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ATHLETICS UAE’s Khadija Mohammad showing the way for Gulf women

Official says weightlifter’s appearance at London Games is a ‘fantastic achievement’

By Alaric Gomes, Senior Reporter
June 22, 2012

Dubai: An official from the UAE National Olympic Committee has predicted Khadija Mohammad’s presence in the weightlifting competition the London Olympics will break down barriers for women in the Gulf.

“First of all the statement that she makes is that she is a woman,” Abdul Rahman Falaknaz, financial director of the UAE NOC, said on Thursday.

“We, at the UAE NOC are concentrating on having women in all fields — be it in the offices or in the sports field. We have been stressing more and more that every federation in the UAE have at least one woman on board.

“Khadija’s qualification as the only woman weightlifter from the Gulf is a fantastic achievement. We are glad to belong to this period when the UAE is taking the lead in this sphere of making women a part of everything.

“And I am sure everybody else will follow. The women play a very big role, be it in sports or anywhere else, and we are proud to have them in our lives.”

The financial director was also pleased UAE sport has attracted substantial sponsors during its build-up to the Olympics.

“We started from zero and now we have got a handful of good sponsors such as P&G, Omega, TNT, BP and Commercial Bank of Dubai (CBD),” he said.

““These sponsors have all come on board obviously due to the good exposure and coverage that they will get from the Olympics. As far as we are concerned, things are even bigger as now we have qualified to these Games on merit, and for us this is like a gold medal won already.”

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