He is one of the most decorated Paralympian in UAE history and continues to shatter the record books for the nation in global sport.
Emirati star shooter Abdullah Sultan Al Aryani returned from the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games last year with three silver medals to go with the gold he claimed in London four years earlier.
Al Aryani had competed in the Sydney Olympics in 2000, a year before he suffered a car accident that paralysed him from the waist down.
“The accident was in 2001, we were coming back from training my falcons, and we got into a car accident,” recalls Al Aryani.
“With orders from His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, within two days they flew me to Germany for treatment. I stayed there for a year and eight months after discovering I had a broken spinal cord and was 80 per cent paralysed.
“Of course after something like that happens, you reassess your life and you face certain family circumstances and you need about a year or two to catch up with society around you. Since I am a captain in the military, my life changed from being an active, working life, to being a disabled person confined to a chair.”
Al Aryani regrouped and formed a shooting team at Al Ain Club and went to his first Paralympic Games in Beijing in 2008. In London 2012, he claimed gold in the Mixed R6-50m Rifle Prone-SH1 competition and in Rio last year, he took silver in the mixed R6-50m Rifle Prone-SH1, the R1 10m air rifle standing SH1, and the R7 50m rifle three positions SH1.
He is the only Emirati to own four Paralympic medals.
“In Brazil, I hoped and promised everyone I would get three medals and thank God I achieved three silver medals and I was close to gold in all three competitions. In Tokyo 2020 I pray to God to bless us and I achieve a gold medal to put a smile on people’s faces,” he says.
Watch the video above (courtesy of Abu Dhabi Sports Council) to know more about Al Aryani’s journey.
The UAE’s cycling season kicked off with a bang as the Spinneys Dubai 92 Cycle Challenge launched with its first Build-Up Ride on Friday.
Over 400 cyclists took on the 32.5km challenge at Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum City – District One Cycling and Running Track, the official venue partner for this event as they prepare for the big 92km event taking place on Friday, December 15 at the Dubai Autodrome.
Coming in first place for the men was Almir Mujic with a time of 48:18. He was closely followed by Matthew Anthony, just four seconds behind with 48:22, and in third place was Cedric Domont with a time of 48:24.
Maria Leei Suan came first in the women’s challenge with a time of 50:39, followed by Carla Leonor in 50:41 and in third place was Shirley Leach in 55:01.
Following the challenge, the early-bird cyclists and their friends and family enjoyed the lively cycle village with a number of breakfast options provided by Spinneys and fun and energetic activities for everyone to help kick-start the weekend.
The second Build-Up ride is taking place on September 29, 2017 covering 50km, followed by 65km on October 20 and 85km on November 24 – all at Al Qudra.
The popular Spinneys Dubai 92 Junior Rides are also back. The timed 2.5km, 15km and 30km rides are designed for 6 to 15 year-olds held at the Dubai Autodrome on Thursday, December 14. They provide a great opportunity for younger ones to be part of the largest amateur cycling challenge and support the legacy of cycling in the UAE.
To register or find out more information on any of the Spinneys Dubai 92 Cycle Challenge events visit www.cyclechallenge.ae.
National Bank of Fujairah PJSC (NBF) have announced the launch of its first official running event on Friday December 1, taking place in the scenic Emirate of Fujairah.
The event coincides with the festivities of UAE National Day weekend. Under the Patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad bin Mohammed Al Sharqi, Crown Prince of Fujairah, the bank invites fitness enthusiasts along with their friends and family to take part in the run whilst experiencing the natural beauty of Fujairah.
Trophies and medals will be awarded to the top three winners in different age categories across each of the following distances – 3km, 5km and 10km. In addition, great cash prizes will be awarded to the top 10 finishers in the 10km race:
· Runners achieving first position in the male and female category will receive AED 10,000 each. Runners from 2nd to 10th position will receive cash prizes of between AED 500 to AED 7,500, in both male and female categories.
· The top three UAE national male and female finishers will each receive cash prizes of AED 1,000 to AED 5,000.
· The highest placed teams will walk away with cash prizes of AED 1,000 to AED 5,000, depending on their competitive category.
All who cross the finish line will receive a special medal for participation. The race also promises fun for the entire family, with a variety of entertaining activities planned, making it a great day out for the National Day weekend.
During the run, participants will get to celebrate Fujairah’s history by experiencing the rich cultural heritage of the beautiful Emirate, known for its spectacular sandy beaches and the rocky Hajar Mountains. Other prominent landmarks the runners will pass, include: the 17th century-fortress and the Sheikh Zayed Mosque, the second largest in the country.
The inspiration for the Fujairah Run came from two running enthusiasts, employees of NBF, who used to run together on Friday mornings. Their passion spread across the company and they were soon joined by hundreds of other colleagues.
Thanks to the dedication and increased involvement from the team, the bank is now turning this into an official event, open to all residents in the UAE – young and old, amateurs and professionals, at all fitness levels.
Commenting on the event, Vince Cook, CEO of NBF said: “We are thrilled to kick start our first ever NBF Fujairah Run and are grateful for our team of enthused runners who made this event a possibility. We are excited for the participants to experience the unique cultural heritage and historic scenery of Fujairah while they run through the planned race course. We look forward to welcoming runners of all ages and fitness levels participating and expect this event to be memorable for all.”
Registration for the event is now open for individuals, families and businesses. Visit https://nbf.ae/en/nbf-fujairah-run to register and for more information.