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FINCH BECOMES FIRST PLAYER IN T20Is TO REACH 900-POINT MARK

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  • Pakistan Opener Fakhar Zaman vaults 44 places to second in latest player rankings
  • KL Rahul is now India’s highest-ranked batsman in third position; Zimbabwe’s Solomon Mire claims 25th spot after rocketing 202 places
  • Bowlers Andrew Tye, Adil Rashid, Liam Plunkett, David Willey and Billy Stanlake break into the top-20 after achieving career-high rankings
  • Australia and nine highest-ranked sides on the MRF Tyres ICC T20I Team Rankings as on 31 December 2018 will qualify directly for the ICC Men’s World T20 2020

Australia opener Aaron Finch became the first player in the history of Twenty20 Internationals to break the 900-point mark as he moved up three places to finish the tri-series in Harare against Pakistan and Zimbabwe as the top-ranked batsman in the shortest format of the game.

Finch, who captained Australia to the final, had touched the 900-point mark following his record-breaking knock of 172 (76b, 10×6, 16×4) against Zimbabwe in Harare on 3 July. The 31-year-old from Victoria eventually finished the T20Is (also comprising a one-off against England at Edgbaston) in number-one position on 891 points.

Finch had started the T20Is in fourth position on 763 points and a tour aggregate of 391 runs not only helped him leapfrog Babar Azam, Colin Munro and Glen Maxwell, but also earned him 128 points.

In the latest player rankings, which also takes into account India’s 2-0 and 2-1 series win against Ireland and England, respectively, Finch leads Pakistan’s left-handed opener Fakhar Zaman by 45 points.

Like Finch, Fakhar was in stellar form in Harare, when he totaled 278 runs in the series, including a match-winning 91 against Australia after Pakistan had slumped to two for two after being set a victory target of 184.

Fakhar’s string of good scores, that also included knocks of 61, six, 47 and 73, have helped him vault 44 places to claim second position. He has now become Pakistan’s highest-ranked batsman after Babar Azam slipped from first to fifth due to his absence because of an injury.

India’s KL Rahul’s scores of 70, 101 not out, six and 19 have made him India’s highest-ranked batsman after he moved up nine places to a career-high third position. Rohit Sharma in 11th rank (up by two places) and captain Virat Kohli in 12th rank (down by four places) are the next highest-ranked India batsmen.

Australia’s D’Arcy Short, Jason Roy of England and Solomon Mire have also achieved career-best rankings following the latest update.

Short has broken into the top-10 for the first time in his career in 10th position, moving up 18 places. Roy has gained 19 places and is now in 15th spot, while Mire has rocketed 202 places to claim 25th position – seven places behind Hamilton Masakadza.

In the bowling table, Rashid Khan of Afghanistan and Shadab Khan of Pakistan have retained the top two positions, but there have been a number of movements down the order with Australia’s Andrew Tye and Billy Stanlake, and England’s trio of Adil Rashid, Liam Plunkett and David Willey achieving career-high rankings.

Tye has risen 41 places to seventh in the latest rankings after taking 12 wickets in Harare, Rashid has claimed ninth position after moving up four places, Plunkett has gained 14 places and is now in 11th spot, Willey has risen 12 places to 15th and Stanlake’s seven wickets have given him a leap of 60 places that has put him in 19th position.

Other bowlers to head in the right direction include Mohammad Amir (12th, up by six places), Hardik Pandya (29th, up by five places), Mohammad Nawaz (32nd, up by nine places), Faheem Ashraf (33rd, up by 21 places), Kuldeep Yadav (34th, up by 41 places) and Ashton Agar (45th, up by 39 places).

There is no change in the top three all-rounders, with Maxwell leading the field. Afghanistan’s Mohammad Nabi is second, while Shakib Al Hasan of Bangladesh is third.

Meanwhile, in the MRF Tyres ICC T20I Team Rankings, Pakistan have retained the top position with their tri-series victory while India have overtaken Australia to take second place after clinching their three-match series against England 2-1. The top three sides are now separated by 10 points, while three points separate fourth-ranked England and seventh-ranked West Indies.

Team rankings remain crucial as Australia plus the next nine highest-ranked sides will qualify directly for the 16-team ICC Men’s World T20 2020 in Australia. The remaining six sides will qualify from the 14-team ICC Men’s World T20 Qualifier 2019, which will be participated in by the six sides from the ICC World T20 2016, which are not in the Top 10 of the MRF Tyres ICC T20I Team Rankings as on 31 December 2018, alongside the eight qualifiers from the regional finals.

MRF Tyres ICC T20I Team Rankings (as of 9 July):

Rank    Team                Points

1         Pakistan           132 (+1)

2         India                 124 (+1)

3         Australia            122 (-4)

4         England            117 (+2)

5         New Zealand    116

6         South Africa      114

7         Windies            114

8         Afghanistan      91

9         Sri Lanka          85

10         Bangladesh       70

11         Scotland           62

12         Zimbabwe         56

13         UAE                  51

14         Netherlands       50

15         Hong Kong       42

16         Oman               39

17         Ireland              35 (+1)

*Nepal have 26 rating points but need to play one more match before being ranked

MRF Tyres ICC T20I Player Rankings (as of 9 July):

Batsmen (top 20)

Rank      (+/-)         Player                    Team     Pts         Avge      S/R        Highest Rating

1          (+3)         Aaron Finch          Aus         891        45.60      162         900 v Zim at Harare 2018

2          (+44)      Fakhar Zaman     Pak         842!       30.76      144         842 v Aus at Harare 2018

3          (+9)         Lokesh Rahul       Ind          812        49.71      155         854 v Eng at Old Trafford 2018

4          (-2)          Colin Munro          NZ           801        33.51      164         805 v Pak at Wellington 2018

5          (-4)          Babar Azam          Pak         765        53.00      127         881 v Win at Karachi 2018

6          (-3)          Glenn Maxwell     Aus         761        32.94      163         801 v NZ at Auckland 2018

7          (-2)          Evin Lewis            Win         753*      37.57      160         780 v Eng at Durham 2017

8          (-2)          Martin Guptill        NZ           747        34.40      133         793 v SA at Hamilton 2012

9          (-2)          Alex Hales            Eng         710        32.67      136         866 v Ind at Edgbaston 2014

10         (+18)      D’Arcy Short          Aus         690*!     41.88      132         690 v Pak at Harare 2018

11         (+2)         Rohit Sharma       Ind          678        32.59      137         681 v Ban at Mirpur 2016

12         (-4)          Virat Kohli             Ind          671        48.88      136         897 v Eng at Edgbaston 2014

13         (-4)          M. Shahzad          Afg          659        31.76      135         706 v Ire at Greater Noida 2017

14         (-3)          Hashim Amla       SA           643        34.51      133         683 v Ban at Potchefstroom 2017

15         (+19)      Jason Roy             Eng         641!       21.74      142         641 v Ind at Bristol 2018

16         (-2)          Kane Williamson NZ           634        31.33      121         760 v Ban at Napier 2017

17         (+9)         Jos Buttler             Eng         614!       27.10      138         614 v Ind at Bristol 2018

18         (-8)          H. Masakadza      Zim         610        27.66      117         699 v Ban at Khulna 2016

19         (-1)          Kusal Perera         SL           608        30.00      138         751 v SA at Chittagong 2014

20         (-4)          Eoin Morgan         Eng         596        28.71      132         872 v Ind at Old Trafford 2011

Bowlers (top 20)

Rank      (+/-)         Player                    Team     Pts         Avge      Eco       Highest Rating

1          ( – )          Rashid Khan         Afg          813        13.01      5.93       816 v Ban at Dehradun 2018

2          ( – )          Shadab Khan       Pak         723        18.00      6.72       769 v Sco at Edinburgh 2018

3          (+1)         Ish Sodhi               NZ           700        19.33      7.43       739 v Pak at Wellington 2018

4          (-1)          Y. Chahal              Ind          685        18.97      7.85       706 v Ban at Colombo (RPS) 2018

5          ( – )          Samuel Badree    Win         674        19.78      6.05       855 v Pak at Mirpur 2014

6          ( – )          Mitchell Santner   NZ           665        21.37      7.14       731 v Pak at Wellington 2018

7          (+41)      Andrew Tye           Aus         658!       20.89      8.70       658 v Pak at Harare 2018

8          (-1)          Imran Tahir           SA           650        15.85      6.80       795 v NZ at Auckland 2017

9          (+4)         Adil Rashid            Eng         639        28.82      7.68       640 v Ind at Cardiff 2018

10         (-2)          Mohammad Nabi Afg          638!       24.20      7.09       638 v Ban at Dehradun 2018

11         (+14)      Liam Plunkett       Eng         628        25.04      7.81       644 v Ind at Cardiff 2018

12=       (+6)         Mohammad Amir Pak         609        19.98      6.83       700 v Aus at Edgbaston 2010

(-2)          M. Rahman           Ban         609        18.60      7.05       695 v SL at Colombo (RPS) 2017

14         (-2)          Shakib Al Hasan  Ban         608        21.00      6.74       672 v Pak at Mirpur 2014

15         (+12)      David Willey          Eng         607        24.67      8.44       615 v Ind at Cardiff 2018

16         (-2)          Trent Boult            NZ           599        21.18      8.53       622 v Aus at Sydney 2018

17         (-2)          Chris Jordan         Eng         598        28.71      8.82       628 v Ind at Nagpur 2017

18         (-1)          Sunil Narine          Win         587        20.68      6.02       817 v Pak at St. Vincent 2013

19         (+60)      Billy Stanlake        Aus         570*!     23.43      8.33       570 v Pak at Harare 2018

20         (-1)          George Dockrell   Ire           569        18.89      6.65       668 v Zim at Sylhet 2014

All-rounders (top five)

Rank      (+/-)         Player                    Team     Pts         Highest Rating

1          ( – )          Glenn Maxwell       Aus       366        396 v Eng at Melbourne 2018

2          ( – )          M. Nabi                  Afg        321        323 v Ban at Dehradun 2018

3          ( – )          S. Al Hasan          Ban        279        408 v Pak at Mirpur 2015

4          ( – )          JP Duminy            SA          235        276 v Ban at Mirpur 2015

5          ( – )          Marlon Samuels  Win        230        321 v SL at Mirpur 2014

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Abu Dhabi Sports Council Partners with ADNOC to Stage First ADNOC Abu Dhabi Marathon

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  • Long-distance race to take place on December 7
  • Range of events open to elite professional athletes, seasoned amateurs and first-time marathon participants
  • Partnership reinforces ADNOC’s corporate social responsibility commitments

The Abu Dhabi Sports Council (ADSC) and the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) announced, today, the inauguration of the ADNOC Abu Dhabi Marathon, which will be held, for the first time, on December 7, 2018, bringing the world’s oldest race to one of the world’s most modern cities, deepening ADNOC’s commitment to the Abu Dhabi community.

A three-year partnership agreement, conferring naming rights for the event to ADNOC, which will serve as Title Sponsor, was signed between H.E. Aref Hamad Al Awani, General Secretary of Abu Dhabi Sports Council, and Omar Suwaina Al Suwaidi, Executive Office Director at ADNOC. The ADNOC Abu Dhabi Marathon will position the United Arab Emirates’ capital city firmly on the global athletics calendar, while promoting wellness in the local community and participation at all levels.

Major General Mohammed Khalfan Al Rumaithy, Chairman of General Authority for Sports, said the ADNOC Abu Dhabi Marathon is the latest addition to the ever-growing list of international sporting events to arrive in Abu Dhabi.

“It may be the first of its kind in Abu Dhabi, but it will be second to none among established international marathons around the world,” Major General Al Rumaithy said. “We expect a world-class elite field and participation of thousands of runners at various levels.”

Dr. Mugheer Khamis Al Khaili, Chairman of the Department of Community Development, praised the efforts of all those involved in bringing the first marathon race to Abu Dhabi.

“The races are open for all categories and provides the opportunity for community-participation. The ADNOC Abu Dhabi Marathon is an event that the entire family can appreciate, not only by participating in the races, but by enjoying the various side events at the Marathon Village,” Al Khaili said.

At the signing ceremony, H.E. Aref Al Awani said: “The ADNOC Abu Dhabi Marathon adds a new international sporting event to our calendar of events and will leave behind a legacy that the Abu Dhabi Sports Council is very keen to promote as part of our community sports programming.”

The race will be held over a 42.195-kilometer (26 miles, 385 yards) course that will showcase the city of Abu Dhabi to a global audience. In recognition of the Year of Zayed, the race will bring together elite international athletes, seasoned amateur runners and thousands of people taking part in their first marathon. It will offer runners of all abilities the chance to participate in a range of events from 2.5km and 5km fun runs, to the 10km and full-distance marathon.

Omar Suwaina Al Suwaidi, Executive Office Director at ADNOC, said: “ADNOC is excited to play a part in bringing such an iconic event, the marathon, to Abu Dhabi. Our partnership with the Abu Dhabi Sports Council is built on a shared commitment to elevating the health and well-being of individuals and embodies ADNOC’s historical dedication to supporting the communities in which we operate.

“Whether it’s through sporting and recreation, health and wellness, or youth and STEM education, ADNOC’s corporate social responsibility and purpose remains firm: To create a positive and lasting impact on UAE society,” Al Suwaidi said.

Entry fees for the event range from AED 50-75 for the shorter 2.5km and 5km fun runs, AED 150 for the 10km, and AED 350 for the marathon race. Registration for the ADNOC Abu Dhabi Marathon is open at: www.adnocabudhabimarathon.com.

The marathon was one of the original modern Olympic events in 1896, though the distance did not become standardized until 1921. More than 800 marathons are held throughout the world each year, with the vast majority of competitors being recreational athletes as larger marathons can have tens of thousands of participants

The world-record time for men over the marathon distance is 2 hours 2 minutes and 57 seconds, set in the Berlin Marathon, by Dennis Kimetto of Kenya, on September 28, 2014. The world-record for women was set by Paula Radcliffe, of Great Britain, in the London Marathon, held on April 13, 2003. Radcliffe completed the race in 2 hours 15 minutes and 25 seconds.

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MANCHESTER CITY LAUNCHES GLOBAL CENTURIONS TROPHY TOUR IN ABU DHABI

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  • After the Club’s record-breaking Premier League win and Carabao Cup victory last season, City will be taking the two trophies to fans around the world
  • The Centurions Trophy Tour, presented by Etihad Airways, will visit 15 cities across the coming weeks, kicking off in Abu Dhabi
  • City fans will get the chance to vote for where the tour will visit

To celebrate Manchester City’s Premier League and Carabao Cup victories last season, the Club will be taking the trophies on the road for the Centurions Trophy Tour, presented by Etihad Airways. The trophies will visit 15 cities over the coming weeks to celebrate the Club’s record-breaking season with fans around the world.

Through the Club’s Cityzens membership platform, fans will get to nominate their locations for the tour to visit. The Club will also be surprising some of its biggest fans with amazing experiences to recognise their loyal support.

The tour will showcase the record-breaking ‘Centurions’ season which saw the team reached 100 points in its Premier League campaign. Across the tour destinations, there will be a series of exciting fan events and match screenings as well as visits to the Club’s community projects across the globe.

The tour kicked off in Abu Dhabi today as Club legend, Paul Dickov attended a launch event hosted by Club partner Etihad Airways. Over the coming weeks, the tour will visit cities across China, the United States, South America and south east Asia with more destinations being revealed as the tour progresses.

Omar Berrada, Chief Operating Officer at Manchester City, said: “We are delighted to launch Manchester City’s Centurions Trophy Tour, presented by Etihad Airways. Our record-breaking ‘Centurions’ season was a great achievement for the Club and we are excited to be able to celebrate this with fans in their home cities around the world.

“We wanted to make sure that our fans were at the heart of all of the celebrations and this tour is extra special as fans will get the chance to decide where the trophies visit. We have some exciting plans to create great City experiences for fans on every stop of the tour and bring them closer than ever to the Club they love.”

Patrick Pierce, Vice President Marketing Partnerships at Etihad Airways, said: “As Manchester City Football Club’s main partner, Etihad Airways is thrilled to celebrate the team’s success and reward their fans around the world. This initiative is a perfect reflection of the airline’s role to promote global connectivity through football.”

This evening [3rd July] UAE football fans will have a chance to witness the trophies first hand at a special fan Q&A event with Paul Dickov.  The event will take place at Blu Sky Lounge & Grill, Southern Sun Abu Dhabi from 8pm and all fans are welcome.

Fans can find out more about where the Trophy Tour will visit by visiting www.mancity.com/trophytour and via the Club’s Cityzens membership platform.

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WEBSTER & ROBSON WIN NEW BMW FORMAT

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The pair of Tristan Webster and Mike Robson won the June edition of The BMW Open Social and second qualifier in the X5 series held at Sharjah Golf & Shooting Club.

The pairs net 63, after 9’s of 31 (Shambles) and 32 (Scramble), produced a one shot winning margin under a new combination of formats.   Runners up were regular contenders Rory Thomson and Brian Williams (64) who left themselves just too much to do after their front 9 of 33. Former Captain Vivian Verma and SGSC Golf Professional Tirtha Poudel took the front 9 prize (net 32) with Sanjoy Das and A. E. Ravi taking the back 9 (net 33). These round 2 results mean Webster and Robson more into an 5 way share of the X5 series MVP awards on 20 points alongside round 1 winners Clive Piper and Andy Thom.  Adhip Shankar makes up the quintet having a podium finish and a novelty prize to his name.  Another 9 players are within 7 points of the lead in what promises to be one of the tightest and most exciting X5 series’ to date.  The 3rd of the 5 qualifiers is on Friday 13th July.

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India crowned champions at Kabaddi Masters, beat Iran 44-26.

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India asserted their supremacy in Kabaddi yet again as they annihilated Iran 44-26 in the Kabaddi masters final. Led by their skipper Ajay Thakur who scored nine points, India were better in top from the first minute to the last. Surheet Singh scored six tackle points and marshaled the defence superbly.

Iran were let down by their defence as they struggled to contain Indian raiders. There were fleeting chances for Iran to make a comeback but India proved too good for them on the night. Monu Goyat chipped in with crucial raid points and Mohit Chhillar was a rock at the back for India. For Iran, Mohammed Maghsodlou had a quiet night as did Mohammed Nabibbaksh.

Ajay Thakur and Monu Goyat scored two raid points as India led 2-0 in the third minute. Mohammed Nabibbaksh opened Iran’s account in the fourth minute with a successful raid. After five minutes India led 6-2 and reduced Iran to just two men on the mat. India inflicted the first all out of the match in the seventh minute to lead 10-3.

The famed Iranian defence were having an off night in the first 10 minutes as they failed to get a tackle point. India led 15-5 after 11 minutes. Iran forced a super tackle in the 13th minute as they trailed 7-15. Iran came back into the game late in the first half as they reduced the gap to six points after 16 minutes. Mohammed Maghsoudlou scored a raid in the 18th minute. India were looking in fine form as they ended the first half leading 18-11.

India started the second half with a bang as they inflicted an all out in the 24th minute to lead 24-12. Iran struggled to match India’s intensity as they scored just one point in the first seven minutes of the second half. Iran averted an all out and forced a super tackle in the 29th minute as they trailed 14-29. Iran scored another tackle point in the 31st minute to trail 17-29.

Mohit Chhillar forced a super tackle in the 32d minute to give India 31-17 lead. Surjeet Singh got a high five as India led 35-19. Ajay Thakur scored his ninth point of the night as India led 37-21 in the 38th minute. India inflicted another all out to complete a dominant performance. Iran came up with a super raid in the dying seconds of the match but it was too little, too late as they crashed to a 26-44 defeat.

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Fourth Edition of Arab Women Sports Tournament Honours More than 39 Essential Supporters and Athletes

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  • “An inspiration in terms of team spirit, making the tournament a resounding success.”

The Supreme Organising Committee (SOC) of the Arab Women Sports Tournament (AWST) has honoured more than 39 sponsors and strategic supporters who contributed to the success of its fourth edition, which saw 67 clubs from 16 Arab countries competing for the prestigious titles of the tournament.

The ceremony, which took place yesterday (Wednesday) at Al Jawaher Reception and Convention Centre (JRCC), reinforces SOC’s keenness to recognise those who contributed significantly to the success of AWST and to continue cooperation with various government and private entities in the emirate.

The ceremony was attended by Sheikh Saqr bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Chairman of the Sharjah Sports Council, Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Chairman of AWST’s SOC, HE Nada Askar Al Naqbi, Deputy Head of SOC, Head of AWST’s Executive Committee and Director General of Sharjah Women Sports Foundation (SWSF).

Also attending were a number of heads of Arab and local sports associations, members of the Arab and local sports councils and representatives of government and private entities in Sharjah.

Future recommendations

During the event, the SOC launched a set of recommendations that would contribute to improving and developing the fifth edition of AWST, which will take place in 2020.  Among these is the need to find a mechanism to expand regional partnerships and increase the number of Arab countries and clubs participating in tournament, as well as to strengthen the relationship with local and regional media.

Other suggestions included more attention to the tournament’s scientific, theoretical, technical and administrative aspects, as well as its objectives and results. To achieve that, it recommended holding a range of conferences and workshops as well as collaboration with sports experts, in order for the tournament to become a platform to raise awareness, culture and knowledge.

The SOC also recommended raising the representation of women’s institutions and sports bodies in Arab sports federations in proportion to women’s achievements and efforts, in order to strengthen their presence in the Arab sports landscape.

In his opening address, Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed bin Sultan Al Qasimi welcomed the guests and commended the great efforts made by all bodies to ensure the success of the major sporting event that enjoyed the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, wife of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah, Chairperson of the Sharjah Supreme Committee for Family Affairs and Chairperson of the Sharjah Women Sports Foundation.

Sheikh Khalid said: “Sharjah has established itself as an ideal destination for many cultural and sporting events throughout the year. By hosting this outstanding tournament, the emirate continues to add new milestones to its rich portfolio of achievements and reaffirms its supportive stand towards women in sporting, educational, health and professional spheres.”

Sheikh Khalid stressed that these achievements and efforts reflect the vision of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council Ruler of Sharjah, and perfectly align with the immense support and patronage of his wife, Sheikha Jawaher.

He explained: “Sharjah will stop at nothing to carry on with its journey of women’s empowerment in sports – its achievement goes beyond organising a successful tournament. The emirate has excelled in achieving an integrated and effective working relationship with various public and private organisations and departments. This highlights the emirate’s leading position in organising and hosting major events and activities in compliance with the highest international standards.”

HE Nada Al Askar added: “Sharjah supports all sports and athletics which have now become a significant factor in empowering many women and strengthening their role not only in sports, but in all aspects of life.”

Askar highlighted: “Since its inception, AWST has become a role model for sports events in the local and Arab sporting world, where competitors give shining examples of athletic performance, fair play and healthy competition resulting in impressive achievements. The success of AWST would not have been possible without the efforts of all the partners and supporters who have provided the utmost support and been an inspiration in terms of team spirit, making the tournament a resounding success.”

Supporting companies

The AWST’s SOC honoured the Sharjah Sports Council, General Authority of Youth and Sports Welfare, National Olympic Committee, Etisalat, Sharjah Media Corporation, Sharjah Sports TV, Sharjah Government Media Bureau, Al Majaz Amphitheatre, Sharjah Police, and media sponsors, National Network Communications and Dar Al Khaleej Printing and Publishing.

It also honoured Sharjah Environment Company (Bee’ah), Scala Company, Sharjah Electricity and Water Authority (SEWA), Zulal Water Company, Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority, Sharjah International Airport, Holiday Inn Sharjah, Sharjah Transport Corporation, Air Arabia, Sharjah Ladies Club, Sharjah Municipality.  Sharjah Sports Club, Al Thaid Cultural Sports Club, Al Thiqa Club for Handicapped, Higher Colleges of Technology in Sharjah, Sharjah Equestrian and Racing Club and Sajay Young Ladies of Sharjah.

The committee also honoured the UAE Basketball Association, Volleyball Association, Shooting Association, UAE Fencing Federation, Emirates Equestrian and Racing Federation, UAE Athletics Federation and UAE Karate Federation, in addition to Asma Primary School, and Al Shahba Primary School for Boys.

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Championship of the Continents continues with Hankook 24H PORTIMAO (6-8 July, 2018)

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Launched last year to great acclaim, the Hankook 24H PORTIMAO is again on the calendar for the 24H GT SERIES and the 24H TCE SERIES, both powered by Hankook. From 6-8 July, the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve, beautifully located in the rolling hills of the Portuguese Algarve region and conveniently close to the Atlantic coast, will be hosting the second running of the Hankook 24H PORTIMAO. Currently, the entry list includes almost 40 cars, with 22 entries in the GT class and 15 teams in the TCE division. Following the successful debut in the previous round at Imola, there will be separate starting groups with separate pole positions for the GTs and touring cars again.

The upcoming 24-hour race in Portugal marks the fourth round in the European Championship season of the 24H GT SERIES powered by Hankook and the third event of the 24H TCE SERIES powered by Hankook. Moreover, the event serves as the European round of the 2018 Championship of the Continent in the CREVENTIC SERIES powered by Hankook. In this championship, the results of each team in the Asian round, the Hankook 24H DUBAI last January, the European round at Portimao and the American round at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, next November, are taken into account.

Teams and drivers who participated in the inaugural Hankook 24H PORTIMAO last year were unanimously positive about the challenging circuit with plenty of undulation and its excellent facilities that even include a swimming pool in the paddock. Nice weather is again expected for this year’s edition of the race and the Algarve region while the nearby cities of Lagos and Portimao provide a great variety of accommodations, leisure activities and nice restaurants with excellent Portuguese and international cuisine.

Reigning GT and overall team champions, Hofor Racing, lead the entries in the GT segment with their Mercedes-AMG GT3. Last year’s Portimao racewinners, Bohemia Energy Racing with Scuderia Praha, are back with an identical line-up in the Ferrari. The A6 class has a total of nine entries with four Mercedes-AMG GT3s, three Audi LMS GT3s, the aforementioned Ferrari 488 GT3 and a Renault R.S. 01. The SPX class has five cars listed: two Lamborghinis, two Porsches and one MARC Focus V8. A total of five Porsche 991 Cup cars is racing in the 991-category while GT4 class has one Audi, one Ginetta and one Mercedes entered. The TCR class spearheads the touring car segment in the field with a good mix of Audi, Cupra, Peugeot and SEAT adding up to a total of seven cars. The SP3 class provides variety, too, with one Lotus, one BMW, one Ginetta and a pair of Lamera Cup cars. Two BMW M235i Racing Cup cars in the CUP1 class round out the field.

Following private test sessions on Thursday, 5 July, and Friday morning, 6 July, official track action starts with free practice from 13.30-14.50 hrs, followed by qualifying for the 24H TCE SERIES from 15.40-16.10 hrs and qualifying for the 24H GT SERIES from 16.20-16.50 hrs. Night practice will be held on Friday evening from 20.30-22.00 hrs. The warm-up for the race is scheduled on Saturday, 7 July, from 9.00-9.30 hrs. The race starts at 15.00 hrs and finishes on Sunday, 8 July at the same time (all times local in Portugal, CET is one hour later). The race can be followed live on the series’ website www.24hseries.com and YouTube channel as well as Motortrend on Demand. The Radio Show Limited team, well known from Radio Le Mans and IMSA Radio, will be on site for live commentary during qualifying, night practice and the race. There will also be regular updates on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram (24H Series).

The programme at Portimao includes single-seater action as well, with a total of three races for the Spanish Formula 4 Championship, one on Friday and two on Saturday. Hankook is the official title sponsor and exclusive tyre supplier for the event, Panta is the official fuel supplier. The following companies will be present with sales and service booths in the paddock at Portimao: DRD international for pit equipment, screen protection etc., Speedcom for radio communication equipment and support, Aircharge, specialised in wireless mobile charging products, and Circuitvanhout that has produced the beautiful new trophies for the prize-giving ceremony.

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ENTRIES OPEN FOR SHARJAH SUMMER SENIOR OPEN

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Entries are now open for the 4th edition of the Sharjah Golf & Shooting Club Senior Summer Open Golf Championship.  The event will be staged on Saturday 21st July in a 3pm shotgun, to avoid as best possible the inevitable summer heat.  A field of around 50 male and female golfers, all aged 50 years and above, are expected to assemble at what is always one of the highlights of the UAE’s summer golfing calendar.  SGSC Director of Golf Martin Duff commented “SGSC obviously has strong links with the UAE’s senior golfing community as a result of us being the host venue for the Sharjah Senior Golf Masters and our senior events always seem to be overwhelmingly well supported and the scoring is always very respectable.  In support of this we’ve made a couple of exciting additions to the event.  One, we’ve added extra Super Senior (60+) prizes in recognition of the number of 60 plus year old’s who support our events.  Secondly we’ve introduced for the first time in any of our events an unofficial handicap division, so no one is excluded.  Unofficial handicap division participants can only with their division, a gross prize and any novelty pries on offer”.  The event is an 18 hole individual Stableford with entry fees starting from as little as AED 80 which includes 18 holes of golf under tournament conditions, shared cart and a presentation dinner immediately after play.  Interested parties should contact Sharjah Golf & Shooting Clubs on 06 5487777, email info@golfandshootingshj.com or whatsapp (golf reservations directly) 056 2283649.

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BenQ hosts a FIFA World Cup screening

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  • FIFA World Cup match screened on BenQ’s sport immersive true 4K HDR projector TK800

BenQ, global leader in DLP projectors, hosts’ a FIFA World Cup match screening on its sports immersive True 4K HDR projector TK800. The screening was hosted for football fanatics to experience the Hyper-Realistic Video quality of the projector.

BenQ ranked #1 in Middle East in the 4K projector segment and outpaced its sales numbers in Q1 2018 in the Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa region. Keeping in line with the brand’s innovative practices, the launch of the TK800 was a class apart. The casual ambiance invited people from the media to experience firsthand the magnificence of the projector. BenQ TK800 was the perfect medium for the ongoing FIFA World Cup, capturing its every movement and giving the audience a thrill of the live match.

The projector offers stunning picture quality with its 8.3 million distinct pixels with XPR technology, giving each frame clarity. Perfectly capturing the fast-paced action, its color accuracy and 4K lens system technology ensures no blur and captures each vivid detail. As the action on the field intensifies, its 4K color wheel further sharpens the different hues on the screen. And custom Football & Sports modes with powerful sound put in the action as if you’re in the stadium, all in a stylish, compact design with easy setup.

Manish Bakshi, Managing Director at BenQ Middle East & Turkey said, “The launch of the TK800 comes at an opportune time, with the FIFA World Cup on. The chance to show world-class football skills on a projector like the TK800 was one we wanted to show firsthand. The idea was to provide a demonstration of the product rather just provide theoretical literature on it. The projector has been designed specifically to provide sports lovers with the best sound & viewing experience and is equipped with BenQ’s latest technology, making it a requisite addition this World Cup.”

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UAE TEAM EMIRATES LAUNCHES YOUTH ACADEMY

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  • Professional cycling team reaching out into the community to inspire the next generation of UAE cyclists

As part of its ongoing commitment to inspire the next generation of cyclists, UAE Team Emirates has partnered with Dubai-based sports activity provider Just Play, to launch the UAE Team Emirates Youth Academy – a summer cycling programme, hosted at this year’s Dubai Sports World.

The three-week initiative – which targets boys and girls from 11-16 years-old and starts on Sunday 8th July – coincides with the world’s most prestigious cycling race, the Tour de France. The coaching clinics will teach youngsters the basics of indoor cycling, using professional training bikes in a purpose built, air-conditioned studio. Each session has been designed in collaboration with UAE Team Emirates’ staff and the team’s top riders – two of whom were present at today’s launch.

UAE and Asian Road Cycling Champion Yousif Mirza was joined by UAE Team Emirates teammate Vegard Stake Laengen at Dubai Sports World as the pair met the first batch of UAE Team Emirates Youth Academy participants from Sunmarke International School. The duo gave the enthusiastic youngsters some eye-opening insights into the world of professional cycling and a taste of what their teammates will be going up against in the coming weeks, as they battle the toughest race on the tour. The pair also provided useful tips on technique, shared memories of cycling as youngsters, and talked about what it takes to make it to the top, before they hopped on their bikes to demonstrate just how much power is in the legs of the elite rider.

Speaking at the launch, UAE Team Emirates’ Yousif Mirza said: “It gives me so much pride to ride for UAE Team Emirates and fly the flag for my own country, because I know that our successes on the UCI World Tour will encourage more young people in the UAE to take up the sport. Launching a Youth Academy program is a great way to help youngsters get into cycling and doing it indoors at Dubai Sports World means they can get fit and stay healthy even during our hot summer months.”

Vegard Stake Laengen, who competed in last year’s Tour de France and was recently crowned the Norwegian National Road Race champion continued: “The Tour de France is one of the biggest sporting spectacles on the planet and the most demanding race for a pro cyclist to compete in. We wanted to use the excitement around this year’s event to inspire young people from across the UAE to join our Youth Academy and try out indoor cycling. Who knows – maybe this is where we find the next Yousif Mirza!”

The daily coaching clinics – running Sunday to Thursday – are themed around the 21 stages of the Tour de France and give youngsters the chance to experience some of the same conditions faced by UAE Team Emirates’ riders competing on this year’s tour. The youngsters will learn how to perfect their climbing, sprinting and endurance skills, whilst building their overall fitness in a fun and safe environment as part of Just Play’s well-established summer camps.

Anouar Idrissi, CEO of Just Play said: “Our goal is to help develop every child’s physical ability through sport, so partnering with UAE Team Emirates on their Youth Academy is an exciting opportunity – not only for us but for the thousands of young people who come to our summer camps to make new friends, have new experiences and learn new skills.”

The UAE Team Emirates Youth Academy will run as part of the official Dubai Sports World Summer Camp programme from 8th – 29th July 2018, delivered by Just Play. For more information on how to book a place on the Youth Academy visit http://justplay.ae/summercamp/

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