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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 September 2018

Sheikha Latifa upbeat on UAE's medal chances in Asian Games showjumping

Focus turns to individual event after placing fifth in the team event at the Jakarta International Equestrian Centre

Sheikha Latifa Al Maktoum has turned her focus to the showjuming individual event at the Asian Games. Reem Mohammed / The National
Sheikha Latifa Al Maktoum has turned her focus to the showjuming individual event at the Asian Games. Reem Mohammed / The National

Sheikha Latifa Al Maktoum is confident the UAE can win an Asian Games medal in showjumping’s individual event after claiming fifth place in the team event on Tuesday.

The UAE were hopeful of medals in both competitions at the Jakarta International Equestrian Centre in Palembang, but the team title went to Saudi Arabia - their first gold of the Games - with Japan and Qatar completing the podium.

Focus has now turned to the individual event, with Hamad Al Kirbi leading the UAE quartet having placed sixth in the second qualifier. Sheikha Latifa is next-best placed for the Emirates in 17th, with Nadia Taryam in 22nd and Mohammed Al Rumaithi in 24th.

“What’s gone is gone and our focus is now to challenge for the remaining medals in the jumping competition,” Sheikha Latifa said.

“We did a few mistakes at crucial stages and that cost us a medal in the team event. That’s how this sport is. We have a day to get our horses prepared for the final day and take it on from there.

“I still believe in our chances. Our horses that came after a spell in Europe are improving day after day to the warmer weather here. All we need now is a good solid round and a bit of good fortune. We can do it, hopefully.”

In the women’s 5,000 metres, Alia Saeed set a season’s best time to finish ninth as Bahrain’s Kalkidan Befkadu claimed gold.

Saeed, who relinquished her 10,000m title three days earlier when finishing fourth, produced a time of 16 minutes, 9.49 seconds, but was more than a minute off the world record time set by Befkadu inside the GBK Main stadium.

Daria Maslova of Kyrgyzstan bagged silver while Bahrain also took the bronze with Bontu Rebitu.

Earlier in the day, the UAE’s cyclists were eliminated in the by Japan in the second heat in the Team Pursuit at the Jakarta International Velodrome. China claimed to gold medal after defeating Hong Kong in the final, with Japan claiming bronze.

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