UAE

Mahra Polo edges Zedan to reach McLaren Cup semi-finals in Dubai

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In action: Gonzalo Etcheverry.

Mahra Polo edged a thriller against Zedan to qualify for the semi-finals of the McLaren Cup on Friday.

There wasn’t much in at the Al Habtoor Polo Resort & Club, with Mahra winning by 5.5 goals to 5 to book their place in the last four of the event.

It was even stevens for large parts of the singles contest, with Mahra holding a 4-3 lead at the interval, but the half goal handicap made all the difference as both teams kept going right until the end.

Jeronimo del Carril scored four for Mahra while Pablo Mac Donough, of Zedan, also netted a quadruple of goals in what turn out to be a classic five chukkers encounter in front of a large crowd in Dubai.

Victory means the Rashid Al Habtoor-owned team are the first side to reach this stage of the cup with a 2-2 win record.

The McLaren Cup, which is the opening trophy up for grabs in the Dubai Golf Cup Series 2018, continues this weekend with UAE Polo playing against Bin Drai.

The tournament runs until February 9 while the Polo Masters Cup (February 10-15), Julius Baer Gold Cup (February 16 to March 9) and The Dubai Cup (April 6-13) make up the other events in the series.

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Olympic champion Alistair Brownlee returns from injury in style to win Ironman 70.3 title in Dubai

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Winning return: Brownlee.

It was business as usual for Alistair Brownlee on Friday as the double Olympic triathlon champion returned from injury to romp to victory at the Ironman 70.3 Dubai.

The British star, who underwent hip surgery last August, returned in style and was first over the finish line at Umm Suqeim Beach in a time of three hours, 35 minutes and 32 seconds.

The 29-year-old finished more than six minutes ahead of second-placed Swiss Sven Riederer and his compatriot Ruedi Wild who came home in third.

The Ironman 70.3, or half Ironman as it is also known, consists of a 1.9km swim, a 90km bike ride and a 21.1km run.

Speaking after his victory, Brownlee said: “Obviously it is so fantastic to be back after too much time spent at the gym in the past six months.

“I did not feel great on the swim, had a couple of bad patches on the bike but on the run I just felt great, I was in control and I actually really enjoyed the last 10-18km. I was just soaking it in and enjoying the cheers.”

Brownlee, who turns 30 in April, also recorded the fastest bike split in a time of 1:58:51.

He added: “I am so happy to back to racing and while I had some rough patches in between, it’s an amazing feeling to be here and win here,”

With Dubai being the first event of three in the “Nasser Bin Hamad Triple Crown” series, the London 2012 and Rio 2016 gold medallist is well on course to win a $1million prize purse if he also claims the two remaining events in Bahrain and South Africa later this year.

In the women’s race, Germany’s Anne Haug secured the title and beat Britain’s Sarah Lewis and 2016 Ironman 70.3 world champion Holly Lawrence to seal top spot on the podium.

Haug ran the 21.1km half-marathon leg in an impressive one hour, 14 minutes, helping her to catch up with and overtake Lawrence who was leading for a section of the race.

The 35-year-old veteran eventually came home in 4:00:25, nearly five minutes ahead of Lewis while Lawrence faded.

For Haug, who is a former short-distance specialist, it was her second victory in three Ironman 70.3 races – adding to the titles she won in Lanzarote and Bahrain last year.

It means, like Brownlee, she is well on course to win a triple crown of events if she can triumph in the remaining two races of the series.

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Experience brand new Jebel Jais Flight: The world’s longest zipline in Ras Al Khaimah

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Thrillseekers in the UAE can now experience the world’s longest zipline!

The brand new facility based in Ras Al Khaimah – which sees people travel at speeds of up to 150kph at a height of 1,680 metres above sea level on top of Jebel Jais mountain – is now open to the public.

The latest RAK adventure tourism product, entitled: ‘Jebel Jais Flight: The World’s Longest Zipline’ – has also won a Guinness World Record.

The official certification was handed to HH Sheikh Saud Bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Member of Supreme Council and Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah, by Hoda Khachab, the official adjudicator from Guinness World Records.

Indeed, HH Sheikh Ahmad bin Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi was the first to trial the new adrenaline ride.

“This is a great achievement for RAK’s international tourism ambitions,” said Haitham Mattar, CEO of Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority.

“We are now receiving our largest-ever number of visitor arrivals and are confident that Jebel Jais Flight: the world’s longest zipline, will earn RAK considerable recognition on the local, regional and global stage and propel the destination into the major leagues of global adventure tourism.”

He added: “The Jebel Jais Flight will become RAK’s flagship tourism product and will cement Jebel Jais as the adventure tourism hub of the Middle East. We are expecting to see an increasing number of adventure tourists coming from across the globe to try this bucket list experience.”

Are you brave enough to try it?

And now for some more facts.

Measuring at 2.83 kilometres – the equivalent to over 28 football fields, and spanning the chasm of Jebel Jais, the zipline also weighs more than six tonnes and has been in the planning for over a year.

Thrill-seekers will take to the skies and zip headfirst in a ‘superman’ style position.

The experience will see participants fitted with a special suit and equipment, with the flight itself taking approximately two to three minutes.

Once completed, guests finish on a suspended landing platform – unique in the world – where they are then transferred to a second line, measuring in at 1km, to complete their journey back to the ground.

There are no age restrictions on ‘pilots’ but the requirements are a maximum weight of (150kg) and minimum weight of (45kg) for ‘fliers’ who must be at least 120cm tall. The zipline is priced at AED650 per rider.

For more information and bookings, please visit www.jebeljais.ae.

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