Held at Crystal Lagoon in MBR City, event attracted more than 40 participants
DUBAI – Serbia's Milena Mitic bagged the individual honours, while the Romanian-Emirati duo of Emanuela Costea and Afra Al Nuaimi took the team title in the first Women Kayak Challenge, which was held at Crystal Lagoon in Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum City – District One at the weekend.
Driving down from Abu Dhabi for the first event of its kind for women in Dubai, Mitic clocked 12 minutes and 31 seconds for the 1.5km race, finishing ahead of UAE's Josie Seidel (12:40), while Australia's Emma Gallagher (14:09) took bronze.
“I came here from Abu Dhabi for the race and I have really enjoyed a lot,” said Mitic. “It is a really nice venue. Thanks to Dubai Sports Council for organising this, and I hope there more races for ladies like this in the future.”
In the team competition, the pair of Costea and Al Nuaimi took the flag in 14:33 to finish ahead of Reem's Team (Reem Al Meqbaali, Layla Ahmed) and Happyiness (Hoda Khezaimi, Haifa Omar Al Ameri).
“It was my first time to compete in Kayak,” said a delighted Costea. “It was amazing. I love this District One area. The lagoon is so beautiful. I enjoyed it so much. I had Afra with me and it was amazing.”
Like Costea, there were a number of other first-timers among the 40-plus participants for the Women's Kayak Challenge, which was organised by 9714 Sports in collaboration with Dubai Sports Council.
The event allowed participants like Philippine's Gina De Gracia to get their first experience of kayaking and they are looking forward to more such events exclusive to ladies.
“This is my first kayak experience,” said De Gracia. “At the same time, this is my first kayak race as well. I am so glad that I am here and I want to thank the organisers for organising this wonderful event.”
Dubai Sports Council is organising a number of women-only community sports events this year, involving many different sports, and next week, participants will have plenty to choose from with a Yoga and Meditation Day for ladies being organised at Zabeel Ladies Club on June 21, from 17:00 to 19:00, to mark International Day of Yoga.
There will be two Padel Tennis Tournament for ladies – the first from June 22-25 at Padel Point (Al Quoz 3), and the second at Al Nasr club from June 24-26. There will also be a two-day Women's Summer Volleyball Tournament taking place at Jam's Academy in Oud Metha on June 25-26.
As per precautionary measures issued by the authorities; all athletes and spectators, over the age of 16, should have fully completed both COVID-19 vaccination doses 14 days before taking part in the events.
Furthermore, participants and spectators will have to adhere to the 2-meter social distancing rules and wear a mask at all times, unless engaged in a sports activity. For admission at the venue, they will need to present the ALHOSN app or vaccination card.
Individual Top 10: 1-Milena Mitic (Serbia) 12:31; 2-Josie Seidel (UAE) 12:40; 3-Emma Gallagher (Australia) 14:09; 4-Lamiae El Hamzaoui (Morocco) 14:20; 5-Afra Al Nuaimi (UAE) 14:33; 6-Nanette Fairley (Australia) 14:40; 7-Moza Al Remeithi (UAE) 14:54; 8-Sura Majid Mohammed (Iaq) 14:55; 9-Shathra Al Hajjaj (UAE) 15:47; 10-Intan Mansor (Malaysia) 15:55.
Teams: 1-EMA (Emanuela Costea, Afra Al Nuaimi) 14:33; 2-Reem's Team (Reem Al Meqbaali, Layla Ahmed) 15:07; 3-Happyiness (Hoda Khezaimi, Haifa Omar Al Ameri) 32:28.