Winners of the World Spartan Championship pose with the officials during the presentation ceremony.
Gulf Today, Staff Reporter
The World Spartan Championship, organized by the Abu Dhabi Sports Council in partnership with the Spartan World Foundation, concluded on Saturday.
This event marked the first time the competitions were conducted outside the US and was the first of its kind to be held in the Middle East.
The championship witnessed the participation of 4,500 male and female competitors, representing more than 50 countries who participated in 12 races.
The races were divided into different age groups spread across a variety of competitions, drawing both locally based and international participants.
France were crowned the Spartan World Champions in the teams competition on the event’s second day, finishing the race in one hour, nine minutes and 39 seconds, about two seconds behind the Russian team, which ranked second. The Canadian national team finished third, with a time of one hour, 11 minutes and 23 seconds.
Nasser Mohammed Al Mansouri, Under-Secretary of the Court of the Ruler’s Representative in the Al Dhafra Region, Suhail Al Arifi, Executive Director of the Events Sector at the Abu Dhabi Sports Council, and Captain Abdullah Al Hassani, representative of the Al Dhafra Region Police, crowned the winners.
Mansouri said: “We are pleased with the success of the global event, which was held for the first time in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, specifically in Liwa in the Al Dhafra region, and the great demand for participation, whether from elite athletes around the world or from community members in the UAE during the various races included in the World Championships.”
He added: "All the concerned authorities in the Al Dhafra region were keen to harness their capabilities to organize an exceptional global event, in conjunction with the country's celebrations of the fiftieth National Day, where Moreeb Hill has become a destination for a large number of distinguished sporting events, with the stunning views and charming nature of the Liwa desert.”
Awani thanked Sheikh Hamdan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Ruler’s Representative in the Al Dhafra region, for his continuous support and patronage of the development renaissance in the Al Dhafra region, consolidating its significance in hosting globally recognized events.
He also thanked the event partners, supporters and government agencies, in addition to the volunteers from the Marshal of the Emirates: “We thank all the supporting and sponsoring bodies of the event, which cooperated in the success of the World Championship and its conclusion in the best way while also ensuring the health and safety of athletes, participants and teams as a top priority over the past two days.”
He added: "We are proud of the great success achieved by the World Championship for the first time in Abu Dhabi and the region, boosted by being held in conjunction with the country's celebrations of the fiftieth National Day.
The wide community participation witnessed by the tournament, in the context of supporting a healthy lifestyle, is what the Council seeks through events organized by Abu Dhabi Sports. Their keenness to support and encourage the UAE community to participate in various sporting events in turn supports and enhances the quality of life, as well as motivates the community to utilize sports as part of a healthy lifestyle.”
Arifi, Executive Director of the Events Sector at the Abu Dhabi Sports Council, said: "The tournament has achieved great success thanks to the wide participation in the global event, as participation reached about 4,500 participants from different age groups. The race formed a wonderful picture in Liwa, Mureeb Hill, which is one of the most prominent desert areas in hosting sporting events.”
Gregory Basilico, a member of the French national team that won the championship, expressed his happiness at winning the Spartan World title in Abu Dhabi in the first version to be held outside the US.
He noted that the site where the event was held in the Liwa desert was more than distinguished and added a special luster to the championship competitions. Basilico added that while he and his team have participated in many world championships, it was Abu Dhabi that presented an unforgettable version of the Spartan World Championship.
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