Sultan Al Nuaimi wrote his name into UAE boxing history on Monday when he became the first Emirati to win at the Asian Games in China.
Al Nuaimi scored a second-round knockout of Vanesy Heuangthisouan from Laos in the 51-kilogram weight class to reach the round of 16 at the Hangzhou Gymnasium.
“This is the first win when it comes to UAE’s history in the Asian Games. Alhamdulillah, we did it and now looking forward to many more in the coming days,” the Emirati policeman, appearing in his second Asian Games.
Having started boxing at 24, Al Nuaimi, now 30, made a first-round exit at the 2018 Games in Jakarta.
The two-time national champion turned professional five years ago and is undefeated in 10 fights in the paid ranks, the last of which was a 10-round decision at Rising Stars Arabia at the Mubadala Arena in Abu Dhabi three weeks ago.
“Amateur boxing is fast-paced and different to the professional fights. I’m not saying that I was slow, but I wasn’t thinking of high-volume punches,” he said of his opening contest.
“I had to wait for the moments to land some power punches. That was the only way I could have knocked him out. I won the first round and then went out in the second to finish him off.”
Al Nuaimi’s teammate Husain Al Kandari was stopped in the second round by Zeyad Eashash of Jordan in the 71kg category.
Earlier in the day, UAE judoka AltantsetsegBatsukh narrowly missed on a third medal in the competition.
The Mongolia-born fighter lost on the golden score to Park Eunsong at the Xiaoshan Lynpu Gymnasium.
Batsukh, 26, defeated Sevara Nishanbayeva of Uzbekistan by ippon in the repechage contest to advance into the medal round but fell just short against the Korean.
In the rugby sevens, UAE went down to Japan 28-14 in the quarter finals. They now face Chinese Taipei in the play-off for fifth and eighth in the pool that also included Malaysia and Singapore.