Obstacle Challenge Race is a sport in which a competitor, travelling on foot, must overcome various physical challenges in the form of obstacles. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Top finishers are set to win big cash prize as the Obstacle Challenge Race competitions begins on Thursday as part of the 11th ‘Nad Al Sheba Sports Tournament.

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The largest sports tournament of its kind held during Ramadan at the Nad Al Sheba Sports Complex under the slogan ‘Limitless Abilities’, will continue till March 31.

This year’s event includes nine sporting disciplines including volleyball, padel, jiu-jitsu, fencing, wheelchair basketball, road running, cycling, tug-of-war and obstacle course race.

As per the schedule laid out by the organisers, participants in the Obstacle Course Race will compete to overcome eleven different obstacles spread over an area of 400 metres. Contestants will be timed against the clock and the one getting past all obstacles with the fastest time will be declared the champion.

Obstacle Challenge Race is a sport in which a competitor, travelling on foot, must overcome various physical challenges in the form of obstacles. A typical racecourse may include climbing over walls or up ropes, monkey bars, carrying heavy objects, traversing bodies of water or mud, crawling under barbed wire and jumping through fire.

There is very little room for error as the times of each competitor will be calculated using electronic microchips installed in the shoes of the competitors. This series of competitions will continue till March 21, after which the top finishers will stand to win from the total Dh290,000 set aside with both the men’s and women’s champions receiving Dh100,000 each.

NAS Challenge for padel teams

The UAE padel team got off to a rousing start with a determined 2-1 win over Bahrain on the opening day of the NAS Padel Challenge for teams. The Netherlands team also secured an identical 2-1 result against Kuwait in the second encounter of the night.

There are six teams participating in the Padel competition for teams, and the top four sides will advance to the knockout semi-finals that will be held on Friday (March 15). The final will be played on March 16.

Meanwhile, the padel competition for women/Arab women got under way with the UAE duo of Alia Taher and Fatima Al Janahi securing an easy 6-1, 6-0 win over Nouf Omar and Fatima Al Awadhi.

Sarah Bin Kazem and Sheikha Al Janahi also ended up in the winner’s circle with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Najla Issa and Noura Al Hashemi, while Fatima Shahdour and Maryam Shahdour also commenced on a winning note with a 6-4, 6-3 verdict against Maryam Al Hashemi Rashid and Aisha Ali Abdullah Yateem.

Role model

Mohammed Saadoun Al Kuwari, the star of Arab sports media and a member of the Qatar padel team expressed his happiness of coming to Dubai regularly and participating annually in the Nad Al Sheba Sports Tournament, while competing in it and enjoying its wonderful atmosphere.

He related that he learnt about padel from the Nad Al Sheba Sports Tournament when he attended it for the first time in 2016. A former tennis player, Al Kuwari watched the padel competitions and after receiving an invitation and encouragement to practice the sport, the Qatari decided to play padel seriously to now emerge as a top-200 player in the world.

Al Kuwari further expressed his admiration for the wonderful atmosphere during the annual tournament, which is a major sports forum bringing together all sports fans under one banner.

“This tournament witnesses strong competitions, especially in the volleyball in which international stars participate, and the padel tournament also assembles international teams and national teams annually. This year too we have an elite group of individual padel players, including a strong side from the Netherlands,” Al Kuwari added.

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Fencers from the UAE put up a splendid show with Fares Al Baloushi and Alanoud Al Saadi qualifying for the finals. Image Credit: Supplied

Strong show from Emirati fencers

Fencers from the UAE put up a splendid show with Fares Al Baloushi and Alanoud Al Saadi qualifying for the finals in the men’s and women’s epee in the international category, respectively.

Fares Al Balushi will take on Egypt’s Abdul Rahman Hafour for the men’s title, while Alanoud Al Saadi will contest against UAE-born Tunisian fencer Sarah Basbas for the women’s crown, on Thursday.

Fares Al Balushi made it to the final after he defeated Tunisian Mohammed Ayoub Al Ferjani 15-14, while Abdul Rahman Hafour got the better of Hungarian fencer Daniel Robert Kiss 15-13. Al Ferjani later took the third place following a narrow 15-12 win over Daniel Robert.

Meanwhile, in the women’s category, Alanoud Al Saadi was quite at ease following a 15-10 win over fellow Emirati fencer Mira Al Hammadi, while Sarah Basbas was authoritative in her 15-4 over Sheikha Al Zaabi. Sheikha Al Zaabi later won the third place with a 15-11 decision against Mira Al Hammadi.

Road runs this weekend

The 5-km and 10-km road running races will take place at the Meydan track on Saturday (March 16). The Jiu-Jitsu Championship will be held on Sunday and Monday (March 17-18), while the Wheelchair Basketball Championship will be conducted from March 20-28.

The road cycling race will be held this Friday and Saturday (March 22-23), while the grand opening of the volleyball competition will be on Friday (March 22) and go on till March 31.