Onesmus Mutinda and Karen Dickerson celebrated gold medals in the unified half-marathon in the Special Olympic World Games Abu Dhabi 2019 at the Al Hudayriat Island.
Mutinda of Kenya won the men’s race in 1hr:11mn:34sec from Anwer Dakam (1:25:27) of Libya and Dane Nikolaj Mortensen (1:25:43). Dickerson took the women’s event in a time of 1:50:12 from Ausra Burbulyte (1:55:15) of Lithuania and South African Senamile Dlamini (2:46:19).
The athletes of determination were not alone. They were joined by nearly 1,500 runners, who regularly take part in the Abu Dhabi Sports Council’s (ADSC) community races, in a show of solidarity.
The day-long event organised by ADSC included a marathon, half-marathon and two races over 11km and 2.5km.
Adrianne Kim Gomez led a podium sweep for the Philippines in the men’s marathon. He clocked 2:07:12 and was followed home by compatriots Joan Carreira (2:05:11) and Leonard Ranjo (2:05:48).
Phil Yates of Britain and Christina Kersey of New Zealand won the men’s and women’s half-marathons respectively.
Khalid Al Qubaisi, Head of Community Sports at ADSC, thanked all those who contributed to the success of the event in an atmosphere of solidarity, love, peace and tolerance.
“The 17 athletes in the Special Olympics World Games thoroughly enjoyed the great atmosphere created by those who joined them in solidarity, and I thank each and everyone who joined us to make this event massive success,” Al Qubaisi said.