Hassan Al Noobi rounded off the UAE’s Olympic campaign in Tokyo on a high.
The Emirati was the last of the five competitors representing the nation at the Games and ran a personal best time in 100m before bowing out in the second preliminary round at the Olympic Stadium on Saturday.
He clocked a personal best 10.59 seconds in the opening heat to advance to the second round, but trailed the seven runners in the next start with a time of 10.64.
Nevertheless, it was a creditable effort from Al Noobi, 29, who travelled to Tokyo as a wildcard.
Andre de Grasse won the heat in a season best time of 9.91s, and joining the Canadian in the semi-finals from that round were American Fred Kerley (9.97) and Kenyan Ferdinand Omurwa, in a national record time of 10.01.
Al Noobi was very pleased with his effort and for the memories of being at the Olympics.
“The Olympics is the dream of every athlete and I’m absolutely delighted to make it to the second round,” he said.
“I wanted to do my best and I’m really overwhelmed to run a personal best time at the Olympics. It has been such an incredible day’s work for me. I think I kept the UAE flag’s respect.
“I couldn’t improve my timing in the second heat. I think that effort to run a personal best in the first heat and the two false starts in the second round took everything away. However, I’m very happy to return home with my efforts.
“I have many people to thank, especially the National Olympic Committee, the UAE Athletics Federation, Sharjah Sports Council and all those who supported me to achieve this honour.”
Al Noobi was the last of the five athletes in UAE’s Olympic squad to be in action at the Games after the two Moldovan-born judokas, Victor Scvortov and Ivan Remarenco, shooter Saif bin Futtais and swimmer Yousuf Al Matrooshi, all bowed out of their respective competitions earlier.