Qatar Equestrian and Modern Pentathlon Federation (QEMPF) President Badr Al Darwish presents the Nations Cup trophy to Saudi Arabia team’s Chef d’Equipe David Will at the Longines Arena at Al Shaqab yesterday. Sami Al Dahami, President of the Seventh Regional Group of the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) is also seen.
Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates equestrian jumping teams confirmed spots for next year’s Paris Games after claiming top two positions respectively in the Nations Cup Olympic Qualifier (1.60 m) at Longines Arena yesterday.
The Nations Cup – part of the ongoing Doha International Showjumping Championship – saw five teams in fray for the two Olympic berths to join already qualified nations including hosts France, Sweden, Netherlands, Great Britain, Ireland, Germany and Belgium.
The Saudi team was at its best yesterday accumulating time totals of 235.31 in first round with nine penalties and 237.81 in the second round with six penalties. Saudi Arabia clinched a historic bronze medal at London 2012 and will hope for a repeat in Paris next year.
The Saudi team that topped the Nations Cup at Longines Arena yesterday included Abdulrahman Alrajhi (riding Babalou HD), Khaled Almobty (Equine America Spacecake), 2012 Olympic medallist Ramzy Al Duhami (Untouchable) and Asian Games champion Abdullah Alsharbatly (Alamo).
“We were not lucky in the first round but we changed the course in the next. I am happy to have this opportunity again with an excellent and talented team, as we have riders at the highest level,” said Al Duhami.
Meanwhile, runners-up UAE totaled 241.07 (eight penalties) and 236.38 (17 penalties) in the two rounds to seal their Olympic spot. The UAE team included Abdullah Mohd Al Marri (James V.D Oude Heihoef), Abdullah Humaid Al Muhairi (Chacolu), Omar Abdul Aziz Al Marzooqi (Dalida van de Zuuthoeve) and Mohammed Ghanem Al Hajri (G’s Fabian).
A Saudi rider celebrates during the first day of Doha International Showjumping Championship.
“It’s a great feeling to be in Olympics. We are very happy with this achievement and now will target a good performance in Paris,” UAE’s Al Hajri said yesterday.
There was a heartbreak for home fans as Qatar failed to qualify after being eliminated in the second round following a time of 242.71 (10 faults) in the first round.
Hamad Nasser Al Qadi (Sirocco), Saeed Nasser Al Qadi (Incredible W), Rashid Towaim Ali Al Marri (Concordess Nrw) and Bassem Mohammed (Caletto Cabana) formed the Qatari team.
Egypt and Morocco, who competed at Tokyo Olympics and represented Africa in the event, finished third and fourth respectively.
Meanwhile, President of the Seventh Regional Group in the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) Sami Al Dahami praised facilities at Al Shaqab.
“Al Shaqab is one of the best venues in the world and this makes me proud that we have such equestrian facilities in our region,” he said.
Earlier yesterday, the Doha International Showjumping Championship kicked off with €30,000 1.45m event, with Alrajhi riding Bravour emerging victorious after a flawless show in 58.58 sec to claim a prize of €7,500 in the event.
UAE’s Moufi Owaida Al Karbi, aboard Baloucenta, was second with a time of 58.60 sec while Morocco’s Sami Cherkaoui, who was astride Chacsara, clocked 59.36 sec to claim third position.
The Championship will culminate today with Grand Prix 1.55m after the 1.45m contest will open final day’s proceedings.
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