Gulf Today

Team Emirates riders gear up for Tour of the Alps

In the Golden Category matches, Saeed Al Marri and Claudio Bobadilla defeated Javier Molina and Oscar Leiva 6-2, 6-3 and Cristian Donnet and Andre Delmar edged Roc Ballester Relat and Daniel Castillejo 6-3, 6-3 to book a quarters berth

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Omar Ibrahim and Rashed Adil Ahli are through to the quarter-finals of the NAS Padel Championsh­ip Men’s Bronze Category ater cruising past Mohammed Al Shaikh and Omar Gargash with a 6-2, 6-0 win.

Jordi Perpina and Ignacio Barroso also moved into the last eight of the Men’s Bronze Category, defeating siblings Khalfan Juma Belhoul and Khaled Juma Belhoul 6-3, 6-3.

In the Golden Category matches on Saturday night, Saeed Al Marri and Claudio Bobadilla defeated Javier Molina and Oscar Leiva 6-2, 6-3 and Cristian Donnet and Andre Delmar edged Roc Ballester Relat and Daniel Castillejo 6-3, 6-3 to book their place in the quarter-finals.

Organised by Dubai Sports Council, the NAS Sports Tournament has been one of the top sporting atractions during the Holy Month of Ramadan since 2013, and the tournament is back for its eighth season this year with competitio­n in three different sports - padel, running and cycling. All three events are being organized in compliance with all COVID-19 precaution­ary measures and protocols, as well as other guidelines issued by relevant authoritie­s. Dubai Police, Roads and Transport Authority of Dubai, Dubai Municipali­ty and Dubai Corporatio­n for Ambulance Services are the strategic partners for this year’s Nad Al Sheba Sports Tournament, while Dubai Duty Free, Pocari Sweat and Tecnotree have signed up as sponsors for the 8th season of the Tournament, which is one of the biggest events of its kind in terms of participat­ion and prize money.

The NAS Padel Championsh­ip, which kicked off the eighth season of the NAS Sports Tournament on April 14, will continue until April 27, while the NAS Run will take place across two nights with the 10km Race scheduled for Wednesday, April 28, and the 5km for Thursday, April 29, while the 75km NAS Cycling Championsh­ips will take place across three nights from April 22 to 24.

NOMINATION­S FOR SPORTS IMPRINT AWARD CLOSE ON THURSDAY: Nomination­s for the 2021 Sports Imprint Award, a joint initiative of the Dubai Sports Council and Watani Al Emarat Foundation that honours individual­s, clubs and organisati­ons for spreading positive values in society through humanitari­an initiative­s in the sports sector, will close on Thursday.

Clubs, sports institutio­ns and individual­s can file their nomination­s through the official website of Dubai Sports Council (htps://www.dubaisc.ae/ en/pages/sportsawar­ds.aspx).

The Council and Watani Al Emarat Foundation launched the Sports Imprint Award in 2019 under the framework of Watani Al Emarat’s ‘Humanitari­an Work Awards’, and the winners will be honoured this year on April 28. The awards Ceremony coincides with the Emirati Humanitari­an Day, which is commemorat­ed annually on the 19th day of the Holy Month of Ramadan to mark the anniversar­y of late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan’s passing away. Launched under the slogan ‘Responsibi­lity for Humanitari­an Action in the Sports Sector’, the Award recognise individual and organisati­ons who, through community-based initiative­s, serve the humanitari­an and community objectives of sport and create a positive impact on the sporting sector.

The Landmark Group won the first Sports Imprint Award and Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and

Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai, presented the Award to Micky Jagtiani, Founder Chairman of Landmark Group, for the Group’s efforts to raise awareness about diabetes through humanitari­an initiative­s like the ‘Beat Diabetes Walk’, which has been held in Dubai every year since 2009 and has since spread to five GCC countries. The Landmark Group also supports the Internatio­nal Diabetes Federation and the Emirates Diabetes Society.

To be eligible for the Award, individual­s and organisati­ons will have to submit papers highlighti­ng initiative­s that have had a tangible and positive benefit for the community in line with the Award and UAE’S strategy. The initiative shall be documented and should have been accomplish­ed within the last three years or be under implementa­tion during the submission of the candidacy.

The initiative needs to be in line with human values and ethics, and should have contribute­d to enriching the sports sector. It should also be consistent with the philosophy and objectives of the Award, and should have been documented or recognized by an official body.

Furthermor­e, the initiative shall not contradict human and sporting values and ethics; it shall have a positive impact on the sports sector; and the candidate shall not be subjected to a final penalty by a local or internatio­nal body.

The objectives of the Award are to promote positive values in the UAE community through spreading the culture of humanitari­an work in the sports sector; to encourage individual­s, sport institutio­ns and organisati­ons in the sports sector to act as a model in doing business and giving; and to support the UAE Strategy and the UAE 2071 Vision towards fostering the values of tolerance, cohesion and respect through sports.

DUBAI: The UAE Team Emirates will take on their next challenge, the Tour of the Alps From April 19-23, with each of the five stages featuring climbing tests through the Austrian and Italian Alpine ranges.

Marco Marcato and Joe Dombrowski will serve as experience­d heads in a relatively youthful squad as the Emirati squad aims to continue their strong run so far in 2021.

Fabrizio Guidi (Ita), Marco Marzano (Ita) and John Wakefield (RSA) will be the Sports Directors as they take charge of the following six riders including Camilo Ardila, Dombrowski, Marcato, Cristian Munoz, Aleksandr Riabushenk­o and Oliviero Troia.

FROOME READY TO MOVE UP A GEAR: Multiple Tour de France winner Chris Froome warns he is ready to move up a gear ater a slow start at his new Israel Start-up Nation team.

Froome, 35, is working his way back ater being seriously injured in a high-speed crash in 2019 that threatened to end his career.

The British rider finished 47th in his first race for his new team, the UAE Tour, in February and 81st at the Tour of Catalonia last month.

But Froome thinks he can hit form in the Alps between Austria and Italy, to build towards his major goal, a record-equalling fith Tour de France title ater 2013, 2015, 2016 and 2017.

“Even though it was a difficult week for me personally, I feel my form has grown, which gives me confidence looking forward,” said Froome ater the Spanish race.

“From a team point of view, it was great to see everyone rowing in the same direction.

“Even though we are a newly-formed group, we are rapidly developing a sense of belonging.” Ireland’s Dan Martin is Froome’s team leader in the five-stage race through southern Austria and northern Italy.

“Having Chris in the team has inspired us all to step up and improve, including myself,” said Martin, who skipped the Ardennes Classics he has won in the past to compete for the first time in the Alps.

“I’m excited to race with him again and I’m sure we can make a good team.

“With our combined experience, tactically we’ll be strong and the race is of course an important step for both of us as Chris continues improving towards the Tour de France and myself to really tune up for the Giro.” Froome finished fourth overall in the 2018 Tour of the Alps before triumphing that year in the Giro d’italia.

But the winding roads of Tyrol, South Tyrol and Trentino should also suit 34-year-old Martin, where each stage includes several climbs.

Former winner Vincenzo Nibali has been ruled out with a broken wrist.

The line-up includes 2019 Tour de France champion Egan Bernal of Ineos and fellow Colombian Nairo Quintana, riding for Arkea-samsic.

Quintana, 31, won the 2014 Giro d’italia and the 2016 Vuelta a España, and wants a result in the Alps, before his Tour de France bid.

France’s Thibaut Pinot, the 2018 Alps winner, will be testing his form before the Giro d’italia starting on May 8.

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Action from Golden Category match of NAS Padel Championsh­ip.
↑ Action from Golden Category match of NAS Padel Championsh­ip.

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