Dubai: Zaman Al Saedi of Iraq, Eleonoro Sarti of Italy, Brazil’s Jane Karla Gogel and Oyun-Erdene Buyanjargal of Mongolia were among the women who shot themselves in to contention for gold medals at the end of the second day at the fourth Para Archery World Ranking tournament being held at the Dubai Club for People of Determination (DCPD) on Monday.
Al Saedi, who is confined to a wheelchair, was in superb form as she beat better ranked archers from Great Britain and Japan to assure herself a spot in the final of the Recurve Women Open.
The Iraqi woman, who at one time had given up sport altogether due to lack of practice facilities in her country, defeated Rachel Martin of Great Britain 6-0 before getting the better of Aya Nakanishi of Japan 7-3.
Al Saedi will meet Buyanjargal after the Mongolian archer defeated Thais Silva Carvalho of Brazil 6-0 before getting the better of Thailand’s Wasana Khuthawisap 6-2. The final will be held on Wednesday. “This is one of the happiest moments of my life,” Al Saedi told Gulf News with tears in her eyes.
“I had stopped doing all sport as I didn’t believe I was good enough after I lost both my parents during the situation back home. But it was His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai who brought me back after changing the words ‘People with Special Needs’ to ‘People of Determination’,” she said.
In the Compound Women Open, European champion Sarti was in full flow with her first win coming up against Czech Republic’s Lenka Kuncova 136-121, after which the 32-year-old defeated Julie Chupin of France 130-126 and book her spot in Wednesday’s final.
In the upper end of the draw, Brazil’s Parapan gold medallist Gogel displayed steady form with victories over Nako Hirasawa of Japan (137-129) and Phoebe Pine of Great Britain (136-121). The Italian will now meet the archer from Brazil to decide the champion, while Chupin takes on Pine for the tussle for bronze medal.
Meanwhile, the men’s finalists were also decided with world record holder Alberto ‘Rolly’ Simonelli of Italy leading the charge to be joined later by Marian Maracek of Slovakia in the Compound Men’s Open. Simonelli, whose score of 706 during the World Championships in Torino was a world record, first defeated Great Britain’s Jamie Harris 144-135 and then got the better of Philippe Horner of France 144-133. Maracek defeated Great Britain’s David Bramley 141-134 after which he accounted for Andrey Castro of Brazil 140-136.
“Yesterday I was a bit rusty and tired after our trip to Dubai from Italy, where it is still very cold. During Sunday’s qualifying I could have done better, but I was not just feeling too good. But today is a different day and I am pleased,” he said.
In the Recurve Men’s Open, the fight for the gold will be between American Kevin Mather and Thailand’s Hanreuchai Netsiri. Mather defeated Japan’s Tomohiro Ueyama 6-2 and then beat Sakon Inkaew 6-2 to advance to the final, while Netsiri triumphed 6-4 over Mongolia’s Amarbayasgalan followed by a 6-2 win over a second Mongolian Munkhbastar Namjilmaa.
As many as 66 athletes from 15 nations, including three from the UAE are participating in the five-day competition being held in Al Ghusais.