UAE sport unites in mourning after death of Sheikh Rashid

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Sheikh Rashid was a talented endurance rider.

Sport in the UAE has come to a halt as a mark of respect to Sheikh Rashid bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, son of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, who died of a heart attack on Saturday.

Three days of mourning have begun in the Emirates after the 33-year-old’s death.

He was laid to rest at Bur Dubai’s Umm Hurair cemetery on Saturday night a process that saw a trio of Arabian Gulf League matches moved to Monday, with other events such as the semi-finals of the inaugural Dubai International Junior Basketball and final day of the Sheikha Hind Women’s Sports Tournament also being postponed.

“Today, I lost a best friend and a childhood companion, my dear brother Rashid,” said Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council. “You will be missed.”

Sheikh Rashid, a graduate of the UK’s Sandhurst Military Academy, was a prominent and successful sportsman, winning individual and team endurance golds in the equestrian events at the 15th Asian Games in 2006. He was also an accomplished horse racing enthusiast, owning Zabeel Racing International and leading the individual owners list an unprecedented five times with more than 428 wins. 

His interest in sports extended to the UAE Olympic Committee, for whom he was chairman from 2008-12. He was a founding member of Dubai Sports and Cultural Club, acting as chairman until his brother Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum took up the position in 2005. He was also known to be a keen football fan, with Manchester United his team of choice. 

Sheikh Rashid was a keen Manchester United fan.

“With our believing hearts, we would like to offer our deep and honest condolences to Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum,” Dubai Sports Council tweeted.

Al Ain had been scheduled to host Sharjah in the AGL, while Al Shabab were due to meet newly-promoted Dibba Al Fujairah and Al Nasr slated in to face Al Wasl in the Bur Dubai derby. Those games will go ahead on Monday at the original kick-off times, meaning Al Ahli’s home clash against Al Dhafra will be moved to 20.15 GST.

Al Ain and UAE superstar Omar Abdulrahman led the football tributes to Sheikh Rashid, tweeting an Islamic prayer: “May God forgive him and bless his family and may heaven be his home.”

The upset extended to non-Emiratis, with Ahli boss Cosmin Olaroiu stating: “It’s a very tough moment, sometimes football comes second place in life. But we have to continue with our job, which is the match with Al Dhafra.”

Al Nasr chairman Marwan bin Ghalita extended his club’s commiserations, saying: “God gives and takes and all we have to do is thank him. May he forever be blessed by heaven.”

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UAE sport unites in mourning after death of Sheikh Rashid

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Sheikh Rashid was a talented endurance rider.

Sport in the UAE has come to a halt as a mark of respect to Sheikh Rashid bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, son of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, who died of a heart attack on Saturday.

Three days of mourning have begun in the Emirates after the 34-year-old’s death.

He was laid to rest at Bur Dubai’s Umm Hurair cemetery on Saturday night a process that saw a trio of Arabian Gulf League matches moved to Monday, with other events such as the semi-finals of the inaugural Dubai International Junior Basketball and final day of the Sheikha Hind Women’s Sports Tournament also being postponed.

“Today, I lost a best friend and a childhood companion, my dear brother Rashid,” said Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council. “You will be missed.”

Sheikh Rashid, a graduate of the UK’s Sandhurst Military Academy, was a prominent and successful sportsman, winning individual and team endurance golds in the equestrian events at the 15th Asian Games in 2006. He was also an accomplished horse racing enthusiast, owning Zabeel Racing International and leading the individual owners list an unprecedented five times with more than 428 wins. 

His interest in sports extended to the UAE Olympic Committee, for whom he was chairman from 2008-12. He was a founding member of Dubai Sports and Cultural Club, acting as chairman until his brother Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum took up the position in 2005. He was also known to be a keen football fan, with Manchester United his team of choice. 

Sheikh Rashid was a keen Manchester United fan.

“With our believing hearts, we would like to offer our deep and honest condolences to Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum,” Dubai Sports Council tweeted.

Al Ain had been scheduled to host Sharjah in the AGL, while Al Shabab were due to meet newly-promoted Dibba Al Fujairah and Al Nasr slated in to face Al Wasl in the Bur Dubai derby. Those games will go ahead on Monday at the original kick-off times, meaning Al Ahli’s home clash against Al Dhafra will be moved to 20.15 GST.

Al Ain and UAE superstar Omar Abdulrahman led the football tributes to Sheikh Rashid, tweeting an Islamic prayer: “May God forgive him and bless his family and may heaven be his home.”

The Pro League Committee has postponed today's match between @alainfcae VS Al Sharjah to Monday 21st September at 5:30PM. #alainfc

— Al Ain FC – EN (@alainfcae_en) September 19, 2015

The upset extended to non-Emiratis, with Ahli boss Cosmin Olaroiu stating: “It’s a very tough moment, sometimes football comes second place in life. But we have to continue with our job, which is the match with Al Dhafra.”

Al Nasr chairman Marwan bin Ghalita extended his club’s commiserations, saying: “God gives and takes and all we have to do is thank him. May he forever be blessed by heaven.”

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Happy Birthday: Emil and Dana Zatopek, David Seaman

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[L-R] Emil, Dana, David Seaman.

Possibly the greatest ever feat in modern Olympics – that of winning the 5,000m, the 10,000m, followed by the marathon – was accomplished by Czechoslovakian Emil Zatopek, who was born on this day in 1922.

Not only did Zatopek win the three most grueling races in the 1952 Helsinki Games, he was actually taking part in a marathon for the first time, and he was in Helsinki defying doctor’s orders, having suffered severe gland infection two months before the Olympics.

The victory was extra sweet for Zatopek as his wife, Dana, won the javelin gold on the same day when he won the 5,000m.

The Bouncing Czech’ lost some of his best years to World War II, but dominated from 1948 until 1954, setting 18 world records over various distances including every record from 5,000m to 30km, and won four Olympic golds and one silver.

1922: Dana Zatopek, former Czech javelin thrower, winner of the 1952 Olympic gold medal and wife of the legendary Emil Zatopek, also born on this day in the same year (93).

1963: David Seaman, former England, Arsenal and Manchester City goalkeeper (52).

1977: Akash Chopra, former India Test opening batsman and now a respected commentator and columnist (38).

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