City Swim UAE makes its mark in Abu Dhabi

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Eager swimmers gathered Saturday morning at the second event in the City Swim UAE series, taking place at Le Meridien Abu Dhabi. City Swim UAE, held over four emirates, is the UAE’s largest open water series with each event seeing swimmers of all ages covering a range of distances varying from 250 meters to 2,500 meters.

Paul Clement from France was fastest in the 2,500 metre race with a time of 34 minutes, 17 seconds, closely followed by Nic Roselt with a time of 34:22. Both were a stretch ahead of third-place Candice Saxod in 38:36.

In the 1,000 metre race, Eric Bradley achieved the fastest time in 12:08, followed by Rebecca Wenden in 16:13 Hannah Dean in third with 17:41.

The 500 metre race saw an all-female podium finish, with Isabelle Darling coming in first with a time of eight minutes, 24 seconds. She was followed by Christelle Feghali with a time of 08:49 and in third place was Yara Feghaly in 09:32.

The 250 metre race saw Kirstie Mackenzie winning in just 07:07, followed by Alexander Norman (09:18) and Robert Dean (9:46).

The event was attended by Olympian, Keri-anne Payne, who took part in the 1,000 metre race and presented the awards for each category and age group to all the swimmers at the prize giving and celebratory breakfast.

Originating from the canals in Amsterdam and Hudson River in New York, the open water swimming event will move to other locations in the UAE. The next event takes plate at Sharjah’s Sheraton Sharjah Beach Resort & Spa (February, 4 2017) and Ajman at the Ajman Saray (March, 4 2017), while further locations are expected to be added later in the year.

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City Swim heading to Abu Dhabi

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City Swim, the UAE’s largest open water race will take place in Abu Dhabi on Saturday, 21 January for the second event in the series with race registration closing this Thursday.

Originating in the canals in Amsterdam and the Hudson River in New York, the open water swimming event will take place at Le Meridien, Abu Dhabi and organisers are expecting another great turnout with swimmers of all abilities taking the plunge at this stunning location.

The inaugural event took place in Dubai and saw over 200 swimmers take to the water covering a range of distances.

All swims are classified for different age groups with distances varying from 250 meters to 2,500 meters. Each swim will be manned by expert kayakers who will be at hand every stroke of the way and a post-race celebration will take place for everyone who has taken part as well as for friends and family.

Stuart Birkwood, General Manager, Le Méridien Abu Dhabi said: “We are continuously looking at new ways to showcase our property in Abu Dhabi and partnering with City Swim UAE has enabled us to do just that.

“Sporting events have become increasingly important and we are delighted to be part of the series. We look forward to welcoming all swimmers and their friends and family to the event.”

The City Swim UAE series continues at the Sheraton Sharjah Beach Resort & Spa on 4 February, followed by Ajman Saray, a Luxury Collection Resort in Ajman on 4 March.

To register or find out more information on any of the City Swim UAE events, visit: http://www.city-swim.com/.

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Al Abdulrazzaq claims UIM-ABP Aquabike crown

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There was bitter disappointment for James Bushell, Al Abdulrazzaq’s only title challenger, who had an electrical problem at the start and eventually retired on lap three with his title hopes in tatters.

Sweden’s Lars Akerblom led for seven laps from Jeremy Perez, with Al Abdulrazzaq moving up from fourth to second after passing Christophe Agostinho and then Perez.

A lap later, the champion hit the front and disappeared off into the distance to take the chequered flag and the win by 25.34s.

“It was a great race for me and a great way to keep the title,” said the Kuwaiti rider. “I was being patient, sitting in fourth I think, and was keeping an eye on Bushell and then I saw him break. So after that I knew the title was safe so I pushed hard and took my opportunities.”

Perez piled the pressure on Akerblom and passed him on lap eight to take second and his best result of the season, with Akerblom third.

Agostinho crossed the finish line in fourth ahead of Patrice Pellier, with Marcin Senda getting his best finish of the year in sixth.

In the Freestyle, UAE’s Rashed Al Mulla secured the runners-up slot in the championship standings with his win, with Slovenia’s Rok Florjancic sealing his fourth successive UIM-ABP Freestyle world title after being beaten to second place by the UAE rider.

Al Mulla and Florjancic were the only two to be scored in the nineties, with Al Mulla edging the win by one point.

There was disappointment for Nac Florjancic, Rok’s brother, who failed to get out on the water and will end the year in third place in the overall standings no matter what happens in heat two.

Meanwhile, Sweden’s Emma-Nellie Ortendahl cruised to the Ski GP1 Ladies world title with an emphatic win in race one.

The 18-year-old from Alvangen started from pole and produced a near flawless performance, apart from a slight hiccup at the end of the start lap when she dropped her Ski, leading from start-to-finish to win the eight lap race by over 17 seconds.

“It’s just so crazy to be world champion. I am just so happy,” said Sweden’s first and youngest UIM-ABP Aquabike ladies world champion. “Finally at the end of a great year I have the title I always wanted and dreamed about.”

Behind the runaway leader, Jennifer Menard and Beatriz Curtinhal were locked in a titanic struggle, with Curtinhal closing down the outgoing champion and making the telling pass on lap six, moving her up into third place behind Menard in the championship standings.

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