Ivan Remarenco is now the UAE’s main medal hope after judoka Victor Scvortov and shooter Saif bin Futtais bowed out of the Tokyo Olympics on Monday.
Scvortov suffered defeat in the opening contest against Swede Tommy Marcias, who had also prevailed in their clash at the World Championships in Budapest on June 8.
Marcias took a one-point lead off a waza-ari with 23 seconds left before ending the contest by ippon in the 73-kilogram division in the round of 32 contest after drawing a first-round bye.
Japan’s world champion Shohie Ono took gold with victory over Georgian Lasha Shavdatuashvili to complete back-to-back Olympic titles following his triumph in Rio 2016.
The UAE’s second judoka Remarenco meets Egypt-born Canadian Shady Elnahas in the 100-kg category on Thursday.
“We were hopeful but not very disappointed with Victor’s result,” Nasser Al Tamimi, general secretary of the UAE Wrestling and Judo Federation, told The National.
“We know how hard it is to win at this level. Victor did his best. We are glad he and Ivan made it to the Olympics through qualifications.
“We still have a glimmer of hope with Ivan. You never know what to expect but we are still hopeful.”
Bin Futtais finished 24th with 117 points in men’s skeet, which was won by American Vincent Hancock. Jasper Hansen of Denmark and Kuwaiti Abdullah Al Rashidi took silver and bronze respectively.
Bin Futtais explained his preparation for the event was hindered by alack of training due to the closure of most clubs and facilities following the coronavirus pandemic.
“It was not only me but had a telling effect on everyone who arrived at the Games,” he said.
“It was a great challenge, though. To have made it to Tokyo and taking on some of the best in the game, I am very thankful for all those who supported and encouraged me at this difficult time.”
Yousuf Al Matrooshi, 18, will be in action in the pool in the 100m freestyle heat at the Tokyo Aquatic Centre on Tuesday.
Sultan Al Samahi, president of the Emirates Swimming Federation, said it was a golden opportunity for the young Emirati to gain experience and take his swimming to a new level in the coming years.
“We will celebrate Yousuf’s participation,” he added.
“Yousuf is an immense talent. He has 35 records next to his name, which means he is the best in the history of Emirati swimming. Let him enjoy his day and soak in the atmosphere as much as possible, and hopefully take back the experience to achieve better results in the future.”