Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Malaysia WEC: Arab royalty to grace competition


By : Ajitpal Singh

THE Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin will not be the only blue blood competing in the World Endurance Championships (WEC) at the Terengganu International Endurance Park (TIEP) in Setiu on Nov 6-9.
Hot favourites, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) named its Crown Prince Shaikh Hamdan Mohammed Rashid Al-Maktoum and his brother, Shaikh Majed, to lead the team in the 160km event.

UAE are the favourites together with Brazil and Spain to win the individual and team titles.

Shaikh Hamdan is currently ranked 17th in the world while Shaikh Majed is at 33rd.

Among the other members of the UAE team are Mohammed Ahmed Ali Al Subose and Abdulla Thani Huzaim, who are ranked fourth and sixth, respectively.
Meanwhile, Bahrain will be led by Crown Prince Shaikh Nasser Hamad Al Khalifa, who is ranked No 9 in the world.

The 21-year-old Shaikh Nasser is best remembered for winning two silver medals (individual and team) at the 2006 Doha Asian Games. He will be riding Kheopsy Du Pilat at the WEC.

Also in the team is his cousin Shaikh Khalid who won the 160km endurance race in England, two months ago.

WEC operations manager, Salim Fazlay said security will be tight to ensure safety of the competitors, especially members of the royal families.

"We are also expecting UAE's ruler Mohammed Rashid Al-Maktoum at the event. He and the team will arrive in Terengganu on Nov 5 in their private jet," said Salim.

"Around 300 army personnel will be concentrated at all points of the venue (TIEP), including the 160km course".

Salim added the soldiers have been drilled months ahead for the event.

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