RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s first female cycling championship has crowned the event’s four fastest riders.
Ten cyclists from throughout the Kingdom took part in the time-challenge competition staged on Sunday in Al-Mahalla district of Abha, under the supervision of the Saudi Cycling Federation.
Ahlam Nasser Al-Zaid was quickest to complete the 13-km course with a time of 22 minutes and 18 seconds. Anoud Khamis Al-Majed came second covering the distance in 25 minutes and 39 seconds, with Alaa Al-Zahrani taking third place in 26 minutes and 57 seconds, and Noura Al-Sheikh racing to fourth in 27 minutes and 4 seconds.
The federation’s program was resumed following the approval of health protocols related to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak issued by health authorities in cooperation with the Ministry of Sport.
Abdullah Al-Mizyad, director of operations and technical adviser at the Saudi Cycling Federation, told Arab News: “We have resumed our championships including the fifth and sixth championships for youth and adults, which were held in Al-Bahah for the first time, followed by the Kingdom’s champion event for youth, adults, and women in Abha. This return was the conclusion of the Saudi cycling championships for the Kingdom’s champion.
“The participation of youth and adults and the category of males and females was open for all to register, which was special in terms of the enthusiasm of the women that took part.”
Al-Zahrani said: “There were about seven female contestants in the female category who were from my team.”
The rider started gym training with a personal coach 7 years ago. In 2018, she met with the captain of the Rawasi team, Sherine Abu Al-Hasan, who introduced her to hiking. “We have hiked the Sabha and Souda mountains in Saudi Arabia and Shams in Oman.
“In 2019, I wanted to practice a new type of sport since I love discovering new things. I have friends who love riding bicycles as a hobby, and they encouraged me to do the same.
“I then met someone in 2020 who introduced me to the captain of cycling time, and I started practicing with them professionally. We started a month ago before the championship and we completed it (the practice) successfully,” Al-Zahrani added.
She said that the Saudi Cycling Federation had given female riders the chance to achieve their dreams and goals in the sport.