x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Doubles winner Rashid will take break

Rashid Abdul Hamid is planning to take some time off to celebrate UAE's first gold medal in the men's category of the GCC Championships.

DUBAI // Rashid Abdul Hamid is planning to take some time off to celebrate UAE's first gold medal in the men's category of the GCC Championships. Hamid paired up with Mohammed Rashid to win the men's doubles title late on Wednesday, defeating the Saudis Abdulaziz al Abbar and Khaled al Harbi in a thrilling final at Al Nasr Club. Their triumph finally opened UAE's gold tally in the senior category in the competition, and Hamid was naturally proud of their achievement.

"It was a great victory for us," said the 21-year-old UAE No 1. "It is the first medal for the senior UAE team in the GCC Championships and we are proud to be a part of it." Hamid said he was thinking of leaving the country for a few days to recharge his batteries. "I have not had the time to celebrate yet. But I will travel tomorrow. Maybe to Stockholm." The UAE's last gold medal in the championships came in 2005, a tournament in which Hamid and Rashid excelled by lifting the doubles title in the junior category.

"We have been paired together at Al Nasr since we started playing table tennis," said Hamid. "But this is the first time we are playing together for the senior team in the GCC. "We played once in the Arab Championships too, but lost to the Egyptians." Confident Hamid, however, added that if they were to play their opponents right now, there would probably be a different result. "If we play the doubles in the Arabs this time, I think we have a good chance.

"We are a good doubles team and we understand each other very well since we have been playing together for so long. "He [Rashid] knows me well and I know him too, that's how a doubles [team] does well." @Email:arizvi@thenational.ae