BAKU 22 May 2017: Emirati athletics runner Aliaa Saeed has increased the country’s medal tally by winning a bronze medal in the women’s 10,000 metre race, recording a time of 31:49.01, at the 4th Islamic Solidarity Games in Baku, Azerbaijan, featuring 6,000 athletes from 54 countries in three continents.
Turkish runner Yasmine Khan snatched the gold in a time of 31:37.81 in a race which saw close finishes. The UAE’s athlete was in line for a silver but trailed in the final moments of the race, finishing third.
The UAE medal tally with the latest addition includes one silver by Sheikh Saeed bin Maktoum in Skeet Shooting, as well as two other bronze medals by Saif bin Fetais also in Skeet Shooting and Evan Romanco in Judo, in the under 100 kilogramme category.
The UAE’s standing in the Games went up to 29th place, as the delegation concluded its participation yesterday with Al Zaabi in the men’s 1,500 metre race, several weightlifters and the 4×100 metre relay, said Wam.
Saleh Mohammed Hasan, Secretary-General of the Athletics Federation, said, “It was possible to snatch more medals in athletics as we anticipated three medals. I was surprised with Aliaa not winning the silver in the 10,000 metres, and she was very close to a medal in the 5,000 metres contest. There are many issues to look into after the event, highlighted by stressing the importance of time in this sport. The high-level participation in the Games was to the benefit of our athletes in several aspects. After all, medals are the criteria for measuring success, and there is no point in participating without competing for top honours.”
“The event was highly competitive, tough and fast-moving, and the timing was perfect as we prepare for the Asian Games in Indonesia next year, and other events this year. Saud Al Zaabi improved on his Rio Olympics record by 11 seconds, and we are pleased with his achievement and determination. Our ambitions have to go beyond qualification to achieving titles in the name of our nation, which is giving us every support. Our female team members have to do better and bring back titles at the Asian level, and we have a clear-cut programme for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Brigadier Abdul Malik Jani, UAE Deputy Chef de Mission, exchanged mementoes with the mayor of Baku. UAE international referee Mohammed Ishaq in Taekwondo took part in the Judges Committee of the Games. UAE referee Jasim Al Awadi, in weightlifting, was selected as one of the 40 international referees. The organising committee is preparing for the closing ceremony of the Games, during which the Games flag will be handed over to Istanbul, Turkey, which will host the 5th edition.
By Sports Staff