Monday, July 26, 2021

Category: sports

Tunisian Hefnawi. New Mellouli

On Republic Day, the eighteen-year-old Ayoub El Hefnawi gave Tunisia the first gold medal in the Tokyo Olympics, when he was crowned Sunday in the 400m freestyle, achieving a huge surprise, following in the footsteps of his compatriot Osama Mellouli.

El Hefnawy set a track of his own, after he excelled in the French championships at distances of 400 m and 800 m freestyle, and in Tokyo, he scored 3:43.36 minutes, achieving the third-best time this year, ahead of Australian Jack McLaughlin by 0.16 seconds and young American Kieran Smith by 0.58 seconds.

Al-Hefnawi’s name was often associated with the name of Mellouli (37 years), known for his brilliance in several races. He was crowned in the 1500m race at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and the 10km marathon in London in 2012. He was also one of the world champions in the 400 and 800m freestyle races.

While controversy arose over Mellouli’s recent statements about the inadmissibility of comparing him to El Hefnawy, the veteran swimmer said in an interview with “IFM” radio this month, “No athlete should be compared to another. Even my comparison with (American legend Michael) Phelps is not permissible. Every athlete has his advantages. “.

But Mellouli, who is participating in the current session in the Open Water Marathon, praised El-Hefnawi’s talent, saying that he will be his successor, “who is going through a distinguished career, happy to pass the torch to him… Ayoub went through difficult circumstances because he had to abandon his studies in order to achieve achievements in swimming. It was a risk for his future. I hope. To find a psychological and financial balance.

Regarding his emulation of Mellouli, also participating in Tokyo, El Hefnawy says, “Osama is a legend. I hope to become like him.”
This is the fifth gold for Tunisia in its history after the coronation of runner Mohamed Qamoudi in the 5000 m in 1968, Mellouli twice in 2008 and 2012, and the runner Habiba Laghribi in the 3000 m steeplechase in London 2012

Al-Hefnawi, who is affiliated with the Tunisian Esperance Club, began his career with the world of swimming at the age of six, thanks to his father, “My father was an athlete, a basketball player, and directed me to go swimming because it is beneficial in terms of health and builds your body well.”

He continued, “I used to live quietly and with time I gained confidence. In the last two years, I started to win Arab and African titles and became a champion in France.”

Regarding his competitions outside his country, he added, “It is my right as a foreigner to participate in the French Championship, and my goal was to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics. At first, they looked at me in a superior way, so I demonstrated to them my abilities after that.”

The Tunisian Swimming Federation indicated at the end of last year that El Hefnaoui was studying at the French Sports Institute Pierre de Coubertin and was training in Tunisia under the supervision of coaches Sami Ashour and Gebran El Taweli.
Responsibilities began to grow, “with achievements starting from the age of 16, but the year 2020 was very bad, I did not participate in any competition in nine months” due to the Coronavirus.

Tunisia’s Ahmed Hafnaoui poses with his gold medal after the final of the men’s 400m freestyle swimming event during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre in Tokyo on July 25, 2021. (Photo by Attila KISBENEDEK / AFP)

From the first moment in the race, missing the American champion Mac Horton and the Chinese champion, Sun Yang, the 2012 champion, who was suspended due to doping issues, El Hefnawy remained among the leaders and was the first to arrive.
“I can’t believe it, that’s great,” he said after his coronation. “This morning I felt better than yesterday. I’m an Olympic champion now.”

The young man, born on December 4, 2002, finished eighth in the semi-finals, “I put my head in the water and this happened. I can’t believe it, this is a dream that has come true.”

Hafa added, “I was running with the swimmers in the first 200m, in the second 200m I pushed. I gave everything in the last 50m.”

And whether he is able to compete in the 800m race, he added, “God willing. I will do what I have to do and the rest is up to my Lord.”

This is Tunisia’s second medal in these games after Mohamed Khalil Jendoubi won a silver in the 58-kg weight category in taekwondo on Saturday. Hefnaoui commented, “Khalil and I are about the same age. Tunisia depends on us. We, the new generation, offer this medal to Tunisia, my family, and the Arabs.”

The Turkish city of Antalya was the last preparatory stop for Al-Hafnawi before his first participation in the Olympic Games, in which he hopes to achieve a second surprise in the 800m race.

Djokovic begins his quest for Olympic gold as tennis players suffer from high heat

Novak Djokovic started his path towards completing his grand slam title alongside Olympic gold with a 6-2 6-2 victory over the 139th-ranked Bolivian Hugo Dein on Saturday, in sweltering weather on the first day of tennis competitions in Tokyo 2020.

The world number one did not want to spend much time on the court in the sweltering heat and humidity and quickly sealed his victory on center court in about an hour.

In the 33-degree heat and high humidity, the competitors struggled while playing, and ice packs and water spray through pipes did not help them much.

“It’s very tough,” said Djokovic, who will face Germany’s Jan-Lennard Struff in the second round.

“I think today was the hottest day yet and I’m speaking on behalf of other players. Hard courts absorb heat and there’s not a lot of wind or breezes and it was definitely a tough atmosphere.”

“But I am happy to have passed the first hurdle and I think I played hard and can improve and feel satisfied with my performance.”

Steffi Graf remains the only one to win all the Grand Slam titles and Olympic gold in the same year (1988), but the 34-year-old Serbian needs the Tokyo gold and the US Open title to equal the former German player’s achievement.

English FA facing UEFA investigation over fan disorder at Euro 2020 final

The English Football Association is facing an investigation by European football’s governing body UEFA over the fan disorder that occurred inside and around Wembley Stadium at Sunday’s Euro 2020 final.Ahead of kick-off, a number of fans without tickets had tried to force their way into the stadium.The English FA is also facing four UEFA charges relating to “the invasion of the field by its supporters,” the throwing of objects and the lighting of fireworks as well as “disturbance” during the national anthem.

In a statement on Tuesday, UEFA said it had opened disciplinary proceedings against the English FA as well as a separate investigation into events involving supporters which occurred inside and around Wembley at Sunday’s Euro 2020 final.

Early goal and dramatic finish deliver a championship for Italy.

Italy beat England in a penalty shootout to win the European soccer championship on Sunday, dashing England’s hopes of winning its first major title since the 1966 World Cup and restoring the reputation of an Italian squad that had been humiliated five years ago when it failed to qualify for the World Cup.

The final was worth the wait: It saw England take the lead on a goal by defender Luke Shaw after only two minutes, and then a second-half response from Leonardo Bonucci. Before and after was a whirlwind of highs and lows, hard fouls and close calls, misses and makes, before Italy prevailed in the shootout, 3-2.

Even the shootout had full chapters of drama: Players brought on just so they could take part missed their shots, and Italy’s surest penalty taker failed to convert an attempt that would have won it for his country.

Only when Gianluigi Donnarumma, Italy’s hulking goalkeeper, had pushed aside the final attempt, by the England teenager Bukayo Saka, was it over, his save setting off a wild celebration that saw players from each team dissolve into tears.

For English fans, the ending — the entire day, really — was an emotional was hope and optimism to surprise to disbelief as they stumbled out of Wembley into the night, into a steady London rain.

Beaming Kate Middleton out of Covid isolation as she joins William at Wimbledon

Kate Middleton has been spotted for the first time out of Covid isolation as she joined Prince William at Wimbledon.

The Duchess of Cambridge was all smiling on centre court in a bright green dress as she watched the women’s final between Ashleigh Barty and Karolina Pliskova. null

She and William were snapped wearing face masks as they took their seats.

Kate had been pinged by the NHS Covid-19 App last Friday at the same venue before going into quarantine.

The 39-year-old royal, patron of the All England Law Tennis and Croquet Club (AELTC), will also be in the stands for the men’s final tomorrow.

England vs Italy build-up LIVE: Euro 2020 latest ahead of Sunday’s final

The Euro 2020 final is under 36 hours away and only Italy stand between the Three Lions and their first major tournament win since the 1966 World Cup.

Gareth Southgate and his side will have the opportunity to make themselves national heroes when they step out in front of 60,000 supporters at Wembley.

And the nerves will no doubt be rising among the squad as they look ahead to the biggest match of their careers.

Argentina is satisfied with a draw with Chile

Once again, Argentina was unable to win over Chile and was content with a 1-1 draw in the opening campaign of the two teams in the Copa America in Brazil.

Lionel Messi scored a goal from one of his distinctive free-kicks in the first half, but Eduardo Vargas responded with a goal in favor of Chile as the two teams tied in Rio de Janeiro on Monday.

When the two teams met in the World Cup qualifiers earlier this month, Chilean goalkeeper Claudio Bravo saved one of Messi’s free kicks in an acrobatic manner, and another hit the goal frame, but this time the Barcelona player excelled and fired a superb shot into the top corner from 25 meters in the 33rd minute.

Although they beat Argentina on penalties in the 2015 and 2016 Copa America finals, Chile has never beaten their neighbors in a 90-minute match in this tournament, and their task became more difficult after Messi opened the scoring.

The FA urges fans not to jeer at the national team

The Football Association has issued a statement asking fans to respect the players’ desire to “knee” as a form of protest against racism, and urging them not to jeer before England’s Euro 2020 matches, which are currently taking place in 11 different countries.

“We are asking those who oppose this behavior to think about the message that reaches the players you are trying to support,” the FA said before the national team’s Euro match against Croatia at Wembley Stadium, on Sunday.

“Please respect their wishes, and remember that we must all be united in the fight against racial discrimination. We are all together,” he added.

“They will do their best for you, and please do what’s best for them.”

England players were booed by some fans ahead of two friendlies this month by kneeling, in a move made famous by a campaign against racism known as “Black Lives Matter”.

On Saturday, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson considered it a mistake to boo the England national team.

Brazil strengthens its lead in the World Cup qualifiers with a double in Paraguay

Neymar scored an early goal and Lucas Paqueta added a last-gasp goal as Brazil beat Paraguay 2-0 in the World Cup qualifiers in Asuncion last night and achieved their sixth consecutive victory in the South American qualifiers.

Neymar controlled a cross from Gabriel Jesus and hit the net from eight meters to put the Brazilian team ahead after three minutes.

Paqueta confirmed Brazil’s victory in the fourth minute of stoppage time with a beautiful left-footed shot into the far lower corner.

Brazil has 18 points after six matches in the South American qualifiers for the 2022 finals in Qatar. The top four teams automatically qualify for the 2022 finals in Qatar, while the fifth-placed team plays a playoff with a team from another continent.

Thomas Tuchel Guardiola’s new knot

German coach Thomas Tuchel, Chelsea’s English coach, succeeded in dedicating his contract to City coach Pep Guardiola, after he beat him in the Champions League final with a clean goal, in the match that was held at the “Dragao” stadium in the Portuguese city of Porto.

The “Opta” network indicated that Tuchel became the second coach to succeed in defeating Guardiola in 3 consecutive matches in all competitions, after the German Jürgen Klopp, where he succeeded in achieving the same number in 2018 with Liverpool.

Tuchel defeated Guardiola in the FA Cup semi-final last month, with a goal without a response, before he repeated his victory in the English Premier League, at the Etihad Stadium, with two goals to one.

Guardiola fell in his first final in his career with Manchester City, before losing another final with Barcelona against Real Madrid, in the Spanish King’s Cup with a clear goal in 2011.

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