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UAE jet-ski rider takes top honours in Round 2

posted on 27/05/2015: 1711 views



The UAE's Khalifa Belselah has vouched he will go all out for the world crown after taking the overall lead in the UIM-ABP Aquabike World Championship in Italy last weekend.

Belselah led a clean sweep of Gulf riders while winning the Runabout GP1 category at the Grand Prix of Italy held in Castro. Belselah was followed by Kuwait's Yousuf Abdul Razzaq and Qatar's Thamer Al Darwish as the race came to an exciting end last weekend.

The win enabled the jet-ski rider from the UAE to push to the top of the overall standings in the Runabout GP1 class with 67 points. Qatar's Al Darwish is in second with 62 points, Abdul Razzaq in third with 56, Jeremy Perez in fourth with 53 points and Jean-Baptiste Botti in fifth with 52.

"Definitely, this is such a huge achievement for me personally as I was racing against the best jet-ski riders in the world. I knew that if I wanted to be competitive and win against such a field, I would have to just stick to my gameplan and run my own race till the end,” Belselah told Gulf News after landing in Dubai late on Monday.

"Last week's results have thrown the race for top honours wide open and I am determined to give off my best in the next two rounds and bring the world title to the UAE. There is no better feeling than hearing the UAE national anthem at the end of a race. I feel confident I can go all out and win this,” he added.

Though it was Benselah who went on to take the overall honours, it was his rival Jean-Baptiste Botti who grabbed the headlines for winning the second heat after starting from last place and finishing more than 50 seconds clear of the chasing pack.

It was sweet revenge for the 28-year-old from Corsica as he had been stripped of his win in Heat One following a protest, and Belselah was handed the win.

Starting from the back of the third row in the 21-rider field, Botti was quickly up to sixth place at the end of the first lap. Two laps later, he had managed to go past countrymen Teddy Pons and Francois Medori even as Belselah, Abdul Razzaq and Al Darwish maintained their lead at the front.

But another lap gone and there was no stopping Botti as he powered his way past Al Darwish, Abdul Razzaq and finally Belselah to notch a clear win.

"For sure, this is the biggest win of my career as a jet-ski rider,” Belsaleh said.

"It was a difficult race held in tricky conditions. But what was important is to get to the end and get the overall win in the Grand Prix,” he added.

Belselah now has the entire summer and beyond to prepare for the third round of the UIM-ABP Aquabike World Championships to be held in the Chinese north-central city of Luizhou from October 3-4 followed by the fourth and final round in Sharjah on December 19-20. – Gulf News - http://gulfnews.com/sport/uae/boat-racing/belselah-vows-total-focus-after-winning-1.1522112

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