Iraqi cyclists prepare for club championship

Iraqi cyclists won top places in both Arab and Asian competitions last year. [Jacky Naegelen / Reuters]

Iraqi cyclists won top places in both Arab and Asian competitions last year. [Jacky Naegelen / Reuters]

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Iraqi cycling clubs are preparing to compete in the first stage of the Iraqi cycling club championship, set to begin February 24th in Najaf province.

Ahmed Sabri, secretary of the Iraqi Central Cycling Federation (ICCF), said the federation is focusing on the club championship because Iraqi cyclists did not receive the necessary visas to participate in the Asian youth championship that will be held in Thailand later this month.

"The federation is now working on preparing Iraqi male and female cyclists for the Arab tournament that will be held in the Qatari capital of Doha at the end of this year," Sabri said. "We hope to win different medals this year."

In addition to the tournament in Doha, the Iraqi national cycling team will also participate in the South Korea international championship in April, the Azerbaijan international championship in May, Golan championship in Syria in June and Marmara international championship in Turkey in July.

"The players of the Iraqi national team will be chosen based on the results of the first round of the local league," Sabri said. "The players will start their training sessions under the supervision of trainer Ali Hameed early next March. The federation is trying to overcome the negative aspects of the game and focus on a plan to ensure that achievements are made according to a strategic vision that would bring the game back to the forefront."

The ICCF also received official approval and funding from the Ministry of Youth and Sports to build a cycling track in Baghdad.

"This step will be very beneficial for Baghdadi clubs in particular, since the clubs will overcome the current problem of the absence of a track where players can train. This was one of the most difficult obstacles impeding the development of the sport," said Dhiya Adin Abbas, trainer of al-Sinaa Cycling Club.

Al-Sinaa took second place in the Iraqi cycling club championship last season. Erbil won the tournament and al-Kahrabaa took third place.

Iraq's national youth team won third place in the Arab championship held in the United Arab Emirates last July. In addition, an Iraqi cyclist won third place last April in the 2010 Asian Championship, which was also held in the UAE.

The Iraqi women's team has also had considerable success. Iraqi female cyclists won three silver medals in the Arab championship hosted by the UAE two years ago.

The ICCF was founded in 1956. It joined the Asian Cycling Federation in 1971 and the Arab Cycling Federation in 1975.

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  • READER COMMENTS

    هاشم

    2011-8-16

    The preparations of most Iraqi teams and clubs to participate in the Iraqi league of air bikes is a good thing, as these preparations will make this league more beautiful, as it will start in Erbil.

  • عصام خلدون

    2011-8-8

    The Iraqi Cycling Championship needs more care and attention. It is true that the competitors are preparing for it and doing their best, but I hope that more care is granted for such events and festivals in different countries in the world, and that all the supplies and requirements to guarantee success is provided. We are still in need for further support for these types of sports, and I hope that the Ministry of Sport and Youth really supports cycling.

  • حمزة البصراوي

    2011-5-20

    I wish I could achieve the gold medal, because I am one of the big fans of cycling. By the way, I have a bike, and those who want to join Basra Cycling Team, please call me

  • كاظم رزوقي

    2011-3-9

    Like many other sports in Iraq, bicycling is suffering from the limited resources that caused the decline of this beautiful sport, which has many fans. Thus, it is important to support bicycling and promote it by helping the competitors to take positive steps to reach a high level of readiness and preparedness, and to increase their expertise in order to convey a good image of Iraq in all the tournaments abroad. Bicycling is in need of more care from the officials of the Iraqi Central Cycling Union and of the Iraqi Olympic Committee, in order to develop this popular sport, which is practiced by many youth, even in public places.

  • حميد رشيد

    2011-3-9

    Bicycling is one of the most beautiful sports in Iraq. However, it needs a lot of work and support in order to be developed and improved. The sport of bicycling in Iraq suffers from a lack of resources that prevent it from being developed and from gaining an important position through participating in various tournaments. It should be noted that bicycling is one of the oldest sports in Iraq, and it has existed for many decades. However, due to a lack of support and care, it has not achieved its desired position. In fact, bicycling is not only an official sport, but it is also a daily activity of Iraqis. Thus, I think that it is important to support the Iraqi Central Cycling Union, the national team and the provincial teams, in order to improve this sport so it can reach a prestigious position that will enable our teams to participate effectively in all the Arab and world tournaments. The progress of this sport can also be achieved through participation with Arab and international teams and through sending the Iraqi teams to training camps abroad to learn about international expertise. It is also important to provide the most modern sport equipment, such as pneumatic bicycles, to the team members, in order to improve their skills and fitness.

  • حنظل مكطوف

    2011-3-8

    I wish I could have a bicycle to use for moving around the city with my friends, because I love bicycling, as it is safe and light-weight, and has few breakdowns. Bicycling also does not pollute the air, because it works through muscle energy, and it is an important way to activate the body and the blood circulation, to lose weight and strengthen the muscles of the human body. For anyone who wants to lose weight, bicycling is very useful and entertaining. It is also useful to get around within the city or to go shopping. Moreover, bicycling is a sport that has local, national and international competitions at the present time, and it has its own clubs, federations, refereeing committees, plans and programs to organize this beautiful sport. This sport has fans who love and follow up on the sport's events everywhere, especially after the developments in the industry of racing bicycles, which differ in form and speed from the common bicycles used by people in cities and towns. The bicycle was important in Iraq several years ago, as a means of transportation used by most people, due to the lack of cars at that time, as well as the low price of bicycles, which could meet the needs of citizens who used it to get to their jobs, go shopping or visit their friends. Later, bicycling became a sport, and bicycles became tools for racing, but it still does not rise to the required level in Iraq. This sport needs more attention by the government, to develop the Iraqi national team of bicycling by providing the team with newly manufactured and sophisticated bicycles that will enable the Iraqi contestants to achieve victory and excellence. Those competitors need to get more attention in this area, such as the establishment of training camps for the Iraqi national team and the competitions within the country between different clubs, as well as physical training to raise the level of fitness and endurance, in order to achieve

  • زامل هاشم

    2011-3-6

    Mondher Najm has chaired the Iraqi Cycling Federation since 1976. The Federation participated in an Asian tournament held in Thailand, as well as an Arab one held in Libya. Mondher is one of the most prominent stars in Iraqi sports. In fact, he won many tournaments. Najm is currently a member of the Arab Cycling Federation. Besides, he has a very good reputation. The bicyclists Rasha Rifaat and Ghofran Hussein have won several gold and silver medals. Furthermore, bicycling is one of the fittest sports activities, because it helps develop a balanced, straight and fit body. It is also one of the most important sports for the abdominal muscles. Thus, we call on the Iraqi Sports Federation to increase their interest in this sport in order to create champions who are able to achieve more victories.

  • ولاء سلام

    2011-3-6

    I have been one of the most zealous fans of this sport since I was a child. If ever you provide us with all requirements and capabilities, I will achieve my dream, God willing. In fact, I hope that you will provide us with bikes and other relevant requirements. I hope that you will care for this sport, not only for me, but also for many professional bicyclists, who did not have the opportunity to participate in this distinguished sport. God willing, we will remain hopeful!

  • جمال جعفر سالم

    2011-3-6

    Biking is one of the most important sports in Iraq. However, there are no financial capabilities to improve this sport for the sake of civil development at all levels. Officials must pay attention to this interesting sport seeing as horseback riding and biking are among the most important sports. That is why we need to develop them, in order to participate with other countries.

  • جليل حبيب

    2011-3-5

    Financial means earmarked for bicycling are really limited. Thus, we should work on its development by providing financial means and positive plans. In fact, most countries in the world are fighting to win titles and gold medals in bicycling competitions. I hope that Iraq will be one of these countries that participate in all the races that are held in the world. I also hope we pay more attention to this sport, by providing good coaches and choosing excellent competitors who have the ability to ride a bicycle for long distances, and we must improve their expertise. In fact, the competitor must be aware of his ability, and he must know when he should increase or reduce his speed, in order to maintain his energy and effort. Thus, all of these things need good coaches and continuity in training, through the providing of long tracks.

  • وحيد حمادي

    2011-3-5

    If we want to develop bicycling in Iraq, we must work on organizing races. This will involve a lot of Iraqi competitors and will add to their experience and increase their strength. It will also increase the sport’s popularity in Iraq. We just need more support for this sport and other sports in Iraq, because almost all of them suffer from the lack of support and financial means.

  • زيدون

    2011-3-3

    The sport of bicycling in Iraq is going through difficulties and it lacks support. Sufficient support should be given to this important sport, which is essential for maintaining good health in general. So, it should be encouraged, because many of the adolescents in our country like to ride bicycles, and therefore these talents should be made use of, and sportsmen of the highest agility and experience should be selected by offering them continual training and having them participate in the bicycling championships that are held in many countries. This sport is not very costly; so, is it difficult to import quality bicycles and select good participants and provide support to this sport? All that it needs is for its status to be improved. By having regular training sessions for the participants and providing them with proper riding skills and teaching them how to cover long distances rapidly, they will be able to participate in tournaments and win the top titles.

  • سامر ناصري

    2011-3-3

    The sport of bicycling requires top cyclists who undergo a set training program, and they need to be strong and possess athletic body types, with strong leg muscles. They have to have the endurance to ride long distances or sprint for short distances, according to the type of competition. This is why the focus should be on these important aspects, and also on providing fitness coaches that are highly qualified. Also, time and training locations should be made available, and the competitors should be under direct supervision in order to develop their talents. Then it will be possible to win championships in many bicycling competitions.

  • جاسم المحمداوي

    2011-2-27

    Mondher Najm has chaired the Iraqi Cycling Federation since 1976. The Federation participated in an Asian tournament held in Thailand, as well as an Arab one held in Libya. Mondher is one of the most prominent stars in Iraqi sports. In fact, he won many tournaments. Najm is currently a member of the Arab Cycling Federation. Moreover, he has a very good reputation. The bicyclists Rasha Rifaat and Ghofran Hussein have won several gold and silver medals. Furthermore, bicycling is one of the fittest sports activities, because it helps develop a balanced, straight and fit body. It is also one of the most important sports for the abdominal muscles. Thus, we call on the Iraqi Sports Federation to increase their interest in this sport in order to create champions who are able to achieve more victories.

  • ابو جواد

    2011-2-27

    Bicycling is one of the most important sports, especially in Iraq. However, there are no financial capacities to improve this sport for the sake of progress and development at all levels. Thus, officials must pay attention to this interesting sport. In fact, horseback riding and bicycling are among the most important sports. We need to develop these two particularly in order to participate with other countries.

  • مصطفى رائد

    2011-2-26

    Bicycles have been used in Iraq for decades; they have been one of the most important means of transportation among people, and many employees used them to go back and forth to their work. In addition, they were used by mailmen to deliver letters to people's homes or to government departments. The use of bicycles by females in Iraq was uncommon, and was limited to certain areas of Baghdad. Later, and after the spread of this phenomenon in Iraq, cycling became one of the sports in Iraq, and special race bicycles were brought to Iraq. This sport has many benefits for the human body, as it improves bodily functions and maintains human health when people exercise, cycling for ten minutes a day. This helps them to enjoy high physical fitness, because it stimulates blood circulation in the body, strengthening the muscles and helping with weight loss. They are also easy to ride and not very risky, as the bicycle riders can maneuver with them. Various races have been organized for this sport in Iraq, and specialized teams were formed in order to participate in Arab and international tournaments. Iraq participated in cycling tournaments that were held in some Arab countries, in order to prepare for the championships of the Arab states. Despite the lack of possibilities of the Cycling Federation of Iraq, it managed to form a national team representing Iraq in the Arab races, and we hope it can make progress in the competitions conducted in this regard.

  • مهند علي

    2011-2-25

    The sport of cycling in Iraq suffers from lack of necessary equipment; but this sport and all sports should be developed, because young people really need such things. The difficult circumstances that Iraqis have been through have hugely affected security and life in general, which turned the attention of the Iraqi youth to the living conditions and the security situation. The cowardly operations, the murder of people, together with the lack of sports halls, competitions and sports festivals, all have resulted in the extinction of sports in Iraq. So we hope, now after all that we have gone through, that things will return to the way they were, that cycling is developed and that the youth will practice this sport. We also hope that open spaces will be provided, in order to organize cycling competitions in them.

  • محسن فوزي

    2011-2-25

    All of us wanted to ride a bicycle when we were young. Cycling is a very popular sport, and I am one of its fans. Most of the young people will practice it if it gets a little attention from sports specialists, and if it gets allocated some funds for the sake of its development.

  • احمد مزعل

    2011-2-25

    Iraq needs to develop a lot of sports, including cycling, which is one of the most beautiful sports that are popular among young people. Therefore, I would like to ask the authorities responsible for sports to provide athletes with all the requirements, like sports halls and open spaces, and to organize cycling competitions, so as to engage the youth in healthy free-time activities, instead of harmful things like smoking or other things.

  • هشام

    2011-2-21

    Unfortunately, cycling has totally disappeared, particularly in Iraq. I love this sport because it supplies the human body with energy, since it helps exercise all muscles and especially the abdomen. In fact, we notice that most gyms, where people exercise, use stationary bikes. While Iraq has ignored this sport, we should revive it and restore our glories in this respect. Thank God, the Iraqi team participated in the competition held in Tunisia, and it still has an opportunity to compete with the UAE and South Korea. However, we are not confident that they will win, because they suffer a lack of capabilities. Still, we hope that the cyclists will win and excel again. Therefore, we call on the government and the Iraqi National Olympic Committee to cooperate in order to create all possible opportunities and favorable conditions to defeat other teams. Did you know that bikes are most used in China? We do not seek to become like China, where there is a large but useless number of bikes. We hope that the officials will hear us so that we can achieve victory and progress.

  • سالم نوري

    2011-2-20

    The sport of cycling is considered one of the most beautiful sports and enjoys great popularity in Iraq, as it is constantly practiced by Iraqi sportsmen and the public, because the use of bicycles is very common in Iraq. In spite of the presence of the sport of cycling through its union, which is considered one of the first sports unions in Iraq, the sport of cycling remains in great need of constant work to be done, to develop this sport and move it forward to make its mark among Arab and foreign teams, and to obtain trophies in different continental and international tournaments. The sport of cycling is suffering from a severe shortage of supplies required for developing this sport and putting it in the lead of the advanced sports, because of its importance and its immense popularity.

  • زين احمد

    2011-2-20

    The sport of cycling in Iraq needs a lot of support and backup to change its conditions, as these conditions suffer from many shortcomings regarding the qualifications, which play a great role in developing the sport of cycling if such qualifications were made available. Iraq has many clubs for this sport in its different governorates, and these have an active role. However, most of the members of these clubs, along with the players of the national bicycling team, suffer from a severe shortage in equipment and the financial support that would lead to reviving the conditions of this sport, which has a great audience, fans and amateurs. The officials responsible for the union of this sport have to work on developing the conditions for the cycling sport and dedicate more attention to it, because it is a popular sport, whose union was formed nearly fifty years ago.

  • اياد محمود

    2011-2-20

    We demand that real support and attention be given to the Cycling Federation in Iraq, by providing all the means which would lead to making all the international participations of Iraq in this sport serious and effective, and would lead to giving it a unique presence in the international tournaments.

  • مهدي

    2011-2-20

    The sport of cycling in Iraq, in spite of Iraqi participation, still needs support by the officials responsible for the sport and by the Iraqi Olympic Committee, due to the lack of international participation by the national team with the advanced players of this sport. This sport is in dire need of holding international camps and training courses to develop, advance and revive this sport. It also needs care to be given to the coaches responsible for training the Iraqi cycling team, in order to develop their coaching capabilities and to have them gain more experience. This will help them run their affairs and train our national cycling team to be able to participate strongly in the different tournaments it takes part in.

  • alaue

    2011-2-13

    Thank you evry one for this internet wibsite because in this site iam find any thenk ineed it and for second time i say thank you for evry one is worked in thes chanal