Happy Birthday: Monica Seles, Jarron Collins, Aaron Rodgers

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[L-R] Collins, Seles, Rodgers.

The Yugoslav-born tennis star had the potential to become one of the greatest stars in the game but a tragic incident derailed her career when she was in top flight.

Seles, who turns 42 today, became the youngest woman player to be ranked World No1 at 17 in 1991, a year after becoming the youngest to win the French Open.

She also holds the record of simultaneously winning the French and Australian Open three times on the trot.

She had won eight grand slam titles and was the reigning World No1 when a crazy Steffi Graf fan ran on court and stabbed her in the back in Hamburg.

Although she won another Australian Open in 1996 and a bronze medal at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, Seles never regained her competitive edge and played her last match at the French Open in 2003.

She finished with 53 singles titles and officially retired in 2008.

1968: David Batty, England footballer who played at ‘98 World Cup. Also played for Leeds, Blackburn and Newcastle (47).

1973: Jan Ullrich, retired German cyclist who won gold and silver at the 2000 Olympics, later banned for doping (42).

1978: Jarron Collins, former NBA player and current assistant coach of the Golden State Warriors (37).

1983: Aaron Rodgers, American NFL star of the Green Bay Packers and MVP for the 2011 and 2014 seasons (32).

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On this day: 2008 – Ronaldo wins the Ballon d’Or for the first time

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Big honour: Cristiano Ronaldo.

Cristiano Ronaldo has made a habit of sweeping up awards.

On this day seven years ago he first stood atop world football, being rewarded for an incredible year at Manchester United with the prestigious Ballon d’Or prize as the sport’s finest player.

In a sign of the future, he pipped Barcelona’s Lionel Messi to the crown. The duo have since monpolised it, Ronaldo winning it again in 2013 and 2014.

The Portugal forward was unplayable in 2008, firing his club to the 2007-08 double of the Champions League and Premier League.

These displays saw Real Madrid aggressively pursue his services in the summer, these overtures eventually landing him in the following off-season.

1973: Australia win the Davis Cup for the 23rd time with a 5-0 rout of hosts United States in the first final to be played indoors.

1975: Greg Chappell scores centuries in both innings in his first Test as captain as Australia defeat West Indies by eight wickets at Brisbane.

1991: New York Mets sign former Pittsburgh Pirates’ outfielder Bobby Bonilla for $29m, the then highest for any player in team sport.

2010: Russia were awarded the hosting rights for the 2018 World Cup finals, while Qatar won the bid to host the 2022 World Cup.

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National Day discounts at Al Forsan

Jay Asser 1/12/2015
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Rewarding: Winners of the 6-Hour Endurance Race will get richer by Dh18,000.

Al Forsan International Sports Resort continues to be your one-stop destination for all things sport during the winter season with even more events lined up this month.

Located in the nation’s capital, the venue has unveiled new motorsports, equestrian and shooting activities for all to take advantage before the end of the year. In celebration of UAE National Day, they’re even offering a 15 per cent discount on all sporting activities until Friday.

– #360FIT: What part of the day is best to workout for optimum results

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If getting behind the wheel is your thing, look no further than Al Forsan and Abu Dhabi Sports Council’s 6-Hour Endurance Race.

Round up your friends and create a crew with anywhere from two to six people as you put pedal to the metal on Friday, December 18.

The winning team will earn Dh18,000, while the runners-up will take home Dh11,000, Dh9,000, Dh5,000 and Dh2,500 respectively. Each team is required to pay Dh4,500 for the entrance fee.

After getting off the track, take your aim in the ever-popular Sporting Clay Competition, which runs throughout the month.

Shooters will fire either 12 or 28 gauge shotguns, with the top three for the women’s and men’s divisions being determined in a thrilling shoot-off.

The top marksmen will win a trophy, as well as Dh5,000 to first place, Dh3,000 to second and Dh2,000 to third.

Shooting stars: Sporting clay competition runs all month.

All competitors must bring a valid UAE ID to participate, with the entry fee Dh250 and reshoots costing Dh150. 

Equestrian lovers can rejoice as Al Forsan has introduced the Pony Club, a programme for aspiring equestrian athletes to learn about the sport and animal welfare.

Participants between the ages of six to eight and nine to 15 can apply for four levels of six separate sessions in which they’ll learn about grooming, safety and more in a structured and supportive environment.

There’s also a Stable Management Program for 14-year-olds and above, which offers the chance to gain more knowledge on horse care. It’s based on the British Horse Society (BHS) Stage 1 Syllabus, allowing students an eventual option to take up an internationally recognised qualification.

In addition to the new competitions and programmes offered, Al Forsan continues to have a wide range of activities with free resort access and parking to all visitors.

For more information on Al Forsan, which is open seven days a week, visit www.alforsan.com

What: 6-Hour Endurance Race, Sporting Clay Competition, Pony Club and Stable Management Program
Where: Al Forsan International Sports Resort, Abu Dhabi
When: Running throughout this month, with the 6-Hour Endurance Race on Friday, December 18 
Contact: Visit www.alforsan.com for more information

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