Athletes set for qualifiers

Emarati athletes are full of hopes of qualifying for the 2012 London Olympics, at the Dubai Police Officers Stadium on Friday.

By Hisham Al Gizouli

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Published: Fri 27 Apr 2012, 2:48 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 1:47 PM

The qualifiers will be held under the patronage of Shaikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, chairman, National Olympic Committee (NOC) and organised by the UAE Athletics Federation as part of the international day for junior athletes.

Athletes, both male and female, will vie for honours in the 5,000m, 1,500m and 800m.

“The UAE athletes are knocking on the doors and we are here to help people to realise their dreams and support deserving youth in search of their goals,” said the event manager Larry Barthlow.

“Athletics are not merely a matter of winning track or field medals or trying to set a new record in the process. The road to the Olympics goes beyond cities and venues, because it leads, at the end, to the best of us,” he said.

The UAE will be led by Mohammed Ahmed Al Shamsi in the 800m (men) which has attracted 12 runners for the qualifier.

In the 1,500m (men), both Rashid Saeed and Ali Musabbah will carry the country’s hopes as Alia Mohammed Saeed and Elham are looking forward to deliver in the women’s 5,000m. However, a small field of four runners has been declared to improve their records in the 1,500m (women).

Abdul Mohsen Al Dosary, assistant secretary general, General Authority for Youth and Sports Welfare said they will revamp all the resources of the authority to help the country’s representatives to show the best.

He said: “The qualifier is a true test for the UAE lads and hopefully they will live up to the expectations and our immediate concern is to support all the sports associations to qualify as many as possible of their players. Our ambition is greater than just establish a presence in the Games, but to make our presence felt.”

“UAE gold medlaist Shaikh Ahmed Hashr Al Maktoum has set the best example and we are confident that our lads will be keen to follow his footsteps.

“The weightlifting boys and girls are doing very well to qualify for the Games in the ongoing qualifiers in Korea. The three shooters are hitting the trap and double trap targets to sharpen their weapons in London ahead of the Games. The UAE Olympic soccer national team did the better work and advanced to the Games at the top of their group. It’s a great challenge, but impossible is nothing.”

Regarding the athletes who would be sent to take part in the Games on invitation, Al Dosary said the final names would be announced in few days.

“We will have three invitation cards for the disciplines which do not succeed in the qualifyiers.”

“Athletics come first, but we have great hopes to see our boys and girls doing it on the track or the field. We are optimistic of seeing our women getting the job done on Friday from Dubai,” he said.

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