Winners of the NAS Running Challenge celebrate after the presentation ceremony.
Moroccan Anouar El Ghouz and Betlhem Belayneh of Ethiopia won the men’s and women’s title respectively in the 10km professional category of the NAS Running Challenge, which saw more than 1,600 runners of different age and nationalities take part.
El Ghouz, who works for Dubai Police, topped the charts in the men’s professional category of the 10km race with a time of 30:54, finishing ahead of Ahmed Tamri (31:00) and Samir Jouaher (31:43). Belayneh was fastest in the 10km women’s professional category, clocking 36:05 to finish ahead of Belainesh Gurmu (37:03) and Rahma Ali (39:50).
In the 10km race for UAE Nationals, Mubarak Rashid was first to cross the line in a time of 32:35, followed by Obaid Al Nuaeimi (32:56) and Khalifa Al Nuaeimi (33:44).
Morocco’s Soufiane Dardour won the 5km Open Men race in a time of 12:31, with Ethiopia’s Yassin Ebba (12:43) finishing second and Rachid Draoua (12:44), also of Morocco, finishing third.
“This is the first time I am participating in the Nad Al Sheba Running Challenge, and it was really difficult race because of the weather and the quality of the runners,” said Dardour. “There were some really good runners from Kenya and Uganda in the race, so it is really pleasing for me to finish ahead of them. I am definitely looking forward to coming back next year to defend my title.”
Ten-years-old Sheikha Al Najjar was the youngest participant in the NAS Running Challenge, competing in the 5km race. She had taken part last year as well, in the 10km race alongside her father, and, impressively, finished the race.
“I run 3km three times a week,” said Al Najjar, who is part of Ajman club’s Jiu-Jitsu team. “This year, I decided against taking part in the 10km race on the advice of a Moroccan runner last year. She asked me to take part in the 5km race instead because it is better suited to my age.
“So I asked my father to register me to run alongside him in the 5km race. I managed to complete the distance without any problems and I am really pleased with that.”
In the NAS Cricket tournament, Noor Bank and Mideast Metals kept alive their hopes of qualifying for the knockout stage with emphatic wins on Saturday night.
Beaten by Abu Dhabi Tigers in their first match, Noor Bank bounced back to defeat Chalhoub Group by 51 runs and will now await the result of the final Pool 2 match between the Tigers and Chalhoub.
Mideast Metals, who had lost to Hadaf Sporting RAK in their opening match, defeated Wolfpack Cricket Club by 47 runs to earn a bonus point. Their fate, however, will depend on the result of the final Pool 3 match between Hadaf and Wolfpack.
There are 24 eight teams taking part in the tournament. They have been divided into eight group of three each, and the top team from each group will qualify for the quarter-finals. Dubai Exiles RFC already confirmed their place in the last eight from Pool 1 with two wins from two matches.
The NAS Futsal Championship for People with Hearing Disabilities started on Saturday at UAE Football Association in Al Khawaneej with four teams – Dubai A, Dubai B, Abu Dhabi and Al Ain - in the fray.
In the first match, Dubai A prevailed 4-3 over Al Ain in a keenly-contested match with Omani Abdulrahman Al Khudri scoring twice for the winners, and Bahrain’s Akbar Salman and Waleed Khalid once each. Oman’s Abdullah Mubarak scored two for Al Ain and Abdulrahman Abdo a third.
In the second match, Abu Dhabi defeated Dubai B 7-0, with Salem Mohammed Al Hajri scoring three goals, Anas Abdulhadi Al Harthy two, and Hamdan Saeed Hajri and Mohammed Mubarak Al Sibai one each.
The 2019 edition of the World Cup is now six days away and while India is considered one of the favourites going into the tournament in England and Wales, a lot will depend on how skipper Virat Kohli leads the team in the showpiece event.
Trent Boult starred with the ball as New Zealand thrashed India in a World Cup warm-up match at the Oval on Saturday. The left-arm seamer exploited overcast conditions and a pitch with plenty of grass cover to finish with four for 33 as India
With her 38th birthday fast approaching, the clock is ticking for Serena Williams and on her pursuit of a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam title at Roland Garros. The American star won her most recent major at the Australian Open in 2017 while pregnant.