With Ironman Cairns taking place this weekend, members of the Bahrain Endurance Team have converged at Australia’s tropical paradise to test themselves at the world’s most grueling single-day endurance event. Leading by example is team captain His Highness Shaikh Nasser Bin Hamad Al Khalifa who has prepared meticulously for the 3.8-kilometer swim, 180-kilometer cycle, and 42-kilometer run.
The “Prince of Sport”, whose vision of a better health and future for Bahrainis through endurance sport spawned the elite Bahrain Endurance Team, is an accomplished triathlete. Last year, he won the first edition of the Dubai Desert Triathlon Race and completed his first Ironman in South Africa. He has also competed in numerous events over the 70.3 distance, qualifying for the Ironman 70.3 world championship in Mallorca last month. His charitable institution the Nasser Bin Hamad Foundation has also hosted Olympic distance races in Bahrain.
Originally slated to join Ironman France, the Chairman of the Supreme Council for Youth and Sport and President of the Bahrain Olympic Committee decided on the Cairns race as it is a major race for the Bahrain Endurance Team. HH Shaikh Nasser is joined by James Cunnama of the Bahrain Endurance 13 at the full distance. Team members Caroline Steffen and Sam Appleton will see action in the concurrent 70.3 distance. The prince has also arrived with a sizeable contingent from the Bahrain national triathlon team.
Upon his arrival into Cairns yesterday, one of his first official duties was to make friends with the local wildlife of Australia.
The prince is fit, relaxed, and hopes to perform at his best on race day to secure one of the coveted spots to race the Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii.
“I’m very excited to be here in Cairns, it is my first time to this beautiful place and country. I am happy to be here with my extended Bahrain national team and looking forward to racing on Sunday with members of the Bahrain ENDURANCE 13 team and doing my very best to qualify for the World Championships.
“I would like to extend my thanks to the Queensland Government and Ironman for hosting such a grand community event.
“I wish all my fellow competitors a safe journey on Sunday.” H.H. Shaikh Nasser said.