The UAE grabbed bronze in the show jumping team competition at the Asian Games on Wednesday.
The medal round of the competition turned into a three-way tie between Gulf neighbours, with Saudi Arabia taking gold from Qatar and the UAE in a jump-off after the three were tied at the end of the final round at the Tonglu Equestrian Centre.
The national team thus took their Asian Games medals tally to one gold, a silver and five bronze medals.
The UAE team was made up of Abdulla Al Marri (atop James V.D Oude Heihoef), Omar Al Marzouqi (Dalida Van De Zuuthoeve), Salem Al Suwaidi (Diamond Way) and Mohamed Al Hajri (GS Fabian). They also qualified for the 2024 Paris Games following the result.
The UAE team jumped two clear rounds with zero penalties to secure their place in an all GCC jump-off.
Against the clock, the team, who secured qualification for the 2024 Paris and achieved success this summer on the European circuit, put on a commendable performance to finish with bronze.
“It was my first time riding as part of the national team at the Asian Games, and it was a big challenge but a small and positive step in our journey to the 2024 Paris,” Al Suwaidi said.
“We tried our best and are extremely happy to bring a medal home for our country. This medal is not only for us riders but for the whole team behind the scenes who work so hard to keep the horses in top condition.”
Sharjah-based rider Al Hajri added: “It was a great experience and a tough competition, with Saudi Arabia and Qatar bringing strong teams. We’re now looking forward to the Olympics.”
Having won a medal in the team event, the Emirati riders will now aim for individual medals on Friday.