Guinness World Records, the global authority on record-breaking achievements, has announced that two Emiratis — footballer Areej Al-Hammadi and fitness expert Walid Yari — are the newest title holders in the region.
Al-Hammadi, who plays for the UAE National Football Team, broke the record for soccer ball “hotstepping,” completing 86 repetitions of the ball control trick in 1 minute. She broke the previous record of 56 in the UK. Yari, meanwhile, smashed the record for the most side jump pushups in a minute, completing 33 flying pushups in a single minute, where the previous record stood at 26 in India.
The two Emiratis’ achievements were announced at the launch of Guinness World Records Day 2020, which is themed “Discover Your World.” The initiative is encouraging people to take on a new challenge now that lockdown measures are easing, or simply turn a newfound skill or talent into a world record attempt.
Known as “The Beast of the Middle East,” Yari is a 34-year-old fitness professional and social media content creator. He is taking the region by storm with a growing fan base of more than 650,000 followers on Instagram.
I am incredibly proud to be a Guinness World Records title holder and excited to help celebrate the launch of Guinness World Records Day this year. It is proud moment for me, for my country, and for women around the world.
Areej Al-Hammadi, Emirati Footballer
“I encourage people to swap their burgers for burpees and get into shape with unique training routines that resemble something that can only be visualized in a film,” said Yari. “I have been training almost all my life, and I was ready the minute I knew about Guinness World Records Day. So, I set up my cameras the next day, and filmed the entire scene to smash the previous record title,” said Yari.
Al-Hammadi has paved her way to the top of women’s football in the MENA region. She is a creative services professional by day, and a footballer by night. She has lived most of her life chasing opportunities in football, forming football teams both in school and during higher studies at the American University in Dubai, and attending many of the women’s football championships within the MENA region, before she finally made it to the UAE National Football Team.
“I am incredibly proud to be a Guinness World Records title holder and excited to help celebrate the launch of Guinness World Records Day this year. It is a proud moment for me, for my country, and for women around the world. Why football? Because it is my passion,” said Al-Hammadi.
Guinness World Records Day 2020 will take place globally on Nov. 18.