Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 1 October 2020

Watch: Female Emirati footballer smashes 'hotstepping' world record

Areej Al Hammadi, who plays for the UAE national football team, has scored a place in the record books

A female Emirati footballer has smashed the world “hotstepper” record.

Areej Al Hammadi completed 86 repetitions of the trick, in which footballers tap the ball with each foot, in rapid succession, over the course of a minute.

The previous record of 56 was set in March in the UK.

Ms Al Hammadi, who plays for the UAE national side, learned the skill only recently.

“Honestly, I didn’t really know the trick before I saw the challenge,” she said in a video shared on Guinness World Records’ Twitter page.

Areej Al Hammadi broke the world record for the number of ‘hotsteps’ performed in one minute. Guinness World Records 
Areej Al Hammadi broke the world record for the number of ‘hotsteps’ performed in one minute. Guinness World Records 

“I looked it up and I saw the video and I felt I understood the technique.

“After that, I just practised until I was comfortable with it, and I gave it a go.”

Ms Al Hammadi can be seen carrying out the trick in the video, with Burj Khalifa looming in the background.

After initially losing the rhythm, she tries again, and again.

The whistle is blown before someone shouts out the number of reps and Ms Al Hammadi and her team all cheer.

“It’s an amazing feeling to break a Guinness World Records title,” she said.

“There are a lot of credible titles out there, so for me to be able to say I broke one of them individually is really amazing, especially in football.

“It is my passion, so it’s a proud moment and achievement for me. For my name to be on there, for my country and for women around the world. So yeah, I’m really happy.”

Football has long since been her passion, Ms Al Hammadi said.

She could not even point to what drew her in to the sport, but she was hooked early on.

“I kept practising and training on my own, even though I didn’t have the opportunity when I was young to play for a team or anything like that. I just wanted to be a good football player,” she said.

“I had the chance [to play] when I grew up. And I enjoy training. I enjoy learning and I enjoy practising and improving my skills and technique.”

Updated: August 2, 2020 04:15 PM

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