Huge crowd cheers on debuting UAE National Rafting Team

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In the presence of His Highness Sheikh Muhammad bin Khalifa bin Sultan bin Shakhbout Al Nahyan, the first-ever UAE edition of the World Rafting Championship (WRC) got off to a great start on Wednesday,

All 87 participating teams from 28 countries competed under the Sprint and Head to Head (H2H) disciplines at Wadi Adventure in Al Ain, Abu Dhabi.

A huge throng of spectators cheered on some of the world’s best rafters, with the debuting UAE National Rafting Team comprising officers of the Abu Dhabi Police drawing strong support from the lively crowd.

Brazil, Russia, the Czech Republic, Great Britain, Norway and Japan came up with the best performances, topping the day’s Open, Masters (40+), Under 19 and Under 23 divisions.

The competitions started at 8am with the Sprint event, with the Head-to-Head H2H races following at 10am and running through 3:30pm with a one-hour break in between. The results are as follows:

SPRINT

Under 19 Men: 1st Brazil, 2nd Germany, 3rd Argentina
Under 19 Women: 1st Russia, 2nd Great Britain, 3rd Italy
Under 23 Men: 1st Brazil, 2nd Great Britain, 3rd Czech Republic
Under 23 Women: 1st Great Britain, 2nd Japan, 3rd Brazil
Open Men: 1st Czech Republic, 2nd Argentina, 3rd Brazil
Open Women: 1st Czech Republic, 2nd Slovenia, 3rd Japan
Master Men (40+): 1st Czech Republic, 2nd Slovenia, 3rd Japan
Master Women (40+): 1st Japan, 2nd New Zealand, 3rd Czech Republic.

Addmedia Pic

HEAD TO HEAD

Under 19 Men: 1st Russia, 2nd Brazil, 3rd Germany
Under 19 Women: 1st Russia, 2nd Great Britain, 3rd Italy
Under 23 Men: 1st Czech Republic, 2nd Great Britain, 3rd Brazil
Under 23 Women: 1st Brazil, 2nd Czech Republic, 3rd Great Britain
Open Men: 1st Czech Republic, 2nd Great Britain, 3rd Brazil
Open Women: 1st Great Britain, 2nd Czech Republic, 3rd Japan
Master Men (40+): 1st Czech Republic, 2nd Slovenia, 3rd Japan
Master Women (40+): 1st Norway, 2nd Czech Republic, 3rd Japan.

An accompanying WRC community event and activation began at 8am as well, treating visitors to a market, food trucks, a kids’ area, and various sports activities. Others took the opportunity to experience the amazing attractions of Wadi Adventure.

Joe Willie Jones, President – International Rafting Federation stated: “This year’s WRC competitors did not disappoint on opening day, showing us why they deserve to be part of this premier sporting event and setting the tone for what is shaping up to be one of the championship’s most hotly-contested editions.”

The IRF is always happy and excited to have new nations join the association and UAE National Team did not disappoint our expectations at all. We expect to see improvements in the performances during the course of the championship and possibly in the future we would be happy to see them in the winner’s circle.”

“We congratulate the winning teams of the opening day and look forward to even more exciting action in the days to come.”

Mr. Nilesh Mistry, General Manager-Wadi Adventure exclaimed: “We are proud and honored to host the World Rafting Championship 2016 at our facility in Al Ain.”

“I congratulate the winning teams and wish the rest of the teams a very best of luck for the next rounds of competitions.”

Complete event details and schedules atwww.internationalrafting.com/events-2/events/wrc-2016-wadi-uae

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Watch Red Bull Cliff Diving take Dubai by storm

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With the stunning backdrop of Dubai Marina at Pier 7, the Red Bull Cliff Diving series came to the UAE on Friday night.

It drew huge crowds looking out on the pier and from the roads nearby in a truly amazing spectacle.

Rhiannon Iffland won the Women’s series while Andy Jones finished top from the Men’s division in Dubai.

Did you make it to the event and what do you make of the video above?


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Four to watch at Red Bull Cliff Diving Series Final in Dubai

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Red Bull Cliff Diving draws thousands of spectators to impressive sites around the world each year, including Azora in Portugal and Possum Kingdom Lake in Texas.

The series – now in its eighth year – will see the final stage take place in Dubai for the first time, with many of the world’s best divers set to attend.

Ahead of the event, Sport360 picks out four divers to watch.

GARY HUNT (UK) 

A former Commonwealth Games diver, Gary Hunt is a five-time Red Bull Diving Champion and current leader of this year’s series.

At 32, he is considered the greatest in the history of the competition, virtually dominating since finishing second to Orlando Duque in 2009.

The Englishman holds a formidable lead over Jonathan Paredes, and with two events remaining, it looks inevitable that he will claim a sixth crown.

JONATHAN PAREDES (Mexico) 

Third place in the series last year, Paredes will need to produce something special if he is to cut the points gap and challenge Hunt.

With 220 points separating him from top spot, the 27-year-old from Mexico City has a chance to put pressure on the champion with the penultimate event of the series taking place this weekend in Japan.

MICHAL NAVRATIL (Czech Republic)

Navratil has been an ever-present diver, competing on the Red Bull circuit since 2009 and claiming third place in 2011.

The 31-year-old from Prague will be bidding to carry his strong form into Japan this weekend after claiming back-to-back victories in Wales and Bosnia recently – which have seen him move to third place overall.

ANDY JONES (USA) 

With podium finishes in Portugal, France and Wales, Jones is one of the most consistent divers of the last five meetings.

A poor start to the season may have potentially cost him a final-season podium finish – due to the significant loss in points – but Jones has a chance to finish the season on a high in Japan and UAE.

The 31-year-old from Utah has also represented Team USA in the FINA World Cup on three occasions, achieving a best ever 4th place finish in the 27m platform event this year.

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