Ali Hamad Al Kirbi recognised for winning most medals and Omar Abdul Aziz Al Marzooqi commended for ‘best sports achievement’
Abu Dhabi, UAE, April 17, 2019: At the awards ceremony held yesterday by the General Authority for Sports at Mubadala Arena, 515 individuals were recognised for their significant contributions to the sporting world. With the generosity of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, more than AED 23 million was distributed amongst the winners. The event was held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs.
Based on the results of 2018, 580 medals were awarded to the UAE across various sports; including 202 gold, 193 silver and 185 bronze. Of this total, athletes competing under the UAE Equestrian and Racing Federation (UAEERF) in the various equestrian disciplines earned 148 medals - 68 gold, 41 silver and 39 bronze. With such impressive results, the UAEERF outperformed all other sports federations in the UAE and secured the title of ‘Best Performing Federation’.
During the ceremony, two show jumpers were commended for their especially outstanding performance last year – Ali Hamad Al Kirbi won the most medals out of any athlete in the UAE with a total of 13 while Omar Abdul Aziz Al Marzooqi was awarded the ‘Best Sports Achievement Award’ for winning the silver medal at the 2018 Summer Youth Olympic Games in Argentina.
H.E. Major General Dr. Ahmed Nasser Al Raisi, President of UAE Equestrian and Racing Federation expressed his happiness at this historic achievement saying: “I would like to extend my deepest gratitude to H.H. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, for the generous grants that encourage our riders to achieve the best results. These achievements were also the result of the unlimited support of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and H.H. Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, amongst other members of the ruling family. The number of medals and cups secured is a testament to the talents and skills of our UAE riders.”
He continued, “Thank you to all of our national riders, particularly the young Ali Hamad Al Kirbi and the talented Olympian Omar Abdul Aziz Al Marzooqi for their exemplar efforts to raise the name of the country in international events. I am proud of the amazing results achieved by my fellow Emiratis throughout the year in local and international competitions -their willingness to participate in all international competitions with the confidence of champions marks the beginning of a golden age of equestrianism in the UAE. Our next goal is the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.”
He also added that through a season full of national and international shows, the UAE Equestrian and Racing Federation has ensured that these young talents are refined and nurtured. It is one of the mandates of the Federation to expose UAE riders to the very best that show jumping has to offer.