McCullagh continues to impress in QTRI Series
The opening event of 2019 – 2020 Series started last Friday with beautiful Katara Triathlon, presented by Royal Aire Maroc. The prestigious venue and popularity of the National Series has drawn a large number of 300 + participants with adults participating in Triathlon Sprint event and those younger than 16 had to tackle with Aquathlon.
With more races than ever, plus good competition against the best of the expat community, the expectation and opportunity exists for Qatari top triathletes to raise their level and aim to be more competitive – not with just one another, but against the rest of the world!
Over the fast sprint distance event (750m swim, 19km bike, 5.2km run), McCoulagh (IRL) came close to sub 1 hour time trailed by Mouchine Rhaili (MOR) and former elite national champion, Ebrahim Al Romaihi (QAT) who competed with the top men overall. Getting back to his old form from last year after almost ten months of injuries and illness. A few minutes behind him it was a tight race for 2nd Qatari, with Mubarak Al Ajji and Abdulla Al Kaabi doing the majority of the race shoulder to shoulder. Both, who are more focused on long distance, managed strong performances and made up lots of ground in their overall placing over the bike and run.
RESULTS MEN ELITE:
Bernard Mc Coulagh 1:01:14
Mouchnie Rhaili 1:04:48
Ebrahim Al Romaihi 1:05:31 (1st Qatari)
Abdulla Al Kaabi 1:10:42 (2nd Qatari)
Mubarak Al Ajji 1:10:48 (3rd Qatar)
All in all, the team showed strong performances with encouraging signs of improvement. With the cooler weather now here, lots of work still to be done and Qatar Triathlon Federation providing opportunities for home-grown talent to develop experience locally, we are keeping one eye on the year ahead.
Best overall veteran men was Enzo Fascinato (Arg) while best Qatari veteran men was Essa Al Kuwari. In the team competition Rasen Adventure shop trio composed from Marwan Jalham, Mustafa Mustafa and Chris Musengo came on top.
At the women’s level, Olympic champion Pia Sundstedt was the fastest women of the race with a time of 1h 10m 10s. Pia was competing in Veteran category while Sophie Clark was the fastest in open women category.
Dr. Mohammed Jaham Al-Kuwari, President of the Federation expressed his happiness and optimism for the strong start and excellent organisation of the first event of the Qatari National Triathlon series which was held in perfect location of Katara Cultural Village and thanked all the sponsors and partners of the event, namely Royal Air Maroc, Qatar Olympic Committee, Rayyan Natural Water, Qatar Cancer Society and all the local triathlon clubs.
The event enjoyed the presence of Mr Mohamed Sitri; Ambasador of Kingdom of Morocco to Qatar who was very pleased with the event which reflects the ability of the sisterly State of Qatar to organize major sporting events and world championships which increases (Arabs) and Moroccans participation in particular. It makes them proud that this sporting and cultural demonstration makes a bridge between the different people of the world and also demonstrates their performance.