Bahrain princes join charity triathlon
Manama, April 13, 2013
Two Bahraini princes - Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa and his brother Shaikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa - joined more than 200 runners in a gruelling seven-hour triathlon comprising a 1.5km swim, a 40km cycling and a 10km run yesterday.
This triathlon was a charity event organised by Bahrain Road Runners (BRR) for diabetes awareness, as well as to encourage people to live a healthy lifestyle, reported the Gulf Daily News, our sister publication.
Organisers said Supreme Council for Youth and Sport chairman and Bahrain Olympic Committee president Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa took first place for the 16 to 29-year-old category with a time of two hours 20 minutes.
Shaikh Nasser's brother and Bahrain Royal Equestrian and Endurance Federation president Shaikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa was only three places behind in fourth place with a time of two hours 27 minutes.
The Olympic Triathlon consisted of three parts - a 1.5km swim, a 40km cycling and a 10km run - and was held at the Sofitel Bahrain Zallaq Thalassa Sea and Spa, a key sponsor of the resort.
"It is a very tough event where participants have to travel 51.5km on both land and sea," said BRR Captain Tawfeeq Abbas.
"It was really good to see two of the king's sons in this event. They would have had to do a lot of training in preparation of this event as even experienced runners would have a tough time because it is not just running it is biking and swimming too," he stated.
BRR chairman Dr Shaikh Saqer bin Salman Al Khalifa said he never expected that the princes would live up to their sporting reputation but was pleasantly surprised.
"I always see on the news and read about the two princes getting first place in many competitions and I always doubted it asking myself whether someone that busy can actually perform," he said.
"But wow I saw it myself and both of them are really something.
"Shaikh Nasser did very well and the amazing thing is that they only heard about the event two weeks ago which means they had to train everyday since then and it paid off."
Shaikh Saqer competed in the event as well and at times was neck and neck with the princes.
"I consider myself to be a good swimmer and during the swimming event I was always trying to pull away from Shaikh Khalid but no matter what I did he was always just over my shoulder.
"They really are both very good athletes."
He added that it was a testament to the time management of the princes to be able to deal with all their royal responsibilities and find time to train for such a level of physical fitness.
Although he was not taking part in the event, Captain Tawfeeq watched the princes go through the course.
"I saw Shaikh Nasser at one point during the running portion making jokes and having a good laugh with some of his colleagues," said Captain Tawfeeq.
"Even his brother Shaikh Khalid found time to chat with some other runners.
"It was really a treat for the other runners to see these princes on the same level as athletes."
People came from Kuwait, Oman and Saudi Arabia, among others, to join in the race.
The race was open to the public, and with the presence of the two princes, large crowds gathered to see these celebrities in action.
This triathlon was a charity event organised for diabetes awareness, as well as to encourage people to live a healthy lifestyle.
Most of those who took part in the triathlon joined as individuals but to increase the numbers, teams were allowed to enter where each member would do one event each.-TradeArabia News Service