Spotlight on Shaikh Saeed
The UAE medal hope Shaikh Saeed bin Maktoum bin Rashid Al Maktoum opens his 2012 London Summer Games campaign as the skeet competition gets underway at the Royal Artillery Barracks in Woolwich here on Monday.
Thirty six shooters, including five Arabs, are in the hunt for the precious medals. Besides UAE, Qatar will be represented by Nasser Al Attiya, Kuwait’s top shooter Abdullah Al Rashidi is among the front runners for the title, Majid Al Tamimi will carry the Saudi hopes while Egypt will be represented by Mustafa Hamdi and Azmi Mahliya.
The competitions were originally planned at the National Shooting Centre in Bisley, Surret, and the temporary solution at the Royal Artillery Barracks (which is in the River Zone) was adopted later after the International Olympic Committee expressed concerns about the distance between London and Bisley.
World leading Skeet shooter Georgios Achilleos of Cyprus is among the front-runner for the title besides the masters of the game from Great Britain, Italy, Germany and France.
Shaikh Saeed said he’s hopeful that his fourth appearance in the Games would be fruitful.
According to Brigadier Ahmed Al Raisi, chairman of the UAE Shooting Association, all eyes will be on Shaikh Saeed to emulate the great achievement of Shaikh Ahmed bin Hasher Al Maktoum, winner of the 2004 Athens Summer Games gold medal in the double trap.
“We hope history will repeat itself and the hard work of Shaikh Saeed during the preparations period will pay dividends. UAE is represented by three shooters in the skeet, trap and double trap and the expectations are very high to see them in the podium,” he said.