The UAE galloped past the 100-medal mark in the Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019 with a dazzling show at the equestrian event on Monday.
At 8.30pm, the UAE's 126-medal kitty had 41 gold, 37 silver and 48 bronze after starting the day with 29 gold, 25 silver and 35 bronze medals (total 85).
Special Olympics UAE national director Talal Al Hashemi said it was a great achievement but there is more to come. "I hope we keep going strong. Our vision is to participate with the maximum delegation. Now, the results are showing," he told Khaleej Times when told the tally crossed 100 medals by afternoon.
The UAE's early medal came in swimming as Omar Sharif Al Shami won gold in 25-metre breaststroke. "As an Emirati, I am happy to win this medal for my great nation. It was a tough competition but with the grace of Allah and support from my coach, I managed to win. I would like to thank all youngsters across the UAE for their support. I also thank our leaders for their tremendous support for people of determination," Shami said after his win.
Another gold medallist was swimmer Saif Saleh Al Ali in 25-metre freestyle.
It was a rich haul of medals in equestrian as Fatima Mashabek, Waleed Khalid Ahmed, Mohammad Zubair Al Tajer, Basma El Ghassin and Sultan Al Khyelli won in various categories. There was double gold in bowling as Nada Al Mazrouei and Afra Mohamed Al Mansoori rolled to top spots.
A bit of disappointment on the tracks for the UAE as Hamda Ali Al Hosani failed to add to her 200-metre gold and finished second in the 100-metre race in Dubai.
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