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Al Qubaisi elated to represent UAE

The UAE Olympic hopeful says he will use the upcoming GCC Judo Championships in Qatar to fine-tune himself for the Beijing Games.

  • By Duane Fonseca, Sports Reporter
  • Published: 00:07 July 4, 2008
  • Gulf News

  • Image Credit: Ravindranath/Gulf News
  • Saeed Al Qubaisi (right) trains for the tough tasks ahead at the Abu Dhabi Equestrian and Racing club in Abu Dhabi.

Dubai: The UAE Olympic hopeful says he will use the upcoming GCC Judo Championships in Qatar to fine-tune himself for the Beijing Games.

Saeed Al Qubaisi will make history when he steps on to the mat to become the first Emirati to represent the country in the contact sport at the Olympics, that will run between August 8 and 24.

Saeed is no stranger to success, having already tasted gold in his class (under 73 kg) at the 2007 Gulf and Arab Judo Championships.

The Olympics though, offer an altogether sterner test and Saeed knows all too well the need to travel to Beijing while at the top of his game.

"I couldn't explain the emotions I experienced when I was picked to represent the UAE at the Olympics Games," said the powerfully-built 19-year-old.

Against the best

"It is a great honour for me because I feel the reason I've been picked is because I have done well in the past and brought glory to the country. The Olympics Games are not like the local and regional competitions, you have to be at your best because it pits you against some of the world's best athletes and that makes it very hard to win.

"It's a very good thing that the UAE team will be participating in this tournament in Qatar before the Games because it will help us get ready for the big thing. The GCC championships have the best of the region coming together for the tournament and I am looking forward to adding to the medals I have won already."

Gulf News