August 21 2011
SHAIKH Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa will today lead Bahrain's Royal Endurance Team in a 120-kilometre international ride taking place in Compiegne, France.
The gruelling event is scheduled to get underway at 8am, Bahrain time. It is the main race of the World Festival of Endurance, currently taking place in the northern French city with participants from all over the world.
The race will be the penultimate stop of the Royal Team in their ongoing European training camp, as they are currently gearing up for the forthcoming European Endurance Championship, also to be held in France in September.
Shaikh Nasser - who is the Supreme Council for Youth and Sports chairman, Bahrain Olympic Committee president and Royal Team captain - will be joined in today's race by some of the kingdom's top riders, including Ghazi Al Dossary, Raed Mahmood, Abdulrahman Saad and Jaffar Mirza.
Supreme Council for Youth and Sports first deputy chairman and Bahrain Royal Equestrian and Endurance Federation president Shaikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa arrived in Compiegne yesterday but will not be competing in any races. His presence is a huge boost to the team, and he aims to show his full support to the Bahraini squad.
Some other Royal Team members will be competing in a 160km event, also to be held today. Among them are Ahmed Janahi and Mohammed Abdulsamad.
Each of the Bahraini riders took their horses yesterday to the mandatory pre-event veterinary examinations, conducted by the International Equestrian Federation (FEI).
Today, they will all be hoping to follow up on the success of Royal Endurance Team member Salman Isa, who won another 160km ride held on Friday for horses aged eight years old or younger. It also took place at Compiegne, as part of the ongoing festival.
Isa is also an Al Khalidiyah Stables rider. He clinched the six-stage race with a total time of eight hours 15 minutes 38 seconds, overcoming a quality field. France's Sandrine Lance was the runner-up, while Spain's Monica Comas came third.
Isa was yesterday presented his trophy and gold medal for winning his race. Isa received congratulatory calls and cables sent from His Majesty the King, Shaikh Nasser as well as Shaikh Khalid.
Meanwhile, Shaikh Nasser vowed to continue working towards His Majesty the King's goals of further promoting Bahrain through the sport, and to raise the kingdom's flag in various international competitions.
Also yesterday, Shaikh Khalid sent a cable of congratulations to His Majesty King Hamad, marking the outstanding achievement of the Royal Team Compiegne.
Shaikh Khalid described Isa's win on Friday as the result of the tremendous support of His Majesty the King to the equestrian sport. Shaikh Khalid also lauded the backing of Shaikh Nasser.
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