Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Adel Khalid secures Abu Dhabi race berth

  • UAE sailor is one of two sailors expected to represent the nation in the Asian Games in China next month.
  • Image Credit: Supplied picture
Abu Dhabi: UAE national, Adel Khalid, is the latest crew member to secure his place aboard the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA)-backed Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing team for the 2011/12 Volvo Ocean Race, making him the first Emirati sailor to compete in this ‘Everest of Sailing.'
Khalid, who represented the UAE in both the Beijing Olympics in 2008 and the Asian Games in November 2010, beat more than 120 Emirati hopefuls to earn his spot in the 11-strong sporting crew, which includes Olympic medal winners, America's Cup victors, Volvo Ocean Race champions and Guinness World Record holders.
The 22-year-old now carries the hopes of the emirate on his broad shoulders as he looks to honour the considerable responsibility of working towards, and sharing, the aspirations of his homeland in one of the world's toughest, most extreme sporting challenges.
"The search for a UAE national to represent us in this challenge has been extensive, in-depth and highly competitive. This exhaustive process was necessary because the race demands and standards are exceptionally high, as are our own aspirations," said Shaikh Sultan Bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, Chairman, ADTA and Team Principal of Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing.
"We have been impressed by many of the applicants whose enthusiasm has been a credit to the nation. The final selection went down to the wire and at the end of the day Khalid was the unanimous choice and we congratulate him on this achievement. All three finalists were worthy contenders but Khalid had the edge in terms of sailing experience as well as his developmental potential."
In a televised awards ceremony at Emirates Palace hotel, Khalid was selected just ahead of fellow Emirati finalists, Butti Al Muhairi and Abdul Aziz Abdullah.

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