Abdulla Sultan Alaryani
Abdulla Sultan Alaryani Image Credit: WAM

The UAE Paralympic team returned home with a perfect set of medals after the conclusion of the delayed Tokyo 2020 Paralympics.

Following two weeks of competition, the UAE came home with one gold, one silver and one bronze medal.

If you glance at the medal table, this result may look paltry compared to China’s 207 medals, including 96 golds, but their achievements of the UAE athletes will become inspiration in the years to come.

First up was Mohammad Al Hammadi, who claimed bronze in the men’s 100 metres T34 wheelchair race, only narrowly missing out to Tunisia’s Walid Ktila, who had to smash the Paralympic record to take gold in a time of 15.01s. Australia’s Rheed McCracken was second in 15.37s.

Al Hammadi turned bronze into silver in the 800m. The Emirati clocked 1:45.59 to finish second as Ktila again grabbed the top spot. Chinese athlete Yang Wang took bronze.

Nicknamed ‘Qaeed’ (‘Leader’), Al Hammadi was the UAE’s flag bearer at the opening ceremony of the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro and again he proved his worth with two medals.

The UAE struck gold when Abdulla Sultan Alaryani became one of the most decorated Paralympians in history. The shooter finished with a total of 453.6 points in men’s 50m rifle three positions SH1 final at the Asaka Shooting Range. This was Alaryani’s fourth Paralympics medal in all — having won two silver medals at Rio 2016 as well — in the mixed 50m rifle prone SH1 as well as men’s 10m air rifle standing SH1.

With the Winter Olympics just around the corner in China and the 2024 Paris Summer Olympics and Paralympics looming, the next generation will already be planning on how to add to the haul.