Daily Archives: November 8, 2020

Sheikh Joaan crowns Egypt’s Ali Farag Champion of Qatar Classic 2020

Doha, HE Qatar Olympic Committee (QOC) President Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad Al-Thani crowned Egypt’s World No.1 Ali Farag, champion of Qatar Classic 2020, after his 3-1 victory over New Zealand’s World No.5 Paul Coll in the final match.


The Egyptian player defeated New Zealander 11/8, 6/11, 11/9, and 11/9 in the 61-minute game at Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex.


HE President of the Qatar Tennis Squash and Badminton Federation Nasser bin Ghanim Al Khelaifi, Secretary-General of the Federation Tariq Zainal, and Alex Goff, CEO of the Professional Squash Association (PSA) Alex Gough attended the final match.


With his victory at the PSA World Tour Platinum event, Farag, 28, not only extended his head-to-head lead over the Kiwi, also 28, to 13-1, but he equally lifted his 21st PSA title in tow. The 2018-19 PSA World Champion also joined the elitist club of two-time champions in Doha which up till now has only three players – Mohamed ElShorbagy (2017, 2015, 2013), Karim Darwish (2010, 2008) and Peter Nicol (2002, 2001) as members.


For his effort, the Harvard-graduate not only lifted the championship trophy, but he also walked away with the $26,000 winner’s prize money.


The Qatar Classic 2020 was the Egyptian’s second title in succession since the Tour restarted following the six-month suspension due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Farag had claimed victory at the CIB Egyptian Open last month to reclaim the top spot in world rankings.


“The first time I couldn’t believe it, and this time around I can’t believe it even more,” said Farag following the match. “When I was younger, I used to watch the Qatar Classic and see all the great names of our sport lifting that trophy and I could only imagine standing there one day. To do it twice is an amazing feeling. We’ve been playing with each other for a good few years now, he wasn’t necessarily a very good junior or the most talented, but he’s a living example of inspiration.”


For Coll, however, it marks the second year of frustration in Qatar following his defeat to World No.3 Tarek Momen in the PSA Men’s World Championship final on the same court 12 months ago. It was his second Platinum final appearance, with his first at the Windy City Open back in March also ending in a defeat to Farag.


Coll said, “It’s a hard feeling at the moment. I’m obviously very happy to reach another final here in Qatar; it’s a great tournament and a fantastic location. “I always love coming here, and I’ve played well here year in, year out. I wanted it pretty bad today but fell short. It’s a tough one to swallow, but Ali is World No.1 for a reason, and he played the end of every game very well, so well done to Ali.”​


Source: Qatar Olympic Committee

H.H Sheikh Mohammed Bin Khalifa Al Thani’s WEETAMOO strikes at first time of asking

H.H Sheikh Mohammed Bin Khalifa Al Thani’s homebred WEETAMOO (IRE) (Le Havre x Wild Silva) made a winning debut in Prix de Pomerol, a race for unraced juvenile fillies over 1900 metres at Bordeaux on Saturday, 7 November.

The Philippe Sogorb-trained runner enjoyed a good trip, having sat on the heels of the leaders, and showed commendable courage by reeling in MIDNIGHT SPECIAL (Muhtathir) at the wire to win by a short head with Anthony Crastus in the saddle.

WEETAMOO is a daughter of LE HAVRE and the German mare WILD SILVA. The latter was placed at group level and is a sister of WILD COCO, who, herself, was a Gr2 winner and placed in the Prix Vermeille (Gr1).


Source: Qatar Racing & Equestrian Club

H.H Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Thani’s BIG FIVE retains his unbeaten record

H.H Sheikh Mohammed Bin Khalifa Al Thani’s homebred BIG FIVE (GB) (Frankel x Louvain) maintained his unbeaten record by proving a clear winner of the Prix Gay Mécèn, a class 1 race run over 2,400 metres for three-year-olds at Saint-Cloud on Saturday, 7 November.

Trained by Francis-Henri Graffard and ridden on this occasion by Olivier Peslier, BIG FIVE won very cosily after leaving BARATIN (FR) (Tin Horse) three lengths in his wake. BIG FIVE’s previous two career outings were at Clairefontaine and Compiègne and he emerged victorious on both occasions. He clearly relishes the heavy going.

Bred by Al Shahania Stud, BIG FIVE is a son of FRANKEL (Galileo). His dam is the Gr3 placed LOUVAIN (Sinndar). She already produced two black type winners, including the champion FLOTILLA (Mizzen Mast), winner of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (Gr1) and the Poule d’Essai des Pouliches (Gr1).


Source: Qatar Racing & Equestrian Club

Merneith wins QREC-sponsored Qatar Fort Spring Stakes

The QREC-sponsored Qatar Fort Spring Stakes, one of the races on the Breeders’ Cup undercard, was annexed by MERNEITH (USA) (American Pharoah x Flattermewithroses). Ridden by Luis Saez, MERNEITH had a lot of ground to make up in the 1,200 metre (6f) for race three-year-old fillies on dirt at Keeneland, USA, around midnight, Doha time, of 7 November. However, trawling into her reservoir of courage, she denied MOTIVATED SELLER (USA) (Coup x Empire Maker) in the shadow of the post. The runner-up is trained by Chad Brown and was ridden by Irad Ortiz Jr. The front running RISING SEAS (USA) (Sea Shadow x Jump Start) was a close third for trainer Ben Colebrook and jockey Gerardo Corrales.

Trained by Bob Baffert, MERNEITH was gaining her third career win and second victory on the bounce. She also boasts a third in the Gr 2 Santa Anita Oaks.


Source: Qatar Racing & Equestrian Club

Most Middle East Governments Congratulate Biden on US Election Results

CAIRO – The projected election of Joe Biden as the 46th U.S. president is receiving a generally positive reaction from most Middle Eastern governments, although several Gulf States which had close ties to outgoing President Donald Trump reacted cautiously.

Syrian state television announced Joe Biden’s victory over U.S. President Donald Trump while avoiding kudos or criticism for either man. Government daily Al- Thawra noted that Biden vowed to “move away from the ‘hostile language’ of his predecessor,” Trump.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei told supporters Biden’s victory “will not change a thing,” although Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri tweeted that he hopes “to see a change” in what he called “Washington’s destructive policies” and the “belligerence” of Trump’s team.

The United Arab Emirates’ Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed stressed that the UAE and U.S. are “friends and allies with a strong historic partnership,” while “congratulating Joe Biden and Kamala Harris on winning the U.S. elections.”

Here in Cairo, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi congratulated Biden — in a statement — “stressing the aspiration for cooperation and joint action to strengthen strategic bilateral ties between Egypt and the U.S.”

Saudi-owned al-Arabiya TV announced Biden’s victory, saying he would “concentrate on new policies and a new direction for America.” The Saudi government, however, which had close ties to the Trump administration, did not officially comment on Biden’s victory.

Qatar’s Emir, Sheikh Tamim, congratulated Biden after hearing of his victory Saturday, adding that he hoped Washington and Doha would “strengthen their friendship and cooperation.” Qatar’s relations with the Trump administration were often strained.

Lebanon’s President Michel Aoun, who has often been at loggerheads with the Trump administration, congratulated Biden, expressing hope for “a return to a balance in American-Lebanese relations.”

Sudan’s Prime Minister Abdullah Hamdouk told journalists he hoped to “work closely” with the new Biden administration, while Iraqi President Barham Salih called Biden a “friend and trusted partner in the cause of building a better Iraq.”


Source: Voice of America