UAE began their quest for an Olympic medal in judo when Victor Scvortov won his opening round of 32 bout against Ziad Mattar of Yemen in the lightweight under 63 kg weight class on Monday.
A bronze medallist at the 2014 World Championships in Chelyabinsk, Russia, 14th ranked Scvortov lived up to his billing outclassing his opponent and winning by ippon.
However, Victor was eliminated in the round of 16 by Japan's Shohei Ono, dashing UAE's hope for a medal in this event.
The Moldovian-born judoka who has been representing UAE since 2012, declared before his departure to Rio that his aim is to win a medal at the Olympics.
“I am going to do my best to get a good result. I am ready to make the UAE people happy and I want to return to the UAE what they have given me in the last four years,” said Scvortov who won the Grand Prix in Abu Dhabi and also in Budapest in 2014.
UAE's 13-member Olympic contingent comprises three judokas who fancy their chances of returning home with a medal along with the shooters.
Sergiu Toma (80kg) and Ivan Remarenco (100kg) are the other two judo players.
Toma will take on Germany’s Stephan Marc on Tuesday while Remarenco launches his campaign on Thursday.
Toma will be making his debut for UAE and aims to improve on his third round qualification in the men’s 81kg event at the London Games.
“In the last Olympic Games I came in fifth position. This time I want a medal,” said Toma, ranked 10th in the International Judo federation rankings.
Remarenco, who won a bronze for the UAE at the 2014 World Judo Championships, is also looking forward to improve his first-round finish in London.
Nasser Al Tamimi, General Secretary, UAE Wrestling, Judo and Kick Boxing Federation (UAE WJKBF), is confident of a good showing by the three.
“This is the first time we have three judokas representing the UAE at the Olympics. The team is good and all three of them have got good results in the last couple of years. Two of them have been in the world championship, which is usually stiffer than the Olympic Games because they have to fight more fights than in the Olympics,” said Tamimi.
Aysha Al Balushi will make her debut in the Olympics in the 58kg weightlifting event later on Monday.
Cyclist Yousif Mirza (below) was first off the blocks for UAE on Saturday morning in the Road Race.
However, the top Asian cyclist, was involved in a pile-up with a pack of riders after 30km.
Yaqoob Al Saadi was the second athlete to compete in Rio when he made a splash in the 100m backstroke.
Al Saadi, 20, finished fifth out of seven swimmers in his heat clocking 59.58 seconds.