Al Hammadi targets golden finish at para championships
Mohamed Al Hammadi hopes to call himself a world and Paralympic champion at the end of the World Para Athletics Championships as he bids for glory in his favourite event.
On Friday the Emirati will race in the Men’s 800m T34 looking to add to his two medals already secured at the championships being held in Dubai after winning silver in the 400m before adding a bronze in the 100m T34 event.
Al Hammadi clocked a time of 15.93 seconds in the 100m T34 to finish on the podium behind Tunisia’s multiple Paralympic medal winner Walid Ktila (14.99) and Australian Rheed McCracken (15.51) at the Dubai Club for People of Determination Stadium on Sunday.
Al Hammadi, 34, said that finishing third in the 100m “came as a surprise” and he hopes to replicate his success at the 2016 Rio Games by winning the 800m final, although he insists he is taking nothing for granted with such a strong field.
“I am very happy with the second medal and I now want to achieve a golden finish for the UAE on Friday,” said Al Hammadi, a silver and bronze medallist at 2012 London Games. “I have a gold over this distance [800m] at Rio 2016 and this is my strongest event.
“Having said that, I don’t want to take anything for granted. It is going to be a strong race as everybody is here to win. I feel confident, especially after the second medal, but it’s still a race and you start from scratch.”
The top four places in each discipline at the World Para
Athletics Championship receive automatic qualification for the 2020 Paralympics. Al Hammadi has already booked his ticket in the 100m T34 but the 400m event is not included for Tokyo. “After this, there’s not much time before the Paralympic Games. So, it is a matter of taking the momentum to Tokyo in August.”
Meanwhile, Noura Al Ketbi fell out of the medal round in the women’s shot putt F32.
However, Al Ketbi booked her ticket to Tokyo 2020 for her fourth place finish with a throw of six metres.