Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 15 December 2019

UAE's Mohamed Al Hammadi aiming for 'golden finish' at the 2019 World Para Athletics Championships

The Emirati already has a silver and bronze medal from earlier events and hopes to replicate his gold medal success from the 2016 Rio Games when he takes part in Friday's 800m T34 race

The UAE's Mohamed al Hammadi, right, shows off his bronze medal alongside Men's T34 final winner Walid Ktila, centre, of Tunisia and Australian runner-up Rheed McCracken. Courtesy International Paralympic Committee/ Luc Percival 
The UAE's Mohamed al Hammadi, right, shows off his bronze medal alongside Men's T34 final winner Walid Ktila, centre, of Tunisia and Australian runner-up Rheed McCracken. Courtesy International Paralympic Committee/ Luc Percival 

Mohamed Al Hammadi hopes to call himself a world and Paralympic champion at the end of the World Para Athletics Championships as he bids for glory in his favourite event.

On Friday the Emirati will race in the Men's 800m T34 looking to add to his two medals already secured at the championships being held in Dubai after winning silver in the 400m before adding a bronze in the 100m T34 event.

Al Hammadi clocked a time of 15.93 seconds in the 100m T34 to finish on the podium behind Tunisia's multiple Paralympic medal winner Walid Ktila (14.99) and Australian Rheed McCracken (15.51) at the Dubai Club for People of Determination Stadium on Sunday.

Al Hammadi, 34, said that finishing third in the 100m "came as a surprise" and he hopes to replicate his success at the 2016 Rio Games by winning the 800m final, although he insists he is taking nothing for granted with such a strong field.

“I am very happy with the second medal and I now want to achieve a golden finish for the UAE on Friday," said Al Hammadi, a silver and bronze medallist at 2012 London Games. "I have a gold over this distance [800m] at Rio 2016 and this is my strongest event.

“But having said that, I don’t want to take anything for granted. It is going to be a strong race as everybody here has come well prepared and to win. I feel confident, especially after the second medal, but it’s still a race and you start from scratch again.”

The top four places in each discipline at the World Para Athletics Championship receive automatic qualification for the 2020 Paralympics. Al Hammadi has already booked his ticket in the 100m T34 but the 400m event is not included for Tokyo.

“Tokyo is always in my mind because the world championship is a qualifier for it,” he said.

“After this, there’s not much time before the Paralympic Games. So, it is a matter of taking the momentum forward form here till Tokyo in August.”

Updated: November 11, 2019 03:47 PM

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