100 contestants, including foreigners, thrill large crowd at Al Marmoom race track on Saturday
DUBAI, 26th February 2017: The 10th edition of the Saluki Championship organized by the Hamdan Bin Mohammed Heritage Center (HHC) saw more than 100 contestants, including several foreign participants, vying for honours in the finals of the competition on Saturday 25th February in Al Marmoum race track in Dubai.
Six winners in the Amateur and Professional categories emerged after some closely contested races watched by a large crowd of aficionados for the traditional sport of Saluki.
The championship was attended by Sheikh Al Murr bin Maktoum Al Maktoum, Mr. Rashid Mubarak bin Markhan, Ms. Suad Ibrahim Darwish, Director of Championships in HHC, and Juma Khalifa Al Muhairi, Head of the Organizing Committee of the Saluki Championship.
Sheikh Al Murr bin Maktoum Al Maktoum, lauded the HHC and the organizers of the championships for their efforts to make this event a success and promote heritage sports.
“The sport of Saluki is becoming increasingly popular not only in the UAE but in the region especially in countries like Qatar. It is no less popular than camel racing. The organizing committee is doing the right thing by promoting this traditional sport. Going by the large number of participants, we can see a rapid growth in the sport of Saluki in the future,” said Sheikh Al Murr bin Maktoum Al Maktoum.
Among the large number of specialists in this traditional sport, was a remarkable international presence from Australia, Canada, Hungary, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, apart from locals from all around the UAE producing thrilling competiton racing over distances of 1,000 meters and 2,500 meters in the Amateur and Professional categories.
The six finals were held over three distances: 1,000 meters for Professionals (male and female), 2,500 meters for Professionals (male and female) and 2,500 meters for Amateurs (male and female).
Hassan Ali Bin Kitami’s entry won the 1,000 meter race for females in the Professional category clocking 54.353 seconds pipping Nasser Obaid Al Ketbi’s entry which clocked 54.506 into second place while Al Ketbi’s other entry came third in 55.609.
Nasser Obaid Al Ketbi’s entry won the first two places in the 1,000 meter race for males in the Professional category clocking 55.789 and 55.877 seconds. Hassan bin Kitami’s entry had to settle for third in a time of 55.991.
In Professional male category run over a distance of 2,500 meters, Sheikh Zayed bin Murr Al Maktoum won the first two places with Rahi clocking 2:36.620 minutes and the second winner clocking 2:40.445. Nasser Obaid Al Ketbi’s entry came third a time of 2:46.150.
Nasser Al Ketbi’s had the satisfaction of seeing his entry win the Professional female category run over a distance of 2,500 meters clocking 2:35.880 minutes. Maktoum Al Rumaithi’s entry came second in a time of 2:36.416 and third place went to another of Nasser Al Ketbi’s entry which clocked 2:37.041.
In the Amateur male category race run over a distance of 2,500 meters, Saif Mohammed Al Qatami’s entry won in a time of 2:36.141 minutes. Mohammed Shafi Ibrahim’s entry came second in a time of 2:42.281 followed by Saif Mohammed Al Mansouri’s entry which clocked 2:43.273.
In the Amateur female category race run over a distance of 2,500 meters, ‘Ajayeb’ owned by Saif Hamad Al Shamsi won in a time of 2:38.242 minutes followed by his other entry ‘Garishob’ clocking 2:40.207. Amer Mohamed Al Mansoori’s entry came third a time of 2:41.147.
Experience and training
Ms. Suad Ibrahim Darwish, Director of Championships at HHC, expressed satisfaction with the number of participation and standard of competition.
“Since the championship has attracted both local and foreign, we had a great responsibility to ensure that we provided the best in terms of technical and organization aspects. The results of the 10th edition of this championships portrayed that experience and training plays a large part in determining the title winners of this traditional sport,” she said expressing her thanks to all the participants for their commitment to adhere to the rules of the competition and make it a festival of celebration of traditional sports.
Mr. Juma Khalifa Al Muhairi, Chairman of the Saluki Tournament Committee, said one of the highlights of this championship was the emergence of new winners.
“Some of the results and large number of participants proves that the new generation is preparing for this traditional sport in earnest. This will certainly contribute to achieving our goals of developing this sport among the younger generation,” he said. “We thank all participants for adhering to safety regulations and there were no disputes in the results because we adopted the latest technology to monitor the final results.”
The official sponsors of the Hamdan Bin Mohammed Center are Al Tayer Motors, Land Rover, Dubai Airports, AW Rostamani (Arabian Automobiles), Global Village and Al Oula Radio.