Beijing: Shaikha Latifa Bint Ahmad Al Maktoum carries the hopes of a horse-loving nation as she competes in the show jumping competition in Hong Kong, which hosts the Olympic Games equestrian events.
Shaikha will make history by becoming the first Emirati woman to compete in show jumping in the Games.
Calm and composed, and determined to do her best to win a medal, Shaikha Latifa was focused on her goals as she completed her final preparations for today's event.
"I have been working very hard and hope to achieve a good result," said Shaikha Latifa while practising on her own horse Kalaska De Semilly. "But we do not want to make any predictions on the results. We will do our best."
Shaikha Latifa qualified for the Olympic Games last year through a brilliant effort in which she clocked 47.72 seconds in the jump-off in the individual qualifier for the 2008 Olympic games in Qatar.
Shaikha Latifa is based in France where she has been training and has competed in events in Belgium, Holland and Italy.
Also going into action today is Shaikh Saeed Bin Maktoum Al Maktoum who will compete in the men's skeet competition.
This year will be Shaikh Saeed's third Olympic Games after Sydney (2000) and Athens (2004).
The 32-year-old Shaikh Saeed won gold at the Asian Shooting Championships in 2003 and silver at the Doha Asian Games in 2006. He is also patron of the UAE's National Skeet Shooting Team.
- with inputs from WAM