Huge crowd cheers on debuting UAE National Rafting Team
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) went off to a great start yesterday (Wednesday, November 2, 2016), seeing all 87 participating teams from 28 countries competing 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.
Yesterday’s 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:
For 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.
For 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 yesterday’s winning teams and wish the rest of the teams a very best of luck for the next rounds of competitions.”
The 2016 World Rafting Championship is being organized by the International Rafting Federation in cooperation with Three60 Leisure under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Nahyan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Sports Council. The participating teams will battle each other in the Sprint, Head-to-Head (H2H), Slalom and Downriver disciplines of the R4 (four-man) -class tournament until November 5, 2016.
This year’s championship sponsors include Tamouh Investments Group, Abu Dhabi Sports Council and Abu Dhabi Police as Main Partners; Abu Dhabi Media as Main Media Sponsor; Trojan and Belvedere as Silver Sponsors; Mubadala, Tafawuq Facility Management, Al Ain Water and Jobe Watersports as Bronze Sponsors; and Green Mubazzarah Chalets, Danat Al Ain Resort, Al Ain Distribution Company and Al Ain City Municipality as Valued Partners.
For complete event details and schedules, please visit http://www.internationalrafting.com/events-2/events/wrc-2016-wadi-uae.