UAE wins gold, silver at London 2012 Paralympics

Abdulla Sultan Al Aryani clinches gold medal in shooting; Mohammed Hammadi wins silver medal in 200-metre T34 competition

The UAE opened the medal account at London 2012 Paralympics with Abdulla Sultan Al Aryani clinching the gold medal in the shooting event on Tuesday.

President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan congratulated Abdulla on his victory.

Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, also congratulated Emirati shooter Abdulla Sultan Alaryani on winning the gold medal in the shooting event at the London 2012 Paralympics.

In a telephone conversation with Alaryani, Sheikh Hamdan expressed his best wishes to him and all members of the UAE's mission to London in winning more championships and raising the profile of the UAE's national sport at international events.

Mohammed Hammadi added to the UAE's medal count by winning the silver medal in the 200-metre T34 competition having earlier set a Paralympic record in winning his heat.

Hammadi clocked a time of 29.03 seconds, but his record stood for only a few minutes as Walid Ktila of Tunisia flashed home in 27.98 in the second heat at the Olympic Stadium, breaking Hammadi's mark.

Abdulla, who hails from Al Ain, won the gold medal in the R6-50m prone rifle shooting event at the London’s Royal Artillery Barracks.

He finished on top of his qualification section, with a score of 592, and continued his form into the eight-man finals round.

He scored 102.8 in the final, giving him a total of 694.8 for the competition - just 0.2 points ahead of silver medallist Juan Antonio Saavedra Reinaldo.

British shooter Matthew Skelhon won the bronze as he finished third with 639.2 points.

After winning the title, Al Aryani said: “It’s amazing. I was sure that I was going to get the gold.

“It’s a dream - the first time I have won the gold and it’s the first gold medal for the UAE in this competition (London 2012). It’s everything for me.

“From the day I finished the last Paralympic Games I started immediately planning for this one. I was very focused on London.”

Aryani, who was a member of the UAE 2004 Olympic team which included gold medal winner Sheikh Ahmed bin Hasher Al Maktoum, was injured in a car crash a year later and paralysed below the waist.

He narrowly missed out on making the final round at the Beijing Games in 2008, but has gone one better at London 2012.

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