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DUBAI AUTODROME IS NEW HOME FOR DOUBLE WORLD CUP CROSS COUNTRY RALLY

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  • Ben Sulayem says partnership agreement takes Dubai International Baja to new level

The Dubai International Baja powered by AW Rostamani and Nissan has a new home, and the announcement today that Dubai Autodrome will be the beating heart of the event next month provides another boost for the double World Cup rally.

Mohammed Ben Sulayem, President of the Automobile and Touring Club for the UAE and Emirates Motor Sport Federation, has signed a partnership agreement with Faisal Al Sahlawi, General Manager of Dubai Autodrome, establishing the venue as the official Rally HQ.

Running from 8-10 March, the Dubai International Baja powered by AW Rostamani and Nissan is the second round of this year’s FIA World Cup for Cross Country Rallies for cars and buggies and the opening round of the FIM Bajas World Cup for bikes and quads

“This is an important development because the world-class motor sport infrastructure and facilities at Dubai Autodrome will take the event to a new level,” said Ben Sulayem, the FIA Vice President for sport.

Al Sahlawi commented: “We’re delighted to be playing host to the event and look forward to welcoming the drivers and riders assembling in Dubai from across the region and overseas.

“This new agreement builds on our close working relationship with the ATCUAE which is dedicated to providing a top-class stage for a growing calendar of motor sport activities.”

Taking place under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Crown Prince of Dubai, the rally is supported by the Government of Dubai, Dubai Police, Dubai Municipality and the General Authority of Sports.

The second edition of the event sends a powerful line-up of cars, buggies, bikes and quads into action over a demanding 174 km special stage running through the dramatic Al Qudra desert terrain on on Friday, March 9, and Saturday, March 10.

And just as the competitive sections of the event will be as spectacular as anything seen in this year’s World Cup series, the arrival of Dubai Autodrome as the Rally HQ means no other round will match the facilities available for competitors, teams, officials and media.

They assemble at the new World Cup venue on 7 March for administrative checks and official scrutineering over two days to determine the final line-up for the ceremonial start at 5pm on 8 March.

Dubai Autodrome will also host the media centre, a pre-event press conference and reception, the competitors’ briefing, as well as the official finish and prize giving on 10 March.

With the support of the ATCUAE, Dubai Autodrome now stages the annual Emirates Motorsport Expo which brings together all forms of UAE motor sport, from circuit racing to cross country rallying for cars and bikes.  The event gives those interested in becoming actively involved in motor sport opportunities to meet teams, competitors and key stakeholders.

By the end of March, Dubai Autodrome will complete Phase I of its new Motorsport Business Park. Developed by Union Properties and Multilink Contracting, the 6,000 square metre facility, located in the centre of the 5.39 kilometre race circuit, will bring together all of the major UAE motorsport businesses and racing teams. The first phase was fully booked as soon as it was announced, so an additional building, Phase II, is now being planned.

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DUBAI INTERNATIONAL BAJA GIVEN NEW DRIVE BY NISSAN & AW ROSTAMANI

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  • Co-sponsorship agreement powers return of World Cup rally as ATCUAE maps new course
  • The prestigious 548 km event is to be held March 8 – 10

The Dubai International Baja powered by Nissan and AW Rostamani brings World Cup cross country rallying back to the UAE next month, with a powerful assembly of top drivers and riders battling for honours across the spectacular Al Qudra desert terrain.

Taking place under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Crown Prince of Dubai, the rally is supported by the Government of Dubai, Dubai Police, Dubai Municipality and the General Authority of Sports.

Setting the stage for two days of gripping action, the Automobile and Touring Club for the UAE (ATCUAE), the national motor sport authority and rally organisers, today announced a new agreement with the event’s joint title sponsors.

The agreement was signed by Kalyana Sivagnanam, President Nissan Middle East and Regional Vice-President Africa, Middle East & India Region; Khalid Al Rostamani, Vice Chairman of AW Rostamani Group, which is the sole distributor for the Nissan brand in Dubai and the Northern Emirates through its flagship company, Arabian Automobiles; and Mohammed Ben Sulayem, President of the ATCUAE and Emirates Motor Sport Federation, and Vice President for Sport at the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA).

The Dubai International Baja powered by Nissan and AW Rostamani Group, which was held with much success for the first time last year, forms the second stage of this year’s FIA World Cup for Cross Country Rallies and the opening round of the FIM Bajas World Cup. The FIA World Cup will be open to cars and buggies, while the FIM Bajas World Cup caters to contestants riding motorbikes and quadbikes.

As a result of the new agreement, the Nissan Patrol is the official car for the 548 km event, running from March 8 – 10. Nissan Patrols will be used by an experienced ATCUAE team to plot a new rally route through the Al Qudra desert, and will serve as official on-site vehicles for the organisers and FIA and FIM officials. The rally is the first of two big World Cup dates for the ATCUAE next month, with the 28th edition of the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge being held from March 24 – 29.

The Dubai Baja brings a dramatic change in conditions for drivers following this year’s opening World Cup event in the frozen forests of Northern Russia earlier this week. With a powerful international line-up of competitors arriving from across the Middle East and overseas, the rally will send the cars, buggies, bikes and quads into action over a challenging 174 km special stage on Friday, March 9, and Saturday, March 10.

Kalyana Sivagnanam, President Nissan Middle East and Regional Vice-President Africa, Middle East & India Region, said: “At Nissan Middle East we are proud to continue our sponsorship of this exciting event for a second consecutive year, and we look forward to seeing local and regional competitors take part in this prestigious global event. We feel this is a natural partnership, given our long history and heritage in motorsports and rallies. At the same time, the Nissan Patrol is an ideal vehicle for the challenging terrain of Al Qudra desert, and we are confident that its unique capabilities and qualities will be appreciated by the rally teams.”

Khalid Al Rostamani said: “Having played a key role in establishing this exciting event last year, we are very pleased to be extending our support for a second year. The Baja style of events points to a positive future for rallying in the UAE and the Middle East region. We’re very happy to be partnering the ATCUAE in this initiative to make the sport more affordable, and more sustainable, in the process attracting more Emirati and local-based competitors.”

Sulayem said: “We were particularly grateful to Nissan and to AW Rostamani for the key part they played in bringing this rally to life last year. I’m very happy that they are continuing to support us in our commitment to drive rallying forward in a way which is much more sustainable.”

Leading the UAE challenge for the cars title in Dubai will be last year’s runner up, Khalid Al Qassimi, partnered by French co-driver Xavier Panseri. Among their biggest rivals will be two-times Desert Challenge winners from Russia, Vladimir Vasilyev and Konstantin Zhiltsov.

The Dubai International Baja powered by Nissan and AW Rostamani has become a natural successor to the Dubai International Rally, which ran for 37 years but has been replaced by the more desert-friendly and affordable Baja format which is open for buggies, bikes and quads, as well as cars.

Two weeks later, the focus of the World Cup will go from Dubai to Abu Dhabi for the latest edition of the Desert Challenge, already well established by the ATCUAE as a premier event in the FIA World Cup series and the FIM Cross Country Rallies World Championship.

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DUBAI SPORTS CHANNEL TEAMS UP WITH ATCUAE TO POWER WORLD CUP RALLY

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  • New partnership agreement boosts Dubai International Baja as top drivers, riders head for dramatic action in Al Qudra desert

Dubai Sports Channel has signed a partnership agreement with the Automobile and Touring Club for the UAE to boost the return of World Cup cross country rallying to the emirate next month.

As a result of the deal, coverage of the Dubai International Baja powered by AW Rostamani and Nissan, launched last year, will reach a much wider national, regional and global TV audience.

Taking place from 8-10 March, the event is the second round of this year’s FIA World Cup for Cross Country Rallies for cars and buggies and the opening round of the FIM Bajas World Cup for bikes and quads.

The partnership agreement was signed today by Rashid Amiri, Deputy CEO of Dubai Channels Network at Dubai Media Incorporated, and Mohammed Ben Sulayem, President of the ATCUAE and Emirates Motor Sport Federation, and FIA Vice President for sport, and was witnessed by Abdul Rahman Amin, Sports Channel Director, Dubai Media Incorporated.
“We take pride in the role we have played over the years in showcasing Dubai as a world-class venue for sport, and are very happy to be formally extending the long standing working relationship we have with the ATCUAE,” said Amiri.

“We recognise the importance of this new event which has been created by the national motor sport authority to preserve the future of rallying in the UAE, and look forward to showing our audiences the excitement of cross country baja rallying.

“The international reach of our live and recorded coverage of the 2018 Dubai International Baja will be maximised by our relationship with the European Broadcasting Union (EBU).”

The EBU is the world’s leading alliance of public service media, with 73 broadcast members in 56 countries across Europe and beyond.

“We’re extremely grateful to Dubai Sports Channel for once again working closely with us to showcase the event, and Dubai as an international motor sport destination, to a huge audience at home and abroad,” said Sulayem.

“This an important part of the broad support and encouragement we receive from the Government of Dubai in our efforts to ensure a bright future for rallying.”

The Dubai International Baja will see a powerful assembly of top drivers and riders from the Middle East and overseas battling for honours across the spectacular Al Qudra desert terrain.

The event was launched by the ATCUAE last year as a natural replacement for the Dubai International Rally which ran for 37-years. The more desert-friendly and affordable baja format is open for buggies, bikes and quads, as well as cars.

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Ras Al Khaimah International Pro Jiu-Jitsu Championship Concludes 4th Season amid Exceptional International Participation

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  • Ras Al Khaimah concludes international competitions for the 2017-2018 season
  • Over 800 male and female athletes take part in heated competitions
  • Al Dhaheri: Strong international participation reflects the prestige of the tournament
  • Al Batran: To Empower UAE athletes for the upcoming Asiad
  • Al Taweel: Emirates Club committed to supporting local championships and developing UAE Jiu-Jitsu talents

Under the patronage and in presence of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Saud Al Qassimi, Crown Prince of Ras Al Khaimah, the 4th edition of Ras Al Khaimah International Pro Jiu-Jitsu Championship concluded its two-day competitions on Saturday. The tournament attracted the largest number of international professional athletes across all UAE competitions in the 2017-2018 sports season, with a total of 800 athletes.

Held at RAK Educational Zone Club, the Ras Al Khaimah International Championship saw the participation of male and female athletes from over 30 nationalities in various weight categories. Athletes competed for points to add to their global scores, in order to reach the winners’ podium at the end of the sports season. The first day of the Championship was dedicated to No-Gi matches, and the second day witnessed pro Gi matches.

The event was attended by a number of officials from the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation (UAEJJF) and the Ras Al Khaimah sports sector, including His Excellency Mohammed Salem Al Dhaheri, Vice President of the UAEJJF, Youssef Al Batran, UAEJJF Board Member, Fahad Alshamsi UAEJJF CEO, Mohammed Ismail Al Awadhi, Deputy Chairman of Emirates Club, Ahmed Shamlan, Emirates Club Board Member and Financial Manager, and Ahmed Jaber Al Awadhi, Individual and Group Games Supervisor at Emirates Club.

UAE Athletes Take the Lead in the First Day

The Championship saw a high level of competition matches across different weight categories and belt colors. The spectators enjoyed exciting performances that marked a new level of Jiu-Jitsu in the UAE.

On the results and ratings, Commando Group secured the first position, followed by Al Wahda Club in the second place, Al Ain Club in the third place , Al Nasr in the fourth position and Al Jazira Club in the fifth place.

Exceptional International Presence

His Excellency Mohammed Salem Al Dhaheri, Vice President of the UAEJJF, expressed pride in the distinguished level of the event in terms of the strong international participation, organization, cooperation and support provided by the various concerned parties.

Al Dhaheri said the success of this Championship supports the UAEJJF’s strategy which seeks to motivate society to embrace Jiu-Jitsu as a lifestyle across generations, thereby boosting the UAE’s position as a capital for this distinguished international sport.

He further praised the special organizational efforts of the event host Emirates Club, on their success in meeting the highest standards in terms of organization and readiness. He also thanked all clubs for their consistent participation in competitions and their continuous interest in this sport.

Al Dhaheri said that the unlimited support provided by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Saud Al Qassimi, Crown Prince of Ras Al Khaimah, on the 4th edition of the Championship was instrumental in its success, and essential for spreading the word around this noble sport in the society, something that was evident in the presence of parents and athletes from several clubs participating in this pro championship.

Boosting national talents

Youssef Al Batran, UAEJJF Board Member, said that the global and sporting momentum witnessed in the Ras Al Khaimah Championship supports the future direction to enhance the capabilities of UAE teams and players and enable them to compete with international professionals across all levels, and also allows the UAE to participate in the upcoming Asiad (Asian Games) with confidence.

Al Batran highlighted that Jiu-Jitsu now occupies an important position in the Emirati society, which is a reflection of the efforts placed on enhancing this sport. The 2017-2018 season was full of achievements, and it deserved this high class closure.

Al Batran pointed out that the UAEJJF will ensure a strong participation by UAE athletes in the Abu Dhabi International Championships, which is due to take place in Abu Dhabi on April 16, in order to highlight the UAE’s developing skills by winning more medals proving the country’s booming position in the global Jiu-Jitsu scene.

Local and International Momentum

Khalil Ibrahim Al Taweel, Emirates Club Board Member and first team supervisor, commented: “The Ras Al Khaimah International Pro Jiu-Jitsu Championship is one of the strongest championships and has massive popular momentum, attracting international players of all categories and weight classes to compete on the mat.”

Al Taweel said that Emirates Club is committed to providing the highest degree of support for local championships, both in terms or organization and developing skills to provide the national team with talents and skills capable of taking global winners’ podiums. He also admired the consistent directives and continuous attention given by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Saud Al Qassimi, Crown Prince of Ras Al Khaimah.

Athletes praise the Championship

The Ras Al Khaimah Championship was praised and commended by the participating athletes and technical teams that came to support the athletes’ efforts in reaching the podium.

Athlete Mohammed Al Matroushi from Sharjah Club said he was happy to win the 55kg gold medal, adding that he had worked hard recently and prepared for the championship by losing weight and going through an intensive training camp. He described the competition and the level of the players as strong and challenging for many athletes compared with previous championships.

Al Matroushi said this Championship was a vital stage in his professional career and his efforts to earn points and raise his ranking.

For his part, Filipe Bobrick who won gold in the No-Gi competitions, said he always seeks to participate whenever he can in international championships organized by the UAE and compete for titles, due to the high organizational level and constant development witnessed year by year.

In the same context, Gustavo Verissimo said that the Championship was quite strong, which makes it an honor to compete on the mat, adding that since its launch, Ras Al Khamiah Championship has contributed to boosting athletes’ participation, preserving their advanced levels, and developing their skills on an annual basis.

He pointed out that this event offers a lot diversity in athletes’ levels of skills and weight classes, which is considered by pros to be an incentive to keep playing and participating in these competitions.

The UAEJJF is preparing for the Challenge Championship on February 22 – 24. March will witness round 3 of the Mother of the Nation Women’s Jiu-Jitsu Championship that will kick off on the 16th, while the fifth and final round of the President’s Cup will be held on the 17th of the same month.

Tournament Classification

The matches were divided by age groups and belts as per the criteria of international championships for men and women, with the age groups including three levels: junior under 18, adults under 29, and masters over 30.

In terms of belts, the competitions were divided into four levels: black belt, brown belt, purple belt, and blue belt.

19 Sports Clubs

The Championship witnessed during the weekend marked increase in the number of participants, as it attracted a total of 19 sports clubs, in addition to foreign athletes who came to take part in the international event.

Distinguished Attendance by Officials

The event was attended by many officials from various sectors interested in supporting the sports industry in the UAE. His Excellency Hamad Obaid Al Zaabi, UAE Ambassador to the Republic of Pakistan, Ali Saleh Al Shehhi, Director of the ADIB branch in Ras Al Khaimah, Khalaf Salem Anbar, General Manager of the Emirates Development Association, and Nayef Jakkah, member of the Emirates Cycling Federation.

Support by Partners and Sponsors

The Ras Al Khaimah International Pro Jiu-Jitsu Championship 2017-2018 is supported by its strategic partners; including:

  • Official media partner: Abu Dhabi Sports Channels
  • Strategic partner: Palms Sports
  • Official Airline: Etihad Airways
  • Lifestyle developer: Emaar Properties
  • Exclusive Automobiles Partner: Al Tayer Motors and Land Rover
  • Diamond Partner: Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank
  • Energy partner: Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC)
  • Government Partner: Ministry of Interior (MoI)
  • Gold partners: Afaq Islamic Finance, Al Masood Group, Cavallo Collection; Dolphin Energy Limited and Emirates Global Aluminium
  • Silver partners: Al Khajah Group, Diamond Sword United and Al Saqer Group
  • Supporting partners: Abu Dhabi Vocational Education & Training Institute and Al Dhafra Sport & Culture Club and Al-Ittihad newspaper as a media partner.

For more information on the championships’ schedule and details, please visit: https://events.uaejjf.org/event/42

 

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Shahzaib Trunkwala Elected as Vice President of the International Socca Federation

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  • ISF formed to facilitate 2.1 billion players across the world
  • The International Socca Federation also elects Mr. Thanos Papadopoulos as the Joint CEO of the Federation

The inaugural meeting of the International Socca Federation (ISF) was attended by 52 representatives from 25 member countries along with 10 countries submitting membership applications. The attendees unanimously lauded the establishment of a global federation for 5, 6, 7 and 8 a-side football format. The federation aims to represent the 2.1 billion players of small-sided football across the globe.

Following his election, Trunkwala said, “In line with my efforts to develop the Socca sport, I have visited several countries in South Asia, Middle East and the Gulf region. These efforts come as part of the wider preparations for the Socca World Cup scheduled to be held in Lisbon, Portugal in October 2018.”

For his part Mr. Papadopoulos informed that the aim of ISF is to bring underprivileged but talented masses to the beautiful game.

The meeting also resulted in the decision that many international and regional tournaments will also be held under ISF in 2019 including European Champions Cup.

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Engsig Claims 12th RAK Ladies Open After Final Hole Play-off

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Sara Engsig claimed the 12th RAK Ladies Amateur Open after a final hole sudden death play-off with Natalli Gupta. The EGF Order of Merit qualifier saw a broad spectrum of age and experience as all competitors battled for the same thing, to be crowned RAK Ladies Champion. Both Sara, who won the event back in 2009, and Natalie both carded 3 over totals of 75. After nine holes Natalli found herself 2 shots ahead following a 1 over front nine compared to Sara’s 3 over with all 3 shots being dropped on hole 2 following a 7. Miraculously Sara fired in 9 straight pars on the back nine whilst Natalli dropped 1 each on the difficult 10th and 16th. This tied total meant that both would continue down the 18th until a winner was decided.

Both Sara and Natalli played there first two shots comfortably down the fairway both leaving themselves fairly straightforward approach shots. Natalli was first to go which saw a slight pull to miss the green pin high. Sara then fired in a spinning shot to about 10 feet. Natalli’s strong chip and missed put for bogey meant that Sara could calmly roll her ball up to the side of the hole for a tap in par and victory. The last of the gross prizes was collected by Hannah Mannion who fell one shot shy of the play-off with a score of 76.

Kellie Garchaga blew away the field in the net division after a blistering 65. Kellie did all the damage on the front 9 following 7 net birdies and a 2 net pars for a 29 out total. If it wasn’t for an unfortunate double bogey on the last she would have also found herself in the championship play-off. Her net score did however turn out to be 8 shots clear of runner-up Hyeonji Kang who carded 73, 1 shot ahead of third place Snigdha Goswami.

Tournament Winners

Gross

1st Place

Sara Engsig – 75

2nd Place

Natalli Gupta – 75

3rd Place

Hannah Mannion – 76

Net

1st Place

Kellie Garchaga – 65

2nd Place

Hyeonji Kang – 73

3rd Place

Snigdha Goswami – 74

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LOCAL HEROES PREPARE TO BATTLE IT OUT FOR ELITE GLORY AT THIS WEEKEND’S TRIYAS

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  • Eighth edition of UAE’s biggest first-timer focused triathlon will take place on February 16th
  • Emirati and UAE-based expatriate athletes dominate TriYAS by Daman’s ActiveLive ProFIELD for the first time

Six of the best Emirati triathletes will sweat it out against 11 leading UAE-based expatriates in a bid for ProFIELD glory at this year’s TriYAS by Daman’s ActiveLife triathlon.

Taking place at Yas Marina Circuit on Thursday 16thFebruary, this year’s TriYAS will feature a ProFIELD made up predominately of locally-based athletes for the first time in its eight-year history.

The local hero expats and Emiratis will face off against two-time champion Ruedi Wild from Switzerland, who has been invited back to TriYAS and is aiming for this third victory.

Emiratis Faris Al Zaabi and Abdullah Alqeti, from Abu Dhabi, Mohsen Al Ali, Nabil Al Ali, Saif Al Samahi, and Ghanem Al Saadi, all from Fujarah, will also compete against each other in the event’s first ever Emirati ProFIELD category.

Despite having only started competing in triathlons recently, Al Zaabi is a natural athlete and one of the favourites to win the Emirati ProFIELD along with Alqeti, who was the standout athlete in Abu Dhabi Police’s triathlon team.

The pride of Fujairah, Mohsen prefers longer distance competitions but is a fiery racer with lots of confidence and a big heart. He will have his work cut out for him when it comes to beating fellow Fujairah athletes Nabil, Al Samahi, and Al Saadi if he wants to take the TriYAS trophy home to the east coast.

The Emirati pro field rewards the commitment of the local population and aims to encourage more Emiratis to follow in the footsteps of these seven sports stars. 

The UAE-based expats competing in the ProFIELD are Filipe Azavedo and Pedro Gomes from Portugal, Ryan Christian from Australia, Ben Parnell, Matt Dewhurst, Andy MacRae and Andy Edwards, all from the UK, Peter Weiss from Denmark, Spain’s Oscar Marquez and German Christian Henn.

Swiss athlete Wild will complete the ProFIELD expat contingent and is favourite to win this year’s TriYAS.

One of the UAE’s biggest mass participation sporting events, TriYAS attracts around 1,300 athletes who push themselves to the limit in the gruelling swimming, cycling and running challenge set over a unique day-to-night course.

The event is open to all members of the community with a series of shorter courses aimed at first-timers as well as younger athletes. Local sports clubs are also encouraged to take part with teams allocated F1 villas usually reserved for the Formula One race stars and their cars.

The Super Sports Triathlon Championship will offer three shorter categories: T1, which involves a 100-metre swim, 3-kilometre bike course and a 1-kilometre run; T2 includes a 200-metre swim, 6-kilometre cycle plus a 2-kilometre run; T3 involving a 300-metre swim, 9-kilometre bike race and a 3-kilometre run.

Al Tareq Al Ameri, CEO of Yas Marina Circuit, said: “TriYAS continues to attract people of all ages, fitness levels and nationalities with the goal of improving their health and to have fun. Each year the number of people taking part for the first time rises by 20 to 30 per cent.”

“Overall our community programmes continue to grow, whether it’s StartYAS, TrainYAS or GoYAS, and TriYAS provides a great opportunity for all to push themselves that little bit further.”

Experienced adult triathletes can choose from two distances: the TriYAS Olympic category, which covers a 1,500-metre swim, 38-kilometre cycle and 10-kilometre run, and the shorter Sprint category, involving a 750-metre swim, 22-kilometre bike course and 5-kilometre run.

There is also a dedicated children’s race. The KidsTRI is aimed at youngsters aged between (9 –16 years) who can test themselves over a 50-metre swim, 6-kilometre cycle and a 1.5-kilometre run.

With a festival atmosphere and lots of great viewing areas for family and friends to cheer on competitors, TriYAS is as much a fun day and night as it is a challenging sporting event.

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Clean Sweep for Sharjah Sports Club for Women In AWST’s Opening Volleyball Competitions

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  • Sharjah dominant against die-hard Omanis as Al Wasl increases UAE tally to 6

Sharjah Sports Club for Women celebrated a convincing win on the first day of volleyball at the Arab Women’s Sports Tournament 2018 (AWST) defeating Oman’s Sahar Club by three sets to nil.

The match was held as part of the fourth – and largest – edition of the event, taking place under the patronage of Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, wife of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah, Chairperson of the Supreme Council for Family Affairs (SCFA) and Chairperson of Sharjah Women’s Sports Foundation (SWSF).

In the first set, Sharjah’s players pressured the Omani team into some early errors both in defense and attack, although Sahar showed plenty of resolve, keeping the game close but running out of steam as Sharjah started to pull away with a 12-10 lead and then closing the set out with a score of 25-18.

The second set was a show of stamina and strength of character, as the score levelled at 10-10, 11-11 and 12-12 in the first half but Sharjah began to run away with the game, eventually posting a score of 25 to Sahar’s 14.

In the third set of the match, riding high on confidence, the Sharjah club looked unassailable as they widened the gap from 9-4 to 14-4, before eventually closing the door on the Omanis with a final score of 25-12 and securing a highly impressive three points.

It was a similar story for Al Wasl Club who showed a clean pair of heels to Al Muharraq from Bahrain after a temporary glitch as they emerged victorious with a win of three sets to one.

Despite such renowned names as Hajar Al Ansari and Brazil’s Lanka, the Bahraini players were no match for Al Wasl, who breezed through the first set 25-12, thanks in no small part to the dominance of their American player Amber, who scored 19 of those points.

The second set, however, showed there was no room for complacency in the Al Wasl camp as the game balanced on a knife-edge up to the final minutes, which saw Al Muharraq level the set scores with a 25-22 victory.

Sets three and four reverted back to type though and while it was no easy win, Al Wasl proved to be the stronger of the two teams, finishing the round with 24-17 and 25-18 triumphs in the third and fourth sets respectively.

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Arab Women Sports Tournament 2018 Opens Today with Record Number of Clubs, Countries and Athletes

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  • 1,000 athletes and admin, 68 teams, 16 countries compete in largest ever AWST

The fourth – and largest – edition of the Arab Women Sports Tournament (AWST) was inaugurated today at the Al Majaz Amphitheatre in Sharjah, taking place under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, wife of His Highness Ruler of Sharjah, Chairperson of the Sharjah Supreme Committee for Family Affairs and Chairperson of the Sharjah Women Sports Foundation. Themed ‘The World Is Your Court – Together Victorious’, the tournament is hosting 68 clubs from 16 countries and 1,000 athletes and administrative personnel taking part – a 70% increase on the last edition.

Organised by the Sharjah Women’s Sports Foundation, the eleven-day event runs from February 2-12, where the athletes will compete in nine sports, namely; basketball, volleyball, table tennis, fencing, archery, shooting, athletics, show-jumping and for the very first time Karate.

Many senior personalities, heads of Arab sports committees and guests from the Arab world attended the opening ceremony, most notably; Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi, Chairman of the Sharjah Media Corporation; Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi, Chairperson of the Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq), Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed Al Qasimi, Head of the Supreme Organising Committee at AWST, His Royal Highness Prince Talal bin Abdulaziz, Chairperson of the Arab Sports Council and Chairperson of Union of Arab National Olympic Committees (UANOC), His Excellency Sheikh Isa bin Rashid Al Khalifa, Sheikha Hayat bint Abdulaziz Al Khalifa, Head of the AWST Supervisory Committee, Supreme Council for Youth and Sports Second Deputy Chairman, Her Royal Highness Princess Reema bint Bandar bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz, President of the Saudi Federation for Community Sports; and Her Royal Highness Princess Haifa bint Mohammed bin Saud Al Saud, Director General of the Saudi Federation for Community Sports and Shaikha Shamsa Bint Hasher Bin Mana Al Maktoum, the UAE Volleyball Association (VA) board of directors’ member.

Prominent Ministers who also attended the ceremony included: Her Excellency Noura bint Mohammed Al Kaabi was appointed as the UAE Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development, Her Excellency Hessa bint Essa Buhumaid has been appointed as the UAE Minister of Community Development, and His Excellency Khalid Abdulaziz, His Excellency Khalid Abdulaziz, Egyptian Minister of Youth and Sports and Head of the Executive Office of the Arab Ministers of Youth and Sports Council.

Attending senior officials also included Major General Mohammed Khalfan bu Romaithi, Chairman of the General Authority, Deputy General Commander of Abu Dhabi Police, Her Excellency Nada Askar Al Naqbi, Deputy Head of the Supreme Organising Committee at AWST, Head of her Executive Committee and Director General of the Sharjah Women Sports Foundation, Engineer Sherif Al Aryan, Secretary General of Egyptian Olympics Committee and Nour El Sherbini, Egyptian world squash champion, as well as a mass of spectators who filled the amphitheatre at Khalid Lagoon.

The ceremony began with a welcoming note by famous television and sports personality Mostafa Al Agha, who addressed the attendees and female athletes congratulating them and Sharjah for another symbolic milestone in the history of women in sports, which is participating in the 4th AWST 2018.

The ceremony went on with the UAE National Anthem, and a recitation of verses from the Holy Quran, followed by a citation of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, may God have mercy upon him, and the raising of the flags of the 16 participating countries.

The audience watched a video about the tournament before the teams entered and the tournament was declared officially underway.

Representatives of the athletes, referees and judges took the athletic oath expressing their commitment to honest and fair competition as well as a true sense of integrity. In his opening address, Sheikh Khaled bin Ahmad bin Sultan Al Qasimi welcomed all Arab competitors and guests to Sharjah, sharing the message of Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, saying: “Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi’s thoughts share an immense pride towards what Sharjah has accomplished in its dedicated care and support towards the women in sports.”

He continued: “Her Highness extends her sincere gratitude to all the organisers, guests and athletes whose honor and fair play elevates the names of their associations and clubs. Her hope rests with all the best of results to all participants, knowing that together you can lead by example in success.”

Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed Al Qasimi continued to commemorate the significance behind the 4th AWST event, saying: “As the fourth edition of AWST begins, in line with Sharjah’s strategic vision that was established under the directives of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council Ruler of Sharjah, and his wife Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, this event exemplifies the ongoing efforts to not only elevate women in sports, but also to empower them at all levels and in all fields.”

“The tournament highlights the fundamental role of women in leading change in our region, and in creating a significant shift in terms of progress, culture and development in the Arab world. The athletes that bring us together today are instrumental in building a generation of female leaders who believe in their capabilities,” he added.

“The UAE is enabling women to broaden their horizons without compromise and as this edition of the tournament is inaugurated today, the Emirate of Sharjah will become a true capital of Arab women in sports. Each match, contest, competition and challenge raises the status of female athletes and highlights their ability to represent their countries in other world-class international events as role models and ambassadors of Arab women,” he added.

For her part, Sheikha Hayat Al Khalifa underscored that the efforts of Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi in leading the support and development of Arab women in sports has contributed significantly to the Arab sports industry and has strengthened the sportsmanship among our Arab neighbours.

She said: “AWST 2018 reflects the growth of the female sports industry across the Arab region, and the significant attention and support it has received from female athletes and sports associations across the region. This year, AWST celebrates the addition of a new game, totalling the number of sports to 9, and celebrates being environmentally friendly, all initiatives to create a competitive and clean sports atmosphere for all players.”

Representatives of the participating delegations expressed their appreciation to Sharjah for organising the largest event of its kind in the Arab world and commended the efforts of the management and the organisers.

Starting today (Sunday), the Jeddah United Club will face Kuwait’s Girl Club, while Bahraini Mawaheb Club will play against Somali Mogadishu Club, and Sharjah Sports Club for Women is set to face Jordanian Fuheis Club.

The competitions will take place in 10 venues around Sharjah; the SWSF hall will host volleyball training and matches, and the Sharjah Sports Club – Samnan Branch –  will host basketball training and matches, while Al Dhaid Sports Club will feature the shooting competitions, Rifle 10m, Pistol 10m and Pistol 25m.

The fencing matches will take place at the Sajaya Young Ladies of Sharjah hall, while the athletics training and events will be held at Al Thiqah Club for the Handicapped. Table tennis competitions will take place at the Higher Colleges of Technology hall, while show-jumping will be held at the Sharjah Equestrian & Racing Club, and finally Karate will be hosted at the Sharjah Sports Club – Al Hazana branch.

The SOC announced that Radisson Blu Resort in Sharjah will host the event’s media centre, and the media will cover all venues that host the teams, technical committees, referees, arbitrators, judging panels, and other AWST committees, as well as VIPs and guests who are staying at Sheraton Sharjah Beach Resort & Spa, Swiss Belhotel, Hotel Holiday International, Marbella Resort, Copthorne Hotel, Golden Tulip Hotel and Centro Hotel in Sharjah.

In 2016, His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi issued an Emiri decree establishing SWSF as a corporate body enjoying financial independence with full capacity to carry out the necessary transactions to achieve its goals.

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World Champion Nour Al Sharbini Gives SWSF Players an Inspiring Performance on the Sport of Squash

in Sports by
  • Al Sharbini sets foot on Sharjah’s first squash court and introduces players on the professional dynamics of the sport

In the midst of a fiery start of the 4th Arab Women Sports Tournament (AWST), which kicked-off on Friday 2nd February 2018, held under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Wife of His Highness Ruler of Sharjah and Chairperson of the Sharjah Women Sports Foundation (SWSF); world squash champion, Nour Al Sharbini, debuted her presence during AWST by setting foot on Sharjah’s first squash court, located at the SWSF sports club for women.

Receiving a warm welcome reception by the SWSF players and head-coaches, Al Sharbini explored the facility and provided a short display of her award-winning skills, giving audiences an entertaining and educational background behind the advanced dynamics of the sport.

The Egyptian champion, with a career high of holding more than 9 world championship titles and more than 19 world titles across various categories, highlighted SWSF’s strategic move of introducing the new squash facility for women. She also hailed SWSF’s dedicated efforts in continuously pursuing initiatives that empower and support Arab female athletes in Sharjah and across the region.

Al Sharbini also expressed the importance of such facilities and events, and the opportunities it provides to female athletes who enjoy practicing their skills in a clean, fair and competitive environment.

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