A view of the Al Shaqab Arena being spruced up for the two-day Champion of Champions round this week.
DOHA: A prize bag of $25,000 and key race points will be up for grabs at Al Shaqab Arena where the world’s top male and female athletes take part in the Champion of Champions round today and tomorrow.
Hosted by the Qatar Foundation in cooperation with the Qatar Olympic Committee (QOC), the world renowned state-of-the art facilities at Al-Shaqab equestrian centre is the venue for the popular pentathlon event. The end-of-year showpiece Champion of Champions eventll be staged two venues - Al Shaqab Arena and Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development Recreation Centre.
A total of 36 competitors from 15 nations are will be eyeing the rich prize bag and awards to be given away by world body UIPM and sponsor RAM Watches.
This Champion of Champions will see the athletes first compete with their epees in the Round Robin before then battling it out in the very first international ladder fencing competition. The 200m swim will then be followed by a tricky equestrian course with 12 obstacles, including one double and one triple jump. The combined run shoot will then determine the winners. Defending women’s champion Margaux Isaksen from US was very excited at the prospect of lining up today.
“I have never seen facilities like these, they are on simply on another level,” she said.
The American 22-year-old World No.4 was in high spirits and looking forward to the challenge ahead. One of her main rivals in the draw will be the in-form Brazilian Yane Marques, the London 2012 bronze medallist who took silver at the Worlds in August, and she will be gunning for the title in the absence of World No.1 Laura Asadauskaite.
The Ukrainian duo of Ganna Buryak and Viktoria Tereshuk will be real threats with the two the dominant forces in the World Cup Series this year, winning 4 out of the 5 available gold medals.