Sultan Bin Mejren, president, UAE Weightlifting Federation, welcomes Najwan Al Zawawi, coach of UAE’s weightlifting women’s team, at Dubai International Airport last week in the presence of Ebrahim Abdul Malek (far left), secretary-general, General Authority of Youth and Sports Welfare, Mohammad Al Kamali (second right), general secretary, UAE National Olympic Committee, and Sultan Mohammad Al Joker (far right), president, UAE Snooker Association. Image Credit: Alaric Gomes/Gulf News

Dubai: The name of the lone woman weightlifter to represent the UAE at the 2012 London Olympic Games will be made known some time later this week.

Jasem Abdul Rahman Al Awazi, member of the board of the Emirates Weightlifting Federation (EWF), told Gulf News that the board of directors is scheduled to meet later this week to decide on the name.

"It will be quite a process as we will first consult the technical committee and then the board of directors will decide on the candidate for London 2012," Al Awazi told Gulf News.

The UAE women's squad of six earned enough points in four different weight categories to end in fifth position among the 15 participating nations and claim one of six individual qualifying spots at the end of the 2012 Asian Championships — Continental Olympic Qualification held in Pyeongtaek, South Korea last week.

Unprecedented chance

This is a historic moment for the UAE as this is the first time ever that a woman lifter from the country has qualified to an Olympic Games.

Besides the six lifters who participated in the Pyeongtaek qualifier, there are another four who have been regularly training at the team base at Al Shabab Club for the past four years.

"We cannot say for sure that one of the six lifters will represent the UAE as we have another four who will also be considered depending on our chances at the Olympics," the official said.

"Ultimately, we will decide who will be the best option for the UAE at the Games in London," he added.

"No one will be able to take anything away from our girls and their achievement in South Korea. They competed against the best and ensured we booked our spot in an Olympic Games. The UAE lifter may possibly be the only one from the Gulf countries in London," Al Awazi added.

In the meantime, the girls have been given a short break to recover from a heavy season that concluded with last week's competition in South Korea.

Short break


"It will be only a short break and after that, they will be back into training. We are also making sure that their studies do not suffer," Al Awazi said.

"This is the first time that a woman lifter from the UAE will participate in an Olympic Games and it won't certainly be the last time. This is only the beginning," he added.