Monday, November 03, 2008

Malyaysa WEC: Bahrain riders ready for Endurance race

Gulf Daily News

BAHRAIN's Royal Endurance Team continued their preparations for the World Endurance Championship scheduled for Friday at the Terengganu International Endurance Park in Terengganu, Malaysia.

The team is being led by Bahrain Royal Equestrian and Endurance Federation (Breef) president Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa and includes five other members. They are Breef first vice-president and Al Khaldiya Stables leaders Shaikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Yousif Taher, Ghazi Al Dossary, Raed Mahmood and Ahmed Abdulla.

The six-member team, who arrived in Kuala Lumpur, will line-up with the world's top 142 riders from 34 countries in this challenging event which will be over 160km. It commences at 12 noon (Bahrain time).

The team is being coached by Shaikh Daij bin Salman Al Khalifa while Dr Khalid Hassan was appointed team manager.

This will be Bahrain's third appearance in the world championship. Their debut was in the 2005 edition cup in Dubai. They also took part in the 2006 championship in Akhn, Germany.

The Bahrainis, whose horses were already shipped to Kuala Lumpur and then to Terengganu, will be vying to take a podium finish in this prestigious $200,000 tournament which features teams and individual races.

A total of $100,000 will be split into smaller amounts for the top riders in the individual race, including $22,000 prize for the overall winner, $16,000 for runner-up, $13,000 for third place and $11,000 for fourth.

In the teams category, $80,000 will be divided for the winners, including $22,400 for the champion, $19,200 for runner-up, $14,400 for third and $12,000 for fourth.

Additional cash awards will be given away, including a $20,000 prize for the owner of the horse with the best condition.

Meanwhile, the Bahraini riders will submit their entries today at the endurance park and then attend the opening ceremony tomorrow at Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin Stadium.

On Thursday, there will be pre-ride inspection, followed by riders' weighing. The riders will then attend the briefing and team declaration on the same day.

The race concludes on Saturday morning, and the prize-giving ceremony will be held the following day.

More than 120 riders, representing 33 countries from across the world, are taking part in the prestigious event. Among top countries in the fray are the UK, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Belgium, Australia, Canada, Portugal, South Africa, Sweden and the US.

Besides Bahrain, other GCC countries have also approved their entries. They are the UAE, Oman and Qatar.

The trails consist of shore front, wooded areas, water crossing, village settlements, flat logistic road and tarmac crossing. The trail will be marked with noticeable markers at strategic points to guide the riders.

Coloured markers and signage will be used to differentiate the respective loops. Night riding will be more interesting with respective different coloured lights marking the different loops.

Designated water points along the trail will be provided at approximately every five km distances.

The course will be established today and it will be open for inspection by teams from today until Thursday.

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