At the awards ceremony held by the General Authority for Sports at Mubadala Arena, 515 individuals were recognised for their significant contributions to the sporting world. With the generosity of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, more than AED 23 million was distributed amongst the winners. The event was held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs.
Based on the results of 2018, 580 medals were awarded to the UAE across various sports; including 202 gold, 193 silver and 185 bronze. Of the total, athletes competing under the UAE Equestrian and Racing Federation (UAEERF) in the various equestrian disciplines earned 148 medals – 68 gold, 41 silver and 39 bronze. With such impressive results, the UAEERF outperformed all other sports federations in the UAE and secured the title of ‘Best Performing Federation’.
During the ceremony, two show jumpers were commended for their especially outstanding performance last year – Ali Hamad Al Kirbi won the most medals out of any athlete in the UAE with a total of 13 while Omar Abdul Aziz Al Marzooqi was awarded the ‘Best Sports Achievement Award’ for winning the silver medal at the 2018 Summer Youth Olympic Games in Argentina.
H.E. Major General Dr. Ahmed Nasser Al Raisi, President of UAE Equestrian and Racing Federation expressed his happiness at this historic achievement saying: “I would like to extend my deepest gratitude to H.H. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, for the generous grants that encourage our riders to achieve the best results. These achievements were also the result of the unlimited support of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and H.H. Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, amongst other members of the ruling family. The number of medals and cups secured is a testament to the talents and skills of our UAE riders.”
Show Jumping competitions, held under the supervision of the UAE Equestrian and Racing Federation (UAEERF), return to Abu Dhabi this weekend.
Fans are encouraged to head down to the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club to watch the action and support their fellow countrymen in a two-day national show jumping competition. The event takes place in the club’s picturesque outdoor arena where competitors will be jumping heights of up to 145cm.
Those in attendance will be able to experience six rounds of exciting competitions (three on each day) for experienced, amateur/ novice, and junior riders (between the ages of 14 – 18) as well as classes for young horses (between 5-6 years old).
There is plenty for all the family to enjoy at the event besides the world-class show jumping, including food trucks, retail and games for all ages. For more information on the Emirates Longines Show Jumping League or to learn about upcoming shows, please visit www.emiratesequestrian.com.
What: The EmiratesLongines Show Jumping League
After much speculation, Justin Langer has been appointed as the new coach of the Australian cricket team. The 47-year-old former opener takes over the role left vacant by his predecessor Darren Lehmann following the ball-tampering saga that rocked the Australian cricket establishment.
The former Western Australia and Perth Scorchers coach will have his task cut out in taking over a side still reeling from the effects of the ball-tampering episode which has seen Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft being handed suspensions from the game.
As Langer gets ready to begin his four-year stint, we take a look at five things the Aussie coach will need to sort out.
RESTORING TRUST OF THE AUSTRALIAN PUBLIC
It is safe to say that the Australian public’s trust in the men’s national team is at an all-time low. Never has the Australian team come under such severe backlash from all quarters ever since the infamous ‘underarm’ incident against New Zealand in 1981.
Australia is a country with a proud sports culture and cricket holds a special place. While it is often said jokingly that the importance of the Australian cricket captain is only secondary to the Prime Minister, the game remains ingrained in the public’s persona.
At a time when cricket is facing challenges from other sports in the country, it is even more imperative for Langer to get the house in order as soon as possible to mitigate the damage.
CHANGING THE DRESSING ROOM CULTURE
One of the biggest criticisms aimed at Lehmann and his Australian team was towards the toxic, win-at-all-cost attitude installed in the dressing room. While the Aussies have always been known to play hard, it felt like the line was being crossed on multiple occasions during Lehmann’s reign.
That approach will have to be eroded completely and a more fine line will need to be struck. Langer would do well to recreate the approach of playing hard, but fair cricket adopted by the likes of Steve Waugh during his playing days. For this, Langer will need to work closely with skipper Tim Paine as Australian cricket looks to bounce back from its nadir.
DEFENCE OF THE ICC WORLD CUP
Less than a year remains for the ICC 50-over World Cup in England in 2019 and as such, Langer will need to get the defending champions back on track in their preparation for the marquee event.
Choosing a limited-overs skipper for the side will be the first and foremost errand for the new coach. With a limited-overs tour of England coming up soon, it would represent the perfect opportunity for Langer to try out a few things.
The likes of Aaron Finch and even Mitchell Marsh have been bandied about for the Australia captaincy and it will be interesting to see whom Langer and the selectors ultimately lean on.
As Australian cricket looks to regain the trust of the public, not many things beat an Ashes victory over old foes England for the average Australian. While the Aussies might have handed a 4-0 thumping to the visiting Englishmen only last year, the wait for the next Ashes series will not be long.
With England holding the hosting rights for 2019, it will not be an easy task for the Australians, especially with Smith and Warner’s one-year bans still likely to be in effect when the series arrives.
The loss of Smith’s and Warner’s batting prowess cannot be understated and Langer will need to put together a rejigged but formidable batting unit if his side is to have any chance in the swinging conditions of England.
REINTEGRATING SMITH AND WARNER
While Langer did open the doors for Smith’s and Warner’s return to the team following their suspensions in his first press-conference as Australia coach, it will be easier said than done.
Returning to the cricketing field after such a long and drawn out public outrage will be a testing period for the two senior batsmen and how Langer handles this reintegration could very well be the defining moment of his tenure.
Langer’s coaching credentials are as high as they come and he will need to draw on all his experience in putting Australian cricket back on track.