UAE’s Hammadi, Alktebi bag silver medals at Fazza Athletics Grand Prix - GulfToday

UAE’s Hammadi, Alktebi bag silver medals at Fazza Athletics Grand Prix

Mohammed Al Hammadi poses for a picture after winning silver.

Gulf Today, Staff Reporter

The 12th Fazza International Championships – Dubai 2021 World Para Athletics Grand Prix got off to a rousing start with the hosts claiming three medals, including a silver by local favourite Mohammed Al Hammadi, a Paralympic and World champion, at the Dubai Club for People of Determination grounds on Wednesday.

Hammadi clocked 15.97 secs to finish behind his Tunisian rival Walid Ktila (14.98 secs), a multiple-time Paralympic champion, in Men’s 100m T34 Final.

UAE’s Mohammed Yousef Othman finished third with a timing of 16.26 secs. However, all of the three of them had finished far behind their personal best timings.

Meanwhile, UAE’s Noura Alktebi took the silver in women’s shot put final F32 with a throw of 5.07m, finishing behind Algeria’s Mounia Gasmi (5.71m). Thekra Alkaabi (4.35m) brought home the third medal taking the bronze.

“I am not very happy with my performance today. Though my body feels good to finally compete after a long time. And this track is special to me as I have won three medals at the Dubai 2019 World Championships. The year 2020 had been very difficult for athletes to not train and sit at home. Thankfully, Dubai started the Para Athletics season and it is important for us to perform in our home Championships,” Hammadi said about his performance.

The old rivalry between Hammadi and Tunisian legend Ktila was also renewed on the day. Both will yet again fight for the top honours in Men’s 800m T34 event.

“Walid is very strong, you know. He is also very hard working. I have to work on a plan now to overcome him in Tokyo 2020. I need to work harder in the next few months and perform my best at Tokyo 2020.” “For me, Tokyo 2020 is very important. I want to give my best shot there.”

Among other top names, Iran’s Paralympic silver medallist Hamid Amiri took the gold in men’s Javelin F53/54 with a throw of 30.96 metres.

There were two regional records on the day, with Morocco’s Aissa Bentaleb (04:13.18s ) and Redouane Hennouni-Bouzidi of France (04:07.11s ) getting an African and European records in Men's 1500 m T37 and Men's 1500m T38, respectively.

The opening of the Championships fell on a historic day when UAE’s Hope Probe successfully entered the Mars Orbit.

Director of the Championships Majid Al-Usaimi, while congratulating the leadership of UAE, on this historic achievement said that the launch of Hope Probe gave hope that this Championship will be a success.

“We had a lot of challenges hosting this Championship. Similarly, all eyes were on Hope Probe as it was attempting to reach the Mars Orbit yesterday, and after its successful launch I hope it will have a reflection in our mission as well. We have the same hope and energy; and we are looking to create a benchmark for everyone that Dubai can successfully host international events despite challenging situations.”

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