A post-mortem examination found that 26-year-old Crippen died from drowning and heat exhaustion, although it did not exclude other factors. Dario Lopez-Mills / AP Photo
A post-mortem examination found that 26-year-old Crippen died from drowning and heat exhaustion, although it did not exclude other factors. Dario Lopez-Mills / AP Photo

USA Swimming anger at decision to host open water race in UAE



ABU DHABI // More than four years after the death of open-water star Fran Crippen, swimming’s international governing body plans to hold a World Cup race in the UAE.

But USA Swimming has opposed the March 13 event in Abu Dhabi, saying it was "disappointed" that Fina, swimming's world governing body, decided to return to the country where Crippen died during a Fujairah race in October 2010.

American swimmers could still choose to compete in the 10-kilometre race but their national organisation will not provide any financial assistance or support staff, making it highly unlikely that any US athlete will make the trip.

“The US swimming family is still mourning the death of Fran Crippen,” said Chuck Wielgus, the executive director of USA Swimming.

The organisation said it had “no plans to support or send athletes to the UAE for this event”.

A post-mortem examination found that 26-year-old Crippen died from drowning and heat exhaustion, although it did not exclude other factors.

As a result of organisational shortcomings, no one noticed initially when the Philadelphia swimmer disappeared. His body was found by divers two hours later.

Fina defended the decision to put Abu Dhabi on the World Cup calendar, saying it would be unfair to bar the UAE from ever hosting another open-water race.

“We cannot banish a federation for life,” executive director Cornel Marculescu said on Thursday.

He emphasised that the March event was dependant on there being no issues at a test event in February, which is restricted to local swimmers and will be held under the supervision of Fina’s open-water technical committee.

“If that goes well,” Mr Marculescu said, “then we will have the world series event in March.”

While many swimmers complained that oppressive heat contributed to Crippen’s death, Mr Marculescu said that it was not ruled out that a heart abnormality or “uncontrolled exercise-induced asthma” in unfavourable race conditions could have been factors.

“Even today, we don’t know why he died,” Mr Marculescu said.

As for USA Swimming’s decision to skip the event, he added: “It’s up to them. It’s not mandatory to compete.”

After an investigation into Crippen's death, Fina said there was an "urgent need" to improve safety standards in the gruelling sport, which includes races ranging from five to 25 kilometres in distance, held on natural courses such as oceans, harbours and lakes.

* Associated Press

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Revibe
Started: 2022
Founders: Hamza Iraqui and Abdessamad Ben Zakour
Based: UAE
Industry: Refurbished electronics
Funds raised so far: $10m
Investors: Flat6Labs, Resonance and various others

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: ASI (formerly DigestAI)

Started: 2017

Founders: Quddus Pativada

Based: Dubai, UAE

Industry: Artificial intelligence, education technology

Funding: $3 million-plus

Investors: GSV Ventures, Character, Mark Cuban

Founders: Ines Mena, Claudia Ribas, Simona Agolini, Nourhan Hassan and Therese Hundt

Date started: January 2017, app launched November 2017

Based: Dubai, UAE

Sector: Private/Retail/Leisure

Number of Employees: 18 employees, including full-time and flexible workers

Funding stage and size: Seed round completed Q4 2019 - $1m raised

Funders: Oman Technology Fund, 500 Startups, Vision Ventures, Seedstars, Mindshift Capital, Delta Partners Ventures, with support from the OQAL Angel Investor Network and UAE Business Angels

'Nightmare Alley'

Director:Guillermo del Toro

Stars:Bradley Cooper, Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara

Rating: 3/5

Milestones on the road to union

1970

October 26: Bahrain withdraws from a proposal to create a federation of nine with the seven Trucial States and Qatar. 

December: Ahmed Al Suwaidi visits New York to discuss potential UN membership.

1971

March 1:  Alex Douglas Hume, Conservative foreign secretary confirms that Britain will leave the Gulf and “strongly supports” the creation of a Union of Arab Emirates.

July 12: Historic meeting at which Sheikh Zayed and Sheikh Rashid make a binding agreement to create what will become the UAE.

July 18: It is announced that the UAE will be formed from six emirates, with a proposed constitution signed. RAK is not yet part of the agreement.

August 6:  The fifth anniversary of Sheikh Zayed becoming Ruler of Abu Dhabi, with official celebrations deferred until later in the year.

August 15: Bahrain becomes independent.

September 3: Qatar becomes independent.

November 23-25: Meeting with Sheikh Zayed and Sheikh Rashid and senior British officials to fix December 2 as date of creation of the UAE.

November 29:  At 5.30pm Iranian forces seize the Greater and Lesser Tunbs by force.

November 30: Despite  a power sharing agreement, Tehran takes full control of Abu Musa. 

November 31: UK officials visit all six participating Emirates to formally end the Trucial States treaties

December 2: 11am, Dubai. New Supreme Council formally elects Sheikh Zayed as President. Treaty of Friendship signed with the UK. 11.30am. Flag raising ceremony at Union House and Al Manhal Palace in Abu Dhabi witnessed by Sheikh Khalifa, then Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi.

December 6: Arab League formally admits the UAE. The first British Ambassador presents his credentials to Sheikh Zayed.

December 9: UAE joins the United Nations.

Director: Nag Ashwin

Starring: Prabhas, Saswata Chatterjee, Deepika Padukone, Amitabh Bachchan, Shobhana

Rating: ★★★★

The specs

Engine: 4.0-litre flat 6-cylinder
Transmission: 7-speed PDK
Power: 500hp
Torque: 450Nm
Price: Dh530,300 as tested
On sale: Now

Race 3

Produced: Salman Khan Films and Tips Films
Director: Remo D’Souza
Cast: Salman Khan, Anil Kapoor, Jacqueline Fernandez, Bobby Deol, Daisy Shah, Saqib Salem
Rating: 2.5 stars

Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus

Developer: Sucker Punch Productions
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Console: PlayStation 2 to 5
Rating: 5/5

1,000 Books to Read Before You Die: A Life-Changing List
James Mustich, Workman

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: SmartCrowd
Started: 2018
Founder: Siddiq Farid and Musfique Ahmed
Based: Dubai
Sector: FinTech / PropTech
Initial investment: $650,000
Current number of staff: 35
Investment stage: Series A
Investors: Various institutional investors and notable angel investors (500 MENA, Shurooq, Mada, Seedstar, Tricap)

Tips for newlyweds to better manage finances

All couples are unique and have to create a financial blueprint that is most suitable for their relationship, says Vijay Valecha, chief investment officer at Century Financial. He offers his top five tips for couples to better manage their finances.

Discuss your assets and debts: When married, it’s important to understand each other’s personal financial situation. It’s necessary to know upfront what each party brings to the table, as debts and assets affect spending habits and joint loan qualifications. Discussing all aspects of their finances as a couple prevents anyone from being blindsided later.

Decide on the financial/saving goals: Spouses should independently list their top goals and share their lists with one another to shape a joint plan. Writing down clear goals will help them determine how much to save each month, how much to put aside for short-term goals, and how they will reach their long-term financial goals.

Set a budget: A budget can keep the couple be mindful of their income and expenses. With a monthly budget, couples will know exactly how much they can spend in a category each month, how much they have to work with and what spending areas need to be evaluated.

Decide who manages what: When it comes to handling finances, it’s a good idea to decide who manages what. For example, one person might take on the day-to-day bills, while the other tackles long-term investments and retirement plans.

Money date nights: Talking about money should be a healthy, ongoing conversation and couples should not wait for something to go wrong. They should set time aside every month to talk about future financial decisions and see the progress they’ve made together towards accomplishing their goals.

Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom

Director: James Wan

Starring: Jason Mamoa, Patrick Wilson, Amber Heard, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II 

Rating: 2/5

Traces of Enayat

Author: Iman Mersal
Publisher: And Other Stories
Pages: 240

Biog

Mr Kandhari is legally authorised to conduct marriages in the gurdwara

He has officiated weddings of Sikhs and people of different faiths from Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Russia, the US and Canada

Father of two sons, grandfather of six

Plays golf once a week

Enjoys trying new holiday destinations with his wife and family

Walks for an hour every morning

Completed a Bachelor of Commerce degree in Loyola College, Chennai, India

2019 is a milestone because he completes 50 years in business

 

EA Sports FC 24

Developer: EA Vancouver, EA Romania
Publisher: EA Sports
Consoles: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4&5, PC and Xbox One
Rating: 3.5/5

COMPANY PROFILE

Company: Eco Way
Started: December 2023
Founder: Ivan Kroshnyi
Based: Dubai, UAE
Industry: Electric vehicles
Investors: Bootstrapped with undisclosed funding. Looking to raise funds from outside

THE STRANGERS' CASE

Director: Brandt Andersen
Starring: Omar Sy, Jason Beghe, Angeliki Papoulia
Rating: 4/5

Four scenarios for Ukraine war

1. Protracted but less intense war (60% likelihood)

2. Negotiated end to the conflict (30%)

3. Russia seizes more territory (20%)

4. Ukraine pushes Russia back (10%)

Forecast by Economist Intelligence Unit

Honeymoonish

Director: Elie El Samaan

Starring: Nour Al Ghandour, Mahmoud Boushahri

Rating: 3/5

Vikram Vedha

Directors: Gayatri, Pushkar

Stars: Hrithik Roshan, Saif Ali Khan, Radhika Apte

Rating: 3.5/5

Things Heard & Seen

Directed by: Shari Springer Berman, Robert Pulcini

Starring: Amanda Seyfried, James Norton

2/5

'The worst thing you can eat'

Trans fat is typically found in fried and baked goods, but you may be consuming more than you think.

Powdered coffee creamer, microwave popcorn and virtually anything processed with a crust is likely to contain it, as this guide from Mayo Clinic outlines: 

Baked goods - Most cakes, cookies, pie crusts and crackers contain shortening, which is usually made from partially hydrogenated vegetable oil. Ready-made frosting is another source of trans fat.

Snacks - Potato, corn and tortilla chips often contain trans fat. And while popcorn can be a healthy snack, many types of packaged or microwave popcorn use trans fat to help cook or flavour the popcorn.

Fried food - Foods that require deep frying — french fries, doughnuts and fried chicken — can contain trans fat from the oil used in the cooking process.

Refrigerator dough - Products such as canned biscuits and cinnamon rolls often contain trans fat, as do frozen pizza crusts.

Creamer and margarine - Nondairy coffee creamer and stick margarines also may contain partially hydrogenated vegetable oils.

if you go

The flights

Flydubai flies to Podgorica or nearby Tivat via Sarajevo from Dh2,155 return including taxes. Turkish Airlines flies from Abu Dhabi and Dubai to Podgorica via Istanbul; alternatively, fly with Flydubai from Dubai to Belgrade and take a short flight with Montenegro Air to Podgorica. Etihad flies from Abu Dhabi to Podgorica via Belgrade. Flights cost from about Dh3,000 return including taxes. There are buses from Podgorica to Plav. 

The tour

While you can apply for a permit for the route yourself, it’s best to travel with an agency that will arrange it for you. These include Zbulo in Albania (www.zbulo.org) or Zalaz in Montenegro (www.zalaz.me).

 

The specs

Engine: 2.0-litre 4-cyl

Power: 153hp at 6,000rpm

Torque: 200Nm at 4,000rpm

Transmission: 6-speed auto

Price: Dh99,000

On sale: now

A QUIET PLACE

Starring: Lupita Nyong'o, Joseph Quinn, Djimon Hounsou

Director: Michael Sarnoski

Rating: 4/5

SPECS

Engine: 2-litre 4-cylinder petrol (V Class); electric motor with 60kW or 90kW powerpack (EQV)
Power: 233hp (V Class, best option); 204hp (EQV, best option)
Torque: 350Nm (V Class, best option); TBA (EQV)
On sale: Mid-2024
Price: TBA

Russia's Muslim Heartlands

Dominic Rubin, Oxford

Dengue fever symptoms

High fever (40°C/104°F)
Severe headache
Pain behind the eyes
Muscle and joint pains
Nausea
Vomiting
Swollen glands
Rash


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