- Emirati triathlete Micah Hambleton wins the UAE’s first medal of the games
- Daman World Triathlon Abu Dhabi 2019 kicks-off the World Games in style
The Daman World Triathlon Abu Dhabi 2019 today became the most inclusive edition in its history, as the event hosted the first sports competition of Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019. 22 athletes of determination from 13 countries around the world raced today across four individual categories.
Emirati triathlete Micah Hambleton – managed to secure the UAE’s first medal of the Special Olympics in a time of 1:14:27 and it was clear how ecstatic he was with his achievement. saying: “Winning gold in the first competition of the Games feels absolutely incredible. I have never felt more proud than I did going over the finish line and representing the UAE. I have been training really hard ahead of the competition and I thought I would do well but winning is a dream come true. I hope this will inspire more people of determination to get involved in sports and show the world just how successful we can be.”
Other gold medallists included Martin Kiis of Estonia (1:20:51), Andres Damaceno of Uruguay (1:22:22) and Houdaifa Mohamad of Morocco (1:17:18).
Today’s triathlon category for Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019 was integrated into ITU’s global event calendar at the Daman World Triathlon Abu Dhabi 2019 for the very first time in World Games’ history. The event not only marked the first sports competition of Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019, but also saw the first official medal handed out. As well as the gold medal winners, silver medals were handed out to Micah’s brother Jonah Hambleton of the UAE; two silver medals went to Axel and Gonzalo Pastorino of Uruguay with the final silver going to Robert Liddie of Saint Kitts and Nevis. Bronze medals were won by Trent Hampton of the USA, Alejandro Batlle of Dominican Republic, Ismail Khelifi of Tunisia and Mohammed Alolayan from Saudi Arabia.
By integrating these two iconic events together, participating Special Olympics athletes have had the unique opportunity of experiencing their sport in the professional setting of a world championship and to race amongst some of the most well-known athletes in the sport. Inversely, ITU’s top triathletes have been lucky enough to race with some of the most determined and inspirational athletes in the world, whilst witnessing first-hand the largest sports and humanitarian event of 2019.
Commenting on this weekend’s partnership with the Daman World Triathlon Abu Dhabi 2019, Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019, CEO, Peter Wheeler said:
"After two years of preparations for the World Games I was proud to witness not only the extraordinary efforts of those athletes participating today but also the huge numbers of supporters who turned up to cheer them on. It was clear from the turnout at today’s event that spectators want to celebrate their national heroes, strengthening the values which underpin the Special Olympics movement and 2019’s Year of Tolerance.”
Taking place under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019 will welcome more than 7,500 athletes from over 190 nations to Abu Dhabi over the next 10 days. With 24 different disciplines due to feature over the week of competition, including today’s triathlon events, it is expected that more than 20,000 overseas visitors will join tens of thousands of spectators from across the UAE to watch what is likely to be the largest global event ever staged in the UAE capital.
Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019 will take place between 14 – 21 March and you can find further information here: https://www.abudhabi2019.org/.