Dubai’s next generation athletes book place in Ultimate Athletics finals

Nick Watkins 21/04/2018
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Ultimate Athletics: Emily Davidson and Nikita Bianca cross the line

The penultimate night of the Ultimate Athletics season came to a dramatic conclusion at Dubai Sports City, as the much-anticipated under-15 100 metre race ended in a tie.

Fans gathered to watch the athletes competing for a spot in next month’s finals with fourteen-year-old Emily Davidson, from Dubai College and Nikita Bianca (15), representing GEMS Metropole continuing what has become a closely contested rivalry.

The pair, who are friends off the track, can barely be separated in this season’s competition, with Bianca topping the U15 league table and Davidson holding the 100m and 200m records with times of 12.73 seconds and 26.70 seconds respectively.

On the night itself, the eagerly awaited 100 metres was deemed a draw as the two couldn’t be separated on the finish line, both recording a time of 12:83.

Speaking afterwards Davidson said, “It’s not the first time we’ve tied actually, but it’s really good we have each other to push each other to win at these events, we enjoy running against each other”. Bianca added, “I’m glad we have each other to race against because you need someone to aim to beat. I’m hoping to one day represent India in the Olympics and before that I’m looking to study sports management, so these events help get an understanding of the sport”. The duo was also one and two over the finish line in the 200 metres with Davidson coming out on top.

In senior competition, Umar Hameed, 29, won the 100 metres and 200 metres, and works with athletes in schools – who bring Team GB athletes to the UAE as inspiration for the next generation. “These events are great for the region because there’s no one else doing anything else like it. They’re also great for the youngsters and we’re looking to bring certified officials over so the events can go on the national rankings. There should be more events like this”, he said.

There was also a win for Suhail Youseph, 37, who took first in his 60-metre heat. He told Sport 360, “I just heard about Ultimate Athletics a few months ago and it’s been great to be involved. I’ve trimmed down a lot since competing so I’m really enjoying it”.

Winners now go on to compete in the Ultimate Athletics finals, held on May 10, bringing the season to a close. The event, sponsored by New Balance, has been has been running in Dubai since 2015 and educates athletics with theory workshops as well as access to sports science-qualified coaches, nutritionists and physiotherapists.

Professional athletes including Northern Ireland’s Leon Reid stopped in Dubai en route to the Commonwealth Games in Australia to show his support for the event with aims to inspire the next generation of Olympic hopefuls.

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The importance of year-round nutrition by Red Bull's Shaikha Al Qassemi

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Fitness fanatic: Shaikha Al Qassimi

After falling out of love with the gym, Shaikha Al Qassemi turned to CrossFit and quickly fell in love with its charms. The Emirati uses CrossFit, along with a new diet, to get her stronger than ever. Now a Red Bull athlete, Al Qassemi is passionate about educating others on a how they too can adopt a fitter, healthier and more balanced lifestyle.

You wake up in the morning, in a rush, only time to pop a capsule in the Nespresso machine and zoom out of the door to beat traffic. You spend hours at your desk gulping coffee until one of your colleagues reminds you that it’s lunchtime. By now you’re starving, and you either choose to order through a delivery app to bring it straight to your desk or go to the closest convenience – usually fast food restaurants.

We constantly complain about the foods we eat and how it doesn’t sit well in our stomachs. We also complain about stiff joints, fatigue, headaches and bloating. Every time we’re sick, nauseous or fatigued, the first thing we rush into is curing the symptoms instead of eliminating its cause. We take what we are prescribed – antibiotics, over-the-counter medicines and painkillers. The more we consume these medicines, the faster we heal, without taking into consideration possible side effects on our internal system.

Before I started my CrossFit career, I would be down with the flu at least 4-6 times a year. I suffered from insomnia, fatigue, depression and acne. Once I shifted the way I train and what I put in my body, my immune system was so much stronger than before. Now I get better sleep, I’m more energized throughout the day and have better focus. My digestive system has never been healthier, and I no longer suffer from bloating or indigestion.

If you suffer from any of the aforementioned, try removing foods that cause inflammation like corn, dairy, soy, wheat, gluten, processed foods, refined sugars and carbs and legumes. Add a lot of greens into your meals, make sure that you get leafy greens and vegetables of all colours to get maximum benefit. Personally, I added a morning green juice with a tablespoon of L-glutamine as well. Once you feel less bloated and have a healthier and easier digestive system, you can slowly add foods that you enjoy without removing the greens from your diet. Above all else, do not neglect your body’s need for hydration, water is an important factor to a healthier, lighter and fitter body.

As a coach, it’s important to know that you don’t have to be fit to do CrossFit. If you find a good CrossFit box, which teaches you the proper movements you’ll soon build up your strength. It’s super high intense but what’s important to know is CrossFit will get you fit, you don’t need to be fit to begin with. A mistake people make is they go into their first class head on and they fatigue very quickly. What you should do is take it easy to begin with and build up the intensity. If you do that type of intense workout every day, after one month you’ll be exhausted.

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Super Kabaddi League to be launched in Pakistan in May

Waseem Ahmed 16/04/2018
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The Super Kabaddi League features players from 10 countries.

Pakistan will have its very own kabaddi league come May this year. Named the Super Kabaddi League, the competition is set to feature eight franchises.

The franchises will be based in eight cities across Pakistan – Lahore, Karachi, Islamabad, Peshawar, Faisalabad, Gwadar and Multan Gujrat.

The eight squads for the league will be filled through a player draft which will take place in Lahore on April 23. International stars from as many as 10 countries will be in the player draft, according to organisers.

“The draft for the inaugural edition of SKL (Super Kabaddi League) will take place in Lahore on 23rd of April. Competition will be played from 2nd of May to 10th of May while the opening ceremony of the league will be held on May 1st in Lahore,” an official was quoted as saying by Geo TV.

Players from Sri Lanka, Iran, Iraq, Japan, Malaysia, Kenya and Bangladesh have already confirmed their participation for the inaugural league according to a report by Geo News.

The SKL will be Pakistan’s answer to the Pro Kabaddi League which has been running successfully in neighbouring India since 2014.

Both Pakistan and India are one of the global powerhouses of the sport with the former finishing as the bronze medalist in the previous two Asian Games in 2010 and 2014.

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