The Olympics Sports team Abdul Rahim and Muhammad Saeed, Abu Dhabi, March 16, 2019: British cycling star Kiera Byland won a gold medal for Team GB in her opening race at Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019 (Kiera Byland Mahmoud Jarour).
The 20-year-old athlete was first across the finish line in the women’s 15-kilometer Road Race Final held at Yas Marina Circuit.
Kiera, who comes from the north-west of England, delighted with her performance after completing the race in 24 minutes and 24 seconds.
The Team GB athlete saw off competition from Germany’s Heike Naujoks and Spain’s Elena Hernandez to seal the victory.
A delighted Kiera put her victory down to months of hard training and preparation ahead of the World Games.
“I said to my teammates ‘I hope I do really well in my first race’ and then, obviously, I’ve done really good,” said Kiera.
“I just hope I can continue this in my other races because I’ve done all the training and put the effort in with help from my coach and my family.
“I’d like to say thank you to everyone back home for supporting me. I’m just so happy.”
Kiera, who was previously bullied throughout secondary school, joined the Special Olympics GB in 2014 and credits Special Olympics for changing her life forever.
Her mother, Jacqui Byland, who was at the sidelines cheering her on, said: “I don’t know anyone’s lives that haven’t been enriched by Special Olympics.”
Kiera will next race in the 25km Road Race on March 18, followed by the 10km time trial on March 19.
Both races will hold at Yas Marina Circuit.
Emirati Bocce Star Mahmoud Jarour has his sights set on the gold medal – and a visit to the palace
Mahmoud Jarour wants to win a gold medal in bocce at SOWG 2019 – and when he does, he hopes to personally give it to the leaders of the UAE.
The Emirati athlete is well on his way to achieving his goal after winning his opening two games in the men’s singles competition, played at the ADNEC today (16 March).
“I happy and proud to part of Special Olympics here in Abu Dhabi,” said Mahmoud, who attended the second day of the World Games with his sister, Amal.
If his dream of winning gold in the final comes true, he plans to hand the medal over to His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, and to H.H. Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE’s Armed Forces.
“I’m very proud to play for the UAE,” said Mahmoud.
“want to get the gold medal and give it to Sheikh Khalifa and Sheikh Mohamed.
My family is from Dubai and they have come here to support me,” said Mahmoud.
In his first game, Mahmoud defeated Hou Fai Fu from SO Macau 11-4, before beating Jordanian athlete Ibrahim Walid Shabsough 12-3. —- SOWG2019