The Cricket World Cup starts next week in India with a rematch of the 2019 final between England and New Zealand on Oct. 5. The Associated Press takes a look at the previous 12 editions of the tournament.
2019 in England
Final: England was awarded victory on a countback of boundaries against New Zealand after the teams finished tied after the regulation 100 overs and a Super Over.
England wicketkeeper Jos Buttler described it as ” the most ridiculous (fantastic) game of cricket to have ever been played.”
The final lasted longer than nine hours at Lord’s after New Zealand posted 241-8 and England, chasing 242 for victory, was dismissed for 241 on the last ball of its allocated 50 overs. A dramatic last over involved two run-outs and a throw that deflected to the boundary off Ben Stokes’ bat while he was running between wickets.
The Super Over also ended tied, with both teams scoring 15. England clinched its first World Cup title on an obscure and subsequently amended tiebreaker based on the higher number of fours and sixes its batters hit during the final.
The 2019 World Cup featured 10 teams, a reduction of four from the previous two editions, and a single round-robin format that finished with India on top with seven wins, one loss and a washout. Defending champion Australia was second with a 7-2 record, followed by England (6-3) and 2015 runner-up New Zealand (5-3 with one washout).
England, hosting the tournament for a fifth tournament, beat archrival Australia in the semifinals and New Zealand upstaged India.
New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson was voted player of the tournament, India’s Rohit Sharma was the leading scorer with 648 runs and Australia’s Mitchell Starc led the bowlers with 27 wickets.
2015 in Australia and New Zealand
Final: Australia defeated New Zealand by 7 wickets
After being involved in two classic World Cup contests to heighten expectations of a major upset, New Zealand faltered in a final that was an almost foregone conclusion from the first over.
Brendon McCullum’s blazing starts had been instrumental in New Zealand reaching the World Cup final for the first time, but it was his wicket — bowled by a Mitchell Starc yorker for a third-ball duck — that foreshadowed Australia’s victory at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
New Zealand labored for 183 from 45 overs and Australia raced to 186-3 in 33 overs with Steve Smith unbeaten on 56. After winning titles in India, England, South Africa and the Caribbean, it was Australia’s first World Cup triumph on home soil.
Starc and New Zealander Trent Boult took 22 wickets apiece to lead the tournament bowling charts. New Zealander Martin Guptill topped the run-scoring list with 547 runs in a tournament that featured two groups of seven teams and quarterfinals.
Boult edged Starc for the player of the match in their dramatic group-stage encounter which New Zealand won by a wicket in Auckland, taking 5-27 from 10 overs to help dismantle Australia for 151. The New Zealanders were in total control at 78-1 until McCullum was out for 50 and Starc tore through the lower order to return 6-28. With one wicket in the balance and six runs needed, No. 11 Boult hung on with Kane Williamson to get the Kiwis across the line.
As if that wasn’t close enough, it took Grant Elliott’s driven six off the penultimate ball of the semifinal from pace spearhead Dale Steyn to extend New Zealand’s run and inflict yet another painful World Cup blow to South Africa.
India’s title defense ended in a lopsided semifinal loss to Australia.
2011 in India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh
Final: India defeated Sri Lanka by 6 wickets
Sachin Tendulkar finally picked up a World Cup trophy to add to his glittering list of personal cricket triumphs, and he said it was the highlight of his career.
Sri Lanka won the toss — in unusual circumstances after a second flip of the coin was required because the match referee couldn’t hear Kumar Sangakkara’s first call — and posted 274-6 after a brilliant 103 from Mahela Jayawardena at Wankhede Stadium.
India was in trouble after losing Virender Sehwag (0) and Tendulkar (18) but Gautam Gambhir (97) and Mahendra Singh Dhoni (91) shared a 109-run stand to guide the home team to victory.
Tendulkar missed out on scoring his 100th international century that day but was still hoisted onto the shoulders of his teammates as they did a victory lap.
“He carried the hopes of the nation for 21 years, so it’s time we carried him on our shoulders,” India batsman Virat Kohli said.
India was the first team to win the World Cup on home soil, starting a run of three for tournament hosts.
For Tendulkar, it was a first title in six World Cups.
India was an early favorite but had to take a hard route to the title. The group stage included a high-scoring tie with England — both teams scoring 338 — and a loss to South Africa.
Yuvraj Singh starred in a quarterfinal win at Ahmedabad that ended Australia’s run of World Cup titles at three, and contributed to his selection as player of the tournament.
2007 in the West Indies
Final: Australia defeated Sri Lanka by 53 runs
Australia clinched an unprecedented third consecutive World Cup title after a rain-reduced final that ended in farcical circumstances in Bridgetown, Barbados.
Adam Gilchrist smashed 149 — posting the fastest century and highest score in a World Cup final — as Australia scored 281-4 from 38 overs.
Sri Lanka was 206-7 with three overs to go when its two batsmen left the field amid dark and overcast conditions, prompting celebrations among the Australians and the crowd, who thought the game was over.
After some confusion on the field, the batsmen returned and the game resumed in near darkness.
Lasith Malinga was subsequently run out and the final few balls were played out in surreal circumstances as Sri Lanka had no hope of victory.
“It’s a bit dark, but I’m loving every minute of it,” said veteran Australia paceman Glenn McGrath, who then retired from international cricket.
The tournament was overshadowed by the death of Pakistan’s England-born coach Bob Woolmer. He was found unconscious in his hotel room the day after Pakistan’s shocking loss to Ireland in the group stage, sparking a homicide investigation in Jamaica.
Police later said experts concluded Woolmer died of natural causes.
The group-stage exits of Pakistan and India also detracted from the tournament, while some individual performances left marks that will take a long time to beat.
Herschelle Gibbs became the first batter to hit six sixes in an over in international cricket when he repeatedly hit Dutch legspinner Daan van Bunge out of the ground in a group match at St. Kitts.
South Africa was on the receiving end of a notable individual record when Sri Lanka’s Malinga took four wickets with four consecutive deliveries — also a first.
2003 in South Africa
Final: Australia defeated India by 125 runs
After cruising through the tournament unbeaten, Australia became only the second team to retain the World Cup.
Adam Gilchrist and Matthew Hayden shared an opening partnership of 105 before captain Ricky Ponting smashed 140 from 121 balls in a man-of-the-match performance to steer Australia to 359-2 from 50 overs at Johannesburg.
Glenn McGrath had Sachin Tendulkar out caught-and-bowled in the first over of India’s reply. McGrath finished with 3-52 as India was dismissed for 234.
The success was also notable for the absence of star spinner Shane Warne, who was sent home the day before Australia’s opening match after testing positive for a banned diuretic.
The first World Cup in Africa was co-hosted by South Africa, Zimbabwe and Kenya. The Kenyans provided the surprise of the tournament by beating Sri Lanka on the way to an appearance in the semifinals.
But the success of Kenya and Zimbabwe in an interminable tournament that required 42 games to narrow the field from 14 teams to six owed much to the refusal of England and New Zealand to play in those countries because of security concerns.
1999 in England and Wales
Final: Australia defeated Pakistan by 8 wickets
Shane Warne was the star with four wickets in the final as Australia bowled out Pakistan for 132 at Lord’s and eased to 133-2 from 20 overs thanks to Adam Gilchrist’s 54 from 36 balls.
Australia’s first World Cup title since 1987 confirmed its status as cricket’s premier limited-overs lineup but it was its two matches against South Africa that went down in cricketing folklore.
Australia won the first of those in the inaugural Super Sixes stage by five wickets, with Steve Waugh scoring a match-winning 120. The Australia captain was dropped by a prematurely celebrating Herschelle Gibbs when he was on 56 and was said to have told the South African, “You’ve just dropped the World Cup.”
Waugh denied saying it, but the comment rang true after the teams met in the semifinals.
With victory in sight, South Africa’s Allan Donald was run out with two balls left following a miscommunication with allrounder Lance Klusener. The match ended in a tie, with both teams on 213 all out, allowing Australia to advance by virtue of its win in the earlier head-to-head match.
After two losses in its first three matches, Australia simply hit form at the right time.
Host England and the fading West Indies were knocked out in the first round of the 12-team tournament.
1996 in Pakistan, India and Sri Lanka
Final: Sri Lanka defeated Australia by 7 wickets
Aravinda da Silva’s all-round brilliance inspired Sri Lanka’s first World Cup title.
Da Silva claimed three wickets, including Mark Taylor and Ricky Ponting, and two catches as Australia struggled to 241-7 in the final at Lahore, Pakistan.
He then sealed his third man-of-the-match award of the tournament with an unbeaten 107 as Sri Lanka reached its victory target with ease.
Sri Lanka’s surprising and emotional win ensured the event at least ended on a high note.
The sixth Cricket World Cup exasperated fans with a three-week group stage that took in 29 matches before eliminating only Zimbabwe, Kenya, United Arab Emirates and the Netherlands.
Australia and West Indies forfeited their group games in Colombo following a terrorist bombing in the city three weeks earlier.
The tournament reached another low in the semifinal at Calcutta when India’s fans, angered by their team’s slide to 120-8 in reply to Sri Lanka’s 251-8, began throwing bottles onto the pitch and lighting fires in the stands. The game was abandoned.
1992 in Australia and New Zealand
Final: Pakistan defeated England by 22 runs
Pakistan lifted the World Cup for the first time with a 22-run win over England in front of a crowd of 87,182 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
Imran Khan (72) and Javed Miandad (58) helped Pakistan set a target of 250, and Wasim Akram took crucial wickets in the reply as England fell short, sparking jubilant scenes on the streets of Pakistan.
“It was one of the biggest days in Pakistan cricket history,” Khan said later.
This World Cup was the first to feature colored clothing, a white ball, and matches under floodlights.
Defending champion Australia missed out on the semifinals. South Africa’s return to international competition after 21 years of isolation was a success as Kepler Wessels’ squad opened with a dominant win over the Aussies on its way to the semifinals.
But its campaign ended in bizarre fashion when, needing 22 from 13 balls to beat England, a heavy shower in Sydney delayed play. The rules at the time to recalculate targets in rain-affected matches left South Africa needing 21 from one ball. The ensuing controversy eventually led to the introduction of the Duckworth/Lewis Method of revising targets.
1987 in India and Pakistan
Final: Australia defeated England by 7 runs
Australia captain Allan Border was carried on the shoulders of his teammates at Calcutta’s Eden Gardens after leading the team to its first World Cup title.
The first World Cup outside England was also the first to be reduced from 60 to 50 overs for each innings.
Chetan Sharma recorded the first hat-trick in a World Cup in India’s nine-wicket win over New Zealand in a group stage which delivered several thrilling encounters.
Pakistan’s 15-run win over Sri Lanka set the tone; Australia beat India by one run; England scored 35 runs in the last three overs to beat West Indies; New Zealand avoided an almighty upset by edging rookie Zimbabwe by three runs.
England, with a win over India, and Australia, which beat Pakistan, put paid to the co-hosts’ hopes in the semifinals before Border’s lineup, propelled by David Boon’s 75, prevailed in a hotly contested final.
1983 in England
Final: India defeated West Indies by 43 runs
India caused a major upset by lifting the trophy at Lord’s against a West Indies squad that had won the two previous editions and featured Viv Richards and Clive Lloyd.
Having successfully negotiated the group stage, in which teams played each other twice, India beat England by six wickets in the semifinals.
The West Indies were even more impressive, though, in limiting Pakistan to 184 before cruising past the victory target for the loss of just two wickets at The Oval.
West Indies started the final as a hot favorite, with odds shortening after India was dismissed for 183.
However, things started to go wrong for the West Indies after Haynes’ dismissal left his team on 50-2. Two catches by Kapil Dev removed Richards and Lloyd, as Mohinder Amarnath (3-12) and Madan Lal (3-31) ripped through the West Indies batting order.
The West Indies were all out for 140 in what became a defining moment for Indian cricket.
1979 in England
Final: West Indies defeated England by 92 runs
The West Indies were worthy winners, helped in the final by the brilliance of Viv Richards and Collis King and an England batting collapse.
In a promising start, England bowlers Mike Hendrick and Chris Old appeared to have the reigning champions in some trouble at 99-4. But King’s 86 off 66 balls and a 138 from Richards helped the Caribbean team regain control.
Set a victory target of 287, Mike Brearley and Geoff Boycott put runs on the board — but did so too slowly.
England needed 38 overs to reach 129 for the first wicket. From 183-2, England’s batsmen added just 11 runs for the next eight wickets as the West Indies retained their title.
There was no room in the semifinals for a below-strength team from Australia, whose best players were all absent due to their contracts with Kerry Packer’s World Series Cricket.
1975 in England
Final: West Indies defeated Australia by 17 runs
The inaugural two-week tournament was considered a major innovation for the sport. Eight teams were divided into two groups, with the top two in each advancing to the semifinals before a showcase final at Lord’s.
Attacking teams like West Indies and Australia flourished in the 60-over format, while other test nations struggled to grasp the need for quick runs.
India’s Sunil Gavaskar batted through all 60 overs against England, scoring just 36 runs in a heavy group-stage defeat.
Australia beat England in the semifinals after a superb display by Gary Gilmour, whose bowling figures of 6-14 remain a World Cup record and whose 28 runs in as many balls helped seal a four-wicket victory.
The West Indies went one better, beating New Zealand by five wickets in the other semifinal, to line up a decider in which Clive Lloyd and Viv Richards dominated the pace attack of Dennis Lillee and Jeff Thomson.
Lloyd’s 102 in an innings total of 291 had Australia under pressure right from the start, while Richards’ three runouts — among a remarkable total of five — decided an entertaining contest.
A capsule look at the 12 previous Cricket World Cup tournaments in 50-over format
A capsule look at the 12 previous Cricket World Cup tournaments in 50-over format
- Cricket World Cup starts next week in India with a rematch of the 2019 final between England and New Zealand on Oct. 5
- Pakistan lifted World Cup for first time in 1992 with 22-run win over England in front of a crowd of 87,182 in Melbourne
The Cricket World Cup starts next week in India with a rematch of the 2019 final between England and New Zealand on Oct. 5. The Associated Press takes a look at the previous 12 editions of the tournament.
SailGP brings its Inspire program to Dubai ahead of showpiece event
- The Emirates Dubai Sail Grand Prix presented by P&O Marinas takes place on Dec. 9 and 10
- Hundreds of students and members of the city’s sailing clubs will benefit from Inspire’s learning, careers and racing programs
DUBAI: Ahead of the return of the Emirates Dubai Sail Grand Prix presented by P&O Marinas to the emirate on Dec. 9-10, SailGP is once again rolling out its dedicated community, education and outreach initiative, Inspire, to benefit hundreds of local youngsters and members of the sailing community.
SailGP said it founded the Inspire initiative with the aim of increasing diversity within the sport of sailing among young people, free of race, gender or socioeconomic barriers.
“The Inspire program is such an amazing part of SailGP and something unique to the championship,” said Pippa Kenton-Page, a sailing gold medalist at the Beijing Olympics in 2008 and Inspire coordinator in the UAE.
“Engaging young people in the sport is something I’m particularly passionate about, especially those who may not otherwise have the chance to try sailing and get involved. SailGP offers this opportunity for young people all around the world to try sailing and be inspired by the amazing boats and athletes involved.
“For me, this part of the global league is really incredible and I can’t wait to see the young people of Dubai and Abu Dhabi getting on the water and hopefully introducing them to a lifetime of sailing.”
Through Inspire’s learning, careers and racing programs, SailGP said it aims to have a positive effect on the local communities that host its events, and create a legacy. To date, it added, 16,727 young people have taken part in the program, exceeding the initial target of 10,000, and the aim now is to have 25,000 young people participate by the end of season 5 in 2024/25.
Through the Inspire learning program, 200 students in Dubai between the ages of 9 and 15 from more than half a dozen schools, including JESS Dubai and Dubai Heights Academy, will have the chance to take part in what is described as a unique experience at P&O Marina’s Sailing Academy.
It includes a tour of the SailGP technical base at Mina Rashid, lessons from members the Emirates Great Britain SailGP Team, and STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) activities exploring the science behind the sport. It all culminates in learn-to-sail sessions aboard RS21 racing boats.
The racing program, which is taking place at the academy this week, gives up to 10 young sailors each day the chance to take part in exclusive foiling taster clinics. Foiling is when a boat lifts above the surface of the water on hydrofoils as it moves, thereby reducing drag and increasing speed. Through the Inspire program’s partnership with sailboat maker Waszp, participants will have the opportunity to experience foiling for the first time and receive expert coaching, SailGP said.
The careers program gives 14 people of age 18 and over the chance to see how some of SailGP’s key departments work, including boat building, hydraulics, sustainability, media services and the shore team. SailGP said the aim is to showcase the variety of career paths in the sailing industry, and the selection process for the program prioritizes a mix of skills, backgrounds and diversity, making it the ideal platform for the next generation of sailing enthusiasts.
An “Adopt-a-Club” initiative, meanwhile, offers 300 people the opportunity to immerse themselves in the world of high-performance sailing in a truly unique way, according to SailGP. This part of the Inspire program pairs 10 local sailing clubs with each of the 10 SailGP teams, giving members a chance to explore SailGP facilities, watch the preparation of the catamarans and gain insights into the logistical and technological aspects of high-performance sailing. Participants will also directly interact with SailGP athletes and other team members.
“P&O Marinas is incredibly proud to host the SailGP Inspire program at our Sailing Academy again,” said Hamza Mustafa, the chief operating officer of P&O Marinas.
“Inspire gives us the opportunity to both reach a great number of UAE youth who may not have had the opportunity to try sailing before, but also to inspire young sailors who are already engaged with the sport to accelerate their own skills, experience foiling and realize their dreams of competing in an F50 one day.
“It is a great program that combines theory and practice and we look forward to welcoming all the participants.”
Following the event in Dubai this week, the next round of the SailGP championship will be in Abu Dhabi on Jan. 13 and 14.
Golden triumphs during day 12 of Saudi Games 2023
- Winners receive medals from Princess Delayel bint Nahar Al-Saud, other leading figures
- Athletes compete in table tennis, karate, handball, basketball, fencing, Thai boxing, futsal competitions
RIYADH: Princess Delayel bint Nahar Al-Saud, the deputy director of the Saudi Games, on Monday crowned the winners in the para table tennis competition at Prince Faisal bin Fahd Olympic Complex Paralympic Hall.
Al-Riyadh’s Ghaliah Al-Anzi secured the gold medal, Renad Al-Rehaili from Al-Sharqiya claimed silver, and bronze was presented to Al-Riyadh’s Maryam Al-Myrisl.
The princess also handed out awards to the winners in the women’s fencing contest, held at the Riyadh Club. In the epee category, Al-Shabab’s youth player Fawzya Al-Khibiri retained her Saudi Games gold medal title. Al-Nahda’s Nada Abed took silver, and Layan Ahmedo and Dana Al-Qassem from Al-Shabab both received bronze.
Jana and Mariam shine in karate:
Adwa Al-Araifi, assistant minister of sports affairs, presented awards to the winners in the women’s open-weight karate competitions, staged at King Saud University.
Maryam Al-Salah of Al-Hilal won the gold medal, while Samar Mokhtar from Al-Farouk took home the silver. Al-Nassr’s Noura Al-Rashed secured bronze.
In the women’s open-weight youth category, Hajer’s Jana Al-Omarin took the gold, Al-Hilal’s Jwan Feteiha silver, and Al-Ittihad’s Rana Faiad bronze.
Hajer takes the youth karate gold:
Hajer’s Abdullah Al-Garni secured the gold medal in karate’s under-55 kg men’s youth category, which took place at King Saud University. Khaled Al-Otaibi from Al-Ahli Club received silver, and Al-Saffa’s Ali Al-Aryani the bronze.
Mahdi Al-Munjem from Okh won gold in the under-61 kg category, silver went to Hajer’s Omar Shaman, and bronze to Bassam Shafei from Al-Hilal Club.
Hajer’s Abdulaziz Al-Saif scooped the gold medal in the under-68 kg category, while Al-Safa’s Haitam Oufkir took silver, and Al-Ahli’s Fahad Al-Otaibi bronze.
Al-Safa’s Abdullah Al-Qahtani won gold in the under-76 kg class, Hajer’s Enad Al-Mubarak silver, and Hamza Rami from Al-Nahdah Club claimed bronze.
In the over-76 kg competition, Abdulaziz Mansour from Al-Shabab Club was the gold-medal winner, with Hajer’s Fazaa Al-Saiar taking silver, and bronze going to Al-Fateh’s Yousef Al-Abdulazeem Safa.
Al-Hilal dominates karate with three gold medals:
Al-Hilal’s Saud Al-Basher secured the gold medal in the under-60 kg category in the karate competitions, also held at King Saud University. His teammate, Turki Al-Nami, won silver, and Saud Al-Dossari from Al-Nassr Club claimed the bronze.
Omar Al-Azmi from Al-Nassr won gold in the under-67 kg category, followed by Al-Ittihad’s Fahd Al-Khathami with silver, and Al-Ahli’s Anas Basha taking the bronze medal.
In the under-75 kg category, Ali Burnawi from Al-Ittihad secured the gold medal, Ali Mugari from Al-Safa Club the silver, Al-Hilal’s Majed Al-Khalifah the bronze.
Firj Al-Nashiri from Al-Hilal Club won gold in the under-84 kg class, with his teammate Mohammed Al-Maliki clinching silver. Al-Nassr’s Anas Al-Zahrani received the bronze.
Al-Hilal’s Sanad Sufyani secured gold in the over-84 kg category, and Ibrahim Al-Marzooq of the same club, took silver. Al-Safa’s Zayed Al-Bishi was the winner of the bronze medal.
Karate gold for Hajer youth:
Secretary-general and CEO of the Saudi Olympic and Paralympic Committee, Abdulaziz Baeshen, awarded the medals for the karate winners.
Abdullah Al-Garni took home the gold in the youth under-55 kg category at King Saud University. The silver medal was won by Hajer’s Khaled Al-Otaibi, while Ali Al-Aryani from Al-Saffa secured the bronze.
In the men’s over-76 kg category, Abdulaziz Mansour from Al-Shabab Club won gold, followed by Fazaa Al-Saiari taking silver, and Yousef Al-Abdulazeem securing bronze.
Handball victories for Al-Qarah, Al-Khaleej, and Al-Safa:
In the men’s handball competitions, Al-Qarah defeated Al-Jeel 30-24 in the first group match held at King Saud University’s Sports Arena. Al-Khaleej overcame Al-Muheet 39-21, and Al-Safa defeated Al-Njoom with a score of 65-19 in the second group.
Al-Rawdah will face Al-Noor in the third group, while Al-Adalah will play against Al-Hada. Al-Wehda will compete against Al-Hazem in the fourth group.
Three matches in youth handball:
Al-Wehda defeated Al-Hazem 25-15 in the first group match at King Saud University’s Sports Arena, and Al-Noor secured a 32-18 victory over Al-Hada in the same group. Al-Khaleej will play Al-Ibtisam in the third group, and the second group will see Al-Ahli versus Mudhar and Al-Hilal take on Al-Qarah.
Women’s basketball semi-finals begin:
Jeddah United women’s basketball team began their campaign to defend their title with a victory over Al-Qadisiyah, winning 60-20 in the first match of the quarterfinals.
The Al-Ittihad team defeated Al-Nassr 48-36, while Al-Hilal overcame Al-Ahli 49-42. Jeddah United will next face Al-Ittihad, and Al-Hilal will play against Al-Asima.
Men’s basketball semi-finals begin:
The men’s basketball semi-finals take place at Prince Faisal bin Fahd Olympic Complex Sports Arena. Al-Ahli and Al-Hilal will open the matches, followed by Al-Nassr against Ohod.
Al-Nassr dominates youth fencing gold:
Al-Nassr’s athletes claimed the podium in the youth foil events. Gold was awarded to Saud Al-Rasheed, while Abdulaziz Al-Mugairen took silver, and Fares Al-Omair and Abdulaziz Hatem Al-Tuwaijri received the bronze.
In the men’s youth sabre category, gold was awarded to Al-Adalah’s Jehad Al-Obaid. Silver was presented to Al-Omran’s Ali Saeed Al-Hashem, and Al-Adalah’s Ahmed Al-Omran and Al-Watani’s Abdulsalam Turk Al-Anazi secured bronze.
In the youth men’s epee fencing category, Hassan Abed from Al-Nahda Club won gold, Al-Hilal’s Ahmed Hzazi took silver, and Youssef Al-Banai from Al-Hilal and Saleh Sultan Al-Sudais from Al-Nassr claimed bronze.
In the youth women’s sabre division, Al-Shabab’s Talene Al-Kudmani clinched the gold while her teammate, Zilal Ahmado, bagged silver. Luluh Al-Buqmi from Okaz and Al-Ettifaq’s Aleen Khalid Al-Amoudi took home the bronze.
Hattan wins gold in Thai boxing:
Hattan Al-Saif secured the gold medal in the women’s Thai boxing 57 kg category at King Saud University. Abdulrahman Al-Olayeq, the former secretary-general of the Saudi Arabian Olympic Committee, and Rian Al-Ahmad, a Saudi Arabian Thai Boxing Federation board member presented the awards.
Ghadah Al-Shehri won the silver medal, while Dana Al-Ghussein and Reema Al-Ferdews received bronze.
Champions crowned in men’s Thai boxing:
Ahmad Rosli won the gold medal in the 57 kg men’s Thai boxing category, staged at King Saud University. Khalid Al-Dawalibi took the silver, and Alaraa Al-Amoudi and Abdullah Mohammed received the bronze.
Othmane Essaadaoui clinched the gold medal in the 63.5 kg category, with Abdullah Al-Qahtani taking silver, and Mujtaba Al-Zaki and Mehtab Khan bronze.
In the 75 kg class, Soufiane Marzaq was the gold-medal winner, while silver was presented to Abdulrahman Bajbaa. Ali Najee and Amer Al-Anzi both came away with the bronze.
Al-Riyadh wins gold in men’s futsal:
Al-Riyadh team claimed the gold medal in men’s futsal after defeating Al-Nassr 4-3. Al-Ittihad secured bronze after winning 8-5 against Al-Qadisiyah.
Dr. Khalid Bin Muqrin, board member of the Saudi Arabian Football Federation, and former Saudi football star Majid Abdullah handed out awards to the winners.
Michael Thorbjornsen earns exemption into Dubai Desert Classic as No. 1 in PGA TOUR University
- 35th edition of tournament will be played at Emirates Golf Club on Jan. 18-21
DUBAI: As the No. 1 player in the PGA TOUR University ranking at the end of the fall college golf season, Stanford senior Michael Thorbjornsen has earned an exemption into the DP World Tour’s Hero Dubai Desert Classic.
The Rolex Series event and the 35th edition of the tournament will be played at Emirates Golf Club between Jan. 18 to 21 and is the third year the tournament has offered an exemption to PGA TOUR University’s top-ranked player.
Thorbjornsen competed in the 2023 Hero Dubai Desert Classic on a sponsor exemption and posted a third-round 64 en route to a T20 finish in his first start on the DP World Tour. He also has four made cuts on the PGA TOUR, highlighted by a fourth-place finish at the 2022 Travelers Championship, and he qualified for the US Open three times.
His junior season at Stanford included wins at the Fighting Illini Invitational and Pac-12 Championship, and he was named 2023 Pac-12 Golfer of the Year and a PING First-Team All-American.
Texas A and M’s Sam Bennett (2022) and Texas Tech’s Ludvig Aberg (2023) were the first two players to earn the PGA TOUR University exemption into the Hero Dubai Desert Classic.
Since their starts in the event, Bennett went on to win the 2022 US Amateur and finished T16 at the 2023 Masters, and Aberg competed for Europe at the 2023 Ryder Cup and has wins at the DP World Tour’s Omega European Masters and the PGA TOUR’s RSM Classic.
Thorbjornsen will join world No. 2 and defending champion Rory McIlroy, who will be searching for his fourth Dallah Trophy in January with organizers set to announce more big players in the coming weeks.
Simon Corkill, executive tournament director of the Hero Dubai Desert Classic, said: “Helping develop the next stars of tomorrow – both locally and overseas – is very important for us and our partnership with the PGA Tour provides a platform for golf’s young rising stars to not only compete against the world’s best professionals but also gain vital competitive experience that will help them take their game to the next level.
“We look forward to welcoming Michael Thorbjornsen to the Hero Dubai Desert Classic in January following an impressive year on the PGA Tour University calendar.”
Golf Channel will air all four rounds live of the Hero Dubai Desert Classic in the US and Canada, with SKY Sports Golf providing live event coverage in the UK and Ireland.
In partnership with the World Amateur Golf Ranking, PGA TOUR University ranks collegiate players based on their average performance in NCAA Division I men’s team competitions, official PGA TOUR tournaments, and select DP World Tour events over a two-year ranking period.
Jota seals top spot for Al-Ittihad in AFC Champions League’s Group C
- Jota's contribution means Tigers finish group with five wins and one defeat and can look forward to knockout stages
JEDDAH: Al-Ittihad took top spot in Group C in the Asian Champions League on Monday following a 2-1 win over Sepahan in Jeddah.
It marked a third straight victory for new coach Marcelo Gallardo and, more importantly, the return to action after a lengthy injury for center-back Ahmed Hegazi, although Karim Benzema and N’Golo Kante are still struggling with injuries.
It proved a rewarding night for the 2004 and 2005 champions, although the game was far from easy against a strong Sepahan side.
The early stages went according to plan for the hosts, though, and in the 14th minute Saleh Al-Amri scored in spectacular fashion. He lined up a free-kick just outside the penalty area before curling the ball home into the corner of the net.
Fabinho then had the chance to extend the lead but his header was off target.
There was nothing wrong with the header from Sepahan’s Ramin Rezaeian three minutes after the restart, though. Mohammad Daneshgar’s long ball from the left side found the forward free at the back post and his header bounced once before ending up high in the top corner of the net beyond Abdullah Al-Mayouf, who was in goal in place of usual No. 1 Marcelo Grohe.
The experienced goalkeeper had an impressive game and made a number of vital saves against opponents who enjoyed more possession and had more attempts on goal than the hosts.
It was left to Jota to settle the tie midway through the second half with his first goal in the Asian competition. After a slow and patient buildup from the back, Abderrazak Hamdallah picked up possession just outside the Iranians’ area and slipped the ball through for the Portuguese winger to stab home the winner.
Rezaeian almost earned the visitors a share of the spoils with a late free-kick but Al-Mayouf saved to give Ittihad and their new Argentine coach another win.
It means that the Tigers finish the group with five wins and one defeat and can look forward to the knockout stages, which start in 2024, with confidence.
It also means that, following a league game against Damac on Thursday, Ittihad can focus on the FIFA Club World Cup in Jeddah and an opening game against Oceania champions Auckland City. Gallardo will be hoping that the likes of Benzema and Kante can return to fitness in time for the tournament.
But, for now, Ittihad are on the winning track.
Al-Hilal look good in AFC Champions League after another victory
- A 2-1 win over Nassaji Mazandaran ensures top spot in Group D
- Jorge Jesus’ men are looking unstoppable at the moment, even when they rest top-class international players such as Aleksandar Mitrovic and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic
Al-Hilal made sure of top spot in Group D of the AFC Champions League on Monday with a 2-1 win over Nassaji Mazandaran.
Goals in each half from Michael and Salem Al-Dawsari proved enough to defeat the Iranians and for Al-Hilal to progress to the second round unbeaten and in fine form with 15 wins from the last 15 in all competitions.
Jorge Jesus’ men are looking unstoppable at the moment, even when they rest top-class international players such as Aleksandar Mitrovic and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic.
Both of those players scored in last Friday’s 3-0 win over Al-Nassr in the Riyadh derby, and Al-Hilal carried on from where they had left off, scoring this time after just four minutes.
Mohammed Al-Breik collected the ball on the left side of the area and rolled it across the six-yard box. It evaded everyone but Michael who was there at the far post to blast home from close range.
The Blues continued to push forward and Saud Abdulhamid, Al-Breik, and Saleh Al-Shehri — given a rare start by his coach after his recent heroics for the national team — all had attempts on goal.
Home fans may have expected their side to stroll to victory but, while dominating possession, they were made to work for the second goal.
They thought they had it just before the half hour when Abdullah Al-Hamdan broke free of the defense, but his low shot was well saved by Hossein Khatir. That was not the end of the danger either, as the ball bounced off Amir Houshmand and headed toward goal before the goalkeeper clawed it off the line.
The visitors, who had already been eliminated, had not looked too dangerous going forward, but that changed just before the break. Hossein Zamehran took a free-kick from the right and Mahmoud Rahmati stooped to send a perfect low header toward the opposite corner, Yassine Bounou getting down quickly to make a fine diving save.
Al-Hilal grabbed a second goal early in the second half. Al-Hamdan lifted a pass over the defense for Al-Dawsari who, under pressure from defenders, pushed the ball past the goalkeeper.
It all looked too easy, and with 13 minutes remaining, the Iranians pulled one back through Rahmati. Kalidou Koulibaly headed away a cross but it fell to the forward who volleyed high into the net to give Bounou no chance.
That was it as far as goals were concerned, but there looks to be much more to come in the AFC Champions League for Al-Hilal.