Sudanese athletes competing in the recent Special Olympics in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, have scored spectacular results, winning a total of 40 medals, including 25 gold medals, 8 silver medals and 7 bronze medals.
Player Arwa Salah had won three gold medals, one silver medal and one bronze medal in weight lifting, while her countrywoman Samah Nasr won two gold medals.
The Special Olympics is the world's largest sports organization for children and adults with intellectual disabilities and physical disabilities, providing year-round training and competitions to 5 million athletes and Unified Sports partners in 192 countries. Special Olympics competitions are held every day, all around the world- including local, national and regional competitions, adding up to more than 100,000 events a year. The Special Olympics organization is recognized by the International Olympic Committee; however, unlike the Paralympic Games, Special Olympics World Games are not held in the same year or in conjunction with the Olympic Games, according to the organization.
The Abu Dhabi games had kicked off on 15 March with athletes from 192 countries taking part. This is Sudan's second participation in the Special Olympics.
Sudan's players have played in several games, including: volleyball, swimming, athletes, bocce, weight-lifting and bawling. List of players who won medals includes:
-Arwa: Three gold, one silver and one bronze medal
-Samah Abdelfattah Nasr: two gold medals
-Ahmed Osman: one gold medal
-Ahmed Aldaw: one gold medal (bocce)
-Mubarak Omar: one gold medal (sprinting)
-Amal Juma'a: one silver medal
-Mohammed Hamid: one silver medal
-Ahmed Alrasheed: one silver medal
-Athara: one gold medal (swimming)
-Khansa'a Abdelgadir Adam: two bronze medals.
-Ahmed Hassan Nimir: one bronze medal
Reports incoming from Abu Dhabi also said the Sudanese volleyball team had beaten the U.S team.
The athletes were greeted with fanfare from their families and Olympic officials upon landing in Khartoum, Friday.
National Manager of the Special Olympics (who chaired the Sudanese mission), Dr. Yasir Mohammad Musa considered the athletes achievement "a result of the players will power, determination and high self-esteem."
"We are looking forward for more achievements and more participations in international and regional contests," he said.
He called upon all government bodies and the private sector to render help to the Special Olympics.