Ali Allanjawi led a banner day for the UAE at the Asian Games as the nation won two golds and three silvers in Jakarta on Friday.
Allanjawi kicked off the success in the Jet Ski competition, beating his international rivals from Indonesian and Thailand with a decisive round after topping the ranking despite a troubled start.
He made his way from sixth position in the first minutes before making progress against established competitors and finally taking the gold medal.
“Winning the gold medal is attributed to the concerted efforts of the technical, administrative and media, and it was my turn to translate such efforts into a gold medal,” Allanjawi said. “As such it is the team spirit and acting as a single family that has paved the way for the achievement.”
Ghanim Al Marri, Head of the Marine Sports Delegation, praised Allanjawi’s triump, saying: “It equals eight medals as it culminates massive and exceptional efforts amid huge challenges and tough competitors from China and Indonesia who were right with the champion up to the last second.
“He was up to the challenge despite being lashed with a penalty in the first minutes, but his will and determination was bigger and succeeded in the final minutes to beat the world champs and win the gold medal, the first for the UAE in these Games.”
Ahmed Al Tayeb, Chef de Mission of the UAE Delegation, added: “It was an unprecedented achievement considering the late start of Allanjawi due to the penalty, but his comeback confirms the ability of our athletes who are here to deliver and raise the state flag and make their way to the podium.”
Following in Allanjawi’s path, Hamad Nawad gave the UAE its second gold by winning the men’s 56kg category of Jiu-Jitsu. In the final, Nawad defeated compatriot Khalid Al Blooshi, who earned one of the nation’s three silver medals.
The other silvers were captured by Mahra Al Hinnai in the women’s 49kg category of Jiu-Jitsu, and Talib Al Kirbi, who fell in the final of the men’s 69kg.
“This collection of medals underlines the huge efforts of the federation and athletes who have the ability to deliver more in these Games,” said the VP of the UAE Delegation, Abdul Malik Jani. “Besides the Ju-Jitsu and Jet Ski, we have other sports capable of winning medals. This is just the opener, and we look for a bumper achievement in the Games.”
Meanwhile, the UAE archery team exited the Games following its loss to Bangladesh in the mixed doubles, ranking 24.
In athletics, the team is kicking off its participation in the Games on Saturday with Alia Saeed competing in the 10,000m race. The administrator of the athletics team confirmed the readiness of Saeed, whose spirit is high as she’s eager to perform well for the UAE.
Skeet shooters Saif bin Fetais and Mohammed Hussein start off their competitions in Palembang seeking a fresh start for the sport in the UAE. Both shooters will compete in five rounds to qualify for the next round on Sunday, which will also see the finals.
Ahmed Al Matroushi, a member of the UAE Rowing Team, finished fourth in the last qualifying race, thus losing the chance to qualify.
In pistol shooting, 10m shooters Wafaa Al Ali and Salwa Al Dhahiri couldn’t achieve the qualifying score for the top three, despite scoring new personal records with 556 and 553, respectively, out of 600 points.
UAE-based du LaLiga High Performance Centre (HPC) under-14 and under-16 teams enjoyed a week to remember during a recent scouting and tournament camp in Spain.
HPC’s 14 and under side – in their first overseas tour – delivered a stellar defensive and tactically astute display to beat La Liga youth Cadiz 1-0 on their own patch while the older age group, who are still on a high from winning the UAE FAAL and TTD Super Cup in Dubai, secured an emphatic and crushing 4-0 victory over Granada.
After a goalless opening 45 minutes, Mohammad Shabrawy was quick to capitalize on an error from the opposition to put the UAE under-16 side ahead before Fabio Rollano quickly doubled their advantage with a fine left-footed piledriver into the top corner.
Barbod Mazloumian then laid on a second of the game for Shabrawy before rounding off the scoring himself on the stroke of the final whistle.
Both victories were secured in front of watchful La Liga scouts on the lookout for talented UAE footballers, with the rewards for those that impress potentially contract opportunities.
The under-14s are now due to return home to the UAE, however, the duLaLiga HPC under-16 and under-18 squads have three more fixtures each to contest this coming week against Spanish heavyweights Real Betis, Malaga and UD Almeria.
Commenting on the results following the first week, Fernando Sanz, the General Director of LaLiga, MENA, said: “We are very proud of our HPC teams and their performance this week. The level of football in LaLiga is very high and the fact that these young men have the level to compete and win at Spanish standards reflects on our professional development program we have for in place for them in the UAE delivered by the finest LaLiga coaches.”
Former Real Madrid defender Sanz added: “The LaLiga youth clubs now look forward to these summer matches and are giving us very positive on some of our top players. And this year, we are delighted that the U14 team is joining the LaLiga scouting camp for the first time, and they are already making their mark!”
This latest du LaLiga HPC trip to Spain is the academy’s third in succession, with some 48 youngsters across various age groups making the trip.
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s Godolphin stable has chalked up its 5,000th winner worldwide.
The memorable milestone was reached when Expecting To Fly, trained by Henri-Alex Pantall and ridden by Hugo Journiac, landed a one-mile maiden race win at La Teste de Buch in France last Thursday (August 16).
The feat comes 25 years and eight months after Sheikh Mohammed created an elite stable of around 60 of his homebreds and a collection of his best horses already with established trainers in Europe.
Since its inception in 1992, Godolphin has won races in 14 countries on four continents.
Godolphin’s first winner came in a six-furlong maiden on dirt at Nad Al Sheba in Dubai on December 24, 1992.
The history-making debut winner was Cutwater, trained by Hilal Ibrahim and ridden by jockey Dennis Batteate.
13 years later, Godolphin reached 1,000 winners courtesy of Cherry Mix, the horse trained by Saeed bin Suroor and with Frankie Dettori in the saddle, sauntered to success at the G1 Gran Premio Del Jockey Club E Coppa d’Oro at San Siro in Italy (October 2005).
While the first 1,000 winners took over a decade, only seven years was need for Godolphin to reach 2,000 race wins — when the very smart Certify (later a G1 Fillies’ Mile winner) won a six-furlong turf maiden at Newmarket on 12 July, 2012.
Certify was ridden that day by Godolphin’s retained jockey Mickael Barzalona, who holds a unique place in the stable’s history, as he would also partner the Godolphin’s 3,000th and 4,000th landmark winners.
The memorable 3,000th victory was chalked up by the Andre Fabre-trained Manatee, ridden by Barzalona, in the G2 Grand Prix de Chantilly in May 2015.
The 4,000th was delivered by the Charlie Appleby-trained Fly At Dawn, again with Barzalona, in the 2,000 Guineas at Meydan in January 2017.
Perhaps Godolphin’s most stunning victory in America in recent years came in the 2016 G1 Metropolitan Handicap at Belmont Park when stable flagship Frosted annihilated his opposition, winning by 14 and a quarter lengths in track record time.
Among the most recent winners was arguably the most noteworthy — the brilliant Masar, ridden by William Buick and trained by Appleby, who triumphed in the G1 Derby at Epsom in June 2018.