Sunday, September 16, 2012
BAHRAIN's Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa and UAE's Shaikh Hamadan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum yesterday shared honours at the FEI Open European Endurance Championships, which took place at the endurance village in Most, in the Czech Republic.
Shaikh Nasser, the Bahrain Royal Endurance team captain, completed the challenging 160-km ride in joint first position with Dubai Crown Prince Shaikh Hamdan with a total ride time of eight hours, 11 minutes and five seconds, with an average speed of 19km per hour.
They were followed by Ahmed Mohammed of the UAE, who completed the ride in 8:15:12 and with 19km per hour speed average.
Several other riders from Europe, including Slovakia, Ukraine, Russia, Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Denmark, Spain, France, Germany, Holland, Norway and Poland, also competed in yesterday's event.
The ride featured a total of six stages, which started with 31km for the first. The second stage was over 25km, 36km for the third, 31km for the fourth, 29km for the fifth, while the sixth and final stage covered 19km.
Shaikh Nasser, the Supreme Council for Youth and Sports chairman and Bahrain Olympic Committee president, led a six-member Bahrain Royal Endurance Team to a respectable finish.
Shaikh Nasser and his teammates headed into the race hoping to make up for their unfortunate finish at the FEI World Championship held in Euston, in UK last month, where most of the team members were forced to withdraw due to injuries.
Spearheading the Bahrain team yesterday were Shaikh Salman bin Saqer Al Khalifa, Yaqoub Yousef, Hood Ebrahim and Salman Isa, all of whom competed in the 160km, while Shaikh Mohammed bin Mubarak Al Khalifa was the only Bahraini to take part in the 120km ride.
In the 160km ride, Ahmed Mohammed of the UAE completed the first stage on top in one hour, 24 minutes and 18 seconds, ahead of second-placer Shaikh Nasser (1:31:14) and thiurd Shaikh Hamdan (1:31:17).
Abdulla Al Mirri, also of the UAE, then took over the lead after stage two in 1:06:43, with Ahmed dropping to second (1:06:43) and Shaikh Hamdan (1:13:57) stayed third, while Shaikh Nasser (1:14:26) slipped to fourth.
Al Mirri maintained sole lead after the third stage in 1:57:41, with Shaikh Nasser moving back to second place (1:50:48) amd Shaikh Hamdan (1:51:15) stayed third.
No changes occurred after the fourth stage as Al Mirri kept his lead in 1:38:31, followed by Shaikh Hamdan (1:35:02) and Saikh Nasser (1:35:45) in second and third places, respectively.
Shaikh Hamdan, son of World Championship winner Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Makotum, went up to first place for the first time after the fifth and penultimate stage in 1:00:59. Not far behind was Shaikh Nasser (1:00:29) and third Ahmed Mohammed (1:00:47) third.
This was the first time that the Royal Team competes in endurance rides organised in the Czech Republic. They had taken part in rides held in Germany, the UK, Hungary, France and Poland.
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