Athletes prepare for the final race night of the Ultimate Athletics 2018/19 season

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Last chance: Runners have one final event of the Ultimate Athletics season

The season finale of Ultimate Athletics Racenights is upon us as athletes prepare to take to the track and field for the final time this season.

The league points, taken from the first 5 Racenights, are now final and will see the season’s top performers battle it out at the grand final. League winners Yannick Kraus (U13) cemented his spot with a narrow win over Angus Bharucha to secure his 4th Racenight League win since the series began in 2016. Jayson Castillo has also securing his 3rd Racenight League win since the Masters category began in 2017.

One to watch out for is current 100m senior record-holder Omari Barton- Ellington, who will be looking to protect his impressive 10.34-second record. Also in action is England 100m and 200m champion Kimbely Baptiste 100m and 200m. Baptiste’s records of 11.77 seconds in the 100m and 200m 23.66 seconds are expected to remain in tact. Her performances have been so impressive she’s been pushing herself by competing in male races ahead of competing in England Championships this summer.

In the Ultimate 60 category the top eight fastest of the season go through to the final. Over 30 men have taken part during the season and the fastest 8 go through. The one to beat on the night will be Aaron Seminski who broke the 7-second barrier on Racenight 5 with a stunning time of 6.94 seconds. There still two wildcard spaces available in the female 60m event on May 23rd.

The Winning School, Jess Ranches secured the most league points from their students throughout the Ultimate Athletics season and will be awarded with a trophy at the final event.

Former athlete Lisa Campbell set up Ultimate Athletics race nights, sponsored by New Balance, in Dubai, in 2015. Off the track, events aim to educate athletics with theory workshops as well as access to sports science-qualified coaches, nutritionists and physiotherapists.

What:Ultimate Athletics Ultimate race night
Where:Dubai Sports City
When:Thursday, May 23rd, 4.45pm – 8.15pm
Contact:www.ultimateathleticsuae.com

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Hit the road with third annual Run The Track Ramadan Night Run event

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Start your engines: Runners will line up at the Dubai Autodrome

Now in it’s third year, the Run The Track Ramadan Night Run has become a fixture of Dubai’s annual running events. Taking place on the floodlit club circuit at Dubai Autodrome, participants have the opportunity to be part of a unique event racing each other over three varying distances – 3km, 5km, and 10km on a real racetrack.

With the finish line under the official chequered flag, and the running circuit following the actual lines of cars on the track, runners enjoy a unique spectacle. The Ramadan Night Run is suitable for runners of all abilities, and sees a diverse mix of ages, nationalities and abilities – from novice and first-time runners, to some of the best athletes in the UAE.

This year’s Run The Track Ramadan Night Run, is this Friday, on May 10thwith an official start time is 7.45pm for the 5km/10km, with the 3km starting 5 minutes later at 7.50pm.

Finishers receive a race medal, and there are over 100 trophies available to win amongst comprehensive age groups in the 5km and 10km, as well as Junior age groups in the 3km. In the 3km, the minimum age for entry is 6., for the 5km the minimum age for entry is 12 and in the 10km, the minimum age for entry is 14.

At the trophy presentation ceremony after the completion of each event, all that are present have the chance to win prizes and giveaways in the post-event raffle. Race numbers can be collected on race day from 1 hour 15 minutes before the start of your race. Each number collection on the race day closes 15 minutes before the start of the race.

Registration remains open for the event so there’s still time to join the 400 other runners under the lights at this year’s Ramadan Night Run. To sign up and see more event information visit www.runsqueak.com.

Fees for participation are 3km 105aed, 5km 126aed, 10km 147aed.

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UAE aiming high as show jumping standards raised, with sport raising country's profile

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Jumping fences: H.E. Major General Dr Ahmed Nasser Al Raisi believes that UAE riders will compete more regularly with, and even beat, European counterparts in the future

H.E. Major General Dr. Ahmed Nasser Al Raisi, President of the UAE Equestrian and Racing Federation spoke exclusively to Sport360 following the conclusion of the eighth edition of the Emirates Longines Show Jumping League.

How pleased are you with the season?

It’s been a terrific season and definitely one that we have built on from previous seasons. More than ever before, we have seen more international show jumpers travel to the UAE to compete in world-class competitions. This season we have had 50 international riders and 180 from the Middle East including 100 riders from the UAE participate in shows across the UAE – this is a testament to not only the growth of the sport but also the caliber of the facilities, events and competitions we now offer on home soil.

What was the highlight of the season for you?

As with any season, I always look forward to the President of UAE Show Jumping Cup presented by Longines – not only is this event the most prestigious in the UAE’s show jumping calendar but it also includes the all-important Longines FEI Nations Cup of Jumping™ qualification class that determines the two Middle East teams who will have the honor of competing in the Nations Cup. This year, I had the honor of watching the UAE team as they qualified. I look forward to seeing them go to Barcelona this October – it’s an amazing opportunity for our country to compete at such a prominent global competition. I look forward to seeing how our national team will do in Spain but I believe they will be very well prepared.

What areas is the Federation looking to improve on for next season?

We are looking to make the sport even bigger and better. Through more work directly with local clubs, we hope to give them the support they need to build on their five-star competition venues to attract even more riders from overseas for the internationals. We will also continue to enable our local riders to be the best athletes they can be through the overseas summer training camps.

As the Federation, we are also working in line with the UAE’s Strategy for Artificial Intelligence. With the UAE being a regional leader in this field, we are deploying the best practices worldwide to provide our jockeys and the owners of horses with the best services available.

Are you pleased with the growth of the sport this year?

All disciplines of equestrian sport have had tremendous support this year not just from us as the Federation but also from the leaders of this country who believe in the importance of keeping an integral part of our culture and heritage as relevant to modern times as possible. Our efforts to elevate the level of show jumping in the UAE began in 2010 and slowly but surely, we gained the backing of international federations who would send their champion riders to compete in our five-star competitions. At the President’s Cup alone we had over 126 riders competing from 25 different countries.

Reflecting on a fine season: Dr Al Raisi (r) talks to Sport360's Nick Watkins

Reflecting on a fine season: Dr Al Raisi (r) talks to Sport360’s Nick Watkins

How important is making the Olympics for the UAE?

Our flag flying high at the Olympics – that is the ultimate goal. Making it to the Olympics would be a culmination of all the efforts put forth by the Federation, the riders, the clubs and everyone in the equestrian world in the UAE – it would a very proud moment indeed for all of us. This achievement would not only solidify the UAE’s position as the capital of equestrian sport in the region but also put us on the map globally.

Where do you see the sport in 10 years time?

I see our riders’ abilities and skill levels steadily progressing until we surpass that of European riders. We already have a few riders whose riding is on par with the best show jumpers in the world but we will work to ensure that all of our riders are able to give even the best a run for their money.

What’s the best way of attracting new fans?

We are presently working on offering more attractions at the shows – usually people would come with their families for a nice day out and end up staying because they just develop a love for this magnificent sport. You can expect more family activities such as pony rides, kids’ activities and lots of food.

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