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Hail rally champion Rajeh Al-Shammari dies in road accident

Al-Shammari clinched the title in the second edition of the Hail Car Rally in 2007 and made an impressive comeback seven years later in 2014, claiming the T2 championship. (File photo)
RIYADH: Rajeh Farhan Al-Ramali Al-Shammari, two-times Hail-Nissan International Rally champion, died in a road accident Sunday.
The rally champion was killed on Hail-Jiba road, north of Hail.
Expressing his condolences, Faisal Al-Tuwaihir, media coordinator of the Saudi Federation of Automobiles and Motorcycles, told Arab News Tuesday: “The death of Al-Shammari is a big loss for all sports-loving people. But he will ever be remembered for his contribution to this type of sport at the local, regional and global level.”
“Al-Shammari joined the first edition of Hail rally in 2006. In 2007 and 2014 he was the champion,” said Al-Tuwaihir, adding that in addition to the Hail rally, Al-Shammari joined a series of other contests at Jeddah and Abu Dhabi car rallies.
Nicknamed “fighter,” he was known for his high morale and being helpful to his colleagues when preparing their cars.
Having an excellent track record in the Hail rally, Al-Shammari, 38, participated in the latest edition of Hail-Nissan Rally 2018, where he organized a host camp for guests from inside and outside the Kingdom, said Al-Tuwaihir, who was an officiator in charge of the recent Hail rally.
The tent was working round the clock to meet the requirements of the competitors, he said.
Al-Shammari sustained a severe injury in 2007 with five fractures in his spine but, true to his nickname, he returned to the competition where he belonged. Although he was given medical warnings not to join the rally, he insisted on continuing and became one of its heroes.
Al-Tuwaihir said: “He experienced many accidents, the latest in Jeddah Rally 2016, where doctors advised him to stop rallying, otherwise his life would be in danger. But he kept participating in the event till he died.”

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