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Dubai Crown Prince Al Maktoum Saeed eyes a medal at Olympics
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He could have become a ruler of Dubai, United Arab Emirates, had Sheikh Saeed Bin Rashid Al- Maktoum not given up his throne for the sake of shooting.

Compared with politics, the 32-year-old man with a beard was more keen on a medal at the upcoming Olympics.

"This is my third Olympics," he said. "I am now in my best form."

Son of Sheikh Maktoum Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, late vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and the emir of Dubai, Saeed started competing in men's skeet in 1999 and won gold medal at the Asian Shooting Championships in 2003 and silver of the Doha Asian Games in 2006.

In the Kuwait Asian Shooting Championships last year, he won a ticket for the Olympic Games at the event by grabbing a bronze.

However, he was eclipsed by his cousin, Ahmed Al-Maktoum, who shot down the first Olympic gold for their country in Athens four years ago. Ahmed was also the other one of the only two athletes who would compete in shooting events in Beijing.

Although Saeed didn't view his brother's glory as pressure, he admitted that it pressed him to work harder.

Arriving in Beijing on July 26, Saeed came to the shooting range on the western suburb Tuesday for a second training session.

"I have confidence in my capability, but I haven't got used to the shooting range yet," he said. "There are many ups and downs at the back (mountains). But in our country, the range is flat."

Saeed didn't seem to perform well at a position on the right side when he let go of four birds in a row. He appeared upset and talked with his coach Leonas Molotokas, a retired shooter from Latvia, for a while.

"Success belongs to the best-prepared," Saeed said, adding that "everybody comes here for the medals and everybody knows how to score."

This words were echoed by his gray-haired coach. "Of course I hope Saeed would win, but everyone here has the chance for medal," said Molotokas.

Fortunately Saeed appeared relaxed before intense competition.

"We believe in God. If God gives you, nobody could take it away," he said.

In his spare time, Saeed likes to stay with his family and is apparently a doting father. He has five children, the eldest being eight years old.

"Two of the my boys have started practicing shooting with rifles," he was proud.

(Xinhua News Agency July 30, 2008)

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