AlUla Camel Cup returns in April for four days of racing

The 2024 AlUla Camel Cup will take place on April 24-27. (RCU)
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Updated 20 March 2024
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AlUla Camel Cup returns in April for four days of racing

  • World’s most prestigious camel racing event to take place on April 24-27
  • Event is organized by the Royal Commission for AlUla in collaboration with Saudi Camel Racing Federation

ALULA: The AlUla Camel Cup, the world’s most prestigious camel racing event, returns to Saudi Arabia from April 24-27.

Last year’s inaugural edition — organized by the Royal Commission for AlUla in conjunction with the Saudi Camel Racing Federation — attracted some 2,550 visitors.

With 2024 designated the Year of the Camel to celebrate the animal’s cultural significance, enduring community connection and status in the Kingdom, organizers say the tournament will honor that legacy.

Ziad Al-Suhaibini, the RCU’s chief sports officer, said: “The AlUla Camel Cup stands proudly as the pinnacle of camel racing and has assumed a starring role in elevating AlUla’s regional and global standing as a premier heritage sports destination.

“As we start the countdown to this year’s highly anticipated second edition, we are excited to present another exceptional event where sporting excellence, cultural heritage and audience engagement converge.

“Aligning perfectly with our sports sector strategy at RCU, this same formula will ensure another sporting spectacle which not only shows our country’s rich heritage to the world, but also lays new foundations for growth and development in the years ahead.”

Taking place at AlUla’s Mughayra Heritage Sports Village, the four-day event will feature the region’s fastest camels and most talented riders across several rounds of competition. There are substantial prize pots and exquisitely designed AlUla Camel Cup champion trophies up for grabs.

Rami Almoallim, vice president of destination marketing & management at the RCU, said: “The return of the AlUla Camel Cup is news certain to be welcomed enthusiastically by communities across the Kingdom, not least because camel racing is an ancient heritage sport woven into the fabric of our culture and traditions.

“Last year’s fabulous first edition was a perfect example that camel racing today remains an enduring thread connecting the past to the present.”

The origins of camel racing date back to the seventh century and plays a crucial role in upholding AlUla's status as a heritage destination.


Kylian Mbappé scores on return from broken nose as France draw 1-1 with Poland at Euro 2024

Updated 8 sec ago
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Kylian Mbappé scores on return from broken nose as France draw 1-1 with Poland at Euro 2024

Mbappé removed his protective mask to celebrate in front of France’s fans after converting his 56th-minute penalty for his first goal at a European Championship
Lewandowski found the bottom corner with his second attempt

DORTMUND: Kylian Mbappé scored from the penalty spot on his return after breaking his nose before France conceded a spot kick by Robert Lewandowski in a 1-1 draw with Poland at the European Championship on Tuesday.
Mbappé removed his protective mask to celebrate in front of France’s fans after converting his 56th-minute penalty for his first goal at a European Championship. It wasn’t enough to secure his team first place in Group D at Euro 2024, though.
Lewandowski had his penalty saved in the 77th minute by France goalkeeper Mike Maignan, who was adjudged to have come off his line. The Poland striker found the bottom corner with his second attempt.
France finished as runner-up to Austria in the group and will play the runner-up in Group E, which could be Belgium, Romania, Slovakia or Ukraine, in the last 16 on July 1.
France have yet to score an open-play goal at Euro 2024, having beaten Austria 1-0 on an own-goal and then drawn 0-0 with the Netherlands — when Mbappé was missing after breaking his nose against the Austrians.
Mbappé returned to the starting lineup against last-place Poland, which were already eliminated before the match began, and was clearly impaired by wearing a mask that limits his peripheral vision.
He largely kept away from overly physical challenges and didn’t compete for the ball in the air.
Still, Mbappé remained France’s most dangerous attacker and finally got his first goal in six matches at the tournament — taking in four at Euro 2020 and two at Euro 2024 — after Ousmane Dembele was tripped in the area.
Mbappé played the full game, starting as a central striker before ending up on the left wing, in another unconvincing display from France — a two-time European champion and the World Cup runner-up in 2022.

Austria beat Netherlands 3-2 to reach knockout stage of Euro 2024 as group winner ahead of France

Updated 8 min 49 sec ago
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Austria beat Netherlands 3-2 to reach knockout stage of Euro 2024 as group winner ahead of France

  • First-half substitute Xavi Simons set up Cody Gapko to equalize two minutes after the break
  • Sabitzer restored Austria’s lead two minutes later with a fierce strike from a difficult angle

BERLIN: Marcel Sabitzer scored late for Austria to advance to the knockout stage of the European Championship as group winner with a 3-2 victory over the Netherlands on Tuesday.
Austria topped Group D thanks to France drawing with Poland 1-1 in the other game. Both France and the Netherlands were already assured of progress thanks to results in other games.
The Austrians had needed a point to be sure of advancing and got off to a great start with Dutch forward Donyell Malen scoring an own goal in the sixth minute.
First-half substitute Xavi Simons set up Cody Gapko to equalize two minutes after the break, but Romano Schmid headed Austria back in front in the 59th.
Memphis Depay equalized with a brilliant finish in the 75th, though he had to endure a VAR check as referee Ivan Kruzliak felt he handled the ball. The check found Depay hadn’t.
But Sabitzer restored Austria’s lead two minutes later with a fierce strike from a difficult angle.
It proved to be the winner despite a frenetic finale with chances at both ends.
Netherlands coach Ronald Koeman made three changes to the team that drew against France. He had criticized Simons for not pressing enough in that match and subsequently dropped the young player in favor of Joey Veerman in midfield. Lutsharel Geertruida started for Denzel Dumfries at right-back, and Malen started in place of Jeremie Frimpong, who plays as a wing back for Bayer Leverkusen.
But Koeman’s team made a lethargic start in contrast to the busy Austrians, who scored when Malen turned Alexander Prass’ cross inside the left post.
Tijjani Reijnders and Malen both missed good chances to equalize. Koeman berated his charges and told his substitutes to warm up. He sent Simons on for Veerman in the 35th.
Simons’ entrance gave the Dutch more urgency. Depay saw a header cleared off the line before the break, and Simons set up Gapko after Florian Grillitsch lost the ball in midfield.
Koeman’s side maintained its pressure and looked more likely to score until Grillitsch crossed for Schmid to head Austria back in front with his first international goal. Ultimately, the Austrians were more clinical.


Show your love for Turkiye by supporting us, Montella tells critics

Updated 25 June 2024
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Show your love for Turkiye by supporting us, Montella tells critics

  • Montella’s men are one of the best supported sides in Germany, where nearly three million people with Turkish roots call home
  • “I’d like to remind the critics, if you love this country, support your country as much as you can,” Montella told reporters

HAMBURG: Turkiye coach Vincenzo Montella urged his side’s huge following to show their support in a crunch Euro 2024 showdown against the Czech Republic, rather than getting on his players’ backs.
After beating Georgia 3-1 to get their tournament off to a flier, Turkiye were swatted aside 3-0 by the class of Portugal.
Montella’s men are one of the best supported sides in Germany, where nearly three million people with Turkish roots call home.
However, there has been a backlash to the Italian boss and his squad after failing to compete with Portugal for large spells in Dortmund.
“I’d like to remind the critics, if you love this country, support your country as much as you can,” Montella told reporters at his pre-match press conference on Tuesday.
“This is the only team that represents Turkiye. These lads have put a smile on our face in recent teams.
“We need your support and the players deserve it based on what they have achieved on the pitch.”
Turkish football features some of the fiercest rivalries between clubs in the world.
But Fenerbahce winger Irfan Can Kahveci urged fans to put those tribal differences aside to unite in support of the national team.
“Within the team we have a great atmosphere and we try to demonstrate that whether the players are from Galatasaray, Besiktas, Trabzonspor or Fenerbahce.
“We are united under the national flag. We should let those divisions go.”
Turkiye remain second in Group F and just need a draw against the Czechs in Hamburg to secure a place in the last 16.
Even a narrow defeat could see Turkiye through as one of the four best third-placed sides.
But Montella said he would set out for victory.
“We have to go out and win the game,” he added. “We can’t get hung up on permutations.”
Real Madrid’s Arda Guler is set to return to the Turkish starting line-up after Montella revealed he was only left on the bench against Portugal due to an injury that meant he could not play the full 90 minutes.
“If he doesn’t play it will be footballing reasons,” said Montella. “He didn’t start the last game not because of footballing reasons.”


Saudi firm announced as Esports World Cup elite partner

Updated 25 June 2024
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Saudi firm announced as Esports World Cup elite partner

  • Partnership means stc Group will provide connectivity across all EWC venues

LONDON: Saudi-based stc Group has been named as an “Elite and Founding Partner” of the Esports World Cup which starts in Riyadh next month.

The partnership for the tournament, which will run from July 3 to Aug. 25, was announced at an official ceremony attended by Group Chief Commercial Officer Faisal Al-Saber and Ralf Reichert, CEO of the Esports World Cup Foundation. 

It means stc Group will provide connectivity across all EWC venues and has exclusive naming rights for three venues in Riyadh which will host events during the tournament — the stc Arena, the stc Play Gaming Hall, and the stc TV World Cup Studios.

“I’m proud to welcome stc Group, a telecommunications giant and digital pioneer, as an Elite and Founding Partner of the Esports World Cup,” said Reichert.

“stc Group is the digital backbone of our competitions and will bring the EWC content to local and global audiences. stc will enable fans … to stay connected with the special stc SIM card.”

He added: “As one of the largest companies in the MENA region, their support means we’re not only going to offer exceptional digital access for fans and athletes but can take the Esports World Cup to the next level.”

Olayan Al-Wetaid, stc Group CEO, said his firm’s partnership with the Esports World Cup was a symbol of its commitment to improving the future of gaming in the Kingdom.

“We are thrilled to be deploying our seamless world-class connectivity, enabling the Kingdom to become the premier global hub for gaming,” he said.

“stc Group is committed to bringing this event to life with innovative technological solutions, as well as showcasing the vast scale and scope of its services.”


Raducanu eases past Stephens on Eastbourne grass

Updated 25 June 2024
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Raducanu eases past Stephens on Eastbourne grass

  • Britain’s Raducanu recovered from being broken twice in the first set before demolishing her opponent in the second set
  • Raducanu, who won the US Open as a qualifier in 2021, has slipped to 168th in the world after an injury-plagued 2023 season

LONDON: Emma Raducanu brushed aside Sloane Stephens 6-4, 6-0 to advance to the second round of the Eastbourne International on Tuesday in a battle of former US Open champions.
Britain’s Raducanu recovered from being broken twice in the first set before demolishing her opponent in the second set to set up a second-round match against world number five Jessica Pegula.
Raducanu, who won the US Open as a qualifier in 2021, has slipped to 168th in the world after an injury-plagued 2023 season.
The 21-year-old missed the French Open but returned to competition at the Nottingham Open grass-court tournament earlier this month, where she reached the semifinals.
“I think for me it was the case of adapting to the court,” said Raducanu, who has been given a wild card for Wimbledon, which starts on July 1.
“I’ve never played in Eastbourne, I’ve never played on this center court and every court plays a little bit differently. In the beginning, I was trying to figure out what was the best way for me to play and use my game.”
Stephens, who won the US Open in 2017, broke first for a 3-2 lead but failed to hold serve for the rest of the match.
Raducanu, after saving two break points to hold for 5-4, broke the American for a third time to seal the first set and then sprinted to the finish line, completing victory in 76 minutes.
Also in first-round action on England’s south coast, Elize Mertens beat Yuriko Miyazaki 6-1, 6-2 while Ashlyn Krueger overcame Viktorija Golubic 6-1, 6-7 (7/9), 7-5.
In the men’s tournament, Britain’s Cameron Norrie continued his woeful run of form, losing his first-round match against Finland’s Emil Ruusuvuori 7-6 (11/9), 6-3.
Brazilian Thiago Seyboth Wild also advanced with a 6-4, 6-4 win against Australia’s James McCabe to set up a second-round showdown with top seed Taylor Fritz.