Qatar tasted mixed fortunes at the Hangzhou Asian Games on Monday. The beach volleyball pair Ahmed Tijan & Cherif Younousse cruised into the semi-finals but the volleyball team’s gold medal hopes were cut short ruthlessly by Iran.Tijan and Younousse, the defending champions and bronze medallists at the Tokyo Olympics, had a comfortable 21-17, 21-9 win over Iran’s Bahman Salemi and Sina Shoukati 21-17, 21-19 at Ningbo Banbianshan Beach Volleyball Centre in the quarter-finals.The Qatari duo will meet Kazakhstan’s Sergey Bogatu and Dmitriy Yakovlev on Tuesday in the semi-finals, which is scheduled at 12pm Qatar time.But the spikers were in for a rude awakening on Monday, as the two-time defending champions Iran swept past them 3-0 (25-20, 25-20 and 25-22) at the Linping Sports Centre. Iran’s Amirhossein Esfandiar had 14 kills, two blocks and three aces to top the scoring chart with 19 points. Iran reaped 41 points from attacking, compared to 32 for Qatar. Iran, who will meet China in the final, also led in aces at six to Qatar’s one. FIVB Challenger Cup silver medallists Qatar still will have a shot at a medal though as they face off against World No. 3 Japan in the bronze medal play off. The second string Japan side slumped to a straight-sets loss to China 25-15, 25-20, 25-21.There was disappointment elsewhere as Qatar swimmers, shooters and tennis players put up below-par performances, while Judoka Khalil Rebahi was knocked out in the last 16 by South Korea’s Joonhwan Lee 10-0. In the 10m Running Target, Mohamed Haq finished 15th while Mohamed Abouteama was 17th out of 18 competitors. In the 25m Rapid Fire Pistol Men’s qualification, Abdullah al-Obaidli shot 545 to finish in 27th place.Shooters in action on Tuesday as Al-Attiyah guns for goldOn Tuesday, London Olympics bronze medallist Nasser Saleh al-Attiyah will be in action in the skeet event along with his fellow shooters Rashid al-Athba and Masoud al-Athba. Al-Attiyah was optimistic of returning with a medal, with the final of the skeet event slated for tomorrow. Al-Attiyah has won two gold medals in team skeet at the 2002 Busan and 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games. The 52-year-old – also a rally legend – now wants to clinch his third gold in Hangzhou.“The competition will be strong, and the most prominent competitors are Kuwait, China and Chinese Taipei. But we are strong at the team level and we hope that we will be successful,” said al-Attiyah on Monday.“The weather seems to fluctuate between humidity and rain, but that will not affect the focus of our team members,” he added.The women’s shooters will also be in action on Monday. Reem al-Sharshani, Sarah Ghulam, and Hajar Ghulam will hope for a medal in the skeet event, while Noora al-Mutawa and Nasra Mohamed are competing in the 25m pistol. In the 10m Air Rifle Mixed Team event, Ali al-Muhannadi and Matara al-Aseiri carry Qatar’s hopes.Meanwhile, Abdulla al-Tamimi is targeting a medal as he spearheads Qatar’s squash team’s challenge. They face Pakistan and India in their Group A matches on Monday. “It has always been a dream of mine to stand on the podium at the Asian Games. I have worked hard over the past few years and I hope to make everyone in Qatar proud,” al-Tamimi, who reached a career-high 17 on the world rankings before injury cut short his season last year.The basketball team faces a tough opening fixture against Japan on Monday. Qatar are in Group D in basketball, with South Korea and Indonesia their other opponents. The 3x3 basketball team begins its campaign on Monday by facing Thailand, with matches against Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan slated in the coming days.Tomorrow, Qatar’s U-23 football team will face off against China in the last 16 match.The Al Annabi were poor in the group stages, losing to Japan and were held by Palestine, but have managed to squeeze through to the knockout stage.
The Public Works Authority (Ashghal) has completed the development of the Lusail International Circuit’s race track along with the main buildings, grandstands and infrastructure, it was announced yesterday.The country is making final preparations to host Formula 1 Qatar Grand Prix competitions from October 6- 8. The 5.38km race track has 16 turns.Engineer Youssef al-Emadi, Projects Affairs director, said Ashghal has contributed once again in paving the way for hosting one of the most prominent sporting events in the world this year. “This is a new achievement added to Qatar’s track record of hosting the biggest international sporting events,” he noted, while explaining that the development works were completed within just seven months in accordance with the highest international specifications and the precise requirements of Formula 1.Abdulrahman bin Abdullatif al-Mannai, president of Qatar Motor and Motorcycle Federation and president of Lusail International Circuit, said the comprehensive renovation qualifies it to host the most important local and international competitions.Engineer Saoud al-Tamimi, manager of the Roads Projects Department, said the project includes works to develop intersections and surrounding roads with a total length of 21 km.Engineer Jarallah al-Marri, manager of the Buildings Projects Department, said new buildings were constructed and facilities accompanying the circuit developed over a total area estimated at 100,000 sq m. “A larger fan zone was provided, and 5-star VIP areas were added, and the capacity of the grandstands and parking lots increased,” he said.Engineer Hamad al-Bader, acting assistant manager of the Buildings Projects Department and the project manager, said the project aimed to develop the racetrack and upgrade the Circuit’s facilities and infrastructure.Engineer Ahmed Abu Nahia, the project manager, along with the work team expressed happiness with the completion of this important project through great cooperation and coordination among government entities.The Lusail International Circuit now has new sidewalks, barriers and safety elements, lighting systems, and landscaping works around the track. Additionally, 85 external electronic screens have been installed, with a total area of 6,848 sq m. Works also included the construction of three tunnels south and north of the Circuit and a pedestrian tunnel.The track has been initially approved by Formula 1, the International Automobile Federation (FIA) and the International Motorcycle Federation (FIM), with the final approval of the track to take place at the beginning of October.Engineer Fatma al-Abdulmalek, project engineer in the Buildings Projects Department, said about 15,000 indoor and outdoor parking spaces are provided. These included VIP parking, in addition to increasing the circuit’s capacity to 40,000 spectators including the main and temporary grandstands, the guest grandstand, the preparation building grandstand, and the natural grandstand (Lusail Hill), a high hill from which spectators can watch the race, along with a group of viewing stands around the circuit. As much as 180,000 sq m of green spaces were also implemented.The works of the Lusail International Circuit’s Academy (Qatar Motor Sports Academy) are currently being implemented and scheduled to be completed in November 2023. Service roads being constructed to serve urban growth in the area are expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2024.Engineer Ahmed Abu Nahia said the project included the installation of many complex and heavy steel structures, each of which had its own challenges.Constructing the VVIP building’s canopy, according to him, was the most difficult task in the project, as it has a diametre of 60m and a total weight of 330 tonnes. Installing the canopy of Al Majlis building as a single piece, weighing 68 tonnes was another challenge as it required the use of a 400-tonne crawler crane. This task required careful coordination and a specialised work team with high skills.The project included the implementation of several huge steel canopies throughout the circuit to add an aesthetic appearance to the open areas, including the paddock area. A canopy equipped with a giant screen was built for the escalator of the race car preparation building (PIT). The VIP hospitality platform in the PIT building also featured a uniquely designed spiral staircase surrounded by V-shaped steel columns, and a large steel platform overlooking the circuit’s starting line.The project also included a workshop building which was built entirely from steel pieces, with an area of 2,470 sq m and a height of 14 m in addition to the steel structures to install giant screens in various areas.
Darwin Nunez has made big strides in his second season at Liverpool, manager Juergen Klopp said on Sunday after the Uruguayan striker scored in their 3-1 Premier League win over West Ham United.The 24-year-old has scored 12 goals and registered four assists in 35 league appearances since being signed from Portuguese club Benfica last year for an initial fee of €75mn ($79.85mn).After struggling in front of goal in his debut campaign at the club, Nunez has netted three goals and provided one assist in his six league appearances so far this season. He also had a goal and an assist in Liverpool’s 3-1 win over LASK in the Europa League on Thursday. “Massive steps in the last few weeks. He is a threat,” Klopp said. “He was always available for us; it is super-important for us that we have now - I am not sure it’s the right word - a ball player.“The defensive work he puts in now, that’s probably the main difference. He always wanted, but it was less coordinated. Now that looks much better and we found a way how we can do it around him.”Liverpool are unbeaten in their league and are in second place, two points behind Manchester City. They next host Championship side Leicester City in the League Cup tomorrow, followed by a league visit to fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday.
The State of Qatar strongly condemned the tearing of copies of the Holy Quran in front of a number of countries' embassies in the Dutch city of The Hague, considering this vile incident as a planned act of incitement and a serious provocation intended to stir up public opinion and inflame the feelings of Muslims.In a statement on Sunday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs warned that allowing infringement of the Holy Quran under the pretext of freedom of expression fuels hatred and violence and threatens peaceful coexistence.The Ministry stressed the State of Qatar's complete rejection of all forms of hate speech based on belief, race, or religion, and also warned that hate campaigns against Islam and Islamophobic speech have witnessed a dangerous escalation with the continued systematic calls to repeatedly target Muslims in the world.The Ministry renewed the State of Qatar's full support for the values of tolerance and its keenness to establish the principles of international peace and security through dialogue and understanding. (QNA)
The Arab and international media followed with great interest the speech delivered by HH the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani at the opening session of the 78th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA 78), held Tuesday in New York City, USA, as large portion of their news coverage were devoted to it.The media also highlighted the Arab and international issues included in the speech, focusing on HHs statement that the State of Qatar continues to adhere to the principled position on the justice of the Palestinian issue, which has become a test of the credibility of the worlds politicians towards the Middle East.Under the title: Qatar's Amir Vows to Continue Efforts to Promote Peace, the Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) referred to HH the Amirs reaffirmation of "the importance of resolving disputes with peaceful means," declaring his country's commitment to continuing efforts to facilitating and making peace.KUNA added that HH the Amir said that this matter constitutes a "firm commitment deeply rooted in the core of our foreign policy," explaining that "responsibility also prompts the State to strengthen its role in providing humanitarian aid, exerting mediation efforts and resolving conflicts that affect our region."KUNA explained that HH the Amir affirmed that Qatar "continues its adherence to the firm stance regarding the fairness of this cause, which has become a credibility test for world politicians in relation to the Middle East region," adding that "Qatar provides political, humanitarian and developmental support to the brotherly Palestinian people and contributes to the rebuilding of the Gaza Strip which is reeling under the siege, in addition to its continuous contribution to UNRWA funds."The Jordan News Agency (Petra) reported that HH the Amir said that the Palestinian cause became "a credibility test for world politicians in relation to the Middle East region," adding that Qatar, "continues its adherence to the firm stance regarding the fairness of this cause," and "provides political, humanitarian and development support to the brotherly Palestinian people and contributes towards rebuilding the Gaza Strip which is reeling under the siege, in addition to its continuous contribution to UNRWA funds."The Algeria Press Service also noted HH the Amir's statements on the Palestinian issue and how it is not acceptable for the Palestinian people to remain prisoners of the Israeli settler occupation arbitrariness, and the rejection of any just political solution, pointing out that the "the failure of the international organization to take actions against the occupation provided and continues to provide the opportunity for Israel to undermine the foundations of the two-state solution by means of settlement expansion until the occupation has brazenly taken the form of an apartheid regime in the broad daylight."Turkiye's Anadolu Agency noted HH the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani's call to support the Palestinian people to find a just political solution in addition to stopping the fighting in Sudan that has been raging for five months.The Agency also highlighted HH the Amir's response to the incidents of burning copies of the Holy Qur'an in a number of European countries, where he said "I would say to my Muslim brethren that it is implausible for us to get distracted by an idiot or a biased person whenever it occurs to him to provoke us by burning the Holy Qur'an or by other forms of triviality. The Qur'an is too Holy to be desecrated by a witless person," adding that "I would say to all those who seek to justify these hideous acts as freedom of expression: compromising the sanctity of others deliberately should not be seen as an example of the freedom of expression."In a related context, many visual media outlets followed the speech of HH the Amir at the UNGA.A report by Oman TV, which was covering the speeches delivered by world leaders at the UNGA, stated that the speech of HH the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani included a call of solidarity and efforts for a safer and more stable world, pointing out to HH the Amir's speech where he said, "if we truthfully constitute an international community, and not a merely diverse entities, it must be our duty to strive towards ending the injustice afflicting them, at least in accordance with what is required by the resolutions of this body, and entailed by international law. It is not acceptable for the Palestinian people to remain prisoners of the Israeli settler occupation arbitrariness, and the rejection of any just political solution in accordance with the principles of international legitimacy by successive Israeli governments. You have to bear in mind that the failure of the international organization to take actions against the occupation provided and continues to provide the opportunity for Israel to undermine the foundations of the two-state solution by means of settlement expansion."The Lebanese Al-Jadeed TV quoted in its news bulletin an excerpt from HH the Amir's speech, noting that the Amir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani stressed in his speech the necessity of finding a sustainable solution to the political vacuum in Lebanon and introducing mechanisms to prevent it from recurring.HH the Amir's speech received the attention of Turkish channel TRT Arabic, which stated in its report that the Amir of the State of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani pointed that the peoples on earth are living in two different eras due to the contradiction between scientific and technological development and the spread of famines and wars that have exacerbated the migration crisis.The report, which appeared in the news bulletin, quoted part of HH the Amir's speech in which he said,"in areas such as genetics and artificial intelligence, the possibilities for realizing the well-being of all humanity are increasing. But the gap between possibility and reality is also widening. However, as these possibilities are unfolding in the same era, there are peoples who are grappling with child labor, starvation, unemployment, and civil wars, while developed countries guard their borders against the influx of refugees fleeing this suffering." (QNA)
Doha will host its next year’s Diamond League (DL) meeting on May 10 following back-to-back legs in China, according to the calendar released by the world governing body IAAF on Monday.The 2024 Diamond League calendar will begin in Xiamen on April 20 and finish at the two-day season finale in Brussels on September 13-14th.After a historic season came to a dramatic climax in Eugene earlier this month, athletes and fans can now set their sights on the 2024 Diamond League season.The 2024 calendar will feature 15 of the most prestigious one-day meetings in global track and field.As in previous years, athletes will compete for points at 14 series meetings, with the most successful in each discipline qualifying for the Wanda Diamond League Final at the end of the season.The season will begin with a Chinese double bill, with meetings in Xiamen on 20th April and Shanghai on 27th April.Following meetings in Doha, Rabat and Eugene, the series will then head to Oslo and Stockholm for the first European meetings on May 30th and June 2nd.In July, meetings in Paris, Monaco and London will give athletes the chance to prepare for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. After the Olympics, there will be four more chances to earn points in Lausanne, Silesia, Rome and Zurich before the season finale on September 13th-14th.The 2024 season will see the Wanda Diamond League Final return to Brussels for the first time since 2019, with all 32 Diamond League champions set to be crowned over one weekend at the Allianz Memorial Van Damme.Diamond League calendar:The 2024 season20 April: Xiamen, China27 April: Shanghai, China10 May: Doha, Qatar19 May: Rabat, Morocco25 May: Eugene, USA30 May: Oslo, Norway2 June: Stockholm, Sweden7 July: Paris, France12 July: Monte Carlo, Monaco20 July: London, Great Britain22 August: Lausanne, Switzerland25 August: Silesia, Poland29 August: Rome, Italy5 September: Zurich, Switzerland13 & 14 Septmeber: Brussels, Belgium - Diamond League Final