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Closing speeds at Jeddah approaching ‘danger zone’ says Hamilton

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Hamilton 211203 Speaking G1050

Lewis Hamilton said the difference in speeds between Formula One cars on a flying lap and those running slowly at the new circuit were approaching a “danger zone” after near-misses in Friday’s opening practice for the inaugural Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

The Briton, who trails Red Bull’s Max Verstappen by eight points in the overall standings with two races to go and this weekend is gunning for a third straight win, took avoiding action twice to avoid slower moving cars while on fast laps.

“That’s definitely a lot worse than a lot of places we’ve been to,” Hamilton, fastest in Friday’s two sessions, added.

“Monaco-esque – the closing speed on other cars is definitely getting to a bit of a danger zone,” he said referring to the narrow, twisting, albeit it slower, Monaco street track infamous for slower cars getting in the way of faster runners.

The new 6.1-km long Jeddah track is set to be the second quickest on the calendar after Italian ‘Temple of Speed’ Monza.

Its fast, flowing layout of mainly flat-out blasts along the city’s Red Sea waterfront and a succession of high speed corners hemmed in by walls make it difficult for drivers to see slower moving cars, which could prove tricky during qualifying.

Charles Leclerc was caught out by the high-speed track, his Ferrari crashing backwards into the barriers during the second practice session, although the Monegasque, who was unhurt, was running by himself at the time.

“There’s so many kind of blind corners and closing speeds are high,” said McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo. You try and get out of everyone’s way. I probably got in some people’s way today, some people got in mine.

“It can get very tricky, very messy, very quickly,” added Red Bull’s Sergio Perez.

Hamilton leads Mercedes one-two in practice for Saudi GP

Read Also: EPL: Conte hesitant to drop Kane ahead of busy schedule

Despite the risks, drivers enjoyed tearing around the coastal venue, their cars sparking away and looking spectacular under the floodlights.

“Rapid! It really is incredibly fast and a lot of grip as well,” said seven-times world champion Hamilton.

“When you get the rhythm it’s a beautiful track.”

His Mercedes team mate Valtteri Bottas added: “It’s quite hardcore, it’s pretty full gas and close to the walls and high speeds … definitely gives you a bit of an adrenaline rush.”

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Floorball Association targets schools for development

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Floorball players and officials

Chieftains of the Floorball Association said their main target this year is to spread the gospel of Floorball to schools for effective development of the Sport.

To this end, the Association said they will start combing schools in order to fish out hidden talents and nuture them to limelight.

This was disclosed by the Secretary General of the Association, Mr. Henry Oluoma at their maiden event held at the Floorball court of the National Institute for Sports, Lagos on Wednesday January 26, 2022.

Germany based Floorball administrator said this action was the fallout of the world body’s meeting held in December where they had vivid discussions on how to move Floorball forward in Africa and he was given the mandate to ensure that the sport grows beyond it’s present position in Nigeria and the entire continent.

Based on this, Mr. Henry Oluoma hinted that some companies in Germany have promised to support the course by donating Floorball equipment to Nigeria to aid the speedy development of the game.

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I’m in Denmark to improve myself, says youthful Mukairu

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Nigerian striker, Paul Mukairu, has expressed his excitement after his ₦900million move to former champions .of Denmark FC Copenhagen.

The 22-year-old winger dumped Turkish side Antalyaspor after three years with the former Turkish champions.

Mukairu has seen his reputation rise tremendously since he joined Antalyaspor in 2019. Within four months of his arrival in Turkey, he made it to the Antalyaspor first team, scoring three goals and assisting one in his first season.

read also:Juve reject Aston Villa’s £20.5m bid Rodrigo

He spent last season on loan at Belgian Jupiler League side Anderlecht, where he scored two goals and assisted four in 23 league appearances.

Before his departure to Copenhagen, Mukairu had already scored three goals in 20 appearances for the Scorpions this season.

The Abuja-born forward is a quick player, and although he is a winger, he can play as a striker.

The pacy forward was all smiles at his unveiling and expressed his happiness whilst stating his readiness to become better at his new club.

“I feel very happy to be here, the welcome was really nice, it was amazing. I’m so happy to be in this great club.” He told Copenhagen TV.

“I have a lot to learn, and here is a good place to improve myself with the people surrounding me”, he added.

The 22-year-old is yet to make an appearance for the Super Eagles, but if he can continue with his eye-catching displays at his new side, it would only be a matter of time before it happens.

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Arsenal gave me a ‘good slap’, says Saliba

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Saliba

William Saliba has revealed how he was given a rude awakening on his arrival at Arsenal back in July 2019.

The French defender joined the Gunners from Saint-Etienne for around £27million.

But he is yet to play for the senior side and last summer was shipped off to Marseille on loan.

Now the 20-year-old has admitted his time in the reserves was like a ‘slap in the face’ and hasn’t ruled out a permanent move away from the Emirates.

He told RMC: “Before going to Arsenal, I said to myself I was going to play, I was sure, I was wondering who I would play alongside.

read also:W/Cup Qualifier: Di Maria, Martinez on target in Chile defeat

“I arrive, I play zero matches. I played for the U23s. That gave me a good slap.

“Things go so fast in football. I don’t want to think about the future. I am going to give my all. Then there will be discussions in summer.”

Reports earlier this month suggested Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta was preparing to give Saliba a chance in the senior squad next season.

The centre-back has turned in a string of impressive performances to propel Marseille to third in the Ligue 1 table.

According to L’Equipe, Arsenal are set to reject l‘OM’s attempts to make the deal permanent in the summer.

On his progress, Arteta said earlier this season: “I know that sometimes it’s difficult to explain or understand after the money that the club has spent trying to bring him in, to send him on loan.

“But a lot of things have happened to him, he’s a long-term player for us and we need to protect him as well. And giving him three or four games is not enough.”

 

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