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Ittihad wins e-League, leads qualifiers for eMBS Cup

RIYADH: Al-Ittihad capped a dominant eSaudi Professional League 2019-2020 season by winning the title in the last round, beating Al-Baten 4-1 and becoming the first Saudi club to clinch the league championship.  The Ittihadi achievement did not come as a surprise for the fans, having  in their ranks the reigning FIFA eWorld Cup champion Mossaed Al-Dossari and…

Ittihad wins e-League, leads qualifiers for eMBS Cup

RIYADH: Al-Ittihad capped a dominant eSaudi Professional League 2019-2020 season by winning the title in the last round, beating Al-Baten 4-1 and becoming the first Saudi club to clinch the league championship. 

The Ittihadi achievement did not come as a surprise for the fans, having  in their ranks the reigning FIFA eWorld Cup champion Mossaed Al-Dossari and star player Rakan Al-Mutairi, among others.  

In a statement Al-Dossari  said: “I can’t believe we won our club’s first ever eSPL championship. I have loved this club since I was a kid and to have a chance to represent them is an honor. 

“This is only the first step, now it’s time to focus on the eMBS Cup and every other national and international trophy out there.” 

The last rounds of the league saw some of the most heated matchups of the entire championship.  

Teams fought to secure one of eight seats in the eMBS Cup for a chance to win their clubs’ first title in the same way  Ittihad won theirs.  Al-Qadisiah club claimed the eighth and last spot and joined the teams that will get a shot at the cup title. 

 “The incredible excitement the league saw was due to the desire to participate in the cup. We want to win this one for our fans, they deserve only the best. The need to secure a place pressured us physically and psychologically. In the end, we managed to grab the eighth seat,” said Majid Al-Saleem of his team’s qualification. 

The eMBS cup will be held May 13-14 in Riyadh. The knockout format tournament will be hosted at SARENA SAFEIS Arena, which can accommodate 1,000 spectators.  

Tickets for the eMBS Cup are available on the tournament website and spectators from around the world can watch the matches via the SAFEIS Twitch and YouTube. 

The Saudi Arabian Federation for Electronic and Intellectual Sports (SAFEIS) is the regulating body in charge of developing elite gaming athletes and the gaming community and industry in the country. Its goal is for Saudis to be among the most accomplished gamers around the world and for Saudi Arabia to be a global gaming hub. 

Since its establishment in late 2017, the federation has organized multiple world-class national and international tournaments. For more information, visit SAFEIS website: https://www.safeis.sa/.

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Warriors beat Trail Blazers in overtime to reach NBA Finals

BERLIN: Three-time Formula One world champion Niki Lauda, who won two of his titles after a horrific crash that left him with serious burns and went on to become a prominent figure in the aviation industry, has died. He was 70.The Austria Press Agency reported that Lauda’s family said in a statement he “passed away…

Warriors beat Trail Blazers in overtime to reach NBA Finals

BERLIN: Three-time Formula One world champion Niki Lauda, who won two of his titles after a horrific crash that left him with serious burns and went on to become a prominent figure in the aviation industry, has died. He was 70.The Austria Press Agency reported that Lauda’s family said in a statement he “passed away peacefully” on Monday. Walter Klepetko, a doctor who performed a lung transplant on Lauda last year, said Tuesday: “Niki Lauda has died. I have to confirm that.”Lauda won the F1 drivers’ championship in 1975 and 1977 with Ferrari and again in 1984 with McLaren.In 1976, he was badly burned when he crashed during the German Grand Prix but made an astonishingly fast return to racing just six weeks later.Lauda remained closely involved with the Formula One circuit after retiring as a driver in 1985, and in recent years served as the non-executive chairman of the Mercedes team.Born on Feb. 22, 1949 into a wealthy Vienna industrial family, Nikolaus Andreas Lauda was expected to follow his father’s footsteps into the paper-manufacturing industry, but instead concentrated his business talents and determination on his dreams of becoming a racing driver.Lauda financed his early career with the help of a string of loans, working his way through the ranks of Formula 3 and Formula 2. He made his Formula 1 debut for the March team at the 1971 Austrian Grand Prix and picked up his first points in 1973 with a fifth-place finish for BRM in Belgium.Lauda joined Ferrari in 1974, winning a Grand Prix for the first time that year in Spain and his first drivers’ title with five victories the following season.Facing tough competition from McLaren’s James Hunt, he appeared on course to defend his title in 1976 when he crashed at the Nuerburgring during the German Grand Prix. Several drivers stopped to help pull him from the burning car, but the accident would scar him for life. The baseball cap Lauda almost always wore in public became a personal trademark.“The main damage, I think to myself, was lung damage from inhaling all the flames and fumes while I was sitting in the car for about 50 seconds,” he recalled nearly a decade later. “It was something like 800 degrees.”Lauda fell into a coma for a time. He said that “for three or four days it was touch and go.”
“Then my lungs recovered and I got my skin grafts done, then basically there was nothing left,” he added. “I was really lucky in a way that I didn’t do any (other) damage to myself. So the real question was then will I be able to drive again, because certainly it was not easy to come back after a race like that.”Lauda made his comeback just six weeks after the crash, finishing fourth at Monza after overcoming his initial fears.He recalled “shaking with fear” as he changed into second gear on the first day of practice and thinking, “I can’t drive.”The next day, Lauda said he “started very slowly trying to get all the feelings back, especially the confidence that I’m capable of driving these cars again.” The result, he said, boosted his confidence and after four or five races “I had basically overcome the problem of having an accident and everything went back to normal.”He won his second championship in 1977 before switching to Brabham and then retiring in 1979 to concentrate on setting up his airline, Lauda Air, declaring that he “didn’t want to drive around in circles any more.”Lauda came out of retirement in 1982 after a big-money offer from McLaren, reportedly about $3 million a year.He finished fifth his first year back and 10th in 1983, but came back to win five races and edge out teammate Alain Prost for his third title in 1984. He retired for good the following year, saying he needed more time to devote to his airline business.Initially a charter airline, Lauda Air expanded in the 1980s to offer flights to Asia and Australia. In May 1991, a Lauda Air Boeing 767 crashed in Thailand after one of its engine thrust reversers accidentally deployed during a climb, killing all 213 passengers and 10 crew.Lauda occasionally took the controls of the airline’s jets himself over the years. In 1997, longtime rival Austrian Airlines took a minority stake and in 2000, with the company making losses, he resigned as board chairman after an external audit criticized a lack of internal financial control over business conducted in foreign currency. Austrian Airlines later took full control.Lauda founded a new airline, Niki, in 2003. Germany’s Air Berlin took a minority stake and later full control of that airline, which Lauda bought back in early 2018 after it fell victim to its parent’s financial woes.He partnered with budget carrier Ryanair on Niki’s successor, LaudaMotion.On the Formula One circuit, Lauda later formed a close bond with Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton, who joined the team in 2013. He often backed Hamilton in public and provided advice and counsel to the British driver.Lauda also intervened as a Mercedes mediator when Hamilton and his former Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg feuded, argued and traded barbs as they fought for the title between 2014-16Lauda twice underwent kidney transplants, receiving an organ donated by his brother in 1997 and, when that stopped functioning well, a kidney donated by his girlfriend in 2005.In August 2018, he underwent a lung transplant that the Vienna General Hospital said was made necessary by a “serious lung illness.” It didn’t give details.Lauda is survived by his second wife, Birgit, and their twin children Max and Mia. He had two adult sons, Lukas and Mathias, from his first marriage.

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F1 champion and aviation entrepreneur Niki Lauda dies at 70

BERLIN: Three-time Formula One world champion Niki Lauda, who won two of his titles after a horrific crash that left him with serious burns and went on to become a prominent figure in the aviation industry, has died. He was 70.The Austria Press Agency reported that Lauda’s family said in a statement he “passed away…

F1 champion and aviation entrepreneur Niki Lauda dies at 70

BERLIN: Three-time Formula One world champion Niki Lauda, who won two of his titles after a horrific crash that left him with serious burns and went on to become a prominent figure in the aviation industry, has died. He was 70.The Austria Press Agency reported that Lauda’s family said in a statement he “passed away peacefully” on Monday. Walter Klepetko, a doctor who performed a lung transplant on Lauda last year, said Tuesday: “Niki Lauda has died. I have to confirm that.”Lauda won the F1 drivers’ championship in 1975 and 1977 with Ferrari and again in 1984 with McLaren.In 1976, he was badly burned when he crashed during the German Grand Prix but made an astonishingly fast return to racing just six weeks later.Lauda remained closely involved with the Formula One circuit after retiring as a driver in 1985, and in recent years served as the non-executive chairman of the Mercedes team.Born on Feb. 22, 1949 into a wealthy Vienna industrial family, Nikolaus Andreas Lauda was expected to follow his father’s footsteps into the paper-manufacturing industry, but instead concentrated his business talents and determination on his dreams of becoming a racing driver.Lauda financed his early career with the help of a string of loans, working his way through the ranks of Formula 3 and Formula 2. He made his Formula 1 debut for the March team at the 1971 Austrian Grand Prix and picked up his first points in 1973 with a fifth-place finish for BRM in Belgium.Lauda joined Ferrari in 1974, winning a Grand Prix for the first time that year in Spain and his first drivers’ title with five victories the following season.Facing tough competition from McLaren’s James Hunt, he appeared on course to defend his title in 1976 when he crashed at the Nuerburgring during the German Grand Prix. Several drivers stopped to help pull him from the burning car, but the accident would scar him for life. The baseball cap Lauda almost always wore in public became a personal trademark.“The main damage, I think to myself, was lung damage from inhaling all the flames and fumes while I was sitting in the car for about 50 seconds,” he recalled nearly a decade later. “It was something like 800 degrees.”Lauda fell into a coma for a time. He said that “for three or four days it was touch and go.”
“Then my lungs recovered and I got my skin grafts done, then basically there was nothing left,” he added. “I was really lucky in a way that I didn’t do any (other) damage to myself. So the real question was then will I be able to drive again, because certainly it was not easy to come back after a race like that.”Lauda made his comeback just six weeks after the crash, finishing fourth at Monza after overcoming his initial fears.He recalled “shaking with fear” as he changed into second gear on the first day of practice and thinking, “I can’t drive.”The next day, Lauda said he “started very slowly trying to get all the feelings back, especially the confidence that I’m capable of driving these cars again.” The result, he said, boosted his confidence and after four or five races “I had basically overcome the problem of having an accident and everything went back to normal.”He won his second championship in 1977 before switching to Brabham and then retiring in 1979 to concentrate on setting up his airline, Lauda Air, declaring that he “didn’t want to drive around in circles any more.”Lauda came out of retirement in 1982 after a big-money offer from McLaren, reportedly about $3 million a year.He finished fifth his first year back and 10th in 1983, but came back to win five races and edge out teammate Alain Prost for his third title in 1984. He retired for good the following year, saying he needed more time to devote to his airline business.Initially a charter airline, Lauda Air expanded in the 1980s to offer flights to Asia and Australia. In May 1991, a Lauda Air Boeing 767 crashed in Thailand after one of its engine thrust reversers accidentally deployed during a climb, killing all 213 passengers and 10 crew.Lauda occasionally took the controls of the airline’s jets himself over the years. In 1997, longtime rival Austrian Airlines took a minority stake and in 2000, with the company making losses, he resigned as board chairman after an external audit criticized a lack of internal financial control over business conducted in foreign currency. Austrian Airlines later took full control.Lauda founded a new airline, Niki, in 2003. Germany’s Air Berlin took a minority stake and later full control of that airline, which Lauda bought back in early 2018 after it fell victim to its parent’s financial woes.He partnered with budget carrier Ryanair on Niki’s successor, LaudaMotion.On the Formula One circuit, Lauda later formed a close bond with Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton, who joined the team in 2013. He often backed Hamilton in public and provided advice and counsel to the British driver.Lauda also intervened as a Mercedes mediator when Hamilton and his former Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg feuded, argued and traded barbs as they fought for the title between 2014-16Lauda twice underwent kidney transplants, receiving an organ donated by his brother in 1997 and, when that stopped functioning well, a kidney donated by his girlfriend in 2005.In August 2018, he underwent a lung transplant that the Vienna General Hospital said was made necessary by a “serious lung illness.” It didn’t give details.Lauda is survived by his second wife, Birgit, and their twin children Max and Mia. He had two adult sons, Lukas and Mathias, from his first marriage.

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Leonard stars as Raptors claw back with win over Bucks

Philippines clinches top two spots in Saudi Arabian women’s bowling competition ALKHOBAR: The Philippines claimed the top two spots in a bowling championship in Saudi Arabia. Kryztine Cruz and Irene Pua emerged as champion and runner-up at the Women’s Bowling Championship, which was organized by the Saudi Bowling Federation and held on Saturday at the…

Leonard stars as Raptors claw back with win over Bucks

Philippines clinches top two spots in Saudi Arabian women’s bowling competition

ALKHOBAR: The Philippines claimed the top two spots in a bowling championship in Saudi Arabia.

Kryztine Cruz and Irene Pua emerged as champion and runner-up at the Women’s Bowling Championship, which was organized by the Saudi Bowling Federation and held on Saturday at the Al-Gosaibi Bowling Center in Alkhobar. Saudi Arabia’s Nahla Adas finished third.

Competitors from Yemen, Kuwait, Bahrain, Philippines, the US, India and the Kingdom entered the tournament. The field was cut by half to 26 after the preliminary round. The top 13 in the first round advanced to the semifinals where the top three qualified for the stepladder finals.

In the first match of the stepladder, Cruz beat Adas 212-158 to earn a shot at No. 1 qualifier Pua. The Eastern Province-based and second-seeded Cruz brought down Pua 243-189 in the title match.

Adas has participated in local championships in addition to competing in the Arab Championship held in Egypt earlier this year. She said she had found “true pleasure” in bowling and that the competition was very vigorous at Al-Gosaibi. 

“I am proud of the presence of Gulf women and the increased awareness and acceptance of winning and losing in the spirit of the game,” said Adas.

“The atmosphere was different and, for the first time, we hosted a bowling championship in our homeland with this number of skilful players of several nationalities. The presence of the first Saudi bowling team by my side in every shot has played a big role in crucial rounds. I’m also grateful for Kuwaiti and Bahraini support until the very end. Jeddah players were also present for the first time … which means that the competition will become more vigorous in upcoming tournaments with the presence of three Saudi women’s teams.”

The Arab Bowling Championship was won by the hosts Egypt, with Oman claiming silver and Bahrain the bronze. The Saudi women’s team of four finished in seventh place in the team event, but were hopeful that the experience could prove to be a springboard to future success and greater participation of Saudi women in the sport.

Razan Baker, a member of the board of directors at the Saudi Bowling Federation, said after the event that she was “honored” to supervise the team during its first tournament outside the Kingdom. 

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