UAE cycling captain Yousif Mirza gets gold medal redemption after a 10-year wait

© UAE National Olympic Committee
© UAE National Olympic Committee

Kuwait City, Kuwait, May 21, 2022: Yousif Mirza, the captain of the United Arab Emirates men’s cycling team, had to wait 10 years for redemption as his team won the men’s team time trial on Friday, May 20.

At the inaugural Gulf Games in Manama, Bahrain in 2011, Mirza and the UAE team missed out on the gold medal by a mere second. He did not have a chance to make amends at the next edition of the Games in Dammam, Saudi Arabia in 2015, as cycling was not part of the programme.

Having been made to wait all these years, victory was so much sweeter for Mirza - and teammates Ahmed Al-Mansoori, Jaber Al-Mansoori and Saif Al-Kaabi -  as the UAE won the gold medal in a time of 49 minutes 42.23 seconds.

“It has been a long time coming but I’m happy that we finally won. We had to work hard for victory with the home team who knew the conditions well, pushing us all the way. But our teamwork pulled us through,” Mirza said.

Kuwait took silver finishing 47 seconds behind the UAE, in 50:29.38, while Bahrain won the bronze in 50:50.34.

The UAE cycling machine proved unstoppable as they won their third straight gold medal at the 3rd GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) Games Kuwait 2022 on Saturday, May 21.

Safia Al-Sayagh grabbed gold in the women’s Individual Time Trial to make it a three-out-of-three for the Emiratis in cycling. It was Al-Sayagh’s second gold at the Games, having been part of the foursome which won the women’s team time trial on the opening day of cycling action on Thursday.