Mohamed Al Hammadi said he can take "a lot of positives" from the Tokyo Paralympics after the Emirati athlete claimed his second medal of the Games with a silver in the T34 wheelchair 800-metres on Saturday.
Al Hammadi, who won bronze in the 100m T34 on Monday, was nail-bitingly close to defending his 800m Paralympic title but had to settle for silver behind Tunisia's Walid Ktila, who took gold with a time of one minute 45.50 seconds, just 0.09 ahead of Al Hammadi.
China’s Yang Wang took bronze with a season best time of 1:45.68 in a race that saw the first three finish well clear of the rest of the field.
“We have been racing against each other for a very long time. I win some and he wins some. This time it was his day,” said Al Hammadi, who beat Ktila to gold at Rio 2016.
“It was a very close race between the first three to cross the line. It is always disappointing when you come so close and lose, but that’s what these competitions are all about.
“I can still take a lot of positives from this result. To be on the podium two times in two competitions at a Paralympic Games I believe is a good result. I am happy with my performance and I am happy for my good friend Walid.”
The UAE now won have three medals in Tokyo following shooter Abdulla Sultan Al Aryani’s gold in the 50m Rifle 3 Positions SH1 on Friday.
“To have won a gold, silver and bronze in a Paralympic Games from a squad of 12 athletes is a pretty good achievement from the UAE,” said Al Hammadi, who took his overall Paralympics medal tally to five after a silver and a bronze at London 2012 in the 200m and 100m T34 respectively.
The wheelchair racer is also hoping the trio of shooters in the Mixed 50 Rifle Prone – Abdulla Sultan, Abdulla Saif Al Aryani and Saif Al Nuaimi – can add another medal or two in Sunday’s final day of the Games.
“We are not done yet,” Al Hammadi said. “We still have a chance to win a medal or two with our shooters Abdulla Sultan, Abdulla Saif and Saif Al Nuami on the final day.
“Abdulla Sultan has been around in the top flight in the world for a long time. He won gold at London 2012 and winning gold on Friday must surely have raised his confidence.
“He won three silvers at Rio and I am really hopeful for him to add another medal for us.”