Ayesha, Saeed on target as UAE win gold at Para Shooting World Cup in France

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UAE’s Ayesha Al Mehairi (centre) and Saeed Alblooshi, along with Ayesha Al Shamshi (right) and Abdulla Alahbabi pose on the podium.

Gulf Today, Staff Reporter

It was a proud moment for UAE’s Paralympic shooter Ayesha Al Mehairi as she clinched two medals, including her first-ever international gold medal at the ongoing Chateauroux 2022 World Shooting Para Sport World Cup.

Ayesha, a trainee at the Dubai Club for People of Determination, teamed up with Saeed Alblooshi to pull off an impressive come-from-behind 17-15 win over the Italian experienced pair of Pamela Novaglio and Andrea Liverani in the R11 – 10m Air Rifle Mixed Team SH2. Liverani is a Tokyo 2020 Paralympic bronze medallist in Mixed R4 – 10m air rifle standing SH2.

Down 9-15, the UAE shooters made an incredible comeback to surprise everyone and take the gold.

“This is a special one. It is also a proud moment for me, and the entire UAE team to hear the national anthem on the podium. We were focused on doing well and gave our best shot. It was a thrilling final and I am very happy we could keep our composure and pull it off,” said Ayesha, who made history by becoming the first Emirati woman to qualify for the Paralympics in shooting in 2020.

Ayesha’s training partner at Dubai Club, Ayesha Al Shamshi, also made it to the podium after claiming the bronze medal with partner Abdulla Alahbabi in the same event.

They defeated the Kazakhstan pair of Aisulu Jumabayeva and Aidos Zhylkyshinov 16-12 in the bronze medal match.

On the opening day, the UAE team comprising Ayesha, AlBlooshi and Alahbabi claimed a bronze in R4-Mixed 10m Air Rifle Standing SH2. France (1882.7) and Italy (1881.9) took the gold and silver.

Praising the efforts of the Dubai Club medal winners, Thani Juma Berregad, Chairman of the Dubai Club for People of Determination, said the excellent result of the shooters was a result of the hard work and efforts put in at all levels.

“The participation of the players in this important championship comes within the Club’s plan with the aim of qualifying for the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games,” he said, expressing pride that the Dubai Club’s shooters have managed to match their fellow Al Ain Club shooters to achieve this success despite the sport being new to the Club.

“We in the Dubai Club for People of Determination have set goals for the trainees and players, and we keep motivating them to take up challenges and overcome them, in order to raise the flag of the country. I wish and hope these shooters continue to bring glory to the UAE national team and the country,” said Berregad.

For his part, Majid Al-Usaimi, Executive Director of the Dubai Club, stressed that Dubai Shooting is on the right path according to the strategy set to achieve the desired goal.

“This achievement reflects the great attention paid by the wise leadership to the category of people of determination and the keenness of His Highness Sheikh Mansoor Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Dubai Sports Council, to support them, which had a positive impact on the success of these players.”

He added that the Dubai Sports Council provided all support in order to preserve the sporting gains that the People of Determination had been achieving in the Club.

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