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Saturday, April 17, 2021

Drop Zone

by The Media Office

© Jack Atley | Free-Falling: A member of the UAE parachute team drops in on last year's Dubai Rugby Sevens

Ask one of the UAE's most accomplished teams to drop in at your next function and they will probably do just that...literally! The sky is not just the limit for UAE military parachuting display team, it is their place of work, and they have jumped into recognition as one of the finest in the profession to be found anywhere in the world. With a background of military personnel who have undergone the best training, the 15-man team has been galvanized into a superb entertainment outfit as well as being one of the best in competitive events. They made the huge audience at last year's Dubai Rugby Sevens gasp in amazement at the speeds they reached as they dropped from the skies in a blaze of colour, before landing with precision and expertise one by one on the centre circle of the pitch. Gripping stuff to the untrained eye, but a way of life for the men of the skies who are currently in Croatia, as Al Shindagah went to press, looking to capture the 24th World parachuting championship for formations and target accuracy. The team has spent the past year preparing for this event and put the finishing touches to their display at a three-week training camp in Austria last month. Preparations for the event have gone well. In a warm-up tournament, also held in Croatia, they captured first in the target accuracy event while three-time world champion Eissa Mohammed clinched the singles, and was placed second in circling. Youngsters are coming through the ranks too, with Ali Hassan finishing second in the youth category and Ahmed Khalfan achieving the same in the circling section. Looking to the future, and ensuring the UAE remain as one of the world's elite parachute display teams, the team's leader, Mohammed Yousuf Abdul Rahman of Abu Dhabi, is hoping to set up a reserve team. Coached by Croatian Zlatco Burg, the team ranks strongly in the world top 10, while it is rated among the top five parachute teams by the International Military Sports Association. 

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