Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 20 June 2019

UAE moves into top 10 in Special Olympics medal table

The tally is 25 medals – nine gold, seven silver and nine bronze

The UAE is now 10th in the Special Olympics medal table after victories in basketball, sprinting and football.

The Emirates added two gold medals through the unified women's basketball team, which includes athletes with and without intellectual disabilities, who beat Pakistan 23-7, and the traditional women's team of disabled athletes only who beat Egypt 13-11.

This is an amazing victory for us

Sherifa Al Yaqoubi, Special Olympics basketball player

“This is an amazing victory for us,” said Sherifa Al Yaqoubi, 22, who was on the winning side against Egypt.

“We have all been preparing hard for the World Games and our training has paid off with this result. We are absolutely thrilled to win as it was a difficult game where Egypt did not give up until the end.

“Every single person in the squad is determined to give their best and this result will give us a lot of confidence for the rest of the tournament. We will keep working hard to get more wins and make the UAE proud."

Hamda Al Hosani, 30, an Emirati sprinter who went into the race having won more than 15 medals in previous Special Olympics events, also won a gold medal in the 200-metre final.

Al Hosani crossed the line with a time of 32.14 seconds, ahead of Canada’s Eva Bell (34.81).

Al Hosani, who has more medals than Usain Bolt, will compete again in the 100m race this week.

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“It is a great feeling to win gold on home soil and in front of my home fans," she said.

"I’m really enjoying the World Games so far. It has been really fun and the other competitors from around the world have spoken so positively about the competition, which is really good. I cannot wait to get on the track again this week.”

Momena Shirdal, also from the UAE, was third in the 200m final, claiming a bronze.

The UAE men’s unified 11-a-side football team scored a win after defeating Jamaica 4-1.

The wins bring the UAE tally to 25 medals – nine gold, seven silver and nine bronze medals.

Updated: March 18, 2019 01:08 AM

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