Gold spurs Saudi women fencers to games glory

The Saudi fencing team ‘hopes to raise the Saudi flag in all forums.’ (Supplied)
Updated 23 October 2019

Gold spurs Saudi women fencers to games glory

  • Saudi fencing team “hopes to raise the Saudi flag in all international, regional and continental forums”

KUWAIT: Saudi women fencers have their eyes set on international success after claiming gold and bronze medals in the teams’ events at the sixth Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Women’s Games in Kuwait.

The women’s team finished the competition with a gold in the team sabre fencing and a bronze in the epee fencing. Fencers Hasna Al-Hammad, Ruba Al-Masri, Sheikha Al-Dosari and Fawzia Al-Dosari competed in the sabre category, while Nada Abed, Areej Abed, Fawzia Al-Khibari and Mashael Al-Khayal took part in the epee category.

Al-Hammad also won a medal in the sabre category for singles at the launch of the tournament, with the Saudi fencing team finishing third in the foil contest. 

Princess Nouf bint Khalid, head of the Saudi delegation to the games, said that the Saudi fencing team “hopes to raise the Saudi flag in all international, regional and continental forums.”

In the basketball competition, the Saudi women’s team were defeated 62-33 by Bahrain.

Meanwhile, the Saudi bowling women’s team finished its competition in fifth place. 

Mashael Al-Abdulwahid claimed 14th place among 20 players during the 18-game competition, beating rival bowlers from Oman, the UAE and Kuwait.

Her teammates Ghada Nimr, Hadeel Termin and Amani Al-Ghamdi finished 15th, 17th and 20th, respectively.


Russian athletics champ blasts own sports authorities

Updated 11 December 2019

Russian athletics champ blasts own sports authorities

  • Lasitskene, a three-time world champion, has in the past been critical of Russia’s athletics federation

MOSCOW: Russian high jump world champion Maria Lasitskene on Tuesday accused her country’s own sports authorities of failing to protect athletes from the deepening doping crisis, in a rare public broadside at top officials.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) on Monday handed Russia a new, this time four-year, ban from top global sporting events, including the next summer and winter Olympics and the 2022 soccer World Cup, for tampering with laboratory data.

The ruling means Russian athletes cleared to compete at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics will do so under a neutral flag. But Lasitskene and some other Russian track and field athletes face additional obstacles to being cleared for competition.

“I’ve already missed one Olympics and one-and-a-half years of international competition,” Lasitskene wrote in an open letter addressed to Russia’s sports authorities.

“And it seems that’s not the end of it. So who ultimately is to blame? Who’s going to give me back what I’ve lost?” she wrote in the letter published on Russian sports media outlet Championat.Com.

Lasitskene, a three-time world champion, has in the past been critical of Russia’s athletics federation, which has been suspended for doping since 2015, and has been one of the few Russian athletes to voice her anger publicly.

World Athletics, the global body governing athletics, last month halted the reinstatement procedures for Russia’s athletics federation after its president and six others were provisionally suspended for serious breaches of anti-doping rules.

As a result of these fresh sanctions, World Athletics also said it was reviewing the process it has used in the past to clear some Russians, including Lasitskene, to compete internationally as neutrals.

“Why have we arrived at a situation when an athlete is supposed to be delighted about getting neutral status?” Lasitskene wrote.

“Was the Sports Ministry and Russian Olympic Committee really happy with the Russian athletics federation’s work?”

The president of Russia’s Olympic Committee, Stanislav Pozdnyakov, on Monday dismissed the sanctions against Russia as inappropriate and excessive.