Great Britain’s Richard Stannard secured a fourth Senior Biathle World Championship title at the Dubai International Marine Club while Petra Kurikova secured the women’s title.
The Englishman, who finished in a time 23 minutes 30 seconds, 11 seconds faster than second place Juan Dominguez from Argentina, is unbeaten in Dubai after winning the title in 2010.
Czech starlet Kurikova secured her first world title in a time of 13m26s, ahead of the previous two world champions Rachel Jones of Great Britain and Emma Davis from Ireland.
A record number of athletes turned up to compete in the 14th UIPM Biathle World Championships, with 21 gold medals handed out in total. After all the junior, senior and masters events, South Africa sat on top of the medals table with eight gold while Great Britain came second with seven gold. The UAE managed to snaffle one gold and two bronze.
“Brilliant, I love it every time,” Stannard told Sport360°. “It’s so hard, you remember the winning and forget the pain. I’m unbeaten in biathle so I’ll give a go next year when I’m 39. I’m going to have to work really hard to be ready for next year.”
Stannard didn’t have it all his own way. The first 500m went by a rapid pace before the athletes entered the water for the swimming section, at which point Stannard was all the way back in fifth. The Englishman emerged from the water with a strong lead that he held onto throughout the last 1,500m.
“It’s very important to have a good swim,” said Stannard. “It’s tempting to go out ridiculously quick, I don’t think that happened. I think most people were under control, but it was a little quicker than I wanted to go so (I hung back).
“The second run is just awful, you’ve just got nothing left. It’s so important to get a lead coming out of the water because it’s so hard to catch up, they weren’t going to catch me up over 30m.
“I’ve struggled with injuries recently. I was hit by a car in 2009 which made the 2010 title very special. I’m going to have a big year of weight training to build some muscle to help keep up with these young guys.”
The South African pair of Aynslee van Graan and Llewelly Groeneveld were crowned the women’s and men’s Youth A World Champions. Jean-Paul Burger created history by becoming the first Namibian to win an international biathle medal with the Youth B silver, despite the Namibian Modern Pentathlon Federation being established only last year.
Burger was just beaten by Robert Lightowler in the Youth B male category, while Haydy Adel Mohamed Kamal won Egypt’s only gold in the female Youth B race.
Horseracing returns to the UAE at Jebel Ali on Friday afternoon to begin a cracking few days of action with America’s Breeders’ Cup meeting on Friday and Saturday, followed by Australia’s Melbourne Cup on Tuesday.
The six-race card is highlighted by a 1,000m handicap and My Verse, trained on the track by Dhruba Selvaratnam, will be a popular selection among Pick Six players in a race she won in 2010 and was runner-up last year.
With stable jockey James Doyle on duty in America, Pat Cosgrave takes the ride. Selvaratnam said: “She obviously goes well at Jebel Ali and normally goes well after a break, so we have to be hopeful.
“But it is a tough race as you would expect, with decent prize money on offer. “She might be our best chance from four runners throughout the afternoon.”
Champion Trainer Ali Rashid Al Raihe will be looking for a flying start in his title defence and saddles two, with stable jockey Royston Ffrench on top-weight Hajoum, who concedes weight to all his eight rivals.
Stable apprentice Saeed Al Mazrooei, who spent the summer in Ireland to broaden his experience, takes the mount on stable companion Enjoy Dubai, who has left South African Mike De Kock after three runs at the 2012 Meydan Carnival.
Colourful Score, who cost $3.5million (Dh12.84m) as a yearling (in 2005) has only managed three career starts but won his most recent, at Jebel Ali in February 2010, and connections will be hoping their patience is rewarded.
He is trained by Satish Seemar and will be ridden by Richard Mullen, who said: “Obviously he has endured a lot of problems but he has ability. “We are hoping he runs well without expecting fireworks.”
Racing concludes with a 1,400m handicap with 14 set to face the starter including the Selvaratnam-trained Dahteer who, at the age of 10, is seeking his seventh UAE win. The trainer said: “Obviously he is not getting any younger but is ready for an outing, and this looks the place to start.”
The Al Raihe-trained Ana Emarati looks a big danger, along with Daboos whose trainer Doug Watson saddled a double on this day last year in each of the last two seasons.
He will be ridden by Dane O’Neill, who is starting in his post as second jockey to Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and said: “It is a great opportunity for me and I am really looking forward to it. Obviously, an early winner would be ideal.”
It is the beginning of the 21st season at Jebel Ali and gates will open at 9am with a bumper crowd expected to enjoy the various entertainment and free competitions offered by the course.
UK television presenter Derek Thompson will be conducting all the proceedings from the parade ring.
The UAE Wrestling, Judo, Jiu Jitsu and Kickboxing Federation (UAEJJ) is stepping into the Mixed Martial Arts arena with its first professional cage event – the Abu Dhabi Warriors Fighting Championship – taking place this Friday, November 2.
The inaugural chapter has a fight card packed with 20 fighters from 13 countries, including American ‘Mean Machine’ Travis Wiuff – who is filling in for withdrawn Latvian kickboxer Konstantin Gluhov – and the Cuban-born Brazil-raised Muay Thai expert Jose “Pele” Landi-Jons, whom we’ve been hearing exciting whispers about at other UAEJJ events for over a week now.
Landi-Jons – also a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt and early training partner to Anderson da Silva – has been fighting professionally since 1993 and at 39-years-old, seems to show no signs of slowing down.
He will be up against Czech Jevgeniy Mahteenko in a welterweight bout which Mahteenko believes will end with him knocking out Landi-Jons in the first round. Meanwhile, Wiuff has twelve years of professional fighting behind him and expects to come out of his heavyweight bout against Croatian Maro Perak on Friday with his head and hand raised.
“I see Maro as a tough opponent, but from watching his fights, his style is nothing I haven’t seen before,” said Wiuff. “The fans can expect an exciting fight. No matter where it goes, on the ground or standing, I think I have the advantage and can finish the fight.”
Meanwhile, Perak, 29, enters the event hot off a recent first round victory over Bob ‘The Beast’ Sapp, so expect fireworks when these two clash.
WHAT: Abu Dhabi Warriors Fighting Championship.
VENUE: ICC Hall, ADNEC.
WHEN: Doors open at 19:00.
PRICE: Regular tickets – Dh200; VIP tickets – Dh300; VVIP tickets – Dh400. Tickets will be available through Box Office ME and Virgin Megastore branches.
Sport360 VERDICT: MMA is one of the most thrilling, blood-pumping sports you can watch live… blood being the operative word!
FULL FIGHT CARD: (Kg/Name/Country)
+93 M. Perak (CRO) v T. Wiuff (USA)
-77 J. Landi-Jons (BRA) v Y. Mahtenko (CZE)
-70 K. Yokota (JAP) v A. Safronov (UKR)
-70 K. Kinser (USA) v A. Visalimov (CHY)
-84 B. Brinsa (GER) v C. Dysert-John (USA)
-84 K. Smetana (USA) v M. Magomedkerimov (RUS)
-93 M. Zayats (RUS) v M. Elsner (POL)
-84 C. Conti (ITA) v L. Da Costa (BRA)
-70 N. Lopes (BRA) v M. Cazacu (MDA)