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Endurance team set for US event

SUPREME Council for Youth and Sports president and Bahrain Olympic Committee president Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa will arrive today in the US to lead a five-member Royal Endurance Team in the endurance horseride event of the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, scheduled for Sunday in Lexington City, Kentucky.

Shaikh Nasser will be accompanied by Supreme Council for Youth and Sports first vice-president and Bahrain Royal Equestrian and Endurance Federation president Shaikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa, who however, is not taking part in the ride due to a recent wrist injury.

Other members of the Bahrain Royla Endurance Team are Ghazi Al Dossary, Ahmed Abdulla, Jaffer Mirza and Abdulrahman Al Saad.

It will be the fourth appearance for the Bahrain team in the World Championships, having taken part in the 2005 and 2006 edition cups in Dubai and Aken, Germany, respectively, before winning an impressive third-place finish in the 2008 event in Malaysia.

Other members of the Bahrain team arrived yesterday after an 18-hour trip via London. On arrival, the Bahraini riders were given a special welcome by hundreds of volunteers at the endurance village.

Commenting on the occasion, Shaikh Nasser expressed delight in taking part in an endurance ride in the US for the first time, adding that his team was looking forward to clinching a place among the top countries.

Shaikh Nasser said the team is well-prepared for the ride after successfully completing races in France, UK and Germany during their training camp earlier this summer.

The Royal Endurance Team leader extended his appreciation to His Majesty King Hamad for the continued support to endurance riders in Bahrain in general and to members of the team in the World Equestrian Games in specific.

Al Khaldiya Team captain Shaikh Khalid stressed the importance of taking full advantage of competing with the world's best in this international gathering.

Shaikh Khalid, who celebrated his birthday yesterday, said he is working hard on preparing the team to achieve remarkable results in international championships.

He expressed sadness over his inability to join his team members in this world event but said that the rest of the Bahrain team along with team leader Shaikh Nasser are capable of putting in an impressive show.

The Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games are the world championships of eight equestrian disciplines, recognised by the International Equestrian Federation. The Games are held every four years and this will be the first time the event takes place in the US.

Besides endurance horseride, other disciplines are dressage, driving, eventing, horse jumping, para dressage, reining and vaulting.



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