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Sheikh Ahmed Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum with the UAE’s champions. Image Credit: WAM

Dubai: Sheikh Ahmed Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Second Deputy Ruler of Dubai and President of UAE National Olympic Committee (NOC), on Monday honoured UAE’s champions, who secured 31 medals in the Asian Games and Asian Para Games, which concluded in Hangzhou, China, last month.

Commenting on the occasion, Sheikh Ahmed highlighted the UAE’s commitment to developing the Olympic movement in line with the leadership’s vision of creating a nurturing environment that fosters its growth and cultivates national talent. This dedication reinforces the UAE’s prominent position on the global sporting map, he noted.

Noteworthy accomplishments

Sheikh Ahmed said: “The noteworthy accomplishments of UAE athletes in both continental and global competitions adds to the country’s successes in various fields. The impressive feats of our athletes in the Asian Games will be enduringly etched in our collective memory, embodying a tale of success marked by unwavering determination and a steadfast commitment to attaining excellence and being recognised on the international stage.

Sheikh also emphasised that the accomplishments of the UAE’s champions in the fourth edition of the Asian Para Games have played a significant role in enhancing the sporting landscape in the country and the overall standards of sports. “Securing 11 diverse medals reaffirms that willpower and dedication are inherent qualities of our nation’s athletes, irrespective of the level of competition,” he added.

Addressing the Emirati champions, Sheikh Ahmed said: “Through your determination, efforts and commitment to raising the UAE’s flag in these two major events, we have accomplished the most outstanding participation for the country in the Asian Games since 1978. We ranked first among Arab countries and 14th overall in the participating countries’ ranking table in the fourth edition of the Asian Para Games. Our commitment to striving for higher levels of excellence remains unwavering, and we aim to secure new titles in the upcoming championships.”

Ambitious proposals

The ceremony was attended by Vice-Presidents of the NOC Sheikh Rashid Bin Humaid Al Nuaimi and Dr. Ahmed Belhoul Al Falasi, as well as Secretary-General of the NOC Fares Al Mutawa.

During the event, Sheikh Ahmed also honoured the former members of the Executive Office of the National Olympic Committee, recognising their prominent role and exceptional contributions in advancing the national Olympic movement. He acknowledged their commitment to providing ambitious proposals and visions during their tenure with the Committee.

The Asian Games event featured 12,000 athletes from 45 Asian countries. A total of 140 UAE athletes took part in the continental showpiece, including 102 male and 38 female athletes, and secured 20 medals in various categories, including five gold, five silver and 10 bronze.

In the fourth edition of the Asian Para Games, 41 athletes represented by 41 athletes across eight sports and secured 11 medals, including four gold, four silver and three bronze.