(MENAFN- Khaleej Times) Salukis, the Bedouin hunting dogs, will once again put on a show of speed and stamina at the 11th edition of Saluki Championship organised by the Hamdan Bin Mohammed Heritage Centre (HHC).
The championship will kick off with two days of qualifying matches on March 10 and11 for amateur and professional categories respectively, at Al Marmoum area (Circle 11) in Dubai.
Saluki, a breed which originated in China, is among the first canine breeds to be domesticated in the world and Bedouins have been using salukis to hunt for thousands of years. Salukis or greyhounds can run on a speed of up to 65kmph. In 1996, the Guinness World Records listed the fastest saluki as having reached a speed of 68.8kmph.
At the race, salukis will run towards the prey and to the finish line. The results of the championship are based on the speed of the salukis and the number of rounds.
Male and female salukis will race over distances of 1,000 metres and 2,500 metres during this championship, according to Suad Ibrahim Darwish, director of championships at HHC,
"We are leaving no stone unturned in preparation for this heritage event from the registration process and the installation of smart collars. We have overcome all challenges to ensure the satisfaction of all participants in this traditional sport," Darwis added.
"The championship is one of the most important and prestigious events in the country, attracting large numbers of residents and tourists. It is held in an area that is easily accessible and regularly features important races in the UAE, sporting fans get a chance to witness a world class local championship," she underlined.
According to HHC, there will be qualifying matches in both amateur and professional categories with the top three in each race advancing to the finals.
Juma Khalifa Al Muhairi, chairman of the Saluki Tournament Committee, explained: "Unlike last season, it won't be a direct final. There will be a qualifying round in both amateur and professional categories so that the best compete in the final. We expect to have 10 matches of racing in the qualifying rounds but there could be more depending on the number of entries," he said.
"This season there are requests for participation from countries around the region such as Bahrain and Kuwait. We expect to see an increase in the number of participation in both categories from last year. This is a reflection of the centre's efforts to review and upgrade the championship each year by improving the organisational and technical aspects of the competition as the number of contestants increase," he added.
"The participants will also be given a chance to select which qualifying race to enter. We are providing many services to ease the process of registration. There will also be routine testing of blood samples of participating salukis who will also get two weeks to rest and prepare for the finals," Al Muhairi concluded.
About the championship The 11th edition of Saluki Championship is organised by the Hamdan Bin Mohammed Heritage Centre (HHC). The championship will kick off with two days of qualifying matches on March 10 and11 for amateur and professional categories respectively.
At the race, salukis will run towards the prey and to the finish line. The results of the championship are based on the speed of the salukis and the number of rounds. Male and female salukis will race over distances of 1,000 metres and 2,500 metres during this championship.
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