Farah Al Marri enjoyed the fruits of her labour on Friday night as her rigorous training routine of past weeks helped her cruise to victory in the Amateur Emirati Women’s race of the Nad Al Sheba Sport’s Tournament’s 75km Cycling Championship.
Dubai Police’s Mukhabbat Umutzhanova bagged the honours in the Open Category for Women race with a determined ride, while Abdulla Salem Al Balooshi (Road Bikes), Rashed Al Dhaheri (Hand Bikes) and Dr Ahmed Al Omran (Tandem) triumphed in the three People of Determination category races of the night.
Dr Ahmed Al Omran, Advisor to the Executive Council of the Government of Dubai and Chairman of the Advisory Council for People of Determination, was assisted by His Excellency Abdulla Al Basti, Secretary General of The Executive Council of Dubai, on their tandem bicycle, and they took the top position with a time of twenty-six minutes and 50.87 seconds, finishing ahead Abdulla Al Bastaki (0:41:17.33) and Ahmed Al Naqbi (0:41:51.59) on the podium.
HE Abdulla Al Basti thanked His Highness Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai, for his great support for sports, and said: “The Nad Al Sheba Sports Tournament is one of the most important sporting events here, not just in this Holy Month of Ramadan but throughout the year. It has social and human dimensions in addition to its sporting dimensions, as it brings together athletes of different nationalities, groups and levels to participate in one event, side-by-side, in addition to its role of supporting People of Determination by involving them in sporting events.
“I was honored to accompany Dr Ahmed Al Omran and be his assistant in the race. It was a great experience for the two of us to achieve first place together.”
Dr Al Omran added: “We are pleased with the participation of People of Determination in the Nad Al Sheba Sports Tournament Cycling Championship. This is a confirmation of Dubai’s effort to become a bicycle-friendly city. It also reflects our wise leadership’s interest in every segment of the society and its participation in sports events.”
Al Marri, winner of the Emirati Women’s title in the last Nad Al Sheba Sports Tournament in 2019, retained her crown with an impressive ride, keeping a trio of challengers at bay. The champion clocked two hours, four minutes and 12.45 seconds to finish ahead of Shahla Al Hosani (2:04:13.05), Maryam Al Awadhi (2:04:13.28) and Ghaya Al Mehrzi (2:04:13.38). Al Marri will receive a winner’s cheque of AED 26,400, while Al Hosani will get AED 20,400 and Al Awadhi AED 14,400. Al Mehrzi and those who followed her until the ninth position will receive AED 4,800 each.
“I was really determined to the title here in Nad Al Sheba Cycling Championship,” said Al Marri. “It was not easy. It was a tough race, and this fast course and the presence of professionals made it even more competitive and challenging. I tried to compete against the professionals and stretched myself to the limit. I was exhausted towards the end, and I could feel the tension in my muscles – but I was determined to win.
“I started preparing for this race about a month ago, and the training program was tough and intensive, and this win is a fruit of my labour over the past month.”
In the Open Women’s category, Kazakhstan’s Umutzhanova was pushed hard by Ireland’s Lorraine Mullarkey, but managed to pip her challenger by a mere 01.15 seconds for the winner’s cheque of AED 18,000. Umutzhanova clocked 1:59:00.63, while Mullarkey took the runners-up spot with a time of 1:59:01.78 and will take home AED 12,000 for her efforts. Jordan’s Samah Khaled was a distant third in 2:04:09.31 and will receive AED 9,600, while those who finished 4th to 9th will get AED 3,600 each.
“It was a good race for me,” said Umutzhanova. “I had prepared really well for this race and I thank my team for it. I had been preparing for this race for the past month and was hoping to get a good result. So really happy.”
“Tonight was a really tough race,” said Mullarkey. “The girls from my team did plenty of attack from the start, tried to break it up and eventually myself and another got away in a break. We worked really, really hard. I am thankful to all my teammates.
“I wouldn’t say technically I have prepped very well for this race. This month I have been riding every day. I am riding 3,000km this month – after tonight I have 2,500km I think. So not the best race-prep, but my legs felt great tonight and I felt really, really. I messed up at the end a little bit, but I am happy to come away second.”
Praising the race organisers, Mullarkey added: “The organization is unbelievable. It’s so good to be able to race in these circumstances and to be able to race safely, having us all socially distanced, everybody having to get a test. It’s really good and really nice to come out and race here.”
In the People of Determination races, Al Balooshi will take home the winner’s cheque of AED 12,000 after topping the Road Bikes category with a time of 0:46:10.92. Ahmed Al Badwawi was second in 0:46:11.29 and will receive AED 9,600 while Sebastian Engwald (0:46:11.58) will take home AED 7,200 for his third-place finish.
In the Hand Bikes category, Al Dhaheri clocked 0:26:52.10 to finish ahead of Husain Al Mazam (0:26:52.33) and Badir Al Hosani (26:53.27), and they will receive AED 12,000, AED 9,600 and AED 7,200 respectively as their prize purse.
Amateurs – UAE Women: 1-Farah Al Marri 2:04:12.45; 2-Shahla Al Hosani 2:04:13.05; 3-Maryam Al Awadhi 2:04:13.28; 4-Ghaya Al Mehrzi 2:04:13.38; 5-Alia Al Muhairy 2:08:30.73; 6-Sara Al Maazmi 2:08:31.90; 7-Mehnaz Kamali 2:15:35.06; 8-Halah Mohammed Rashid 2:15:35.17; 9-Sara Al Janahi 2:17:19.54.
Open Category – Women: 1-Mukhabbat Umutzhanova (Kazakhstan) 1:59:00.63; 2-Lorraine Mullarkey (Ireland) 1:59:01.78; 3-Samah Khaled (Jordan) 2:04:09.31; 4-Maddison Black (Australia) 2:04:09.39; 5-Kim De Baat (Belgium) 2:04:09:53; 6-Safia Al Sayegh (UAE) 2:04:09.75; 7-Shaikha Essa Juma Rashid (UAE) 2:04:10.95; 8-Roba Omar Helane (Syria) 2:04:11.11; 9-Helle Bachofen Von Echt (Denmark) 2:04:11.22.
People of Determination – Road Bikes: 1-Abdulla Salem Al Balooshi (UAE) 46:10.92; 2-Ahmed Al Badwawi (UAE) 46:11.29; 3-Sebastian Engwald (UAE) 46:11.58.
People of Determination – Hand Bikes: 1-Rashed Al Dhaheri (UAE) 26:52.10; 2-Husain Al Mazam (UAE) 26:52.33; 3-Badir Al Hosani (UAE) 26:53.27.
People of Determination – Tandem: 1-Ahmed Al Omran (UAE) 26:50.87; 2-Abdulla Al Bastaki (UAE) 41:17.33; 3-Ahmed Al Naqbi 41:51.59.