UAE’s Hamda Al Hosani competes during the athletics competition of the Special Olympics World Games in Dubai.
Dubai: UAE’s Hamda Al Hosani clinched silver in 4x100 metres relay competition of the UAE Special Olympic World Games as athletics competitions ended at Dubai Police Club on Wednesday.
While teaming up with Reem Al Blooshi, Momena Shirdal and Fadwa Abdul Qader, she finished behind Chinese Taipei with a timing of 1:08.08 seconds. She had earlier won gold in 200 metres and a silver in the 100 metres run.
Meanwhile, the UAE paddlers claimed two gold medals, three silvers and a bronze as the five-member contingent ended up winning a medal each.
Khalid Ali Al Shehhi bagged two golds in the men’s singles and unified doubles teaming up with Faisal Ahmad Abbas. Mohammad Al Mas along with Ahmad Hamad Al Ketbi claimed a silver in the Unified doubles and later also went on to clinch a bronze in the singles.
In the unified doubles, Shehhi and Ahmad Abbas made a clean sweep beating Germany, Portugal and Belgium on their way to gold.
Rebecca Hatcher might not have a gold, silver or a bronze medal to wear on her journey home from the World Games, instead she’ll take with her priceless memories and new friendships.
Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019 has been a wonderful experience for the 21-year-old, who represents the UAE in swimming.
Born and raised in the UAE to American parents, Rebecca took part in the 50-meter backstroke, 100m freestyle and 4x25m freestyle relay competitions held at the Hamdan Sports Complex in Dubai.
She finished 4th, 5th and 4th respectively in her three events and was presented with a participation award.
Despite not getting her hands on one of the more prestigious prizes, Rebecca took the time to speak with World Games Abu Dhabi Special Correspondents Brendyn Monsorate, Bilal Hafeez and Christopher Swaminathan about her experiences at the World Games.
“It’s an amazing opportunity for us to meet athletes from around the world during these Special Olympics,” she said.
“We all can do great things around the world. The World Games will bring a lot of change in the lives of people of determination,” said Rebecca, who also thanked Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan for supporting people of determination in the UAE and around the globe.
Saudi Arabia Special Olympics bocce athlete Shahad Sunbul has won three golds and two silvers at the Special Olympics World Games. Yet when asked about her favorite memories, this 15-year-old Jeddah native points to all the new friendships she has made and the confidence she has found.
“The Games have changed our lives for the best,” said Abdullah Sunbul, Shahad’s father, from the sidelines of her doubles bocce match. Shahad competed alongside teammate and friend Sara Felemban, 17.
“When we found out we would be coming through the Jeddah Help Center, we were very happy. It has helped make Shahad stronger. She is more focused and has new friends,” he said. “Shahad has even learned to accept losing when it happens, and has learned all about having a sporting spirit. She says they are all winners,” added Abdullah.
In addition to Shahad and Sara’s bocce games, Saudi Arabian athletes competed across numerous sports on Tuesday. Results include one gold in athletics - standing long jump from Juri Alquthmi; one silver in standing long jump from Bashayr Sawwaf; one gold in athletics - 100m run won by Mohammed Alrefai; and one gold in 25m swimming, won by Faisal Adel Algosaibi.
“The basketball team beats as one heart,” said 22-year-old Maan Alkhidr, a player on the Saudi Arabia men’s unified basketball team. The men’s team played against Cote d’Ivoire on Tuesday. “We are so proud to be here today with people from all over. Win or lose, we are in this together.”
As the largest team ever to represent Saudi Arabia at Special Olympics World Games, 50 athletes - 21 female and 29 male - are participating across 10 sports throughout the event, including basketball, bocce, athletics, powerlifting, roller skating, swimming, triathlon, table tennis, bowling and unified sports. They are accompanied to Abu Dhabi by a delegation including representatives from Special Olympics Saudi Arabia Federation (SOSAF), coaches, and healthcare professionals, as well as their family and more than 200 volunteers from Saudi Arabia.