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Members of the UAE national equestrian team on the podium with their bronze medals. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: The UAE Show Jumping team came up with a clinical performance to secure the bronze in the Asian Games 2023 in Hangzhou, China. This is nation’s first Asian Games team medal since 2010, solidifying its position as a dominant force in the world of show jumping.

UAE riders Abdulla Al Marri on James VDO Heihoef, owned by Al Shira’aa, Omar Al Marzouqi riding Dalida VD Zuuthoeve, owned by Al Shira’aa, Salem Ahmed Al Suwaidi riding Diamond Way, owned by Sharjah Equestrian and Racing Club and Mohamed Ghanem Al Hajri riding G’s Fabian, owned by Mohamed Ghanem Al Hajri, jumped two clear rounds finishing on 0 penalties to secure their place in an all GCC jump-off.

Saudi Arabia took the gold while Qatar took home the silver. This is the seventh medal at the Asian Games for UAE, who have already secured qualification for the 2024 Paris Olympics.

Not an easy competition

“I’d like to congratulate the whole county. It wasn’t an easy competition, and we fought hard for gold, but we’re very proud of our performance,” said 20-year-old Omar Al Marzouqi, one of the youngest riders in the competition.

Salem Al Suwaidi said: “It was my first time riding as part of the National team at the Asian Games, and it was a big challenge but a small and positive step in our journey to the Paris Olympics 2024. We tried our best and are extremely happy to bring a medal home for our country. This medal is not only for us riders but for the whole team behind the scenes who work so hard to keep the horses in top condition.

“It was a great experience and a tough competition, with Saudi Arabia and Qatar bringing a strong team. We’re looking forward to the Olympics,” said Sharjah-based Mohamed Ghanem Al Hajri.