Al Bedwawi wants to build on debut at World Aquatics Champs

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Onwards and upwards: Nada Al Bedwawi.

Nada Al Bedwawi, the first female swimmer to represent the UAE at a World Aquatics Championships, has been inspired by her debut at the international meet in Kazan, Russia and hopes she can continue to improve to make further history for her country.

The 18-year-old, who contested the 100m backstroke heats on Monday, has returned from the Worlds with a newfound purpose to better her times and take her swimming more seriously. 

She clocked 1:35.83 in her event, which was 10 seconds slower than her entry time. 

“Surprisingly, I did not get nervous at all in my race because normally at national competitions I would get super nervous but not in this one,” Al Bedwawi told Sport360. 

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“And I believe that this is only the beginning to more future successes.

“This experience was very much needed because it gave me motivation to work harder in the future and get to the finals one day, honouring UAE’s name.”

UAE’s Mubarak Al Besher was due to take part in the 100m breaststroke heats Tuesday but did not start the race. The UAE Swimming Federation were unavailable for comment as to why the team veteran scratched the event.

UAE star Mubarak Al Besher.

Yaaqoub Al Saadi is the only remaining Emirati with an event left in the competition as he will contest the 50m backstroke on Saturday. 

Meanwhile, Youth Olympic champion Ahmed Akram of Egypt came agonisingly close to making the 800m freestyle final Tuesday, falling 0.13sec short, clocking a personal best and a new Egyptian national record.

Swimming in the fastest heat alongside stars like Connor Jaeger, Gregorio Paltrinieri and Mack Horton, Akram clocked 7:49.83 to place ninth amongst 41 swimmers with only the top eight going through to Wednesday’s final. 

“It was a really fast race and my time is great,” said the 19-year-old Akram.

“But I’m a little disappointed for not making the finals. Still it’s encouraging to make this time.

“I still have the 1500m on August 8, so there’s still four days. I don’t want to think about it now because I don’t want to be under stress.”

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New Shuttle Time Dubai Club Championships sure to be a smash hit

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Serving up a treat: The first day of the competition was a huge success.

More than 120 of Dubai’s best badminton players were in action at the city’s Sports World as the first round of the Shuttle Time Dubai Club Championships began.

Players representing 12 clubs and academies across Dubai will compete over the next three weeks for the inaugural championship title.

Played as a team event and split into two group for the early stages, Round 1 saw some fantastic competition as players of all ages faced off in five categories: Men’s Singles, Men’s Doubles, Mixed Doubles, Boy’s/Women’s Doubles and Masters Doubles (40 and above).

Professional Sports Academy and Team Victor emerged as the early leaders in Group A, taking 5-0 victories over Friday Smashers B and Shuttle Hawks respectively. 

Other results in Group A saw India Club win 4-1 over Jpark Shuttlers and Shuttle Shooters took a 3-2 win over Friday Smashers A.

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In Group B Badeemonz defeated Arab Badminton Club 4-1, while Badmintown recorded a 5-0 win over Captain Badminton Club.

Dubai Badminton Development Manager Jaffer Ebrahim was delighted with the response and turnout for the first ever Club Championships.

He said: “It is great to see players from all across Dubai come together for these Championships.

“Badminton is making great strides in Dubai, and bringing together all the individual clubs and academies is another important step in the development of the sport here.

“Badminton is truly a sport for all – our youngest player here today is 11 years old, and our oldest is 59."

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Happy Birthday - Jesse Owens, Aaqib Javed, Salomon Kalou

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[L-R] Jesse Owens, Aaqib Javed and Salomon Kalou.

Jesse Owens was one of the most influential figures in sporting history.

The American track and field athlete was a four-time Olympic gold medallist who did a lot more than just win events.

Owens specialised in the sprints and the long jump and is considered as the greatest all-round athlete in history, along with Carl Lewis.

Owens rose to prominence in 1935 when he set three world records and tied another in less than an hour at the 1935 Big Ten track meet.

His moment of glory, however, came at the 1936 Olympics in Germany. Owens grabbed the attention of the world as he blazed his way to the 100m sprint title and the very next day grabbed the long jump crown.

Then on this day back in 1936, Owens crossed the finish line in a time of 20.7s to win the 200m final, making it a hat-trick of golds in three days.

Aaqib Javed: The former Pakistan fast bowler and current UAE coach turns 43 today. 

Salomon Kalou: The  Ivorian former Chelsea forward is now at Hertha Berlin and he celebrates his 30th.

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