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.
The 31-year-old Emirati delivered another polished acrobatic display of spins, flips, barrel-rolls, fountains, somersaults and combinations to earn a score of 90 points for style and quantity. World No 1 Roberto Mariani was second and the UAE’s Ali Abdeljalil rounded off the top three. Russia’s Alexander Kuramshin had been the first on the water in front of the judges and VIP grandstand.
Al Mulla said: “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.”
The Moto 1 and Moto 2 heats take centre stage on Wednesday from 10am and 3pm respectively.