Members of the UAE squad for Tokyo Paralympic Games pose for a picture with Etihad Airways crew ahead of their departure. Courtesy: Etihad Airways Twitter
Gulf Today, Staff Reporter
Etihad Airways, the national airline of the UAE, hosted 32 members of the UAE Paralympic Committee on their journey to the 2020 Paralympic Games taking place in Tokyo, Japan.
The Olympic Games reached a spectacular finale on Aug.8, and the excitement continues as the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games open on Tuesday.
The biggest para sports event in the world returns to Japan 57 years after Tokyo 1964, with 1,400 athletes from 122 countries competing for 14 gold medals. Among the field, 12 athletes will represent the UAE in the sports of athletics, powerlifting, cycling and shooting.
Mohamed Fadhel Al Hameli, Chairman of UAE Paralympic Committee, said: "We are very excited to fly on our national airline, amongst our UAE team, including Abdulla Sultan Al Aryani, the world champion medallist in shooting who is going for the gold. We are excited to see just how far we can go at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics, with hard work, persistence and just a little bit of luck is all we need to win."
Terry Daly, Executive Director Guest Experience, Brand and Marketing, Etihad, said: "As the UAE’s national flag carrier, Etihad is proud to support the UAE Paralympic Committee and to fly the talented UAE National Team and their support crew to the Games. On behalf of the Etihad family, we wish them the best of luck in their Olympic journey."
There are 22 sports, with athletes competing in different categories and classes depending on the nature of their disability. Badminton and taekwondo are appearing for the first time.
Top names include Germany's Markus Rehm, dubbed the 'Blade Jumper' for his gravity-defying feats in long jump, which have earned him three gold medals and a bronze.
Mohamed Al Hammadi won the bronze medal in a T34 100-meter wheelchair competition to give the UAE their first medal of the Tokyo Paralympic Games on Monday.
Powerlifting powerhouse Khalaf Mohammed Khamis and middle-distance champion Mohammed Al Hammadi will spearhead the UAE’s campaign at the Paralympics Games scheduled to start in Toyko on Tuesday.
After winning bronze on Monday, Mohamed Al Hammadi clinched his second medal of the Tokyo Paralympics in the T34 wheelchair 800-metres competition on Saturday.
Eighteen Pakistan players and 15 support staff are due to travel to India. Earlier, the PCB had expressed its disappointment with the ICC over the delays.
UAE Equestrian and Racing Federation announced that its four-strong dressage team has passed the vet check and will go on to compete on Tuesday, in the team competition and individual qualification.
Lock Thibaud Flament studied at Loughborough University in England, full-back Melvyn Jaminet had never played a Top 14 game and winger Gabin Villiere was a second-team scrum-half in the French fifth-tier before bursting onto the international scene.
Batting first India reached 116-7 in their 20 overs with Smriti Mandhana (46) and Jemimah Rodrigues (42) putting on 73 for the second wicket. Sri Lanka's chase started badly when they were reduced to 14-3 in the fifth over by a devastating spell from right-arm seamer Titas Sadhu.