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Shaikh Nasser captures trophy

SHAIKH Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa bagged the 160km trophy while Mohammed Al Sabosi of the UAE came on top in the 120km event in the 2009 Thetford Endurance Rides which took place yesterday at Norfolk in the UK.

The Royal Endurance Team riders dominated the main ride of this year's championship which was held at Euston Park with top riders from the UAE, Qatar, the UK, France, India and Saudi Arabia.

In the 160km ride, which consisted of six stages, featured an all-Bahraini podium as Bahrain Olympic Committee president Shaikh Nasser finished on top in eight hours, 36 minutes and 42 seconds.

Bahrain Royal Equestrian and Endurance Federation president Shaikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa (8:36:42) was a close second and compatriot Abdulrahman Al Saad (8:36:43) third.

UAE's Majid Mohammed led the pack in the first stage, finishing in two hours, nine minutes and 10 seconds and with an average speed of 18 kms per hour. Behind him was Shaikh Nasser (2:09:47) in second place and Al Saad (2:10:33) third.

The UAE rider maintained his solid lead in the second stage which he finished in 3:39:43, six minutes ahead of Shaikh Nasser and Al Saad (3:44:14) who remained second and third, respectively.

In the third stage, Mohammed stayed on top with Shaikh Nasser also keeping the pressure on the leader while Bahraini Jaffer Mirza moved up to third.

Shaikh Nasser staged a remarkable comeback and took the lead in the fourth stage with a 6:08:56 ride time. Al Saad (6:09:02) followed in second place and Shaikh Khalid (6:10:51) improved on his placing by moving up to third.

There was no stopping Shaikh Nasser who kept his lead alive in the fifth and sixth stages while Shaikh Khalid leapfrogged Al Saad for a second-place finish.

In the five-stage 120-km event, Al Sabosi emerged overall winner in five hours, 31 minutes and 41 seconds and ahead of runner up Fayez Al Turkomani of Saudi Arabia (5:46:14) while Shaikh Abdulla Al Qassmi (5:46:17), also of the UAE, took third place award.

Al Sabosi led the first stage in 1:14:55 and with a 23 kms per hour speed average. He was followed by Shaikh Daij bin Salman Al Khalifa (1:31:00) in second place and Bahrain's Yousef Taher (1:32:10) third.

Taher showed great control and stamina to finish the second stage in second place in 2:53:28, ahead of Shaikh Daij (2:53:52) who dropped to third and behind leader Al Sabosi (2:26:50).

Nothing changed after the third stage where Al Sabosi remained in the lead in 3:20:29 and was also followed by Taher (4:00:15) and Shaikh Daij (4:01:20) who were respectively second and third.

In the penultimate fourth stage, Al Sabosi showed consistency to remain first in 4:42:52. However, he was just three minutes clear of Shaikh Daij who regained second position while Taher (5:40:30) went back to third. The event was witnessed by Dubai Racing Club director general Ali Mousa who honoured the winners in each race.



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