UAE Olympics medals triumph in Rio

Time Out has Rio 2016 news for UAE residents as Sergiu Toma wins bronze in Judo. Find out more about the UAE Olympics medals triumph, a second ever

It’s taken only four days of sporting action at the Rio Games for the UAE to claim a medal.

But the Emirates’ wait for Olympic glory has been much longer overall: 12 years to be exact.

On that occasion it was Sheikh Ahmad bin Mohammad bin Hasher Al Maktoum who won the country’s first ever medal, a gold in the double trap shooting event in Athens 2004.

Now it’s Sergiu Toma who will also have his name in the UAE history books, after his epic win against Italy’s Matteo Marconcini and subsequent bronze medal in the -81kg weight class.

Having narrowly lost to Russia’s Khasan Khalmurzaev in the semi-finals, the 29 year old defeated Marconcini by Ippon, the highest score a judoka can achieve.

Toma is one of three UAE judokas competing in Rio, with Victor Scvortov losing in the -78kg weight class at the last-16 stage on Monday and Ivan Remarenco still in with a chance in the -100kg on Thursday.

"I’m very proud to represent the UAE and win the medal for them," Toma said after his fight.

"I want to thank all the people in Moldova and the Emirates for helping me with my career. I dedicate this to them and to my mentor."


Sheikh Ahmad bin Mohammad bin Hasher Al Maktoum, a member of Dubai's ruling family, only took up the sport when he was 34 even though he had been behind the barrel of a gun since a young age.

"I was born into a family where all they knew was shooting," he said.

"My father and grandfather were both shooters. I loved shooting when I was a kid and would leave my bike to get rusty but clean my gun every day."

After his Olympic gold in Athens, Sheikh Ahmad went on to coach British shooter Peter Wilson, who became the youngest ever gold medallist in the double trap event at London 2012.

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