Thursday, June 21, 2007

Gulfnews: Malaysia set to host World Endurance Championship

By M. Satya Narayan, Staff Reporter, Gulfnews.com
Published: June 19, 2007, 23:36

Abu Dhabi: The 2008 FEI World Endurance Championship will be held in November at the Terengganu International Endurance Park in Setiu Terengganu, Malaysia.

The event, which is held once every fours years, was last held in Dubai in 2005 (2004 event). This is the first time that a tropical country will host the event.

The Yayasan Diraja Sultan Mizan (YDSM) and the Equestrian Association of Malaysia (EAM) will jointly stage the event which is being held for the third time in Asia. The UAE had hosted it in 1998 and 2005.

The UAE, gold medallists at the Doha Asian Games last year, will be starting as one of the favourites.

According to the organisers, the Terengganu International Endurance Park, situated a few kilometres from the South China Sea, will offer the best of Malaysia's natural beauty. and hospitality, as well as:

"The course is designed to provide a safe yet challenging competition, taking riders along the stunning coastline, through palm plantations, along canal banks and through natural vegetation forests," according to the championship's website.

"A long and wide grassy stretch of track provides ample space for the start of the competition and egress from the venue, and for a safe finish line and entry back into the Endurance Park," the organisers said.

Meanwhile, a pre-ride will be held in November to give veterinarians and officials a chance to experience the venue and the course, with the goal of experiencing and understanding the unique challenges of Endurance competition in tropical climate.

Apart from the UAE and Bahrain, Malaysia have made a mark in the sport ever since the UAE invited them to take part in the 1998 World Championship.

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