UAE pin Paralympics Games' hopes on Khamis, Hammadi and Aryani - GulfToday

UAE pin Paralympics Games' hopes on Khamis, Hammadi and Aryani


Khalaf Mohammed Khamis seen during a practice session.

Gulf Today, Staff Reporter
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.

The UAE has selected a 12-member squad to represent the country at the Paralympic Games. The continent will compete in five disciplines including athletics, shooting, powerlifting, wheelchair and cycling.

Khamis, the team's most experienced member and the first UAE gold medalist, qualified for the Games’ 97kg category after he lifted 220kg in his only successful third attempt at the Nur-Sultan 2019 World Para Powerlifting Championships.

He has two gold and one silver medal at the Paralympics.

He competed in his first Olympics in Sydney in 2000, placing fourth, before winning gold in Greece in 2004 and silver in Beijing in 2008.

“I want to compete for a gold medal in Tokyo,” he stated emphatically.

“I've been putting in a lot of effort for this.

It will be incredible to stand atop the Paralympic podium and hear the UAE national song for the first time,” said Khamis.

Hammadi, 36, won a gold medal in the 800m wheelchair T34 event at the Rio Olympics.

At London 2012, he won silver and bronze in the 200m and 100m, respectively.

He will be targeting medals in the 100m and 800m once again.

Another medal hope for the country will be veteran shooter Abdulla Saif Al Aryani (45).

After Beijing 2008 and Rio 2016, this will be his third time Aryani will be taking part in Paralympics Games.

At Rio, he finished fifth in the rifle three positions and eighth in the rifle prone. Aryani competes in the same two events.
Noura Al Ketbi and Sara Al Senani are the most experienced female members of the squad, bringing home silver and bronze medals in the shot putt events in both F32 and F33 at Rio.

Completing the UAE contingent are Ayesha Al Meheiri, sisters Mozah and Maryam Al Zeyoudi, Ahmed Nawad, Saif Al Nuaimi and Ahmed Mubarak Al Mansoori.

Mohamed Fadhel Al Hameli, Chairman of UAE Paralympic Committee, said: “We are looking forward to seeing just how far we can go at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics. Hard work, persistence, and a little bit of luck can get us there."

Tokyo, which is the first city to host the Paralympics twice, will welcome 4,400 athletes from around 160 countries and territories.

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