Azizie Ismail was the best-placed Malaysian finishing 34th in a time of 11:54:32s.
New Straits Times
THEY many not have won any medals but Azizie Ismail and Abdul Halim Alihan brought cheer to the Malaysian camp at at the Terengganu Endurance International Park yesterday.
They were the only two finishers among the 12 Malaysians who took part in the gruelling 160km FEI World Endurance event which was won by Spain's Maria Mercedes Alvarez Ponton, astride Nobby.
Azizie and Halim finished 34th and 39th respectively in times of 11:54:32s and 12:27:53. The event started with 126 riders and only 48 lasted the distance.
Malaysia's hopes for a placing in the team event were dashed when all four horses were eliminated for various reasons
Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin's horse Ibrahim Paschal Larzac was eliminated after the fifth loop as were Datuk Mohd Shuaib Isahak (third loop), Mohd Faizal Ismail (fourth loop) and Rosdam Mohd Noor (fifth loop). The King had to ride under extreme weather conditions caused by a thunderstorm between loops one and two.
He said that he was pleased other Malaysian riders were able to complete the race under such difficult conditions.
"I'm sad because my horse could not continue but I am happy that there were so many fans who came to watch the event."
The six other Malaysian riders in the individual category who were also eliminated included former World No 1 Datuk Kamaruddin Abdul Ghani.
The others were Datuk Abdullah Taib, Che Ahmad Yusri, Muhammad Firdaus Hamid, Norlaily Bunyamin and Zainuddin Yusof.
A beaming Halim said although he had completed 160km races before, finishing the WEC was a special feat that he would cherish.
"I only started endurance racing two years ago and earned a ticket to compete in event on merit," said the Sarawakian who started as a groom and riding boy at the Royal Terengganu Stable Club in 2006.
The 27-year-old rider, who has competed in four 160km endurance competitions this year, is ranked 161st in the world and his best result was fifth placing at the Saera event in Australia in June.
Posted By Merri to WEC Reports at 11/09/2008 02:31:00 AM