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Aryani shoots down IWAS World Games gold
February 12, 2019
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SHARJAH: Emirati shooting ace and multiple medal winner Abdullah Al Aryani was bang on target to deliver UAE’s first-ever gold at the International Wheelchair and Amputee Sports (IWAS) World Games in Sharjah on Monday.

Aryani finished on top in the R1 10-meter SH1 men’s category of the shooting competition while Obaid Al Dahmani came third to add bronze to the UAE’s medal tally. Germany’s Norbet Gau clinched silver.

The shooting and fencing competitions put IWAS World Games into action after a glittering ceremony on Sunday marked the inaugural of the much-awaited tournament which runs till Feb.16.

Held Under the patronage of His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan Bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, day one of the IWAS World Games, Sharjah 2019, began with a shooting competition at the Al Dhaid Sports Club, and wheelchair fencing at the Al Thiqa Club for the Handicapped.

Aryani, a London 2012 Paralympic Games gold medalist and silver medal winner at 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio, expressed delight after winning the first medal for the UAE.

“I am proud to have brought the UAE its first gold medal in this sporting category. All our achievements are result of hard work and dedication shown by us, which have always received the unwavering support of our wise leadership.

He added: “Earlier in the competition, I was a bit nervous facing the world’s best in this category of sport, however, I kept that aside to go ahead and give everything I had. A huge part of my victory was enabled by the fantastic crowds and supporters who came in with their positivity and created an electrifying atmosphere, which fueled my performance.”

Bronze medalist Dahmani said: “Our achievements today are a continuation of the UAE’s past accomplishments in paralympic sports, and a stepping stone towards future feats that will bring pride to our athletes and our country.”

Shooters from the UAE, Germany and Uzbekistan competed in the R2 10-meter SH1 women’s competition category.

The R1 10-meter SH1 category for men witnessed eight athletes representing India, Iraq, Germany and the UAE fight shoot their way to the podium. In both competition categories, contestants used air rifles without external assistance.

The R9 50-meter SH2 Mixed category brought together four athletes from the UAE, Germany, Australia and Switzerland, who competed using rifles in prone position.

Dr Tariq Sultan Bin Khadem, vice-Chairman of the Higher Organising Committee and Chairman of the Executive Committee IWAS Sharjah, said: “We are elated to bring two prestigious wins to the UAE on the first day of this competition. I would like to thank the athletes for their hard work and athleticism, which have raised the UAE flag high with pride. I hope these medals are the first of many for our beloved nation during IWAS World Games, Sharjah.”

The rest of this week will see 555 international female and male athletes from 50 countries locking horns in seven sporting disciplines, including archery, athletics, badminton, swimming, shooting, table tennis and wheelchair fencing, that will be held across three state-of-the-art facilities in Sharjah.

A total of 1,462 participants from 50 countries, including 555 international female and male athletes are taking part in the event.

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