UAE Paralympian Siham Al Rashidi aims to end successful year on high in Portugal

Emirati para athlete looks to break personal best in discus throw during IWAS World Games next month

Siham Al Rashidi during the 2021 Fazza International Championships for People of Determination in Dubai. Photo: Dubai Club for People of Determination
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Emirati Paralympian Siham Al Rashidi hopes to cap a memorable year with more success when she travels to the IWAS World Games in Vile Real de Santos, Portugal, next month.

She already has 10 medals in the bag for the year and that includes four golds in the women’s discus and javelin F57 events, one of which was in the Brno Mayor’s Cup and the Ostrava Cup, both in the Czech Republic.

The Emirati also clinched two golds in last month’s World Para Athletics Grand Prix in Marrakech and three silver medals in the discus, javelin and shot putt at the third West Asia Para Games in Bahrain.

Al Rashidi appeared in two Paralympic Games, 2016 Rio and 2020 Tokyo, and is quietly confident of making it to 2024 Paris. But before that are the World Para Athletics Championships in Paris and the Asia Para Games in Hangzhou next year.

“I have had a fantastic 2022 so far and hopefully I can take this momentum forward to the IWAS World Games (November 23-29) and beyond,” Al Rashidi said, attributing her success to the support provided by Sheikh Hamdan, Crown Prince of Dubai.

“The next two years are very important with the Fazza-Dubai Grand Prix, Para Athletic Worlds and Para Asian Games, and then the Paralympics in 2024. Hopefully I can make it.

“I have had an excellent training programme under a new coach [Nejib Mechkane] to improve my overall abilities and technique, and a month’s camp in Poland.”

One of Al Rashidi’s goals next year is to better her personal best throw of 26.98 metres in discus that she achieved in the 2019 Dubai World Para Athletics Championships.

“I have got closer a few times and would like to reach that mark at the Fazza-Dubai Championships next year. My goal is to break the 28m barrier,” she said.

Aside from being a para athlete, Al Rashidi is also a member of the Athletes' Council of the Asian Paralympic Committee. She joined the Dubai Club for People of Determination as a trainee athlete and graduated as one of the leading Emirati female para athletes.

“As a kid, I watched the Olympics and athletics on TV, and had good idea of the track and field sports when I joined the Dubai Club for People of Determination,” she said.

“Whatever I have achieved as a para athlete and in my life is because of the amazing support I received from the club,” she added.

“I want to keep pushing and make a mark for myself and for all Emirati women para athletes. I want to use this opportunity to make my family and my country proud.”

Updated: October 13, 2022, 10:29 AM