x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Emirati powerboat racer to return after surgery

Ahmed Al Hameli is expected to continue the season after he recovers from surgery to remove a blood clot in his head.

Ahmed Al Hameli, left, is expected to be back in the water for the final two races of the year, following the removal of a blood clot in his head. At right is his Team Abu Dhabi partner, Thani Al Qamzi.
Ahmed Al Hameli, left, is expected to be back in the water for the final two races of the year, following the removal of a blood clot in his head. At right is his Team Abu Dhabi partner, Thani Al Qamzi.

DUBAI // The Emirati powerboat racer Ahmed Al Hameli is expected to resume racing this season after he recovers from surgery to remove a blood clot in his head.

The leader of the F1 UIM World Championship, Al Hameli, 33, underwent surgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, after Ramadan, according to Khalid Al Saadi, a spokesman for the Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club.

Mr Al Saadi said the clot was not racing-related. Doctors at Sheikh Khalifa Medical City in Abu Dhabi found the clot during Ramadan and Al Hameli left for the United States soon after.

"They made a small surgery, and he'll be back to work," Mr Al Saadi said. "He will continue racing this season."

He said it was too early, however, to give a date for Al Hameli's return to Team Abu Dhabi.

Scott Gillman, the team manager, said it was possible that Al Hameli could miss the next race, in Liuzhou, China on October 1 and 2, but said the powerboat driver would be back for the final two races, which are in Abu Dhabi and Sharjah in late November and early December.

"Of course, we will do our best job to try to keep some boats up front and get some of the points" in the next race, Mr Gillman said. "He's leading by nine points now but he is still in contention for the last two races."

Al Hameli won in Doha in March, came second in Russia in June and came second in the Grand Prix of Ukraine in July.

eharnan@thenational.ae