24
01
2017

Gulf Times Doha Triathlon 2017

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Olivier Godart of Luxembourg and Spain’s Isora Caballero took the men’s and women’s honours in the inaugural Doha Triathlon yesterday, an event that managed to steal the hearts and minds of athletes and spectators alike.
Male and female participants competed over both Olympic and Sprint distances for several titles, as either individuals or teams. The event, in association with the Qatar Tourism Authority, saw over 50 athletes fly in from various countries.
The race attracted more than 400 participants, making it the most successful triathlon race Qatar has seen yet. Over 50 athletes and supporters came to Doha to participate in the event.
Godart was followed by Spaniard Aday Alvarez and Bahraini triathlete Abdulla Attiya in that order, while South African Carmel Lord and Gerda Maria from Romania took the remaining podium spots in the women’s section.
Triathlon is an endurance sport that combines Swimming, Cycling and Running into one race. With the races being open to the public, it offers a unique opportunity for sports enthusiasts to experience racing alongside professional athletes.
Participants can enter in a full race individually or split the race in a team relay with up to three athletes taking up the swim, cycling or run sections. This makes the sport accessible to swimmers, cyclists and runners looking to experience a triathlon race for the first time.
With registrations being open for only three weeks, race organizers were pleased with the ‘sold-out’ status achieved and the number of spectators that showed up to watch the race unfold. Over 25 Qatari athletes participated in the race, a record number for any triathlon event and a strong sign towards the growth of the sport in Qatar.
Winners of the Qatari Olympic category were Mubarak al-Ajji, who was followed in second position by Nasser al-Mohannadi and Faisal al-Qahtani finishing third. Ebrahim al-Romaihi won the race in Sprint category, followed by Abdulaziz al-Hazeem and Abdulla al-Hemaidi.
Qatar Cycling and Triathlon Federation President Dr Mohamed al-Kuwari was proud to see the event unfold with such success. “Qatar has hosted many world-class events in recent years and we are all proud to see Doha Triathlon add to our rich sports heritage. The number of Qataris having participated in this event is a testament to the growing popularity of triathlon and our increased commitment to support local athletes and triathlon events,” he said.
Dr Nasser al-Mohannadi, Board Member, Qatar Cycling and Triathlon Federation and founder of first Qatari triathlon group, said the event has helped popularise the sport of triathlon among Qataris.
An accomplished triathlete himself, he said: “Triathlon has the potential to improve our lives. The training and endurance requirements of triathlon foster the values of self-discipline, hard work and determination. As a Qatari, I have made it my mission to spread these values through the sport of triathlon for current and future generations.”
With the Museum of Islamic Art (MIA) serving as the principal race venue, competitors got a chance to swim in the MIA bay waters, cycle along a closed Corniche road stretching from the MIA to Doha Sheraton and a run around the MIA Park.
“The scenes I’ve witnessed here today during the race are incredible. The Doha skyline is so beautiful and the Corniche road is so smooth, making for a fast rolling bike section. My speeds were 3-4km/h, faster than usual,” said Jordanian Olympian triathlete Lawrence Fanous, who was in Doha for the first time to race in the event.
Rashed al-Qurese, Chief Marketing and Promotion Officer at Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA), commented: “QTA is particularly proud to have supported this home-grown initiative, which we hope will develop into a leading event in the GCC region over the next few years, attracting competitors and their families to visit Qatar.”
Hatem ElSafty, president of the TriClub Doha and Race Director, said the event “was a great success, showing Qatar at its best and putting it on the international triathlon map”.
“This was a great team effort from all, including our organizing committee and many volunteers. TriClub Doha took on the management of the event and delivered successfully thanks to their contribution,” he added.
Marouf Mahmoud, founder of Tasama Sports Development, said Doha Triathlon was his company’s first project for 2017. “I’d like to thank all involved in making this dream a reality. Qatar now has its own triathlon brand and we are committed to its growth after such a strong start. The Qatar Cycling Federation and TriClub Doha made the execution possible while all our sponsors contributed to the overall feel and reach that we’ve managed to achieve. With this amazing momentum and support, I’m very excited about Doha Triathlon 2018,” he said.
While Qatar Tourism Authority was the presenting partner, Doha Triathlon further benefited from the backing of local prize sponsors Carbon Wheels Bike Shop, Oola Sportswear, Royal Air Maroc, Royal Riviera Hotel, and Sehtak Awalan. On site operational contributions came from sponsors Trinity Talent, Fraser Suites, Mannai Corp, Rayyan Water, FitQ and videography by Mena Film Group. Gulf Times 

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