UAE

Dubai Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan attends Special Olympics IX MENA Games in Abu Dhabi

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H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, attended on Monday the Special Olympics IX MENA Games that are currently under way at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, ADNEC.

Sheikh Hamdan attended competitions of basketball, table tennis and volleyball, along with a number of other sporting events.

More than 1,000 athletes from 32 countries have travelled to Abu Dhabi to take part in these games from March 14-23, which is the first major sporting event ahead of Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019.

Athletes will take part in 16 different sports that will be hosted at eight different venues including ADNEC, Zayed Sports City, Yas Marina Circuit, NYUAD, Officer’s Club, Mubadala IPC Arena, Al Jazira Sports Club and Al Forsan Club. Entry across all the sites is open to the public.

Sheikh Hamdan was accompanied by Shamma bint Suhail Faris Al Mazrui, Minister of State for Youth Affairs, along with a number of senior officials.

*Provided by WAM

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UAE

UAE's Hamda Al Hosani wins gold in 100m race to become one of world's most-successful Special Olympics sprinters

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Emirati sprinter Hamda Al Hosani on Monday won gold in the 100-metre race, securing her status as one of the world’s most-successful Special Olympics sprinters.

The 29-year-old’s victory was hard-won as she was chased all of the way by Bahraini athlete Aysha Alsubei who finished a close second.

The result means the two athletes have swapped places on the winners’ podium after Aysha won Sunday’s 200m race and Hamda took the silver.

Hamda’s two medals at this week’s Special Olympics IX MENA Games 2018 in Abu Dhabi takes her overall international medal count to an impressive 17 and makes her a favourite for even more on-track success later in the week and in next year’s World Games in the UAE capital.

“I’m now looking forward to the 4x100m metre relay race on Tuesday,” said Hamda. Meanwhile, Emirati athletes with determination and their able-bodied colleagues won silver and bronze medals in a double victory for the UAE’s unified table tennis couples teams.

Khaled Al Shahi, who has ID, won the silver medal with his able-bodied colleague, Nawaf Al Kaabi, while ID athlete Mohammed Almas was presented with bronze alongside his teammate, Yousef Al Kaabi.

Khaled said: “I am very proud that I took second place in this category and I dedicate this win to our UAE leaders.”

More than 1,000 athletes from 32 countries have travelled to Abu Dhabi to take part. Athletes are participating in 16 sports across eight venues including ADNEC, Zayed Sports City, Yas Marina Circuit, NYUAD, Officer’s Club, Mubadala IPC Arena, Al Jazira Sports Club and Al Forsan Club.

Held under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, the Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019 will see the biggest humanitarian sporting event in the world coming to the Emirati Capital, marking its first debut in the history of the MENA region.

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UAE

Dubai Dragons clinch fourth Premiership title after victory in the AFL Middle East Grand Final

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We are the champions: Dubai Dragons

There was another title to savour for Dubai Dragons as they won their fourth straight Premiership with victory over Multiplex Bulls in the AFL Middle East Grand Final.

Despite hot conditions at The Sevens, both sides put on a ferocious contest but the Dragons did enough to come out on top to win 68-45 (10.8.68-6.9.45)

The Bulls began well and were unlucky with a few missed set shots, before Ryan Perkins got the first points on the board for Dragons.

Bulls skipper Nathan Holly and forward Ted Stobart then answered with an important goals. Dragons big man Daniel Gribbin closed the difference to just three points at the end of the first quarter.

In the second quarter, much of the momentum was largely going the Bulls’ way but they suffered a blow when Ted Stobart picked up an injury which saw the game halted.

The stoppage allowed Dragons to recalibrate and they went on to get the next two goals to help command a narrow half-time lead of 5 5 35 to the Bulls’ 3 6 24.

In a closely-fought third quarter, it was the Dragons who broke the deadlock with vital goals through Ryan Perkins and Jake Kane. But there was still time for Jack Egan to kick a team lifting goal after the three-quarter time siren to reduce the deficit for Bulls to three goals.

With all to play for, Bulls threw one last major challenge at the Dragons in the last quarter when players Gerry Tubridy and Nick Burchell kicked back-to-back goals.

That saw the margin to just 10 points half-way through the final quarter, but Dragons found that extra kick. Perkins marked 34 metres out and calmly went back and slotted the sealer. Mark Nancarrow kicked another goal late on to complete another AFL Middle East title and their sixth in seven seasons.

Best on ground for the day was Jake Kane who capped off a remarkable first season with the Dragons as he also won the League Best & Fairest voted by the umpires.

The result meant Dragons finished the season unbeaten and Richard Wharton, coach of Dubai Dragons, lauded his team’s efforts.

“I had plenty of belief in our players and yes we had the right to go in as favourites. But you can never be very confident as Grand Finals never follow a script,” he said.

“We knew the Bulls would come out strong and they had their tails up in the first quarter. We were just lucky that they missed a few shots on goal so we kept in touch. The boys stuck to the task and did the simple things well and the ball seemed to start bouncing started our way.”

He added: “To their credit the Bulls never went away but we’re lucky to have strong leaders that stepped up when it was needed. To go through the season undefeated is an incredible effort regardless of code or competition, and especially considering we had a completely new look this year. Premierships never come easy and to win four straight is unbelievable for our club. We’ll be enjoying this one for a while, that’s for sure.”

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