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Volume 10 No. 25

Events and Attractions

Nearly $40M in prize money will be on offer when the 2013 Dubai World Cup Carnival begins on Jan. 10, according to Leslie Wilson Jr. of the GULF NEWS. The Emirates Racing Authority announced the event will "culminate with the Dubai World Cup meeting on March 30." This is the fourth year that the Carnival will be held at the Meydan racecourse since it launched in '04. The event consists of "11 high-quality race meetings featuring 27 Group and Listed races." Total prize money of $37.4M "will be up for grabs as some of the best equine stars from around the world descend on Dubai" to contest seven Group 1 contests, 10 Group 2 events, seven Group 3 races and three Listed events in the Carnival. The UAE flat racing season will kick off at Meydan on Nov. 8 with 20 race fixtures scheduled to be held over the course of five months. Dates for the Carnival are: Jan. 10, Jan. 17, Jan. 24, Jan. 31, Feb. 7, Feb. 14, Feb. 21, Feb. 28, March 2, March 9, with the Dubai World Cup on March 30. The World Cup card, "the world's richest day of racing," offers a combined purse of more than $27M for the nine races, including the $10M Dubai World Cup (G1) (GULF NEWS, 10/9).

The man charged with overseeing the running of this week's inaugural Turkish Airlines World Golf Finals said Turkey's biggest problem is "nobody there plays golf," according to Ewan Murray of the London GUARDIAN. Retired English golfer and current Managing Dir of sports management firm ISM Chubby Chandler said, "Turkey has fantastic golf courses. The problem with Turkey is that nobody there plays golf." Turkey's current appetite for golf, however, goes "beyond a desire to see their own population play more of it." The country has a dream to host the 2020 Olympic Games, an aim it hopes "will be boosted by the handling of events such as the World Golf Finals." Turkish Airlines has duly sponsored the flights and accommodation in Antalya for selected journalists in order to "maximise coverage." The sponsors, at least, are serious about "what detractors would label merely a golfing exhibition." Turkish Airways turned to Chandler and made their multimillion pound budget plain after "drawing an initially cool response" from the European Tour. The World Finals are "not yet sanctioned by the tour." On top of six-figure appearance fees for certain members of the field, the winner will receive $1.5M, with the player finishing last still collecting $300,000. Chandler is adamant the tournament will expand over the next four years, a matter which "could prove invaluable to Turkey's Olympic dream" (GUARDIAN, 10/9).

UNCERTAIN FUTURE: In Abu Dhabi, John McAuley reported that Mena Golf Tour Chair Mohamed Juma Buamaim said he wants the tournament to have a "minimum of 10" events in the future, although admits that the recent unrest in the region "has affected plans for expansion." The Mena Tour, now in its second season, is taking place this week in Suadi Arabia where the Dirab Golf and Country Club is hosting the Dirab Golf Championship. The event forms one of six on this year's circuit, an increase of two events from the inaugural tournament last year. Organizers agree "sustaining the tour's early success is dependent on the initiative," funded by the Sheikh Maktoum Golf Federation, extending throughout the Middle East and North Africa. Developed golf nations such as Morocco and Egypt would be "obvious choices to host future tournaments." The uncertainty precipitated by the Arab Spring has "understandably stunted the Mena Tour's growth" (THE NATIONAL, 10/8).

The new ATP 250 series tournament, which replaces the ATP World Team Cup competition, at the Rochusclub in Dusseldorf, Germany has "found a new co-organizer with former tennis professional Rainer Schüttler," according to the DPA. The 36-year-old, who recently retired from professional tennis, "acquired together with former Boris Becker Agent Ion Tiriac the rights to a succeeding tournament at the Rochusclub following the official cancellation of the World Team Cup." From May 17-25, the week before the French Open, 32 tennis professionals will compete at the newly created "Power Horse Cup," a category ATP 250 series tournament, in the state capital of North Rhine-Westphalia. In addition, the tournament will have a double competition of 16 teams. Schüttler said, "Our goal is to keep the tournament in Dusseldorf for the long-run, in order to show top tennis in the region." So far, organizers have only been able secure the '13 edition of  the tournament, which has a total prize money of €415,000 ($537,500). In addition, free-to-air TV channel Eurosport signed on as the event's "house broadcaster" and will show two single matches a day (DPA, 10/9).

The NBA pre-season game between the New Orleans Hornets and Orlando Magic drew 18,133 at the Ciudad de Mexico Arena. Mexican-born Magic player Gustavo Ayon scored 12 points and had 6 rebounds. The Hornets won the game 85-80 (EL SOL DE MEXICO, 10/8). ... The NBA will visit South Korea for three days beginning Friday with NBA 3X Korea 2012. The event in Seoul will feature a 3-on-3 tournament with three competitive categories for boys aged 10-18, an open division for men and performances from top musicians and DJs each day (NBA). ... The Petronas Asia Road Racing Championships will become the first int'l event to be hosted at the new Penbay International Circuit in Taiwan this weekend. The 3.526km track has 16 corners and will "have the most technical layout" on the ARRC race calendar this season (THE STAR, 10/9). ... The opening ceremony and the first match of the 2012 FIFA Futsal World Cup between Thailand and Costa Rica will now be held at Hua Mark Indoor Stadium as the construction of the new Bangkok Futsal Arena in Nong Chok "appears destined to miss its scheduled deadline." The entire tournament schedule has been revised and the Bangkok Futsal Arena will now host its first game on Nov. 14 when the tournament reaches its quarter-final stage (BANGKOK POST, 10/9).