Sheikh Juma bin Dalmouk Al Maktoum ended the UAE's search for an Asian Games medal yesterday when he claimed silver in a shooting event.
The 25-year-old finished second in the double trap, four hits behind Ronjan Sodhi, the Indian marksman, at the Guangzhou Shotgun Centre Shotgun Range.
The medal, on the eighth day of competition, will come as a relief to the Olympic Committee who have sent 95 athletes to China in an attempt to match the haul of 10 from the 2006 Games in Doha.
"We have been longing for this day and Sheikh Juma provided it for us with an outstanding result," Ghanem Ahmed, the head of the UAE delegation at the Asian Games in China, said. "We had some hopes as we have had some success before in this discipline, but again, there were no guarantees."
Sheikh Juma, who had qualified for the final in third place in the morning with a score of 138, is one of the most versatile Emirati athletes. He is an experienced equestrian endurance rider, winning several races, both domestically and abroad.
His older brother, Sheikh Rashid bin Dalmouk Al Maktoum, was a member of the gold medal-winning UAE endurance team at the World Equestrian Games in Kentucky in the United States last month.
"It is a fantastic achievement and great honour for him and the country," said Ali al Muhairi, the racing manager of Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid and a fellow member of the UAE's gold medal winning endurance team.
"Sheikh Juma is a versatile sportsman and he has been rewarded for his dedication and hard work. As a person, he is very quiet but in sports, he is very, very competitive.
"His medal winning performance brings a lot of joy for us in the endurance fraternity."
The UAE missed out on their second medal by nine shots when the team of Sheikh Juma, Saif Manea al Shamsi and Ahmad Abdulla Dhahi finished fourth in the double trap team event. The UAE sent 11 shooters to China - only the athletics team and football team have more representatives.
Ayoob Mohammed Sarwashi also represented the UAE yesterday, finishing eighth in the men's 20km race walking final with a personal best performance. The UAE also finished ninth in the men's team of five block 1 bowling event.
On the first day of the athletics competition, Ali Hasan Mahboob of Bahrain won the men's 5,000m. Mahboob ran a season's best of 13mins 47.86secs but was well off the Asian record of 12:51.98 set in 2006.
Finishing second and third were the Qatar pair James Kwalia C Kurui and Felix Kikwal Kibore.
* With agency