Dubai: Shaikh Saeed Bin Maktoum Al Maktoum kept the UAE's hopes of winning a medal at the Beijing Olympic Games alive when he qualified for the next stage of the men's skeet competition as the eighth best shooter on Thursday. The Asian Games gold medallist had scored 71 points out of a possible 75 after three rounds of competition on the first day.
Shaikh Saeed missed two targets in the first round and then one each in the next two rounds.
There are a total of 41 shooters competing for medals on offer in the men's skeet competition.
Shaikha Maitha Bint Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who will take participate in the taekwondo starting next Friday, has shown her support for Shaikh Saeed.
She praised his performance in qualifying for the next round of the competition and wished him the best of luck in winning a medal for the UAE.
Shaikh Maitha and her accompanying delegation are keen on supporting all the UAE competitors at the Olympic Games.
Meanwhile Shaikha Latifa Bint Ahmad Al Maktoum finished in 61st position after the first qualifying round in the individual show-jumping competition.
Partnering her own horse Kalaska De Semilly the young royal committed 11 faults in the round, her first ever at the Olympic Games.
The event was led by Switzerland's Christina Liebherr.
UAE sailor Adel Khalid Abdulghafar will today launch his bid for an Olympic medal when he competes in the Lazer class. The sailing enthusiast has been training flat-out for the past two years at the Emirates Sailing School in Abu Dhabi and is confident of delivering a good performance.
Shaikh Saeed will also return to the shooting range today hoping to improve on his first day's effort.
World and Olympic record holder Vincent Hancock of America leads the field with 73 points while four shooters share second place on 72.
They are Frenchman Anthony Terras, Cypriot Antonis Nikolaidis, Kuwaiti Abdullah Al Rashidi and Norwegian Harald Jensen.
Nine shooters are tied in ninth place on 70 points, including Qatari rallying ace Nasser Saleh Al Attiyah and Kuwaiti Zaid Al Mutairi.
The start-list for today's second phase of qualifying has been finalised with Shaikh Saeed leading the first batch of six shooters at 9 am (5 am UAE). The 41 shooters have been divided into seven groups according to their scores after yesterday's three rounds.
The others in the list headed by Shaikh Saeed are Ridong Qu (China), Andrea Benelli (Italy), Mikola Milchev (Ukraine), Harald Jensen (Norway) and Goergios Achilleos (Cyprus).
Only the best from each of the seven groups will qualify to today's final after another two rounds of 25 targets each. The final is scheduled to be held from 3 pm (11 am UAE) today.
American Hancock and Tore Brovold of Norway currently hold the World Record with perfect scores of 150.