Dubai : The UAE booked a much-deserved qualifying slot in women's weightlifting for the 2012 London Olympic Games later this summer.
At the end of the 2012 Asian Championships — continental Olympic qualification event — that concluded in Pyeongtaek, South Korea, on Monday, the six-member UAE women's squad did just enough to earn one of six individual spots on offer in the women's category.
The UAE women's squad comprising Aliah Al Baloushi (58 kilograms), Abeer Faraj (63kg), Khadija Mohammad, Latifa Al Merri (75kg), Yasmin Abbas and Al Anoud Faraj (+75kg) are scheduled to land at the Dubai International Airport this morning.
"We could not have asked for anything better than this. This event is a historical moment for us in sport and we hope we can be true to the sport when we participate in London," Sultan Bin Mejren, president, UAE Weightlifting Federation, told Gulf News.
As per qualifying rules, each country participates as a team with the hope of winning a place for individual lifters at the end of the competition. "Now is the tough part for us as we will have to sit down with the technical committee and see which lifter will be the UAE's best bet at the London Olympics," Bin Mejren said.
Held at the Yichung Culture and Sports Centre in Pyeongtaek, the Olympic qualifier attracted nearly 250 athletes from 28 Asian countries in an attempt to gain an entry at the London Games that starts from July 27.
The competition was opened by International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) President Dr Tamas Ajan at a time when the Asian Weightlifting Federation held its Congress.
Lifters from China, Uzbekistan and Chinese Taipei dominated the week-long competition.
The UAE fielded teams in various weight categories in the men's and women's competitions, with Khadija Mohammad notching the best result when she lifted 50kg in the snatch and 60kg in the clean and jerk for a total lift of 110kgs and earn the seventh position in the 75kg women.