Emirati Paralympian Mohammed Hammadi had to settle for silver behind arch rival Walid Ktila in the 800 metre T34 wheelchair final on the opening day of the World Para Athletics Dubai 2022 Grand Prix - 13th Fazza International Championships.
Tunisian Tkila clocked a winning time of 1 minute, 44.33 seconds to best Al Hammadi by 14 milliseconds at the Dubai Club for People of Determination on Monday.
The result was a repeat of their showdown at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics and their last meeting at the Sharjah International Open Para Athletics earlier this year.
“I am happy with the second-place position behind an outstanding athlete like Walid,” Al Hammadi said.
“I want to take one step at a time; first it was Sharjah International, now here. These small steps are important as I prepare for the big one, the 2024 Paris Paralympics.
“Everyone wants to win the gold, but everyone has to go through a process to achieve it. So, I am focussed on the process of aiming at gold with clear objectives; the 2022 Asian Para Games in Hangzhou is the main objective this year.”
The UAE ended the opening day’s competition with two more medals after Ahmed Al Hosani grabbed silver in the men’s javelin F33 and Ahmed Al Maazmi claimed bronze behind Germany’s gold medallist Daniel Scheil.
The highlight of the opening day was a world-record throw from Tokyo Paralympic champion Jose Gregorio Lemos Rivas of Colombia.
Rivas established the record with a throw of 60.58m in the men’s javelin final F12/13/38.
Thailand made a clean sweep of the men's wheelchair 800m final T53 with their Tokyo Paralympic star Paeyo Pongsakom (1:38.36min) taking the gold from teammates Masaberee Arsae (1:41,25min) and Sopa Intasen (1:41.51min).
Britain’s women’s wheelchair racing star Hannah Cockroft took gold in the 100m T34/53.