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UAE Athletes Collect Ten Medals On Day One Of IWAS World Games 2011

The opening day of the IWAS World Games 2011, which is taking place in the emirate of Sharjah from 1 to 10 December, was full of excitement, as UAE athletes collected a total of ten medals for their country - two gold, two silver and four bronze medals in the athletics competitions, one silver in swimming, and one bronze in power lifting.

The lion’s share of the team’s medals were won in athletics, with Asian gold medalist Aysha Salem bin Khalid achieving an impressive victory in the women’s javelin competition with a throw of 9.85m, ahead of the Iranian and Indian competitors.

In the men’s shot put (F33), the UAE team dominated the podium with Abdul Aziz Al Shekily winning the gold medal with a throw of 8.31m, and his compatriots Hassan Ali Al Malalihi and Ahmed Al Hussaini taking second and third places with throws of 8.04m and 7.69m, respectively.

The UAE’s Manea Sulaiman clinched the silver medal in shot put (F32) with a throw of 6.89m, ahead of his teammate Suhaib Al Qassim, who got the bronze medal with a throw of 6.0m. Poland’s champion got the gold medal in this event.

In shot put (F34), Mohammed Al Muhairi from the UAE came in third with a throw of 9.60m, after the Iranian and Qatari competitors, while the UAE’s final athletics medal went to Jassim Al Naqbi, who took bronze in the 100m wheelchair (T54), with Thailand taking gold and Sweden silver.

In power lifting, Saif Al Zaabi added another bronze medal to the host country’s tally by lifting 112kg in the 60kg category, behind the athletes from Iran and Poland, who took first and second place, respectively.

The last medal for the UAE on the opening day of competition was won by Abdullah Hayaey, who was first runner-up in the 400m freestyle swimming competition, coming in behind the athlete from India, who finished in a time of 10.05 minutes.

The UAE team celebrated their victories and good performance, which showed that disabled sport is on the right track in the country. They dedicated the wins to UAE President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, to His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, to Their Highnesses the Rulers of the Emirates, to His Highness General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and to the citizens of the UAE.

Tareq Sultan bin Khadim, Deputy Chairman of the Organizing Committee and Chairman of the Executive Committee, praised the UAE team’s impressive achievements on the first day of competition, urging those champions, whom he described as the "knights of will", to continue giving of their best and living up to the support of the country’s wise leaders, which made this success possible. "I am confident that our champions will continue to add more medals and excellent performances to their list of achievements over the remaining days of the 2011 IWAS World Games," he said.

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