Team Abu Dhabi’s Alex Carella and Thani Al-Qamzi are in Liuzhou for Friday’s Grand Prix of China acutely aware that podium finishes are necessary for them to keep their title challenges alive.
With just three races to run in this year’s six-round calendar, the pair now hold sixth and 11th places in the drivers’ points standings after finishing third and sixth at the last race in Portugal in August.
– On the Radar: Desert Road Runners, Ice Warrior Challenge
With 20 points available to the winner of the Chinese race, Carella knows that nothing short of a win, or at least a podium finish, will be sufficient if he is to close the gap on series leader Shaun Torrente and defending World Champion Philippe Chiappe. Carella is currently 17 points behind the leading American and 16 adrift of Chiappe, the winner in Portugal.
Al-Qamzi rejoined the team in Porto after missing the first two races of the season in Qatar and France and is tied with Sweden’s Jesper Forss on five points.
Carella, who won the Liuzhou race for three successive years while driving for the former Qatar Team, said: “I’ve got to go out there and focus purely on this race and achieving the win.
“There are only three races left and time is running out. I need the points on the board. I love this circuit. It’s just something about the surroundings that make this such a great place for me.
“My only mishap came in 2011, when I qualified second, was forced to start at the end of the dock because of engine problems and still finished fifth.
“I can’t afford any more hiccups or my dreams of another title will go straight out of the window.”
A pair of Emirati young swimmers, Ahmed Abdulla Al Hashmi and Abdulla Al Hammadi, are getting an early taste of international competition as they are set to take part in the FINA/airweave Swimming World Cup leg in Beijing on Tuesday.
Al Hashmi, 13, and Al Hammadi, 15, are amongst the youngest swimmers taking the plunge in Beijing (September 29-30).
The duo made their World Cup debut in Hong Kong last week as the UAE Swimming Federation hope to prepare them for major international meets in the future.
Al Nasr Club swimmer, Al Hammadi, will contest three freestyle events, the 50m, 100m and 200m while Al Ain Club’s Al Hashmi will line up for the 50m, 100m, 200m breaststroke and the 200m individual medley.
“The federation chose young swimmers like Ahmed and Abdulla to compete in these World Cup legs and be present in such international meets so they can get accustomed to swimming in world-class events from a young age,” said swimming coach Abdulla Subait, who is accompanying the pair in China.
سبيت : ” التركيز على الناشئين و اعداد قاعدة هى اولوياتنا ” الحمادى و الهاشمى خلال تواجدهم بالبطولة بهونج كونج .. pic.twitter.com/6dirbnI9Vu
— UAEswimming (@UAESwimming) September 26, 2015
“This will provide a lot of motivation for them to try and clock faster times in the future. It’s all part of the federation’s strategy of driving youth swimming in the country.
“Just mixing with such top-class swimmers in the World Cup series will help them deal with the intimidation factor. They will also try to clock personal best times as well as new national records for the UAE.”
Al Hashmi will be in the same heat as Olympic champion Cameron Van Der Burgh of South Africa in the 50m breaststroke.
The FINA/airweave Swimming World Cup series will conclude in Dubai with its final leg scheduled to take place on November 6-7.
There is live sporting action to suit every taste over the next seven days in UAE including fitess challenges in the desert, on stairs and even on the ice!
DESERT ROAD RUNNERS – IFTAR CHALLENGE
Thursday, 1st October
The annual Iftar Challenge 5K race, organised by the Desert Road Runners since 1998 returns for the 6th time at the Dubai Autodrome offering age group prizes.
Two laps around the Dubai Autodrome with floodlights illuminating the racing track and two distances to challenge runners of all levels. Register online and take part in this annual race.
Venue: Dubai Autodrome
Website: Hopa Sports
ICE WARRIOR CHALLENGE
Friday, 2nd October
The annual challenge of strength and endurance in freezing cold conditions returns to Dubai with the Ice Warrior Challenge.
Get ready to face a number of physical challenges as an individual or part of a team such as monkey bars, mazes, cargo net crawls and 12 other obstacle courses all while in the sub-zero temperatures of Ski Dubai.
Venue: Ski Dubai, Mall of the Emirates
Website: Ice Warrior Challenge
HILTON DUBAI TOWER RACE
Saturday, 3rd October
Hilton Dubai The Walk is back for the fourth year in conjunction with the Emirates Red Crescent in aid of people affected by the unfolding humanitarian situation in Syria.
The event will be hosted at Hilton Dubai The Walk, Jumeirah Beach Residences, where 120 runners will take on 36 floors and 730 stairs and the view from the top is well worth it!
Venue: Hilton Dubai The Walk, JBR
Website: Premier Online
AL WATHBA CYCLING SERIES – RACE 1
Monday, 5th October
The Al Wathba Cycling Series will include 6 events (on Mondays) from October 2015 to January 2016 and take the form of the Australian Pursuit Series.
Small groups of riders are set off at short intervals with the intention each group seeks to chase down the group in front and all groups come together at the finish for the strongest rider to win.
This is an excellent event series for novice riders who are either recreational riders and/or not used to group riding techniques.
— mark joyce (@markofarabia) September 11, 2015
Venue: Al Wathba Cycle Track
Website: Premier Online