Al Aryani gives UAE silver at Paralympics
Al Ain shooting ace second behind China's Chao
Abdullah Sultan Al Aryani of the UAE finished second in the men's 10-metre rifle shooting (standing) competition at the Rio Paralympics on Thursday.
The former policeman who was seriously injured in a traffic accident years ago and has been using the wheelchair ever since, was on target for most part of the event at the Olympic Shooting Centre in Deodoro.
Al Aryani was the lone gold medal winner for the UAE at the London event four years ago in the prone classification of another category.
The men's defending Paralympic champion, Chao Dong, shot consistently in the R1 (men's 10m air rifle standing SH1) with a winning margin of 3.2 ahead of silver medallist Alaryani while South Korea's Suwan Kim who claimed bronze.
Dong scored a perfect 10.9 in the very first shot of the final. His accuracy and precision remained with him throughout the match as he soared to back-to-back victory, the official Paralympics info portal reflected.
"The way of getting this medal is not at all easy, I feel really lucky," Dong told media, on Thursday night.
"Shooting is about controlling your own conditions and it's about having a stable mind to remain focused.
"It was totally out of my expectation to win the same colour medal in the exact same event.
"My family at home will be very happy because a gold medal at this level is different to any other competition, but if I didn't win they would also be very happy".
Alaryani secured silver to win his first Paralympic medal in R1. The Emirati's performance puts him in good stead for his three remaining events.
"I am always so happy when I get a medal and it comes with a lot of confidence for my other events this week," he said.
"Standing events are not my strongest, but having the world record and winning multiple World Cups gave me hope that I would do well today (Thursday)."
South Korea had three participants in the final, but it was Kim who prevailed.
"I am very grateful to myself, but also to the whole country for winning this medal," he said. "I hope all the other South Korean athletes will follow suit and win medals here in Rio."
In the women's R2 (women's 10m air rifle standing SH1) Slovakia's Veronica Vadovicova claimed gold on the opening day. Vadovicova secured one of the first gold medals of the Games after a closely fought final with Chinese pair Cuiping Zhang and Yaping Yan rounding out the podium with second and third respectively.
Vadovicova said she was relieved to be back on top after failing to reach the podium in London.
"I was very upset in London because I wanted to win," she said. "After the Paralympics I swapped coach, started training more, changed my technique and the results are shown here today."
With inputs from Rio Paralympics 2016 results/info page
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