Team Abu Dhabi’s Rashid Al-Mulla got his bid to clinch the Freestyle category in the UIM-ABP Freestyle World Championship off to the perfect start by winning his qualifying heat on Khalid Lagoon in Sharjah on Tuesday afternoon.
The 31-year-old Emirati rider delivered a polished acrobatic display of spins, flips, barrel-rolls, fountains, somersaults and combinations reaching a score of 90 points for style and quantity to claim the early bragging rights.
Roberto Mariani was judged to be second with a total of 77 points whereas the UAE’s Ali Abdeljalil rounded off the top three gaining 58 points overall.
Russia’s Alexander Kuramshin had been the first on the water in front of the judges and VIP grandstand but only managed to obtain the 5th place with a total score of 52 points.
A rather satisfied Al-Mulla stated:
I am so excited to be riding my bike here in Sharjah at the last round. I have prepared hard and will be looking to win this race. I feel a little extra pressure. I am a bit nervous. I have been working on this programme now for almost seven years.
2018 UIM-ABP World Championship – Grand Prix of Sharjah
Freestyle – Qualifying heat result
1. Rashid Al-Mulla (UAE) 90pts
2. Roberto Mariani (ITA) 77pts
3. Ali Abdeljali (UAE) 58pts
4. Paolo Nunes (PRT) 53pts
5. Alexander Kuramshin (RUS) 52pts
6. Alberto Camerlengo (ITA) 50pts