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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 18 June 2018

Mohammed Al Hammadi wins UAE's first World Para Athletics Championships medals, dedicates them to Hayayei

The Emirati dedicated his success to Abdullah Hayayei, the teammate tragically killed in the build-up to the tournament.

Mohammed Al Hammadi has added a world silver and bronze to the gold medals he won at the Rio de Janeiro Paralympic Games last summer. Tasso Marcelo / AFP
Mohammed Al Hammadi has added a world silver and bronze to the gold medals he won at the Rio de Janeiro Paralympic Games last summer. Tasso Marcelo / AFP

Mohammed Al Hammadi won the UAE’s first medals – a silver and bronze - at the World Para Athletics Championships in London on Monday.

The Emirati was runner-up in the men’s 400m wheelchair T34 category and prior to that finished third in the 100m race on Day 4 of the competition at the Olympic Stadium.

Walid Ktila of Tunisia was the winner of both events, with Henry Manni of Finland taking bronze in the 400m and Australian Rheed McCracken taking silver in the 100m race.

Al Hammadi dedicated the medals to teammate Abdullah Hayayei, the T34 javelin and shot-put thrower who was killed when the cage collapsed on him during a training session at the Newham Leisure Centre last Tuesday.

“This is for my brother Abdullah,” he said. “The tragedy affected us. It affected the whole team, and we had to prove ourselves and perform our best to raise the flag.

“I have worked as hard as I could to do my best, whether I’m first, second or third I’m raising the flag of the UAE.”

Al Hammadi was the UAE’s only gold medallist at the 2016 Para Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro when edged out Ktila in the 800m T34 in a Games record time of 1 minute 40.24 seconds.

Al Hammadi is participating in four events and will be in action again in the 800m T34 on Thursday and 200m T34 on Friday with Ktila also in fray.

“It was very difficult but thanks God for these victories,” Ktila said. “I’m very happy for my friend Mohammed who finished second and third in the two events we have competed.

“We are very close and we know each other for a long time, since we started competing. Sometimes we even train together in Tunis or Dubai.”