Experience to be ‘key factor’ for UAE shooter Alaryani

The Paralympic champion knows he has a target on his back but is staying focused ahead of Rio 2016. 04 Sep 2016
Abdulla Sultan Alaryani of The United Arab Emirates competes during the Men's R1-10m Air Rifle Standing SH1 Final

Abdulla managed to beat hot favourite Jonas Jakobsson to win gold in the Mixed 50m Rifle prone SH1.

ⒸGetty Images
By Jake Smith | For the IPC

After tasting gold in London, the United Arab Emirates’ reigning Paralympic champion, Adbulla Sultan Alaryani is hungry for more at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.

The shooter will feature in four disciplines at the Olympic Shooting Centre in Deodoro and has his eyes fixated on gold.

“My expectation is to be one of the strongest competitors in all four events R1 [men’s 10m air rifle standing SH1], R3 [mixed 10m air rifle prone SH1], R6 [mixed 50m rifle prone SH1], and R7 [men’s 50m rifle three positions SH1]. I believe competition will be tough, but my goal is the gold” Alaryani said.

Alaryani is currently R1 finals world record holder as well as the R7 qualification world record holder. The Emirati has easily been one of the most impressive shooters in 2016, winning two gold medals and one silver at the season opening IPC Shooting World Cup in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates, followed by another gold medal and two silvers at the World Cup in Bangkok, Thailand in March. Alaryani undeniably has a large target on his back, but if his composure can match his confidence he will go a long way towards winning.

“My third participation [at a Paralympic Games] is different this time because I am the current champion and gold medallist from London. The challenge is now bigger as I have to achieve more and continue on as the champion,” he said.

“Of course I have a good base in balancing my focus, but my priority leans more towards the three positions over prone. The name of this game is giving me the encouragement to be strong, but controlling my nerves is not easy at all - experience will be the key player.”

Alaryani was part of the UAE able-bodied shooting team at the Sydney 2000 Olympics, but was left paralysed from the waist down after a serious car accident a year later. Since then, he has played a huge role in raising awareness for athletes with impairments and is heavily involved in the development of shooting Para sport.

“It has been a big transition [from Olympian to Paralympian], but I found it true that 'where there is a will, there is a way’.

“As the first Arabic shooter registered with the IPC, it has been interesting to observe the development and be part of the growth of the disabled Games in general and shooting in particular. And now I'm proud to be not only an athlete, but also a coach for four members of the UAE shooting team, where three of them are also going to Rio” Alaryani said.


Sport fans from around the world can now buy their Paralympic tickets for Rio 2016 from authorised ticket resellers (ATRs)

The IPC’s Global ATR is Jet Set Sports, and Rio 2016 tickets and packages can be purchased on the CoSport website.

Residents of Brazil can buy 2016 Paralympics tickets directly from the Rio 2016 website.

Visa International is the exclusive payment card and the official payment system for the Paralympic Games.