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Muhairi eyes Tokyo Olympics glory after Sharjah win

SHARJAH: After winning the Sharjah Grand Prix, UAE’s Abdullah Humaid Al Muhairi has now sets sights on Tokyo Olympics 2020.

Muhairi aboard speedy mare, Cha Cha Cha 7, was crowned champion in second edition of Sharjah Ruler Cup International Show Jumping Championship (CSI5*W).

“My goal has always been to compete at the Olympic Games (Tokyo, 2020),” he said.

“It is a long hard road and I will need to step up my game further and put in the extra hours. But I’m prepared to do whatever it takes to represent the UAE, and hopefully win a medal.

“But I could not have achieved this without the support of my sponsors and the technical team around us. We are slowly moving up and hopefully we can keep going until we reach the top.”

The road to Tokyo begins with the Gothenburg World Cup, but Muhairi has additional concerns ahead for the qualifiers.

“Cha Cha Cha is a great horse, and she helped give me this victory,” he said. “But for the Olympics I will need a new horse, one that has the experience and ability to jump at higher levels.

Sultan Mohammad Khalifa Al Yahyai, director general of the Sharjah Equestrian and Racing Club, is in no doubt that the UAE would make their mark at the highest levels in the sport. “The Olympics is the ultimate target for any show jumper and I believe that we are closer to achieving that vision,” he said. “I am confident that Muhairi has the credentials and skills to compete at the highest level and even win.”

The four-day event that was held in the indoor arena of the Sharjah Equestrian and Racing Club, ran alongside an international two-star championship (CSI2*), as well as a young horses’ category for horses between 6-7 years old (CSIYH1*); a children’s category for 12–14-year-olds (CSIOCH); a junior riders’ category for 14–18-year-olds (CSIOY); and a young riders’ category for 16–21-year-olds (CSIOJ) that made up the finals for Group VII.

The main championship included the finals of the Arab League qualifiers for the Show Jumping World Cup, and the names were announced of the three Middle East riders and two North African riders who will participate in the Show Jumping World Cup that will take place in Sweden in April.

The three Middle East riders who qualified are Saudi’s Ramzy Al Duhami with 67 points, the UAE’s Abdullah Humaid Al Muhairi with 57 points, and Saudi’s Khaled Abdulrahman Almobty with 53 points.

The two winners who will represent the countries of North Africa in the World Cup are Egypt’s Abdel Said with 65 points and his compatriot Mohamed Talaat with 52 points.