HANGZHOU, 19th September, 2023 (WAM) -- H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Second Deputy Ruler of Dubai and President of the National Olympic Committee (NOC), affirmed that the country's participation in continental sporting showpieces such as the Asian Games over a half-century has been fuelled by the hard work and unrelenting efforts of successive generations of athletes.
H.H. Sheikh Ahmed said the eventful journey, which began in 1978 at the 8th Asian Games in Bangkok, is poised to cross yet another glorious milestone at the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, China, which is due to start in a few days with some 12,000 athletes from 45 Asian countries in participation.
He added, "Emirati athletes are true torchbearers for commitment and team effort, always displaying an unshakeable sense of belonging and pride in their country. This is amply evident when they represent the country in various sporting events. They always strive to improve upon prior records, driven by the desire to see their country's name at the top or among the medals. Participation in such events also represents, for some athletes, unforgettable and profound experiences that further enhance their determination to represent the country. Every one of these athletes is inspired above all by their love for the UAE and loyalty to its leadership."
Rallying the UAE contingent participating in the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, Sheikh Ahmed added, "At a time when the UAE celebrates momentous achievements and successes in manifold sectors, this occasion is yet another opportunity to cherish the UAE's pioneering spirit and redouble efforts to further enhance its surging global stature and reputation.
"The sports sector enjoys the full support, encouragement and attention of our wise leadership. We have seen the proof of this time and again at sporting extravaganzas, with our athletes continuing to exude confidence and determination as they outperform and excel, whatever the level of competition."
Games Village comes to life
The UAE contingent will feature across multiple disciplines at the Hangzhou Games from 23rd September to 8th October. More than 12,000 athletes from 45 Asian countries will compete in 40 sports and 61 disciplines, with 481 competitions being held across 54 sports facilities. Some 50,000 volunteers and 12,000 media professionals will be active across various venues.
The NOC, representing the UAE, has sent out a 140-strong sporting contingent (102 male athletes and 38 female athletes) to compete in a number of individual and group sports including Archery, Equestrian, Athletics, Swimming, Cycling, Judo, Taekwondo, Karate, Jujitsu, Fencing, Boxing, Wrestling, Basketball, Rugby, Sailing, Rowing, Chess, Golf, E-sports and Triathlon.