Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Grand endurance opening lined up


By RAMI HULAYYEL

A SPECIAL programme has been arranged at the opening ceremony of the World Junior Endurance Championship to be held in Bahrain from December 15 to 18.

Organising committee deputy chairman and Bahrain Royal Equestrian and Endurance Federation second vice-president Shaikh Khalid bin Abdulla Al Khalifa said the opening ceremony will be held at the Bahrain International Circuit while the closing ceremony will take place at the Equestrian and Horseracing Club.

"We have prepared a number of surprises for the audience and officials at the opening ceremony in Sakhir at the Bahrain International Circuit such as a music show by the Interior Ministry's music band, fireworks and laser shows and other entertainment programmes," said Shaikh Khalid.

"We are delighted to organise this prestigious event with riders from 30 countries taking part in which is a record that has not been achieved by any other country hosting such a competition which adds more pressure on us as we are keen to make this event a big success," he said.

Shaikh Khalid said the committee started issuing accreditation cards for delegation members as well as VIPs who will be attending the four-day event, while a special booklet printed recently includes information on the championship and other technical issues. The booklet is in English and will be distributed to the delegations soon.

Meanwhile, the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) bureau will have a meeting today on the sidelines of the championship to discuss the final preparations being made for hosting the event.

The FEI will also name the country which will be hosting the 2008 World Endurance Senior Championship with the UAE and Malaysia vying to host this event.

The meeting will be chaired by FEI president Infanta Dona Pillarde of Spain who arrived in Bahrain on Saturday night.

The FEI panel includes members from South Korea, Austria, UK, Sweden, South Africa, the US, Argentina, Venezuela, Norway, Dominican Republic, Australia, Brazil, Holland, Greece, Belgium, Switzerland, Ireland, France and New Zealand.

A total of 140 riders from across the world, will be competing at this championship which will be over 120 kms divided into five stages.

The first two stages will be over 30 kms while the third stage will be over 25 kms. The fourth stage will be over 20 kms and the fifth and final stage will consist of 15 kms.

The Bahraini riders, who are looking forward to put up a good show in the championship, stepped up their preparations for this prestigious event. The team consist of 12 members, captained by Bahrain Royal Equestrian and Endurance Federation (Breef) president Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa and Breef first vice-president Shaikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa.

Other Bahraini riders in the fray are Shaikha Najla bint Salman Al Khalifa, Mohammed Abdulsamad, Abdulaziz Adam, Salem Al Otaibi, Ahmed Hassan, Shaikh Saqer bin Khalid Al Khalifa, Maytham Ahmed, Ebrahim Al Jebouri, Mohammed Abdulaziz and Fahad Sulaiman.

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