Live life on the edge at the Spearo Extreme Sports Expo

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Enjoy: Apart from the sporting activities, there are 300 prizes to be won.

Dubai hosts the Middle East’s first extreme sports exhibition this weekend, introducing visitors to the latest the world has to offer in adventure and sporting activities as well as an opportunity to win some fantastic prizes.

Titled ‘The Spearo Extreme Sports Expo’, the event will be held from Thursday to Saturday, at Skydive Dubai.

Organised by Spearo Freediv­ing Magazine, in collaboration with Dubai Sports Council, the Expo will have 43 exhibitors from around the world showcasing different products related to land, air and sea sports.

For those who prefer their adrenaline rush on land, there will be superbikes as well as products for off-roading, kite buggying, and motocross to rock climbing, moun­taineering and trekking.

If you enjoy extreme activi­ties up in the air, then skydiving, paramotor, paragliding and hang gliding will be on offer. And for those looking for fun in the water, the sea pavilion will showcase a full range of water sports exhibitors including kitesurfing, windsurf­ing, wakeboarding, kayaking and sailing.

Visitors can enjoy taking part in different activities with 15 exhibi­tors offering free demonstrations. For example, visitors can learn more about paragliding and kite­surfing. And if you like running or cycling, then you can try out a road race bicycle or some latest electric bikes – which can reach top speeds of 100kmph.

Taking part in the activities is just as important as view­ing the products, according to Zarir Saifuddin, owner of Spearo Freediving Magazine.

“An extreme sports expo cannot be a shopping mall with only prod­ucts and prices,” says Saifuddin.

“The heart and soul of the Expo is about visitors being able to try as many different sports as possible. Not just asking how much does this cost?”

Also, there are 300 prizes to be won including in-flight wind tunnel sessions, skydiving tandem jumps, endurance horse riding les­sons, kite-surfing classes, paramo­tor tandem flights, hot air balloon rides, freediving and paragliding courses. Tickets for the event cost Dh30 per person.

The Expo will also be the venue for a Guiness World Record att-empt where you can witness Fazza freediving champion Branko Petro­vic’s bid for the longest breath-hold under water on Friday at 17:00. The record stands at 11 minutes and 35 seconds, set in 2009 by France’s Stephane Mifsud.

You can also listen to extreme sports athletes Adrian Hayes and Herbert Nitsch, who will talk about their achievements. UAE resident Hayes is a renowned mountaineer having climbed Mount Everest, walked to the North and South Poles, and summited K2, the world’s second-highest mountain.

Herbert Nitsch, freediving world champion, will be speaking about his June 2012 world record freedive of 254 metres.

Saifuddin has urged the public to attend the exhibition, promis­ing them they will be amazed with what they see. He said: “It’s a weekend that may change what you do on your weekends for the rest of ypur life.”

WHAT: The Spearo Extreme Sports Expo
WHEN: Today (Thursday) to Saturday, 15:00 to 22:00
WHERE: Skydive Dubai COST: Dh30 per person
AGES: No minimum age
Sport360° VERDICT: If you love extreme sports, then the Spearo Expo is the place to be. Not only can you see the latest offerings in the world of adventure sports, you can try some fun games yourself. Sounds amazing.
CONTACT: www.thespearoexpo.com

SCHEDULE

Thursday, October 9
17:00 to 18:00 – BMX/Skateboard show by Rage
17:30 to 18:30 – Paramotor Air Show
19:30 to 20:15 – Adrian Hayes talk
20:30 to 21:30 – BMX/Skateboard show by Rage

Friday, October 10
15:00 to 16:00 – BMX/Skateboard show by Rage
16:00 to 17:00 – ATV Stunt Show by Hollandi 123
16:30 to 17:30 – Paramotor Air Show
17:00 to 18:00 – Guiness World Record Attempt
19:00 to 19:45 – Herbert Nitch talk
20:15 to 21:15 – BMX/Skateboard show by Rage

Saturday, October 11
16:00 to 17:00 – ATV Stunt Show by Hollandi 123
16:30 to 17:30 – Paramotor Air Show
17:30 to 18:30 – BMX/Skateboard show by Rage
19:00 to 20:00 – BMX/Skateboard show by Rage

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WADA chief claims a quarter of all sport is corrupt

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Tackling corruption: David Howman.

A quarter of all sporting competi­tion has been infiltrated by corrup­tion, according to World Anti-dop­ing Agency (WADA) chief executive David Howman.

The WADA boss insists match-fixing, bribery and doping – tackled by WADA – are all inter-linked.

Howman, speaking at the Inter­national Centre for Sport Security’s ‘Securing Sport’ conference in Lon­don, said: “Twenty-five per cent of sport worldwide has criminal engagement.

“It’s information that’s given to us by law enforcement people. They’ve been telling us this now for a couple of years.

“The people who are distribut­ing and making a lot of money out of steriods – and not necessarily at elite level, even at kids – are the same guys involved in match-fixing and bribery and so on.

“I’m not talking elite level or Olympic level necessarily, I’m talk­ing about sport. Which sports are at risk? Any sport which wants to be open to being corrupted.”

Prior to WADA being established in 1999, it was questioned how widespread the use of perform­ance-enhancing drugs was in sport.

Enhanced testing has since shown the prevalence of doping and Howman suggested it would be wise for WADA’s model, which relies on cooperation between numerous parties, to be adopted in relation to other aspects to pre­serve sporting integrity.

WADA is still to learn the progress of its 16-month appeal against a Spanish court’s decision to destroy evidence relating to the Operacion Puerto trial. Dr Eufemi­ano Fuentes received a one-year suspended sentence for his part in running a huge sports doping ring and, following the trial, a court in Madrid ruled 200 blood bags and other evidence would be destroyed.

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Asian Games bows out with a bang

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Curtain closing spectacular: The closing ceremony at Incheon Asiad Main Stadium.

Top leaders of North and South Korea made a rare show of unity on Saturday as the Incheon Asian Games closed in celebratory mood.

Fans turned out in numbers to farewell thousands of athletes who have competed in the South Korean city over the past 15 days. And North Korea's de facto number two, Hwang Pyong-So sat near to South Korean Prime Minister Jung Hong-Won in an unusual scene between the rival states who are technically at war.

Hwang and two other top officials are on a surprise visit which marks the highest-level contact in years and will raise hopes of a breakthrough in ties. Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) president Sheikh Ahmad Al-Falah Al-Sabah declared the 15-day Games closed and then made a heart shape with his arms above his head.

"It's time for us all to say goodbye to Incheon and goodbye to Korea," he told the crowd at Incheon Main Stadium, before the OCA flag was lowered.

"The Asian Games are not only about medals, however they are about representing your country, trying your best and taking pride in your flag. They are about sportsmanship and fair play and about friendship and team spirit," said the Kuwaiti official.

The ceremony, including K-Pop acts and a taekwondo display, ended the Games for another four years until Jakarta hosts the next edition in 2018.

China topped the medals table with 151 golds, roughly a quarter down on their 2010 record haul of 199 and their lowest total in 12 years.

Games attendance has been patchy but a respectable crowd turned out on a chilly evening for the closing ceremony, where K-Pop quartet Sistar, a children's choir and a Kazakh folk dancer were among the diverse attractions.

South Korean prime minister Jung took his seat in the VIP area and he was shortly joined by North Korea's Hwang. Both men stood as a giant South Korean flag was brought into the arena, and they rose again and waved when North Korea's team entered as part of the athletes' parade.

One of the biggest cheers of the night was reserved for North Korean weightlifter Kim Un-Guk, a nominee for the tournament's Most Valuable Player award.

South Korean fans have been supportive and respectful of the North Korean athletes, who are kept segregated from the public and media by tight security.

Hwang's trip comes at a time when North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un has not been seen in public for a month, fuelling speculation about his health and even triggering unsubstantiated rumours of a coup.

Finally the Games flame was extinguished, symbolically marking the end of the regional Olympics with 439 gold medals handed out in 36 sports, plus 17 world records and six doping cases.

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