Abdullah Al Aryani and UAE Paralympics team believe gold is in their grasp

The UAE Paralympics delegation, headed by London 2012 gold medallist Abdullah Sultan Al Aryani, feel optimistic ahead of the Rio Games, Amith Passela reports.
Abdullah Al Aryani returned home with gold from the 2012 London Paralympic Games. Antonie Robertson / The National / September 11, 2012
Abdullah Al Aryani returned home with gold from the 2012 London Paralympic Games. Antonie Robertson / The National / September 11, 2012

Abdullah Sultan Al Aryani is upbeat about repeating the success he had in the 2012 London Paralympics when he spearheads the UAE’s medal drive in Rio from September 7 to 18.

After arriving in Brazil a week ahead of the competition, the Emirati shooter believes that each member of his 18-athlete squad is within shouting distance of a medal at these Games.

“Not just me but all the shooters as well as the rest of the team have prepared well, and [we will] do their best to compete for medals for the country. It is hard at this level but not impossible,” Al Aryani said.

“The technical staff have worked really well with us. We, the shooters, have had camps in Germany and Al Ain. So have the others with a camp in Czech Republic.”

Al Aryani, 43, bagged the gold in the R6-50m Free Rifle Prone SH1 at the Paralympics in London.

“At Rio, I want to repeat what I achieved in London four years ago. I have to be at my best on the day. The competition will be fierce but I’m ready. We also arrived a week in advance and that is enough time to get used to the weather and conditions.”

UAE Paralympics squad

Abdullah Sultan Al Aryani, Obaid Al Dahmani, Abdullah Saif Al Aryani and Saif Al Nuaimi (Shooting); Mohammed Al Qaid (wheelchair 100m and 200m); Ahmed Al Hosani, Saeed Mubarak and Abdulaziz Al Shekeili (Shot Putt); Maryam Al Matrooshi (Javelin); Rashid Al Dhaheri (100m-400m-800m-1500m); Abdullah Hayayei (Shot Putt and Javelin); Siham Al Rasheedy (Discus); Sara Al Senaani (Shot Putt); Zainab Al Breiki (Club Throw); Noura Al Ketbi (Shot Putt and Club Throw); Haifa Al Naqbi, Mohammed Khamis Khalaf and Ahmed Al Blooshi (Powerlifting).

apassela@thenational.ae

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Published: September 5, 2016 04:00 AM

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