Double delight for Sheikha Latifa in Asiad

Sheikha Latifa Al Maktoum rides Kalaska De Semily to glory in the equestrian jumping event at the Asian Games in Guangzhou on Wednesday. (AFP)

UAE’s top woman equestrian rider Sheikha LatifaAl Maktoum won a second silver medal in the Asian Games individual jumping event in Guangzhou on Wednesday.

Riding Kalaska De Semily, her favourite 1998-born stallion, she jumped two impeccable rounds with no penalty points.
She challenged Saudi Arabian riders Prince Khalid Abdul Aziz Al Eid and Ramzi Hamad Al Duhaimi in the jump-offs to decide the final medallists.
“When I first learned we had to compete in an extra round, I felt so nervous,” said Sheikha Latifa who was a bronze medallist in the 2006 Asiad in Doha.
In the jump-off, Sheikha Latifa went through the 10-hurdle course without knocking off any hurdle, the same as Ramzi.
However, the gold went to Ramzi as he completed the course in 48.53 seconds, a mere 0.15 seconds faster than the UAE rider’s time of 48.68.
Sheikha Latifa, 25, saw off competition from younger brother Sheikh Rashid.
The brother and sister had earlier in the week finished as silver medallists behind Saudi Arabia in the team event on Monday.
The victorious UAE team also comprised Sheikh Majid Al Qassimi and Ahmed Al Junaibi.
This is UAE’s third medal in the Asiad with Sheikh Juma bin Dalmouk Al Maktoum opening the account with a silver in the double trap shooting event.
Taleb Dhaher Al Muhairi, Secretary General of the Emirates Equestrian Federation was ecstatic after UAE won the second silver medal in the equestrian jumping event.
“I am at a loss of words to express my happiness over this tremendous achievement by Sheikha Latifa. She put up a brave show and fought for silver with world-class jumpers.
“This again shows the meticulous training and planning by the Emirati riders who have become a team to reckon with in the international equestrian scene.”
He thanked President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan for UAE’s success and expressed his gratitude to the President for his encouragement to the youngsters in all sporting disciplines.
He also thanked the EEF Chairman Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan who left no stone unturned to ensure that the UAE equestrian riders get maximum training and exposure to face international competitions. 
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