UAE gear up for American showdown

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Season opener: In Los Angeles.

In the first round of the global tournament, Naser Al Baraki (69kg), Saeed Al Shamsi (69kg) and Saif Al Qubaisi (77kg) will be among the competitors to take to that mat at the Los Angeles Convention Centre.

Abdulmunam Al Hashemi, chairman of the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation said: “We are extremely proud of our national team and Emirati players who have put in extensive work and dedication to raise the bar of the local Jiu-Jitsu scene in a global arena.

“Today, the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam proves to be the most prestigious Jiu-Jitsu championship series in the world and is an ideal platform for the UAE team to evolve and secure a commendable position in the global ranking”

“We are confident that our national team will demonstrate a very high skill level and supreme professionalism underscoring Abu Dhabi’s aim to become the Jiu-Jitsu capital in the world.”

The Grand Slam tour will have its own world ranking and an increased prize value of over AED 550,000. In addition to the UAE national team, around 1,000 players from global Jiu-Jitsu academies will be participating in the tournament in Abu Dhabi.

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On this day: Muralitharan shines on debut

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In a spin: Muttiah Muralitharan.

Before he came an unstoppable force against batsmen, Muttiah Muralitharan was a precocious 20-year-old who would show signs of what was to come in a marvellous career.

On this day in 1992, Muralitharan made his Test debut against Australia at the Khettarama Stadium, claiming three wickets for 141 runs.

The Sri Lankan showcased his unusual motion and mind-bending spin, which resulted in his first dismissal of Craig McDermott before later claiming the scalps of Tom Moody and Mark Waugh off consecutive balls in the second innings.

The rest, of course, was history as Muralitharan went on to bag 800 Test wickets before retiring from the format in 2010.

More memorable sports events on this day:

1981: Sebastian Coe breaks the mile world record for the third time in Brussels, clocking three minutes and 47.33 seconds.

1989: Manchester United break the transfer record between two British clubs by paying Middlesbrough £2.3 million (Dhs6.3m) for Gary Pallister.

1994: Tiger Woods wins the 94th US Golf Amateur Championship, cornering back from a three-shot deficit in the final nine holes.

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Happy Birthday: Malinga, Motta, Bottas

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(Clockwise): Thiago Motta, Valtteri Bottas and Lasith Malinga.

A man who is deadly with a ball in his hand, the Sri Lankan has been one of the most feared bowlers in cricket.

Malinga, born on this day in 1983 and turning 33 today, earned the nickname “Slinga Malinga” for good reason. His unconventional delivery, combined with rapid pace, makes him a fast bowler capable of claiming a wicket at any moment.

It’s no wonder he’s the only bowler in history to have taken three hattricks in ODIs, as well as the only player to claim two World Cup hattricks and four wickets in four consecutive balls. Malinga is also the highest wicket-taker in the Twenty20 format and led Sri Lanka as captain to glory at the 2014 World Twenty20.

In total, Malinga has accumulated 101 Test wickets, 291 ODI wickets and 78 Twenty20 international wickets. Few bowlers have ever been so fearsome.

More sports stars born on the same day:

1982: Thiago Motta, Brazilian-born footballer for Paris Saint-Germain and the Italy national team. (34)

1989: Valtteri Bottas, Finnish driver in Formula One with Williams and fourth-place finisher in 2013. (27)

1989: Cesar Azpilicueta, Spanish footballer for Premier League club Chelsea and the Spain national team. (27)

1992: Bismack Biyombo, Congolese basketball player for the NBA’s Orlando Magic. (24)

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