Dubai: The UAE picked up their second gold medal as most of the competitions drew to a close at the 4th Dubai International Parachuting Championships at Skydive Dubai on Saturday.
After taking the gold medal in the four-way vertical formation skydiving (VFS) on Thursday, the UAE squad went into the eighth and final round of the eight-way VFS tied with Monaco and Russia chasing them in third place.
However, on the penultimate day the home team of Ali Al Neyadi, Abdul Aziz Al Shukari, Abdullah Al Shammar, Obaid Al Falasi, Abdul Rahman Al Marmari, Abdullah Al Dossary, Khalid Abdul Jalil, coach Craig Girard and Iurii Railean as cameraman showed their class as they took the top spot.
“What impressed me greatly was the way the team proved its abilities to just go for it despite being pressured by some of the top teams in the world,” Girard told Gulf News. “As the competition progressed we knew we had nothing to lose and the boys just got aggressive.
“It’s been a long three years, but the fruits have begun to show now. In the beginning these youngsters did not understand why we were doing the routines that we had to go through, but now they understand that it’s all a part of the process.”
The UAE’s first gold medal had come in the four-way VFS on Thursday after the Skydive Dubai Nexus team of Stephanie Strange, Tim McMaster, Derek Cox, Jason Russell and Kenneth Jaworski as alternate along with cameraman Earl David had completed the eight mandatory jumps with a total of 211 points, beating challengers France into second place (184 points) and Poland in third (63 points).
This is the second major success for the UAE team following their opening gold medal win in the four-way FS at the Asiania Championships held in China in October.
“We trained hard and these boys fully deserve this medal,” Girard said. “Now they have earned a well-deserved break.”
Next on their schedule will be the Skydive Dubai Winter Festival from Boxing Day till January 5, 2014. “That’s just a fun event but it will be important for us to get prepared for a tough year ahead,” the coach said.