pace,” Martin said after winning his eighth sprint of the season.“I thought and knew I could go fast. I felt I had the potential to win, but you never know how far a race will start. I felt good this weekend and now even better. The management of the rear tyre was important, which allowed me to catch up and overtake them. It was very important to win because we recovered points. Tomorrow will be the big day and we hope to do the same job,” the Spaniard said.Polesitter Marini led into turn one and Martin quickly moved up to third, but Bagnaia took his place to sit behind second-placed Marquez. Bagnaia and Martin had jostled for position from turn one and made contact a few times before the Pramac rider elbowed his fellow title contender out of the way to move up to third on the second lap.Di Giannantonio also took advantage to overtake the slower factory Ducati bike, leaving Bagnaia searching for answers as the top four pulled away. Martin quickly set his sights on Alex Marquez and Marini, taking the lead after two well-timed overtakes on one lap. Di Giannantonio did not back down either and the Gresini rider, who had set a lap record in qualifying that was later broken by Marini, overtook his Italian compatriot to put pressure on Martin.“I tried to push a lot to close the gap but they were faster than me today,” Marini said. “We need to find something for the race tomorrow, I was struggling for grip with the rear tyre. Every time there is no grip, Jorge does well. I tried to give my best to get on the podium, which is a fantastic result. “With two laps to go, Di Giannantonio was right on Martin’s tail but the Spaniard kept his cool to take the chequered flag. “Jorge was doing a great job in sectors two and three. Incredible race, I was pushing so hard to catch him,” Di Giannantonio said.Behind the podium, Alex Marquez was fourth ahead of Bagnaia, who only just kept Aprilia’s Maverick Vinales at bay. Brad Binder was seventh on the factory team KTM from Yamaha’s Fabio Quartararo and Tech3 GasGas rider Augusto Fernandez, while Pramac’s Johann Zarco missed the points in 10th. Marc Marquez slid to 11th after running on at Turn 1 when battling for the final points-paying positions in the closing stages. Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro and RNF’s Miguel Oliveira failed to finish after a lap-one tangle that also involved Ducati’s Enea Bastianini and Yamaha’s Franco Morbidelli.Marini takes pole fortoday’s Grand PrixEarlier, Bagnaia and Jorge Martin, qualified fourth and fifth for today’s Qatar Grand Prix, setting the tone for a white-knuckle ride. Italy’s Marini took his career-second pole position, pulverising the track record with his compatriot Giannantonio and Alex Marquez second and third.Frenchman Zarco recorded the fastest time in the first qualifying and ended up sixth after round two, taking his place on the second row. Honda’s former champion Marc Marquez hugged Bagnaia’s back wheel several times and took seventh place ahead of Maverick Vinales of Aprilia and Raul Fernandez of Aprilia-RNF.The Federation Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM) announced that Espargaro had dropped six places on the grid and received a 10,000 euro ($10,900) fine for hitting Franco Morbidelli’s helmet during Saturday’s free practice. In a statement, the FIM said the Spaniard’s sanction was due to “aggressive behaviour” and for having hit the Italian.Qatar GP Sprint Results1. Jorge Martin (ESP) Prima Pramac Racing; Time: 20m 52.634s; 2. Fabio Di Giannantonio ((ITA)) Gresini Racing +0.391; 3. Luca Marini ((ITA)) Mooney VR46 Ducati (GP22) +2.875s; 4. Alex Marquez (ESP) Gresini Ducati (GP22) +3.370s; 5. Francesco Bagnaia (ITA) Ducati Lenovo (GP23) +3.957s; 6. Maverick Vinales (ESP) Aprilia Racing (RS-GP23) +4.239s; 7. Brad Binder (RSA) Red Bull KTM (RC16) +5.761s; 8. Fabio Quartararo (FRA) Monster Yamaha (YZR-M1) +6.454s; 9. Augusto Fernandez (ESP) Tech3 GASGAS (RC16)* +8.285s; 10. Johann Zarco (FRA) Pramac Ducati (GP23) +8.314s; 11. Marc Marquez (ESP) Repsol Honda (RC213V) +9.596s; 12. Jack Miller (AUS) Red Bull KTM (RC16) +10.173s; 13. Marco Bezzecchi (ITA) Mooney VR46 Ducati (GP22) +10.646s; 14. Raul Fernandez (ESP) RNF Aprilia (RS-GP22) +11.117s; 15. Franco Morbidelli (ITA) Monster Yamaha (YZR-M1) +12.163s; 16. Pol Espargaro (ESP)Tech3 GASGAS (RC16) +12.745s; 17. Iker Lecuona (ESP) LCR Honda (RC213V) +19.285s; 18. Takaaki Nakagami JPN LCR Honda (RC213V) +26.238s; 19 Joan Mir (ESP) Repsol Honda (RC213V) +28.446s; 20. Enea Bastianini (ITA) Ducati Lenovo (GP23) +35.553sDid not finish: Aleix Espargaro (ESP)Aprilia Racing (RS-GP23); Miguel Oliveira POR RNF Aprilia (RS-GP22) DNF
Qatar riders sparkled on the second day of Jahez Showjumping League, organised by the Saudi Arabia Equestrian Federation with participation of 135 riders from 17 countries. Qatar’s Mohamed Khalifa al-Baker was crowned the champion in the 145cm class where Jordan’s Nosouh Kayali finished second while Thailand’s Jan Kabahorn clinched the third place. Qatar’s Faleh Suwaid al-Ajami claimed the first place in 130cm event ahead of Saudi Arabia’s Faisal Bakesri and Khalid al-Hadi, who occupied the second and third places respectively.
Australia are adamant they will be “ready for anything” India throw at them in the Cricket World Cup final after controversy hit the tournament in a ‘pitch switch’ row.India have been the form team of the World Cup, winning all 10 games on their way to today’s showpiece match in Ahmedabad.But there was controversy in the lead-up to their 70-run semi-final in over New Zealand in Mumbai after it emerged the game was being played on a Wankhede Stadium pitch already used twice before during the tournament rather than a freshly-prepared surface.“No doubt playing on your own wicket in your own country has some advantages,” Australia captain Pat Cummins told a pre-match press conference yesterday. “But we’ve played a lot of cricket over here.”“We’ll be ready in terms of anything they’ll throw at us...we’ll make sure we have some plans.”The pitch will be the same surface as the one on which India cruised to a seven-wicket pool win over Pakistan last month, when they dismissed their arch-rivals for just 191 after winning the toss.“My understanding is it’s going to be on the slower side,” said India captain Rohit Sharma.“But we have to assess what it is like tomorrow,” he added, pointing out that while there had been dew on the ground ahead of the Pakistan game, none appeared during the match itself.“That’s why I keep saying the toss is not going to be a factor, you’ve got to play well to win the game regardless of how well you know the conditions.”A used pitch had no major bearing on the Mumbai semi-final, with more than 700 runs scored in the game. Cummins, asked if he had already seen the pitch for the final, replied: “Yeah, just had a look. It looked pretty firm...I think Pakistan played someone there!”Used pitches generally favour spinners, with slow bowling a key component of a five-man India attack where Kuldeep Yadav and Ravindra Jadeja are expected to bowl 20 of their 50 overs on Sunday. Australia have already won the World Cup a record five times and 30-year-old fast bowler Cummins, a member of the victorious 2015 side, was excited by having the opportunity to emulate the likes of Steve Waugh and Ricky Ponting by leading the team to another triumph.“It would be huge,” he said. “We were all kids not too long ago, watching some of those great teams win the 1999, 2003, 2007 World Cups.”He added: “To be captain would be an absolute privilege...it’d be awesome. “It (the World Cup) has got the longest history of a world event where all the teams compete. You only get a shot at it every four years. So even if you have a long career, you might only play in two of these events. 2015 is still a career highlight for me, but I think tomorrow, if we win, might pip it.”Rohit yesterday said his players understand the pressure of being Indian cricketers and remain “calm and composed” for the final.“Leading up to every game we have been quite composed, quite calm about what we want to do, because we know how it is outside the environment we have,” Rohit told reporters. “The expectations and the pressure, criticism and everything, so it’s important we stick to our strength and what we want to do as a team.”“Inside what they (players) feel I can’t tell you, but when they are around the group, everybody seems to be quite relaxed and calm. Being an Indian cricketer you have deal with pressure, that’s a given, it’s there.”India last won the World Cup in 2011 at home under MS Dhoni with the cricket crazy-country erupting in joy as thousands took to the streets to celebrate.Two years later, Dhoni led India to the 2013 Champions Trophy, but the cricketing powerhouse faltered at the World Cup semi-final stage in 2015 and 2019.This time around, Rohit’s team has lived up to their billing of pre-tournament favourites with a perfect showing in the league stage and then a 70-run win over New Zealand in the semi-final.“Emotionally it’s a big thing, a big occasion,” said 36-year-old Rohit. “So along with me, all the other 10 players who will play on the ground tomorrow, their focus will be more on their work for the team, rather than thinking about, this is the biggest moment of my life.”Fellow cricket superpower Australia are into their eighth World Cup final. They have won eight matches on the bounce after two opening losses, including a six-wicket defeat to India after they were bowled out for just 199.“They’ve won eight out of eight and they played it really well. So, it’s going to be a good contest,” said Rohit.“Both teams deserve to be at this stage playing the finals and we understand the importance of what Australia can do. They are a very complete side and for us again what is important is to focus on what we want to do as a team.”Rohit he wants to win the title for coach Rahul Dravid who was part of the India team which suffered a crushing 125-run defeat at the hands of Australia in the 2003 World Cup final in Johannesburg.In 2007, India failed to qualify for the knockout stages when Dravid was captain. “His role has been absolutely massive,” said Rohit. “Clearly, looking at how Rahul himself has played his cricket and how I am playing these days, obviously it’s quite contrasting.“For him to agree and give me that freedom and liberty to go and play the way we want to play, that says a lot about him. Obviously, what he has done for Indian cricket is massive. And he also feels that he wants to be part of this big occasion. And it’s for us to do it for him.”
Al Shaqab Racing’s homebred Aajel won the Lekhraib Cup in the first race meeting of the Qatar Racing and Equestrian Club’s (QREC) racing calendar at Al Uqda Complex in Al Khor yesterday.In a thrilling finish, Aajel held on to win the feature of the day, the 2200m handicap (85-105) for Purebred Arabians by a neck under jockey Kyllan Barbaud, completing a double on the day for trainer Jean de Mieulle. De Mieulle was in the winners’ enclosure earlier in the day also when Al Shaqab Racing’s Anasheed won the 1400m Purebred Arabian Maiden Plate race for three-six-year-old. Jockey Chloe Mignonneau guided Anasheed to win by one and a half lengths.In the penultimate race of the day, Mohamed Nasser al-Naimi’s Akmar won the 2100m Purebred Arabian Handicap (65-85) for three-year-old+ race by a margin of one length and three quarters.The pair of trainer MHK al-Attiyah and jockey Szczepan Mazur combined well to seal trebles with triumphs for Inzan, AJS Haizum and AJS Jassas. Abdulla Rashid al-Kubaisi, QREC Racing Manager, crowned the winner.RESULTS1st Al Uqda Meeting - Lekhraib Cup Day WINNERS: (Horse, Trainer, Jockey) 1 - Lekhraib Cup, Purebred Arabian Handicap (85-105), 3YO+Aajel, Jean de Mieulle, Kyllan Barbaud2 - Purebred Arabian Handicap (65-85), 3YO+Akmar, Hadi al-Ramzani, Ebrahim Nader3 - Thoroughbred Handicap (60-80), 3YO+Inzan, MHK al-Attiyah, Szczepan Mazur4 - Local Purebred Arabian Handicap (60-80), 3YO+AJS Haizum, MHK al-Attiyah, Szczepan Mazur5 - Thoroughbred Handicap (0-70), 3YO+Flirty Rascal, Al Anoud Khalifa al-Malki, Saleh Salem al-Marri6 - Local Thoroughbred Handicap (35-55), 3YO+Mutamarrid, Jihad El Ahmad, Giuseppe Cultratro7 - Purebred Arabian Maiden Plate, 3-6YOsAnasheed, Jean de Mieulle, Chloe Mignonneau8 - Local Purebred Arabian Maiden Plate, 3-6YOsAJS Jassas, MHK al-Attiyah, Szczepan Mazur
The Al Shaqab International Arabian Horse Show held under the esteemed patronage of HE Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad al-Thani, President of the Qatar Olympic Committee and Chairman of Al Shaqab, concluded with a resounding success yesterday. Organised by Al Shaqab, a member of Qatar Foundation, the event held over two days at the magnificent Longines Arena Al Shaqab embodied a significant milestone for the Arabian Show Horse industry in Qatar and the wider region. The eye-catching show featured more than 250 of the finest purebred Arabians horses from Qatar and abroad.The show, which was witnessed by a packed crowd, not only showcased the beauty and grace of purebred Arabian horses but also celebrated the traditional and cultural significance of owning these magnificent creatures, reflecting the deep-seated love for Arabian horses in the community.On the final day of the event, Abdullateef Basheer Reja Alrasheedi’s Bashir Al Bashir claimed the top honours in the Senior Stallions Championship. Badi Athbah, owned by Al Jazeel Stud, was second with Aladeed Stud’s Falah Al Shaqab taking the third place.DA Magic Moment owned by Nasser Mohamed M A al-Hajri won the Senior Mares Championship. Al Thamer Stud’s AJ Sara took the second place, followed by Al Hamad Stud’s E.M Queen Desert.The Junior Colts Championship was won by Bahi Al Jaham, which is owned by Al Jaham Stud. Hamad bin Mohamed al-Rajhi/Al Rajhiah Stud’s Alsultan RJ was second, followed by Sons Mubark Hindi al-Khaldi/Alkhawolid Stud’s Dawood Al Muawd.Majed Mohamed A. Alnukhaysh’s Shmooa Al Enaya won the Shmooa Al Enaya ahead of Mzoon Al Diriyah, owned by Mesfer Mohamed M A al-Hajri. Sab’ah Al Shahania of HE Sheikha Iman Mohamed K H al-Thani finished third.The inaugural edition of the show boasted an esteemed panel of judges who brought their expertise to evaluate and appreciate the prowess of these equestrian teams, adding an extra layer of excitement to the competition.Al Shaqab International Arabian Horse Show is classified as a B show by the European Conference of Arab Horse Organisations (ECAHO), allowing winning horses to qualify for international shows of higher classification.Results (Top 3)Mares 4-6 Years Old (Class 7): 1. E.M Queen Desert; 2. AJ Sara; 3. Minerva SBAMares 7-10 Years Old (Class 8): 1. D Fala; 2. Bint Sultan; 3. Arwa Al NasserMares 11+ Years Old Class 9: 1. Da Magic Moment; 2. HS Miesque; 3. LamanaStallions 4-6 Years Old (Class 10): 1. Bashir Al Bashir; 2. Karim Alkhaled; 3. Muhab BHMStallions 7+ Years Old Class 11 & 12 merged: 1. Badi Athbah; 2. Falah Al Shaqab; 3. D JaleelYearling Fillies Championship: 1. Farida Mudhar; 2. Hariryah Al Nasser; 3. Rahaf MudharYearling Colts Championship: 1. Hamza Al Shahania; 2. Magnums Ramses SH; 3. Baheer Al ShaqabJunior Fillies Championship: 1. Shmooa Al Enaya; 2. Mzoon Al Diriyah; 3. Sab’ah Al ShahaniaJunior Colts Championship: 1. Bahi Al Jaham; 2. Alsultan RJ; 3. Dawood Al MuawdSenior Mares Championship; 1. DA Magic Moment; 2. AJ Sara; 3. E. M. Queen DesertSenior Stallions Championship: 1, Bashir Al Bashir; 2. Badi Athbah; 3. Falah Al Shaqab
In the midst of intense competition and breath-taking duels, the first round of the Qatar Drag Racing Championship for the season concluded on Saturday.The championship, held under the gracious patronage of HE Sheikh Khalid bin Hamad al-Thani, the chairman of the Qatar Racing Club, witnessed record participation with 138 racers across the fifteen categories. The top qualifiers in 11 categories secured their places in the final races, claiming victory.One notable instance was in the new category introduced this year, the Eight Cylinder Pro category. Majed al-Sharshani, who topped the qualifying sessions, clinched the title by defeating Ahmed al-Emadi in the final showdown. Abdullah Ali secured the third position.In a similar fashion, the Super Stock category saw Ahmed al-Emadi emerge victorious over last season’s champion, Nawaf al-Ansari, who settled for second place. Meanwhile, Mohamed al-Nabit claimed the third position in this category.Four categories of the current season witnessed the reigning champions clinching the title in the first round to kick off their title defense in an optimal manner. The first of these categories was the 4 Cylinder Modified, where Waseem Agha managed to overcome Bahraini racer Mahmoud Ali Abbas in the final showdown, with the third place going to Abdulaziz al-Hajjar. The same scenario repeated in the truck competitions, both in the Stock and Modified categories. The defending champion in the Stock category, Abdullah al-Hamadi, secured the title of this round by defeating his competitor Mahmoud Diab in the final face-off, while the third place went to Faisal Mohamed.In the Modified category, title holder Khalifa al-Khalaf surpassed his rival Saeed al-Madahka in the final. Abdulaziz Saqr came third.The last of the categories that saw the titleholder’s victory was the Real Street Bike category. Dawood al-Sharshani triumphed in the final race of this category against his compatriot Youssef Ali Karam, while the third place on the podium went to Shahed Muneer.On the other hand, the Super Street category witnessed strong surprises, as Khaled Al-Sultan, with the second-best time in this round, climbed to the top spot on the podium after his victory in the final face-off against the fastest qualifier, Badr al-Sharshani.The latter faced issues that led him to settle for the second podium position, while Hamad al-Muftah, who finished third, completed the podium.The same scenario was repeated in the 6 Cylinder Modified category, with the fourth-place qualifier in the qualifying trials, Hassan Al-Hamar, winning the title.He defeated the trials’ leader, Rashid al-Jhani, in the final, while the third place went to Ali al-Jhani. Walid Salim won the eight-cylinder engine-equipped cars, the modified category. Badr al-Khalaf came second, while Fahad al-Raisi finished third.In the stock category, Ali Azm followed a similar path, dominating the qualifying trials and securing the title by defeating Akram al-Rashidi in the final. The third-place podium went to Ibrahimal-Muntafiqi.As for the first-round titles in the 6-cylinder stock and 4-cylinder stock categories, Hamad al-Mansour and Marc Frederic Seguy claimed victory in their respective final matches against Mohamed Saeed and Armando Austria, who settled for second place in each category.The third position in both categories was secured by Amr Abdullah and Cristiano Sarmiento, respectively.The title for the stock motorcycle category was decided in favor of Shahid Muneer, who topped the qualifying trials, faced off in the final, and defeated Mohamed al-Daroish. Hamad al-Muhannadi secured the third position in the competition.”With the increase in the number of championship categories to 15 this year, the organizing committee decided to conduct the elimination competitions for the ET categories for cars and bikes (which witnessed the largest number of participants) on Thursday.The awards ceremony for cars saw Yousif Abu Daya clinching the first place, while the second place went to Rafael alvaran, and the third to Regi Kansani.In the bike category, the top three spots were secured by Osama Wahid (first), Ouzair Ismail (second) and Kazem Sadeqi (third). HE Sheikh Jabor bin Khalid al-Thani, the Director of Qatar Racing Club, crowned the top three winners.