Dubai: Shotputter Sara Al Senaani produced a personal best throw to hand hosts UAE another bronze while Indian para-athletes continued their good show on the second day of the 12th Fazza International Championships – Dubai 2021 World Para Athletics Grand Prix on Thursday.
The Indians added five medals, including two gold, while the UAE took their haul up to four medals after Al Senaani’s bronze in the women’s Shot Put F33 event at the Dubai Club for People of Determination grounds.
Al Senaani threw the shot put to a distance of 5.55 metres in her fifth attempt and finished behind gold medallist Morocco’s Fouzia El Kassioui (6.70m) and Asmahane Boudjadar (5.98m) from Algeria.
Her performance saw the 29-year-old Abu Dhabi athlete get closer to her dream of participating at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. Her latest medal, Al Senaani insisted, has only given her an added incentive to work even harder for the next few months in an attempt to better her Rio 2016 bronze medal.
“I am very happy with my performance. I trained hard for the last few months and my target was to reach a distance of at least 5.50 metres. I know there’s more work to be done in the next few months and I need to keep training hard to achieve my goal of a medal at Tokyo 2020,” she said.
“I thank Dubai for this competition and I thank everyone today that I am able to perform to my expectations. It is important that I keep improving each day,” she added.
Al Senaani’s bronze takes the UAE’s tally to four following the two silvers and one bronze bagged by Mohammad Al Hammadi, Noura Al Ketbi and Mohammad Yousuf Othman on the opening day, on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, India continued their surge with Simran getting closer to her dream while clinching gold in the women’s 100m T13 final with a time of 12.74 seconds to land her second international medal after the China Grand Prix in 2019.
“It feels very good to finally compete internationally. I was competing in an event almost after two years, Though I had felt some pain in my hamstring; this is a recurring injury. My dream is to break the world record at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games. I am targeting 11.40secs. I will work harder to better my timing now,” said the visually impaired Simran.
36-year-old Neeraj Yadav hurled the discus to a distance of 35.49m to take gold in the men’s Discus Throw F55 event. Yadav, who is an Asian Para Games gold medallist in javelin, finished ahead of Ignas Madumla Mtweve (35.49m) and Iran’s Paralympic medallist Hamed Amiri (27.25m).
In men’s long jump final T44, Praveen Kumar (5.95m) and Pardeep (5.73m) claimed the second and third positions in the combined T44/63 event, while Bhagyashri Mahavir Jadhav claimed a bronze in the women’s Javelin F34 with a throw of 11.36m.
The second day of the competition witnessed a world record when France’s Marie Amelie Le Fur leapt an astounding 6.14 metres to a gold in the women’s long jump F63/64 event.
Oman’s Taha Al Harrasi became the first para-athlete from Gulf countries to win a gold at the Championships, finishing in a time of 12.35secs in the 100m men’s final T36 event.
Thailand and Russia recorded a double in the men’s 1,500 metres T20 and T54 events. Prawat Wahoram and Putharet Khongrat took the top two spots with times of 2:54.95 and 2:55.12 respectively in the 1,500m wheelchair men T54 event as Frenchman Julien Casoli ended a close third with a time of 2:55.49.
The Russian double came in the 1,500 metres men T20 with Alexander Rabotnitskiy claiming gold in a time of 3:55.87 minutes leaving countryman Pavel Sarkev in second in a time of 4:02.33 as Zimbabwe’s Albert Sigele was placed third in a time of 4:09.44.