10 August, 2012
The Saudi Equestrian Olympic rider Kamal Bahamdan missed out on individual bronze medal glory in Greenwich by the smallest of margins. Competing against the finest and most experienced of show jumpers, Kamal rode a clear round into fourth place in the individual jump final which went into a tie-breaking jump-off for silver and gold medal places.
With three of the Saudi Equestrian team members qualified through to the individual show jumping finals, HRH Prince Abdullah, Ramzy Al Duhami and Kamal Bahamdan started their last day at the Olympic Games with a good showing with HRH Prince Abdullah starting in the top ten.
The Saudi team has gained great respect over the period of the games, the live commentary being both informed and enthusiastic.
First into the Arena on Noblesse Des Tess Kamal Bahamdan, much to the appreciation of the crowd, drew praise from the commentary team. “Saudi Arabia – what a performance they have put up, they have won bronze. They have only ever won three medals in the Olympics and this is their first team medal. They have put up a fantastic performance” said commentator Michael Tucker.
The course was forcing faults and in particular time faults from riders over several of the jumps, but one that was proving particularly hazardous was the four-metre wide water jump.
Noblesse was impressive, with great ability, a gutsy approach and an obvious willingness to engage with Bahamdan, she addressed the jumps with energy and precision to jump a clear round. She cleared the water jump with a real verve and left the run in clear for Bahamdan. The time allowed for the completion of the 520-metre course was set at 88 seconds and skimming just over that, Bahamdan received a time penalty of one point for an otherwise perfect clear round, with no fences down.
“The team from Saudi Arabia are really showing what they can do,” said Tucker.
“KSA is now on the world stage. Saudi Arabia has impressed everybody this week. “
This round placed Bahamdan firmly into the group of 22 riders that would advance to the second and final round.
Ramzy Al Duhami on Bayard followed immediately after Bahamdan, Tucker noting that he replaced Sydney Bronze medallist Khaled Al Eid, but that “The four that are here have done their country proud.”
After a good start with Bayard looking keen, Al Duhami unexpectedly clipped the White Horse fence, one of the easier jumps, accruing four faults.
This seemed to unsettle the pair. On the last two-part combination, Al Duhami went ragged as a result of “a bit of an argument coming into the combination” between Al Duhami and Bayard (as commentator Andy Austin, himself a show jumper, put it ) and downed a fence for four faults as he realised that the time limit was pressing.
One more down and Al Duhami was out of medal contention finishing the round on a 12-point penalty; at this stage five riders had clear rounds ahead of him and there was a slew of one and four faulters.
Last into the ring for the Kingdom came HRH Prince Abdullah on the 12 year-old Davos. HRH Prince Abdullah was stretched to control Davos through the double that had caused Al Duhami a problem and then clipped two more for eight faults. The pair settled and cleared the final five fences of the round just outside the 80-second time limit and scored nine faults.
This left Bahamdan, with one time fault, as the remaining Saudi team member with a medal chance.
“What a show they have put on,” said Tucker as Kamal Bahamdan came out with a real chance at a medal and to loud applause from an enthusiastic crowd.
Bahamdan worked hard over the first few fences, fully aware of the time pressure. He needed to be settled into double combination and took control of Noblesse who responded magnificently. “This mare really does try and really has got some power off the floor,” noted Austin as Noblesse floated over the remaining fences, rattling a couple on the way.
“He is giving this everything, the Saudi Arabians have got better and better the further we have got into this show jumping discipline here,” added Tucker.
Kamal, like his team mates, rode with style, precision, grace, control, poise, balance and caution. It was caution that gave him a clear round but this cost Kamal another time fault – this time two points – after his second clear round.
As Bahamdan went clear, the appreciative crowd cheered then commiserated as they realised Bahamdan had just slipped over the time limit once again clocking 83.45 seconds.
He knows he won’t win gold, but what a performance,” said Tucker. “The Saudi Arabians have come very much onto the world and particularly the Olympic stage,” said Tucker.
Following Bahamdan, still in contention for a medal with only two penalty points and with six zero-point riders to go, the competition remained wide open.
As the leaders competed, where the winner would have to complete a clear round within the allotted time frame, the tiredness of the horses and the intense pressure began to tell.
The Team GB favourite 2012 gold medallist, Nick Skelton, picked up four points, and other riders collected faults until Bahamdan lay fourth with only two points.
The competition went to a win for Switzerland’s Steve Guerdat on Nino Des Buisonnets and a tie between The Netherlands’ Gerco Schroeder on London and Ireland’s Cian O’Connor riding Blue Lloyd. The decider was a jump-off over a shortened course between Schroeder and O’Connor.
In the final jump-off, Schoeder went clear and O’Connor picked up four points, resulting in a gold medal for Guerdat of Switzerland, silver for Schroeder and bronze for Ireland’s O’Connor.
Saudi Arabia’s Bahamdan came in fourth having ridden two clear rounds with one time fault in each.
The inspired vision of Custodian of the two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah, to create and invest in the Saudi Equestrian Fund with the intent of building a team that would bring home medals has been a huge success. It is a success that will strengthen the appeal and popularity of equestrianism in the Kingdom and inspire a generation.
In the words of one observer from the UK who has followed the team over the years, “The Saudi Equestrian Team has brought home the Kingdom’s first Olympic medal in a team sport. And just as significant, their superb riding skills, as well as their smiles and obvious joy and pride in competing so well have also won praise, popularity and respect in the eyes, hearts and minds of the 21,000 spectators at the Royal Greenwich Arena and from the countless millions around the world who followed the thrills and excitement of the London 2012 Olympic Show Jumping events.”
The Saudi Equestrian 2012 Olympic team, their support staff, trainers and coaches have given that legacy the solid foundation it needs on which to build King Abdullah’s dream.
7 August, 2012
Congratulations to HRH Prince Abdullah, Kamal Bahamdan, Ramzy Al Duhami and Abdullah Sharbatly, who pose for their well-deserved Team Bronze Medal at the London Olympic Games
2 August, 2012
London, 01 August 2012
A very special Ramadan Iftar (breakfast) celebration in honour of the London 2012 Olympic Games and Saudi Olympians was jointly hosted on the evening of Wednesday August 1, 2012 by HRH Prince Mohammed bin Nawaf Al Saud Ambassador of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and HRH Prince Nawaf bin Faisal Bin Fahd bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, President of the Saudi Arabian National Olympic Committee and Head of the Saudi Delegation to the 30th Olympic Games “London 2012”.
Among the guests were Saudi athletes qualified for qualified for the Games, including Ramzi Al Duhami, Kamal Bahamdan, Abdullah Sharbatly and HRH Prince Abdullah bin Miteb of the Saudi Equestrian Show Jumping Team.
Addressing more than 300 guests in the Great Hall of the British Museum after their private viewing of the Exhibition ‘The Horse: from Arabia to Royal Ascot’ which is supported by The Saudi Equestrian Fund; HRH Prince Mohammed bin Nawaf said “This is the 10th Olympics that Saudi Arabia has participated in and I am immensely proud of the 19 athletes, men and women, who have come here this year prepared to compete for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in this extraordinary feast of sportsmanship.”
The Ambassador reminded guests that The Prophet Mohammed (may peace be upon him) was a believer in the benefits of sport who famously said: “teach your children, archery, swimming and horse riding”.
“We will be showing some of those horse riding skills at the Olympics later this week – as well as other Olympic athletic skills.”
Explaining one of the reasons for the celebratory gathering in the British Museum where the Saudi-sponsored Exhibition, ‘The Horse from Arabia to Royal Ascot’ is being held; Prince Mohammed said “We can remember today that it is these skills on horseback that helped to reunite our country under King Abdulaziz less than a century ago.”
Prince Mohammed spoke of the spirit of the modern Olympics as “having a sense of real commitment, real dedication to what you believe in. Not looking at the outcome of that dedication but being committed to the journey,” adding that the month of Ramadan “reminds us even more strongly of that commitment and demands our dedication.”
The Ambassador concluded that the most important message of the Olympics is the message of peace and equality. “This vision of the world community coming together, not so much to compete but to celebrate what unites us rather than what divides us.”
Members of the Saudi Equestrian Show Jumping Team qualified for the 30th Olympic Games “London 2012.”
The Team members were present at a Ramadan Iftar (breakfast) on evening of Wednesday 01 August jointly hosted by HRH Prince Mohammed bin Nawaf Al Saud Ambassador of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and HRH Prince Nawaf bin Faisal Bin Fahd bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, President of the Saudi Arabian National Olympic Committee and Head of the Saudi Delegation to the 30th Olympic Games “London 2012”.
Other competing Saudi athletes also attended and the Iftar was preceded by a private viewing of the special British Museum Exhibition The Horse: from Arabia to Royal Ascot supported by The Saudi Equestrian Fund (runs to 30 September, 2012).
The four Saudi Equestrian riders are pictured in the British Museum Great Hall on the steps leading to the Horse Exhibition.
(From Left) Ramzy Al Duhami, Kamal Bahamdan, Abdullah Sharbatly, HRH Prince Abdullah bin Miteb
Saudi Equestrian Managing Director, Ziyad Abduljawad, is also present in one image to HRH Prince Abdullah’s left hand side.
23 July, 2012
23 July 2012
Luke Donald, Sally Gunnell, Dwight Yorke and other leading Mizuno ambassadors today launched the Japanese brands innovative new Performance Centre. Opening at central London’s iconic Centre Point building the pop up experience welcomes both Londoners and city visitors alike through its doors between 24th July and 12th August.
To the sound of traditional Japanese drumming, Sky Sports News presenter Charlotte Jackson started proceedings before President of the brand, Akito Mizuno, cut the ceremonial ribbon to officially open the Mizuno Performance Centre. Jackson then hosted a Q&A with the Mizuno ambassadors – Luke Donald, Sally Gunnell, Dwight Yorke, Tasha Danvers, Dan Norton, Simon Wittlin and Heidi Møller – who provided an insight into their own experiences of competing at major competitions. Whilst renowned Japanese brushstroke artist Hidekichi Shigemoto painted bespoke life size pieces which will be on display for the duration of the event.
World Number One Golfer Luke Donald commented, “It’s great to have been involved in the opening of the Mizuno Performance Centre, a stunning London attraction which I’m sure will be hugely popular this summer. Providing a great chance for visitors to try out different sports and test out the latest Mizuno equipment it’s a must for any sports fan.”
Demonstrating the state of the art activity zone supplied by GlobalGames®Sports, former Manchester United striker Dwight Yorke showed off his skills in the specially made football area whilst renowned England Rugby Sevens speedster Dan Norton went head to head with an augmented reality version of himself on the 20m track. And GB Handball players Simon Wittlin and Heidi Møller let loose on the handball court showing the gathered crowds what the sport can offer. Elsewhere in the specially designed space, visitors took advantage of the free biomechanical running analysis and tried out a variety of Mizuno sports products.
“I’m thrilled to be opening the Mizuno Performance Centre ahead of what will be a brilliant summer of sport” said Akito Mizuno. “We believe the iconic status of the building is a perfect reflection of the Mizuno brand. Our customers have a wonderful opportunity to try out the latest Seiei Collection products, interact with our sports stars and explore more about our Japanese heritage in what will be a truly exciting day out for all the family.”
Olympic Gold medallist Sally Gunnell, along with the other Mizuno ambassadors, showcased the brand’s limited edition Seiei Collection of footwear. ‘Seiei’ (pronounced “say ay”) is Japanese for the word ‘elite’ and this exclusive new range will be worn by Mizuno’s top sporting athletes this summer. The limited edition footwear range is made up of the renowned Wave Ronin 4, Wave Rider 15, Wave Kudos, Wave Universe 4 running shoes, as well as Volleyball’s Wave Lightning RX and Wave Tornado 7, the Wave Stealth 2 for Handball and the Morelia Neo MD for Football.
As a company founded in Osaka by brothers Rihachi and Rizo Mizuno in 1906, Mizuno has evolved from a small shop selling sporting sundries to a worldwide multisport network consistently crafting revolutionary technical goods to improve elite sporting performance. Despite their global growth, Mizuno has stayed loyal to the values and beliefs upon which it was founded and the Performance Centre showcases a wonderful blend of Japanese culture and advanced modern sports technology and innovation.
For your opportunity to visit the Mizuno Performance Centre, find out more about what is going on each day and to take part in all of the activities with prizes to be won, register online at www.mizunoseiei.com.
Additionally on weeknights from 24th July to 12th August the Mizuno Performance Centre is available for free corporate use. For your chance to have exclusive 7pm-10pm access to the space please register at www.mizunoseiei.com/corporate-hospitality.php.
Mizuno Performance Centre, Centre Point Building, 103, New Oxford Street, London, WC1A 1DU www.mizunoseiei.com.
Image – LONDON – JULY 23; Image of the main event space during the official launch of the Mizuno Performance Centre. (Photo by Mizuno via Getty Images)
Image 1 – LONDON – JULY 23; (l to r) Charlotte Jackson, Tasha Danvers, Sally Gunnell, Dwight Yorke, Dan Norton and Luke Donald pose for pictures with the Thames Daiko Drummers during the official launch of the Mizuno Performance Centre. (Photo by Mizuno via Getty Images)
Image 2 – LONDON – JULY 23; (l to r) Tasha Danvers, Sally Gunnell and Dwight Yorke pose for pictures with the Thames Daiko Drummers during the official launch of the Mizuno Performance Centre. (Photo by Mizuno via Getty Images)
Image 3 – LONDON – JULY 23; (l to r) Sally Gunnell, Tasha Danvers and Luke Donald pose in front of the brushstroke paintings of renowned Japanese artist Hidekichi Shigemoto at the official launch of the Mizuno Performance Centre. (Photo by Mizuno via Getty Images)
Image 4 – LONDON – JULY 23; (back l to r)Heidi Møller, Simon Wittlin, Tasha Danvers, Luke Donald, Sally Gunnell, Dwight Yorke and Dan Norton (front l to r) Akito Mizuno (Mizuno President), Charlotte Jackson, Jotaro Ueji (Mizuno Vice-President)and Hidekichi Shigemoto pose at the official launch of the Mizuno Performance Centre
Notes to Editors:
As part of the Seiei campaign the following Mizuno ambassadors will be wearing the elite range during 2012;
- Wave Stealth 2 (Handball) – Laszlo Nagy, Cristian Ugalde, Viran Morros
- Wave Lightning RX (Volleyball) – Jordan Larson
- Morelia Neo (Football) – Hulk
- Chrono Break WR-I (Sprinting) – Christian Malcolm
- GX2 (Swimming) – Federica Pellegrini
10 July, 2012
10 July 2012
It is our pleasure to inform you, on the behalf of Saudi Equestrian’s Board of Directors, that our team’s composition for the 2012 London Olympic Games, will be as follows:
- Ramzy Al Duhami, who will be riding Bayard van de Villa Theresia,
- HRH Prince Abdullah, riding Davos
- Abdullah Sharbatly with Sultan V
- Kamal Bahamdan riding Delphi
In the reserve spot lies Kamal Bahamdan with Noblesse des Tess. Kamal’s inclusion in the is the result of Khaled Al Eid’s recent withdrawal from the 2012 London Games due to Presley Boy falling ill with Laminitis.
We wish the talented team the best of luck at the London Olympic Games!
8 April, 2012
Great Britain men saved their best performance until last in the Pinsent Masons’ London Handball Cup at Crystal Palace National Sports Centre on Saturday, narrowly losing out to Korea 25-29.
After two defeats to world-class Tunisia and Argentina in the first couple of days, GB men turned on the style against the Koreans – none more so than Steven Larsson who used his height and skill in equal measure to score 14 goals for GB, who got better as the tournament went on despite playing against three of the best teams in the world who have qualified by right for the London Olympics this summer.
The plan for the Pinsent Masons’ London Handball Cup was to give Great Britain experience of playing against the top nations so they can better prepare for this summer’s Olympics. On that score it is very much ‘job done’ with lessons learned, and Great Britain will take heart from their performance against a very strong Korean side.
Great Britain’s Steven Larsson finished the tournament as top-scorer with 19 goals, while Korea’s Yi-Kyeong Jeong scored a total of 15.
Tunisia won the event overall with two wins and a draw, while Korea finished second.
Great Britain men will now begin preparations for the qualification tournament for the 2014 European Championship in Italy from June 8-10, where they will face Switzerland and Greece as well as the host nation.
Pinsent Masons’ London Handball Cup
April 5: Tunisia 30 Korea 25, Great Britain 15 Argentina 32.
April 6: Korea 31 Argentina 25, Great Britain 15 Tunisia 41.
April 7: Argentina 23 Tunisia 23, Great Britain 25 Korea 29.
5 April, 2012
Pinsent Masons Announced as title sponsor of London Handball Cup
International law firm Pinsent Masons has been unveiled as the title sponsor of the London Handball Cup, to be staged in the capital from 5th to 7th April 2012.
Great Britain Men’s handball team will take on Tunisia, South Korea and Argentina in the Pinsent Masons’ London Handball Cup at Crystal Palace National Sports Centre. The event forms a crucial part of the GB side’s preparations for this summer’s Olympic Games, and has been made possible thanks to considerable backing from UK Sport.
British Handball recently welcomed Pinsent Masons on board as one of a raft of new sponsors which included Collins Stewart Wealth Management, bolstering support for handball from the City’s financial quarter.
One of the fastest growing sports in the country, handball is set to become one of the hits of this summer’s Olympics with participation levels in schools, universities and community groups exploding across Britain.
Trevor Watkins, head of sport at Pinsent Masons, comments: “The inaugural Pinsent Masons’ London Handball Cup is a great platform for us as a multinational law firm. It will enable our staff and clients to engage in our partnership with GB Handball through a prestigious international event. Bringing together leading teams in a pre-Olympics tournament is a great opportunity for us to extend our support for the sport and invest in its future.”
UK Sport’s Head of Major Events, Esther Nicholls, said: “UK Sport is pleased to be supporting the Pinsent Masons’ London Handball Cup, which will be a fantastic showcase for handball in the UK, and will provide valuable experience for both the athletes and their support staff ahead of our home Games in under six months time.
“In the lead up to London 2012, 41 of the 46 Olympic and Paralympic sports have secured backing from UK Sport’s National Lottery funded World Class Events Programme to stage a major event, and handball will be the 41st of these, supporting our aspiration to ensure all sports are best prepared for the home staging of the London Olympic and Paralympic Games.”
British Handball Chief Executive Paul Goodwin said: “We’re delighted to have Pinsent Masons on board, not just as title sponsor for the Pinsent Masons’ London Handball Cup, but also going forward to the future as we continue to promote the sport.“The Olympics have given us a rare opportunity to introduce Britain to handball, a sport which is massively popular across the world because it is fun, fast and physical and can be played by people of all ages.“We look forward to working with UK Sport’s events team, Pinsent Masons and all our sponsors as the British teams prepare for the London Olympics. But also we look to the future and hope that some of the youngsters now playing handball for the first time might also achieve their own Olympic Dreams in Rio 2016 and 2020.”
Having British teams competing in the Olympic handball competition for the first time has given the sport a huge boost at grassroots level across the country, with England Handball and Scottish Handball working tirelessly to introduce the sport to as many people as possible.
England Handball reports a major rise in the number of people being introduced to the sport in schools – last year, 58,000 children were introduced to the sport by England Handball, compared to 10,500 three years ago. They were given a target of getting 3,000 youngsters regularly playing handball by 2013 – as of last year they had smashed that target and report that more than 9,000 have discovered just how much fun the sport is and play it regularly.
For further information and details on tickets for the Pinsent Masons London Handball Cup, please visit: http://britishhandball.ticketbud.com/pmlhc2012
2 March, 2012
1 March, 2012
Revolution Sports Marketing Group has been appointed by the Saudi Arabian Equestrian Team – Saudi Equestrian – to manage its website, and to also develop its online social media accounts including Twitter and Facebook.
In what promises to be an exciting year for Saudi Equestrian, with the 2012 London Olympic Games fast approaching, it is essential that fans are kept up-to-date with the team’s results, news and developments, including new acquisitions to this highly-regarded and constantly evolving outfit.
Saudi Equestrian was founded in January 2010 with the vision of taking the team through the 2010 World Equestrian Games in Lexington, Kentucky (USA), and to prepare for the 2012 London Olympic Games. Since its formation notable results include winning a team gold medal at the 2011 Pan Arab Games in Doha (QAT) and an individual silver medal at the 2010 World Equestrian Games in Kentucky (USA). The team comprises six riders and 12 horses, and is backed-up by a dedicated team of grooms, vets, farriers and management staff. The team is based at Haras de Wisbecq in Belgium, which is approximately 30km south west of Brussels.
Ziyad Abduljawad, Managing Director of Saudi Equestrian, himself a former show jumper, feels safe in the knowledge that Revolution has a broad and established understanding of equestrian, commenting: “Revolution impressed us with their creative thinking and knowledge of digital communications channels, coupled with their comprehensive portfolio of equestrian clients, and understanding of the sport. Revolution will be key in helping Saudi Equestrian develop its brand name, but also sharing its team news on a global scale.”
Following an Olympic qualifier in Doha (QAT) in December 2011, Saudi Equestrian gained official qualification to the London Games; this is the fourth time that a Saudi Arabian equestrian team has qualified for the Olympic Games, and the fifth time Saudi Arabia has been represented at the Olympic Games in show jumping.
On the team’s Olympic accomplishment, Ziyad Abduljawad commented: “This is a milestone for Saudi Equestrian and our country, and we are all thrilled that the years of preparation have paid off. We will be working closely with Revolution in the lead-up to the Games to maximise our exposure around the world through social media channels, and we are confident that they can help us achieve this”.
Rod Kohler, Managing Director of Revolution, commented: “We are delighted to have been appointed by Saudi Equestrian, and we look forward to working alongside such a dynamic and forward-thinking team. They have massive potential going into the 2012 London Olympic Games and we are excited to be part of their journey.”