Wednesday, December 07, 2005
SLOVAKIA'S lone participant Silvia Hrebikova led the chorus in praise of top class facilities available at the Endurance Village in Sakhir ahead of the World Junior Endurance Championship scheduled to be held from December 15 to 18.
"I have been training in Bahrain for almost a week and the environment here at the Endurance Village is outstanding," said Silvia.
Silvia will be riding an 11-year-old mare Fathia in this 120-km race which will be divided into five stages.
Other teams who continued practising for this prestigious event were also equally impressed and said they were thrilled to be in Bahrain for this top class championship.
"This championship is going to be very tough for everyone and I expect to see some teams perform amazingly well and achieve stunning results," the Slovak said.
Slovakian veterinary doctor Martina Kina also lauded the equipments available at the village.
"Our team has come to Bahrain with a lot of hope and we are looking forward to a good result although there are other world class riders from Europe and South America," she said.
Kina said she was impressed with the state-of-the-art facilities at the veterinary clinics and is looking forward to use them during the championship.
"The stables at the village are well designed and they can accommodate all the horses and yet avoid chaos before the race," she said.
Team coach Feras Bulbul said the delegation had prepared well for this championship and had a long-term training camp in Europe.
"We have gone very far in terms of preparing Silvia and we have faith in her to clinch one of the top positions in the championship to underline the improved standards in our country," he said.
Quarantine manager Dr Alex Atock said having 140 horses under one roof was very difficult and by achieving it Bahrain has proved its organisational skills.
"Most of the delegations have fielded six riders each which is the highest number of entrants allowed for this event," he said.
"With so many horses in the fray, Bahrain still managed to reduce the number of horses in each stable to give more movement for freedom around that area," he said.
Endurance Village director Khalid Fakhro said the village is now well geared and ready to host any world championship.
"The village with all its hi-tech facilities and supplies can be compared to any world class villages. The whole world will be watching the best riders competing here and the Bahrainis should be proud for hosting the event," he said.
Fakhro said the village was built in a short time for this event. "For the past few days, all the teams have been practicing at the village and they praised the conditions here and the overall atmosphere," said Khalid.
By Steph - December 07, 2005
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