UAE swimmer Yousuf Al Matrooshi competes during the heats of the men's 100m freestyle on Tuesday.
Gulf Today Report
Promising UAE swimmer Yousuf Al Matrooshi made his Olympics debut on Tuesday and produced an impressive run in the heats of the men's 100m freestyle competition.
The Emirati clocked a timing of 51:50 seconds in the third round of the competition. The event had nine rounds in total where 70 swimmers were in action. The top 16 advanced to the semi-finals while the best eight managed to find their way to the final, which will take place on Wednesday.
Despite failing to reach the semi-finals, Matrooshi stressed that the experience of competing in the Olympics will help him in future.
“I want to improve and achieve more success in my career. I aspire to represent the UAE again in the next Olympic Games scheduled to be held in Paris 2024 and in Los Angeles 2028. For which I have to start working now.”
The UAE’ swimmer has also been named as one of the two Emirati wildcard entrants who will represent the nation at this year’s FINA World Swimming Championships (25m). Matrooshi, 18, and Layla Al Khatib, 14, will be the two Emirati athletes pitted against elite international swimmers at the FINA World Swimming Championships (25m) which is scheduled to take place at Yas Island’s hugely impressive Etihad Arena from Dec.16-21.
"I will now turn focus on getting the best results possible. I will train hard and give my best shot at the upcoming events including FINA World Swimming Championships (25m) in Abu Dhabi as well as Arab and Gulf Swimming Championships, Both the events are challenging for all the participating swimmers to gain new experiences and develop their professional level optimally,” added Matrooshi.
Matrooshi expressed his pride in representing the UAE in his first participation. He appreciated the support of the UAE National Olympic Committee, General Sports Authority, Swimming Federation and Dubai Sports Council. He also thanked various sports organizations who supported him.
Meanwhile, Shehab Ahmed Al Fahim, UAE Ambassador to Japan, visited the Games village and met Emirati athletes.
He hailed the participation of the UAE squad. “The efforts for our athletes is the greatest evidence of their keenness to represent the nation, expressing their loyalty to the UAE and their pride in its history, culture and unique gains.”
Fahim was optimistic of success at the two crucial events this year, namely Olympic Games Tokyo and the Expo Dubai, which is hosted by Dubai for the first time in the Middle East under the slogan ‘Connecting Minds and Creating the Future’.
"Such events make everyone feel proud and happy because it reflects the sincere and honorable state that everyone feels when they see the flag of their country flying high before the entire world,” he added.
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