Yousif Mirza, the UAE national team cyclist, said that the bronze medal he won at the fifth Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games was a result of complete co-ordination between the team and their technical staff.
Although the medal was for the Singles competition, it showed how the team co-operated to win the medal and record an achievement for the UAE. Mirza made the statement after he won the bronze medal by scoring 131 points, bringing the country's medal tally to 17 in the Asian games in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan.
The Games will conclude on Wednesday.
Hong Kong's Shaun Long won the gold medal, scoring 147 points, while Wartyum Zacrova from Kazakhstan won the silver medal with 139 points.
"I am very happy with what we achieved today at this great event. The race has passed through difficult stages and witnessed a strong performance from participating Asian riders. My colleague, Ahmed Al Mansouri, and I have succeeded in setting a certain style during the competition. Those who watched the race and have a passion for the cycling games can notice the technical and tactical aspects that have been applied more than once in the race, as guided by our technical staff and our vision of the continuous changes that occurred during the event.
"Without the fall that occurred in front of me in the last stage of the competition, I would be crowned with the silver medal. However, we are proud of what has been achieved, and I dedicate this win to our leadership, the people of the UAE and the entire sports sector," Mirza said.
He further said that, usually, only one cyclist participates in the Ammonia race, but to his surprise, an announcement was made about the participation of two cyclists from each team, just two days before the departure of the team.
"Still, our technical team prepared Ahmed Al Mansouri in a short time, and he helped me win. I consider this medal a consolation for the loss of the Team Pursuit medal. I thank H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Maktoum, President of the National Olympic Committee, for supporting athletes in all international events and camps," Mirza added.
Speaking about the team spirit, Shareef Abdulla, Coach of the National Cycling Team, said, "From day one in Turkmenistan, all the team members were focused on winning a medal to add to the UAE record in continental events, and raise the national flag on the podium. Our team’s success in winning a bronze medal has not come out of the blue. It is a natural reflection of the commitment of the player, and his keenness to represent his nation in style."