Sunday, November 18, 2007

Egypt: Mayed to play key role for UAE in endurance ride - Nov 19 2007 - Full article

Pan Arab Games 2007

By M. Satya Narayan, Staff Reporter
Published: November 19, 2007, 00:02

Cairo: Young Shaikh Mayed Bin Mohammad Al Maktoum on Omani Iman leads the UAE challenge in today's 120-km Pan Arab Games Endurance Ride.

With Shaikh Rashid Bin Mohammad Al Maktoum pulling out, Shaikh Mayed is expected to play a key role as the UAE chase honours in both the individual and team events.

European Open champion and UAE team trainer Mubarak Khalifa Bin Shafya and Asian Games bronze medallist Sultan Bin Sulayem provide the much-needed experience while Mohammad Ahmad Ali Al Subose, Abdullah Thani Bin Huzaim and Salem Rashid Bin Ghadayer make their debut.

Bin Huzaim, who finished third in the Surouh Challenge in Al Wathba on Saturday, will be looking to extend his good start to the season in his debut ride for the UAE.

"This is a good combination of youth and experience. All our horses did not have any problems in passing the pre-ride vet check. We are looking forward to the ride," said Bin Shafya, who won the European Open individual gold in Portugal this year.

Serious challenge

The UAE are firm favourites in the ride which starts at 5.45am. A total of eight teams including hosts Egypt, Bahrain, Qatar, Tunisia, Syria, Jordan and Saudi Arabia are taking part.

Bahrain, Qatar and Saudi Arabia will pose a serious challenge to the UAE's dominance in this sport.

Badr Al Fader, one of the Saudi riders, said his team was keen to make an impact at this event.

"We have been here for over 15 days and have been training hard. Yes, we have not had much success at the international level but we will be making a strong bid to win a medal here," said the 25-year-old who finished 5th in the German Cup earlier this year.

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