Aryani hits bullseye, shoots down UAE’s first gold at Tokyo Paralympic Games
Every minute of an athlete’s life is spent preparing to peak at that right moment when the opportunity presents itself. And if you do all that perfectly on a perfect day, and you beat your near-perfect rivals, then you win a gold medal.
Perfection in shooting is the most important aspect of the game and who knows this better than Abdullah Al Aryani, one of the most decorated Paralympian.
The Al Ain native hit the bullseye on Friday at the Asaka Shooting Range to win the men's 50m rifle 3 positions SH1 competition of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.
Aryani finished on top with a total score of 453.6. Serbia's Laslo Suranji took silver with 452.9 while South Korea's Shim Youngjip settled for bronze after securing a score of 442.2.
Taking part in his third Games after winning gold at London 2012 and three silver medals at Rio 2016, the UAE’s ace shooter stayed in front through the last five shots to take his first crown in this event.
"This is my favourite event and I'm always trying to improve during training and competition," said Aryani, who won two gold medals at the 2018 World Championships in Cheongju, South Korea.
"Today the atmosphere affected my performance, and made it more difficult to compete in the final.” The victory in the final also gave Aryani sweet revenge as the Emirati had narrowly lost the gold medal to Serbia's Suranji.
In a reversal of fortune, Aryani took the top spot on the podium at Tokyo.
"I'm very happy for my friend who won the gold medal today. He was the silver medallist behind me in Rio, so I'm very happy for him," said the Serbian.
It is the second medal for the UAE at the Games as on Monday, Mohamed Al Hammadi won bronze in the 100m - T34. Hammadi is on track for his second medal of the event when he attempts to defend his 800m - T34 title on Saturday.