Road cycling, golf and goalball competitions conclude at Saudi Games 2022 – Arab News

Road cycling, golf and goalball competitions conclude at Saudi Games 2022 – Arab News
Saturday saw the first day of action following the previous night’s spectacular opening ceremony of the Saudi Games 2022 in Riyadh. Here are some of the highlights across all competitions.
Para Games: Goalball
Prince Fahd bin Jalawi bin Abdulaziz bin Musaed, vice president of the Saudi Olympic and Paralympic Committee, and director of the Saudi Games, awarded Al-Baha the gold medal for winning the goalball competition at the Saudi Games 2022 at the Prince Faisal Bin Fahd Olympic Complex.
Al-Baha defeated Riyadh 11-1 in the final, while third place and bronze went to Al-Rass after they beat Asir 8-2.
In addition to being honored by Prince Fahd, the medallists were also congratulated by Majid Al-Usaimi, president of the Asian Paralympic Committee, governing board member of the International Paralympic Committee and UNICEF national ambassador.
A full day of swimming heats and medal events took place at the SAOC Complex, starting off with the men’s 50m freestyle, in which Emadaldeen Basim Zaben took gold with a time of 23:88 seconds. He was followed in second place by Yousif Buareesh (23:91 secs), while Faisal Al-Shilaty claimed bronze with a time of 24:57 seconds.
In the men’s 100m backstroke,  Ali Alessa won gold with a time of 58:98 seconds, silver went to Mohammed Boksmati (1:00:81) and bronze to Mohamed Agendi (1:02:76).
The third finals of the day saw Suktan Alotaibi take gold in the men’s 50m breaststroke with a time of 29:72 seconds. Loai Tashkandi won silver (29:89 secs), while Mahomoud Khalid Yacoub took bronze (30:68 secs).
The men’s 400m freestyle gold was claimed by Ahmed Ali AL-Hashim with a time of 4:16:92, while Zaid Al-Sarraj took bronze with 4:20:00. Hassan Al-Bagshi came in third place in a time of 4:20:79.
The winners in all categories were awarded their medals by Ahmed Al-Kudmani, president of the Saudi Swimming Federation, and Abdullah Al-Yami, executive director of the Saudi Swimming Federation.
Three weightlifting events took place at the Al-Riyadh Club Main Court, starting off with the women’s 71 kg category, which saw Al-Ahli Club’s Amal Al-Sharani take gold with a total lift of 147 kg.
Alanoud Al-Khelaifiwon silver (139 kg), while Lilia May claimed bronze (136 kg).
In the men’s 89 kg category, Ismail Al-Swyleh took first place and the gold medal after lifting 329 kg. With a lift of just two kilograms less, Ali Al-Abandi secured silver, while Nawaf Alaid took bronze with 319 kg.
The final weightlifting competition of the day was the men’s 102 kg, with Ali Al-Othman taking gold (332 kg). Silver went to Khalil Al-Hamqan with 317 kg, and bronze to Jehad Al-Ghazwi with 316 kg.
The winners received their medals from Mohamed Ahmad Alharbi, president of the Saudi Arabian Weightlifting Federation and member of the International Weightlifting Federation, and Ali Dhafir Hakami, vice chairman of the board of directors of the Saudi Arabian Weightlifting Federation.
Taking place over two days at the Riyadh Golf Club, the men’s golf competition saw the participation of 38 players, with Faisal Al-Sahlab coming out on top.
Saud Al-Sharif took silver, and Othman Al-Mulla bronze.
The winners were awarded their medals by Mohamed Al-Muhanna, board member of the Saudi Golf Federation.
Cycling (Road)
The men’s and women’s individual road race cycling events concluded in Riyadh on Saturday, with the men’s event taking place over 126 km, and the women’s totalling 56 km.
Gold in the men’s individual road race went to Mohammed Al-Jaber, who finished in 2:50:20. Taking second place and silver was Fahad Al-Ghamadi (2:50:22), while Hassan Al-Ibrahim (2:50:52) secured bronze.
The women’s individual road race was won by Mishael Al-Hazmi with a time of 1:47:10. Silver went to Monirah Al-Draiweesh (1:47:20) and bronze to Erika Martinez (1:47:28).
The medallists were honored by Princess Mashael Bint Faisal, head of the women’s committee of the Saudi Arabian Cycling Federation, as well as Abdullah Alwathlan, president of the Saudi Arabian Cycling Federation, and board member Amin Al-Halili.
The women’s doubles competition concluded with Areej Fareh and Sarah Salhab taking gold after defeating Alexia Tashbaeva and Samaher Kurdi, who had to settle for silver. The bronze medal went to Najwa Salhab and Noura Al-Soliman.
The medals were presented by Khalid Alsaad, president of the Saudi padel committee, and managing director, Munirah Al-Barrak.
The women’s basketball group matches continued on Saturday at Al-Hilal’s Main Court with the following results:
Abha 56-41 Al Hilal 
Al-Wehda 50-44 Al-Ittihad
Riyadh 36-31 Al-Nassr
Three group matches in the men’s handball took place at KSU Arena’s Center Court with the following outcomes:
Al-Khowildiah 30-30 Al-Trraji
Al-Wehda 43-37 Al-Adalah
Al-Safa 25-21 Al-Ahli
Five group matches took place at the SAOC Complex today.
In the women’s groups, Al-Etihad beat Al-Taraje 3-0, while Al-Hilal overcame Alanka 3-1. Finally, Al-Nasser beat Al-Nahda 3-0.
In the men’s group matches, Al-Ahli beat Abha 3-0 and Al-Hilal defeated Al-Nassr 3-0.
The latest results from the men’s preliminary group matches:
Al-Nassr 5-5 Al-Qadisiyah
Riyadh 3-3 ALula
Musadaa 16-2 Amjaad
For the latest results, please visit
MEXICO CITY: Red Bull’s Max Verstappen claimed a record 14th victory of the Formula One season by winning the Mexico Grand Prix on Sunday.
World champion Verstappen finished a comfortable 15.186 seconds ahead of Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes while Verstappen’s Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez finished third on home soil.
It was the second win inside a week for Dutchman Verstappen, who also triumped at the US Grand Prix in Austin, Texas.
Verstappen has now beaten the record previously held by Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel for the most wins in a single season.
“It has been an incredible year so far, we are definitely enjoying it and we’ll try to go for more (victories),” said Verstappen.
Hamilton lamented his team’s decision to choose medium and then hard tire compounds while Verstappen went from softs to medium.
“I was close in the first stint, but the Red Bulls were too fast today and they probably had the right tire strategy,” Hamilton said.
Perez was cheered loudly by a sell-out crowd.
“Unfortunately, it didn’t work out today, but it is great to get third place here and be on the podium,” Perez said.
George Russell finished a frustrated fourth for Mercedes, but clocked the fastest lap ahead of the Ferraris of Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc, both unable to find the pace to make any impact on the leading quartet.
Daniel Ricciardo was seventh for McLaren, after a mid-race collision for which he was given a 10-second time penalty, ahead of Esteban Ocon of Alpine, Lando Norris in the second McLaren and Valtteri Bottas of Alfa Romeo.
As the lights went out, Verstappen made a near-perfect start from pole position while, behind him, Hamilton fought his way past Russell to take second.
To the delight of his fans, Perez also passed Russell to take third.
After lap one, the Dutchman held a lead of 1.39 seconds which he gently extended to 1.6 by lap 10 and 2.2 by lap 20 as the leaders ran in consistent formation, the race only punctuated by Stroll taking the first pit stop on lap 18.
Verstappen reported his soft tires were deteriorating shortly before Perez came in after 23 laps to switch from soft to medium compounds, but his stop was hampered by a sticky rear wheel change and took five seconds.
He re-joined sixth.
Two laps later, Verstappen came in and out in 2.5 seconds, passing the lead to Hamilton, who was 5.5 seconds clear of Russell as the Dutchman re-joined third behind him.
Hamilton came in on lap 30 to switch to hards and re-joined third, Russell taking over as leader until lap 35, when he also pitted to take hard tires. He came back in fourth and the leading group were back as they had been.
“This tire is not as good as the medium,” Hamilton said on team radio, prompting Mercedes to reply suggesting it would last longer than the medium, as taken by Red Bull.
Hamilton, however, was struggling for grip and impatient as he slipped 9.5 seconds adrift of the champion with Perez, third and pressing, only 1.9 seconds behind.
By lap 40, both Mercedes men were grumbling in unison about the hard tyre’s lack of performance.
Verstappen extended his lead to more than 10 seconds by lap 50, but Hamilton clung on.
“Are we on the wrong tyre?” Hamilton asked his team. “No, Lewis, we think we’re on the right tire and it’ll get to the end. No sweat,” replied his race engineer, Pete Bonnington.
With six laps to go, Mercedes’ hard tire gamble appeared to have failed when two-time champion Fernando Alonso pulled off at turn one in his Alpine.
It was a brief pause without any pitstops, leaving Russell frustrated in his requests for new rubber.
“Stay out,” said Mercedes, only relenting on lap 70 to give him a chance to go for fastest lap
Red Bull have already claimed the constructors’ championship.

Ferrari blames altitude
Ferrari drivers Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz blamed Mexico’s high altitude for their lack of speed and competitive performance in Sunday’s Mexico Grand Prix.
Sainz was fifth and Leclerc sixth, their worst two-car finish this year, as they were well-beaten by both Red Bull and Mercedes with world champion Max Verstappen winning ahead of Lewis Hamilton and Sergio Perez.
George Russell was fourth in the second Mercedes ahead of Sainz, who came home 58 seconds adrift of victorious Verstappen.
“Going into the weekend with this car, at this altitude, we knew we were going to lose quite a bit of performance,” said Sainz, acknowledging that the team’s aerodynamic and engine performance had suffered.
Mexico City is more than 2,000 meters above sea level and the rarefied atmosphere has an effect on turbos, cooling systems and brakes as well as delivering less air resistance.
Like many teams, they had to turn down their engines to preserve them and ensure reliability, but they hope to return to full power in Sao Paulo next month.
“Today, I felt like an explanation was that it was a bit of a one-off here in the different conditions and I hope we can come back to our usual performance in Brazil,” Leclerc said.
“I felt like we maximized absolutely everything and even though we did that we are still one minute away from Max, which is a huge difference.
“So we have to look at making our bad days better because when we have a bad day, especially on a Sunday, it is a really bad day.”
After enforced retirements in Japan and the United States, Sainz was at least happy to complete the race.
“We were a minute away, but I haven’t finished a race in a month so it was nice to actually do that,” he said.
DORAL, Florida: American Dustin Johnson’s 4 Aces squad won the inaugural LIV Golf Series team championship at Trump National on Sunday to claim the $16 million top prize.
Johnson, who earned a reported $150 million by signing up to the Saudi-backed venture, pockets another $4 million as his share of the team prize money to add to the rewards he gained through winning the debut season’s individual title.
Between team prizes throughout the season and individual event wins, plus his $18 million bonus for claiming the year’s individual crown, Johnson ends the inaugural LIV campaign with an eye-watering $35 million in earnings.
“Personally, my season, yeah, you add up the numbers and it was great, but I played good — I didn’t play my best, so it always could be better, but that’s golf,” Johnson said.
“But I’m just happy that the 4 Aces just won this tournament. That’s all that matters,” he said after shooting a two under-par 70 on the Doral Blue Monster course.
Johnson’s all-American team — featuring Talor Gooch, Patrick Reed and Pat Perez — shot a combined 7-under 281, winning by a shot over Cameron Smith’s all-Australian Punch GC.
British Open champion Smith shot a superb 65 and jousted with Johnson until the death.
The winning team were sprayed by champagne on the final green on a day in which $34 million in prize money was distributed to the four teams in the final.
While the celebrations were genuine and the team format certainly generated enthusiasm from players and attracted a decent crowd to the South Florida course owned by former US President Donald Trump, the first LIV season has caused division within golf that shows no signs of ending.
Reports suggest LIV Golf is looking to add more top players to its lineup ahead of an expanded 14-event second season.
Johnson said LIV will go from strength to strength.
“Just look at what happened today,” he said. “Obviously, yeah, it was a team effort, but coming down the 18th hole, it ended up coming down to me and Cam playing the 18th hole to see who wins the team championship.
“You couldn’t have drawn it up any better, but I think that’s what LIV is. Look at all the fans. Look how much fun they have. I think this season went incredible and I think next season is going to be even better.”
With legal cases heading to courts, disputes over world ranking points and Ryder Cup eligibility issues for LIV players, the rancour in the golf world doesn’t look to soon fade, not to mention criticism over the financial backing of the Saudi sovereign wealth fund PIF over human rights issues in Saudi Arabia.
But on Sunday, LIV players were in a bullish mood and Perez used the occassion to make his feelings clear about criticism of the new circuit.
“All the pushback, all the negative comments, everything we’ve gotten, at this point, I really don’t care. I mean, I don’t care. I’m paid. I don’t give a damn,” Perez said.
“My team played unbelievable this year. I feel like I’m really part of something that I’ve never been part of, other than me and my caddie, we’ve just been just us our whole life.
“To have these guys and their caddies and families and coaches and everybody, it’s just one big family now. I just couldn’t be any happier. It’s unbelievable.”
KONYA: The Saudi karate team ended its participation at the 12th World Junior and U21 Karate Championships in Konya, Turkiye with three gold medals and two silver medals.
Ali Mogarri and Abdulaziz Al-Seif won youth silver medals for the weight classes of 68 kilograms and 61 kilograms, respectively, and Olympic class competitor Sanad Sufiani took home the gold medal for the 84+ kilogram division.
The results marked the first time the Saudi team achieved three world champions in their respective categories.
Dr. Musharraf Al-Shahri, president of the Saudi Karate Federation, congratulated the Saudi leadership on the achievement. 
He also expressed his appreciation to Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal, minister of Sports and President of the Olympic and Paralympic Committee, and his deputy Prince Fahd bin Jalawi, for their support and follow-up, which have had a significant impact on making dreams and visions come true for Saudi sport in general, but Saudi Karatekas in particular.
A total of 1,778 athletes from 98 nations competed in the competition.
VIENNA: Daniil Medvedev celebrated becoming a father for the first time earlier this month with his second ATP title of the year in beating Canada’s Denis Shapovalov 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 in Sunday’s final in Vienna.
The 26-year-old former world No. 1 dropped his first set of the week as Shapovalov produced some eye-catching tennis by firing down 21 winners.
However, Medvedev — whose wife Daria gave birth to a baby girl on Oct. 14 — did not buckle and stormed back to level the match with some terrific shots of his own.
The third set was a procession as the Russian broke Shapovalov several times and eventually took the title with his sixth match point.
“I am really happy,” said Medvedev, who had reached the quarterfinals on the only other occasion he played in Vienna.
“This match was the best of the week because Denis was really playing unreal until probably 4-3 in the second set.
“He dropped his level by maybe two percent and I was able to use it.
“This is one of the best victories when you know your opponent is on top of you, but you try and stay there and do what you can.”
Medvedev’s 15th career title sets him up nicely for the final two targets for him this season.
First up is the Paris Masters, where he was runner-up to Novak Djokovic last year, which get underway on Monday and the ATP Finals in Turin on November 13-20. Medvedev won that event in 2020.
“I like to play indoor hard courts at the end of the season,” said Medvedev.
“I feel that I do a great job with my team not to arrive burnt out.
“I am looking forward to the last two tournaments of the year which are really important and I usually play well.”
For Shapovalov, it was his second loss in a final this month after he was beaten by Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka in Seoul and the defeat leaves him with just the one title, in Stockholm in 2019.
LONDON: Reiss Nelson was the unlikely hero as Arsenal retook top spot in the Premier League with a 5-0 thrashing of Nottingham Forest on Sunday.
Nelson was introduced for the first time in the Premier League this season after Bukayo Saka was forced off with a concerning injury for England boss Gareth Southgate just weeks ahead of the World Cup.
Saka set up the opening goal for Gabriel Martinelli after just five minutes before being replaced due to an ankle injury.
Nelson struck his first Premier League goal since July 2020 early in the second half to give Arsenal breathing space.
He added a second just three minutes later and then teed up Thomas Partey to curl into the top corner.
Martin Odegaard rounded off a performance that shrugged off doubts over Arsenal’s ability to contend for the title by firing high past Dean Henderson 13 minutes from time.
Victory lifts Mikel Arteta’s men a point above Manchester City at the top of the table.
The Arsenal players came together to show support to teammate Pablo Mari before kick-off.
Mari, who is on loan at Monza, was stabbed during a knife attack in an Italian supermarket this week that left one person dead.
That incident put Arsenal’s bad week on the field into perspective after a 1-1 draw at Southampton last weekend was followed by a 2-0 defeat to PSV Eindhoven in the Europa League.
Any fears that the Gunners were beginning to feel the fatigue of a packed schedule were blown away in a blistering opening.
Martinelli ducked to meet Saka’s inviting cross with his head to open the floodgates.
The Brazilian saw another effort cleared off the line, while Gabriel Jesus, Takehiro Tomiyasu and Odegaard also had chances.
But Saka’s departure is a major worry for Arteta ahead of Arsenal’s trip to Chelsea next weekend.
Forest had begun to find some form on their return to the top flight for the first time in 23 years in recent weeks, including a famous 1-0 win over Liverpool last weekend.
But only toward the end of the first half did they ever threaten to cause the hosts problems as Tomiyasu threw himself in front of Jesse Lingard’s effort.
Nelson quickly settled the game after the break as he blasted past Henderson after his first effort was saved and then turned in Jesus’ cross at the near post.
Partey made it four in style as caressed the ball into the top corner from 25 yards.
Jesus was trying everything he could to end a seven-game goal drought, but had to settle for a second assist as from his pass, Odegaard found the space to fire home the fifth.


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