UAE

Hammadi gold gives UAE most successful Paralympics medal haul

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Disbelief: Hammadi wins his first Paralympics gold.

A heroic gold on the track from Mohammed Al Hammadi and a third silver in seven days from Abdullah Sultan Al Aryani at the shooting range, have made the Rio Games the most successful in UAE Paralympics history.

Al Hammadi, who won one silver and one bronze at London 2012, smashed his own Paralympic record which he had set the day before, to capture the first Games gold of his career with victory in the T34 800m final on Wednesday night.

The wheelchair racer’s triumph took the UAE’s total medal haul in Rio to five – two gold and three silver – which surpasses the four captured in the Athens 2004 Paralympics (1G, 1S, 2B) and in Sydney 2000 (3S, 1B).

Wednesday night provided redemption for Al Hammadi, who had missed out on the podium in the 100m on Tuesday.

It also saw him overcome his Tunisian archrival Walid Ktila, who is the world record holder in the event and the reigning world champion in the 100m, 200m, 400m and 800m, and has been virtually unbeatable on the track for the past four years.

Focused: Gold medallist Al Hammadi

Focused: Gold medallist Al Hammadi

Al Hammadi crossed the finish line in a time of 1:40.24, with Ktila close behind in a season best 1:40.31. Australian 19-year-old Rheed McCracken completed the podium.

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