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Talented youth from around the world make a final push for medal glory at WorldSkills Abu Dhabi 2017

18 October 2017

As the WorldSkills Abu Dhabi 2017 finish-line nears, talented young competitors from around the world have been making one final effort to place themselves in the running for a medal at the world championship of vocational skills.

The 44th edition of the WorldSkills Competition – the largest and most prestigious of its kind in the world – has entered its last day, with the winners being unveiled at the Closing Ceremony at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre tonight.

Over four days, around 1,300 Competitors from 60 WorldSkills Member countries and regions have showcased their abilities in 51 categories under six overarching Skills sectors, in the first WorldSkills Competition to be held in the Middle East and North Africa region. And as they looked back on their performance today, quiet confidence was the overriding emotion – along with pride in their participation on the global vocational skills stage.

Kiran, 20, from India, participated in the Prototype Modelling Skill, and said: “Some of the materials I was using were different, and at some points in the Competition - such as the task to make an underwater vehicle prototype - I was worried I was running out of time, but it went well.

“I am hoping for the best result. I feel confident - and I would like a medal.”

Having competed in the CNC Turning Skill, Sergio Andres, from Colombia, expressed his hopes of winning a silver medal, saying: “I hope it went well, and I am looking forward to the results being announced on Thursday evening.”

 

Among the Competitors in the Electronics Skill was Canadian Judd Foster, and the 17-year-old said he felt confident in his performance during Competition.

“It went pretty good,” he said. “I found most of the faults I was tasked to find. Then I ran out of time. But we will see what happens in the results.

“I hope I have done well - we will see. Obviously, I would like to win, but the whole experience has been the number one thing for me. It has been the best and I have had such a good time - just going around and seeing all the other Competitors in the different Skills, whether it’s Mechatronics or Plumbing and Heating.

“It is so interesting to learn about other people’s knowledge in different Skills.” 

Alongside international participants, Emirati students have been at the forefront of WorldSkills Abu Dhabi 2017, and one of them is Omar Al Hebsi. He also competed in the Electronics Skills category, and described his experience in his home town of Abu Dhabi as “one of the best weeks in my life”.

“It was wonderful,” said the 22-year-old. “I’m not very confident about how I did - but I know I did my best and I am very, very proud of that.

“I am very impressed with all the knowledge I gained from the WorldSkills Competition here. It really enhanced the information I already had."

 

Fellow UAE national Roudha Bin Bahr made WorldSkills history by becoming the first woman competing in the Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Skill, and said:  “Being the first female to compete in this Skill - and opening up an avenue for other females - was a highlight.

“A lot of the Experts were looking at me in surprise at first! But everyone was so helpful and I hope I did well. I hope for a medal - but I am not sure.

“The Competition was not easy for me - doing the installations, the welding, and other tasks, and being the only female Competitor. But it has been a really good experience.”

By the time it draws to a close, about 100,000 visitors from throughout the UAE and around the world are expected to have attended WorldSkills Abu Dhabi 2017. Abu Dhabi was selected in 2013 as the host city for the 2017 edition of the Competition, awarded to EmiratesSkills as part of Abu Dhabi Centre for Technical and Vocational Education and Training.