photo: Shaikh Mayed Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum completes his golden ride on Omani Iman at the Pan Arab Games in Cairo.
Gulf News Article
By M. Satya Narayan, Staff Reporter
Published: November 20, 2007, 00:27
Cairo: Shaikh Mayed Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum led a golden display by the UAE riders who picked up two gold medals and a silver and bronze apiece in a total sweep of the medals on offer at the 11th Pan Arab Games here on Monday.
Shaikh Mayed, on Omani Iman, crossed the finish line just ahead of UAE teammates Salem Rashid Bin Ghadayer and Mohammad Al Subose with the three completing a 1-2-3 finish in the individual event.
Mubarak Khalifa Bin Shafya finished fourth to extend the UAE's domination and help the UAE win the team gold also. The team members were Shaikh Mayed, Sultan Bin Sulayem, who was eliminated in the fourth stage, Bin Shafya and Ali Subose.
"We are very proud with this achievement which has helped the UAE once again assert its supremacy in this sport. We are also happy to finish as the Pan Arab champions in both the individual as well as team event," said Shaikh Mayed after his win.
Shaikh Mayed and Omani Iman completed the 120-km ride in a timing of 6 hrs 43 mins and 56 seconds.
Later, Abdullah Thani Bin Huzaim on Spendacret Kamouflage took fifth place to make it a memorable day at the Saqqarah Endurance Village here.
This was UAE's second sweep of the medals after they won both the individual and team gold medals at the Asian Games in Doha last December apart from also bagging the individual bronze.
Early yesterday, a total of 42 riders got off to a 6 am start and with the temperature remaining chilly for almost the first two loops the horses seemed to have it easy. However, the loose sandy terrain littered with stones and rocks made it a bit treacherous but the UAE riders managed to steer clear.
Salem Rashed led the UAE pack with Shaikh Mayed in second place after the first stage of 36 kms, followed by Bin Shafya and Al Subose with Bin Sulayem in sixth and Bin Huzaim in eighth positions.
Shaikh Mayed, along with Bin Shafya, was close behind up to the third loop at which stage they had covered a distance of 85kms.
With two stages left, the gap had widened and UAE looked headed for a double triumph. The Libyan squad had four of their riders making an early exit while both Saudi Arabia and strong contenders Bahrain also had two riders eliminated.
That eased a lot of pressure on the UAE front-runners but the tricky terrain was still the danger as most of those eliminated were due to lameness.
In the team championship, the UAE team had mustered an incredible 105 minute lead over Qatar while Saudi Arabia were third a further 20 minutes behind at the end of the third stage.
1. Shaikh Mayed Bin Mohammad Al Maktoum (Omani Iman) 6hrs 43 mins 56 secs
2. Salem Rashed Bin Ghadayer (Dalton Du Capimont) 6:43.58
3. Mohammad Ali Al Subose (Kevin Du Narthoux) 6:44.01
4. Mubarak Khalifa Bin Shafya (Kaysand Farrazah) 6:44.03
5. Abdullah Thani Bin Huzaim (Spendacret Kamouflage).
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