Tom Bushell talks sport

The UAE’s unsung sports heroes and why Premier League teams didn’t perform well after visiting Dubai


Not that we’re showing off, but the UAE has played host to the biggest sports stars in the world over the past six months. Sebastian Vettel popped into Abu Dhabi’s Yas Marina circuit for a little F1 race. Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy dropped by and left fairly swiftly after missing the cut. Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic have been in town and half of the Premier League used the city as a base recently.

We’re spoiled for choice when it comes to sport in the UAE. Yet when the summer heat arrives and our UAE sporting diaries begin to look a little less busy, it’s a good time to remember our home-grown sporting talent: those that don’t just come here for one tournament a year, but actually live and breathe the UAE.

With the MENA Golf Tour starting again on Monday March 11 in Rabat, Morocco, Michael Harradine is one to follow. Harradine is a Dubai-born Swiss national who plays for the Swiss national team and has a bright future. He was born in Dubai; his father, Peter Harradine, has designed many golf courses around the region.

Michael has finished at the top of the EGF (Emirates Golf Foundation) Order of Merit for the past two years (he’s made the top ten for the past four years). While the MENA Tour in 2012 may not have been as fruitful as he would have liked, there’s no doubt that Harradine has the talent to continue in the game.

Omar Awadhy is another of our home-grown sporting stars: the UAE’s number one tennis player, currently ranked 1,543 in the world, attained a ranking of 831 during his prime. The 31-year-old played at the recent Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships alongside Hamad Abbas Janahi in the doubles tournament.

Awadhy is a passionate tennis player. He loves the sport and began playing it when he was six: he certainly has the UAE’s tennis future close to his heart.
Tom Bushell hosts Sport On 7 on City 7 TV (Mon 8pm) and is Arabian Radio Network’s head of sport.

One more thing...

We may have had six Premier League clubs in Dubai recently, but the sunshine didn’t seem to have helped many of them. Harry Redknapp’s QPR lost 2-0 to Manchester United. Swansea (although a fairly unknown line-up) fell to a 5-0 loss at Liverpool. Reading lost to Wigan 3-0, Sunderland lost at West Brom 2-1 and West Ham fell to Tottenham. A little too much time spent at Barasti instead of the training pitch, perhaps?

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