Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; March 18, 2019: Saudi Arabia Special Olympics athletes increased the team’s total medal count to 18 on day three of the Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019.
The team won four golds, one silver, and three bronze medals.
In the bocce men’s singles event, Rayid Aloufi won gold, and Khaled Alrowaile won bronze.
Hissah AlQuruni won silver and Faya Almubarrizi won bronze in the bowling women’s singles event.
In table tennis, Fares Almateq won gold.
Saudi Arabia’s Heba Shawli won gold in the 25m run; Bashayr Sawwaf won bronze in the 50m run, and Mohammed AlRefai won gold in the 200m run.
Mohammed AlRefai said: “It is an honor to win for my country. From the beginning all I wanted to do was raise the flag for my country at Special Olympics, and I have achieved that. I am so proud to win gold, and want to thank my family and Special Olympics Saudi Arabia Federation for their support.”
The women’s unified basketball team continued their undefeated streak with two more wins – 19-11 against Cote D’Ivoire, and 16-10 against Kuwait. In their game against Cote D’Ivoire, the Saudi Arabia men’s unified basketball team put in a strong effort but were just beaten, with a final score of 32-36.
As the largest team ever to represent Saudi Arabia at Special Olympics World Games, 50 athletes – 21 female and 29 male – will participate across 10 sports throughout the event, including basketball, bocce, athletics, powerlifting, roller skating, swimming, triathlon, table tennis, bowling and unified sports. They were accompanied by a delegation including representatives from Special Olympics Saudi Arabia Federation (SOSAF), coaches, and healthcare professionals, as well as their family and more than 200 volunteers from Saudi Arabia. Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019 will see more than 7,500 athletes from 192 nations compete in 24 sports from March 14-21.
Following the World Games 2019, Saudi Arabia Special Olympics Federation will continue to support Special Olympics athletes through a comprehensive ecosystem of programs, including athletics and physical activity coaching, healthcare, and more.
Special Olympics Saudi Arabia aims to recognise the athletic capability of all members of Saudi society, providing a platform of enablement and support for athletes with intellectual disabilities. It is responsible for bringing the entire universe of Special Olympics to Saudi Arabia, including sports participation, equity, healthcare, social inclusion, and more, with the ambition of creating a stronger future for the Kingdom in which all members can proudly participate. Engage with Special Olympics Saudi Arabia team on Twitter and Instagram: @SaudiArabiaSO.