UAE secured their first gold medal at the Asian Games 2023 after Magomedomar Magomedomarov defeated Tajikistan’s Temur Rakhimov in Xiaoshan Linpu Gymnasium, Hangzhou, China, on Tuesday.
The judoka excelled in the over 100kg category soon after his teammates Aram Grigorian (90kg) and Dzhafar Kostoev (100kg) each bagged bronze on the penultimate day of the judo competition.
“It’s a big achievement,” Nasser Al Tamimi, general secretary of UAE Wrestling and Judo Federation, told Gulf News from Hangzhou. “To hear your national anthem on the podium is an amazing feeling. I’m really proud of the boys,” he added.
'Hard work paid off'
The win enabled UAE to secure five medals — one gold, a silver and three bronze — in judo, which took them up to the 10th place on the standings.
“The team deserves it since they have really worked hard for this over the last year. The Asian games is an important step for the Paris Olympics next year and I’m happy all the efforts are paying off well,” Al Tamimi said.
On Sunday, judokas Bishrelt Khorloodoi and Narmandakh Bayanmunkh impressed with a silver and bronze respectively.
“The result is overwhelming. We were expecting a few medals in the Asian Games but they have exceeded the expectations and their performance will be a huge motivation for the youngsters back home who can look up to them as role models,” Al Tamimi added.