United Arab Emirates Breaking Through at Asian Games


Song Young-gil, mayor of Incheon, the next host city for the Asian Games, waves the flag after receiving it during the closing ceremony of the 16th Asian Games in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, November 27, 2010.

REUTERS/David Gray

By Parvez Fatteh, Founder of http://sportingummah.com, sports@muslimobserver.com

The underdog United Arab Emirates is making waves at the Asian Games in China, as their un-heralded men’s soccer team scored a shocking semifinal victory over World Cup participants South Korea. And they have a chance to take home gold when they take on Japan in the finals later this week.

The men’s soccer victory has helped to cap a very promising week for the small Arab nation of 4.4 million. Sheikha Latifa Al Maktoum gave the UAE its second silver medal in the equestrian events at the Asian Games in the individual jumping, with Saudia Arabia’s Ramzi Hamad Al Duhaimi taking the gold medal. Earlier this week, Sheikha Latifa had successfully led the country in clinching the silver in the jumping team event. And in the double trap event this past weekend Sheikh Juma bin Dalmouk Al Maktoum bagged a silver medal.

Taleb Dhaher Al Muhairi, Secretary General of the  Emirates Equestrian Federation told The National, “I am at a loss of words to express my happiness over this tremendous achievement by Sheikha Latifa…This again shows the meticulous training and planning by the Emirati riders, who have now become a team to reckon with in the international equestrian scene.”

While China, South Korea, and Japan are dominating the overall medal count at the 16th Asian Games, the UAE is doing their best to play the role of David as they take on the Goliaths of sports. And they have guaranteed themselves at least four medals.


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