Thursday, December 14, 2006

Asian Games: Malaysia's Lone Entry

Rahman Drops Out Of Race After Injury To Horse

By Lena Liew

DOHA, Dec 15 (Bernama) - Malaysia's lone rider in the 120km day-long equestrian endurance race that made its Asian Games debut Thursday, dropped out of the race prematurely when his horse suffered a strained fetlock (just above the hoof of a horse's leg).

Rahman Azman Muhammad, riding the Raja Muda of Kelantan's nine-year-old gelding named Colorado, had arrived at the first vet gate (checkpoint) 30km into the route in 29th position behind a host of riders from the gulf nations.

"The track was wet due to overnight rain that had washed away the soil and they had covered potholes with loose sand. Unaware of the condition, my horse stumbled and strained a fetlock," Rahman said at the Mesaieed race course situated an hour's drive outside Doha.

Rahman who completed the first 30km in 1 hour 40 minutes and 50 seconds reached the second checkpoint an hour and 40 minutes later before dropping out.

Prince Sheikh Rashid bin Mohamed Al-Maktoum of United Arab Emirates (UAE) completed the gruelling race in 5'45:49s to win the gold and added the Team gold when three out of four riders in his team finished the race with a total time of 18'55:23s.

Sheik Nasser Hamad Al Khalifa from Bahrain took the silver while Sultan Bin Sulayem from UAE finished with a bronze. The team gold, silver and bronze went to UAE, Bahrain and Qatar.

Among the 51 competitors who headed out into the desert after a mass start at 6am were four members of the UAE royalty, three from the Bahraini princes, two Saudi princes and the 18-year-old Qatari prince, son of the Emir who was given the honour of lighting the Doha Asian Games torch during the Opening Ceremony.

Rahman would have had five other team-mates including the new Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin of Terengganu, but they skipped Doha after competing in the Sultan's Cup Terengganu Endurance Challenge late last month.

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