Sharjah staged a successful Para badminton tournament as part of the International Wheelchair and Amputee Sports Federation (IWAS) World Games.
Badminton was one of seven sports – archery, athletics, badminton, swimming, shooting, table tennis, and wheelchair fencing – contested in the United Arab Emirates.
The flagship IWAS event is viewed as an important stop on the road to next year’s Paralympic Games in Tokyo.
India’s Pramod Bhagat was a star attraction claiming two gold in men’s singles SL3 and mixed doubles SL3-SU5 with partner Parul Dalsukhbhai Parmar, plus silver in men’s doubles SL3-SU5 with Sukant Kadam – also a gold medallist in men’s singles SL4-SL5.
Bhagat came into the event as the number one player in the SL3 category and is one of the athletes to follow ahead of the sport’s Paralympic debut in Tokyo.
Local hero Mohamed Ahmed Alzarooni (UAE) and Thailand’s Miss Samowkorn Photisuppaiboon were also high achievers, each claiming singles gold as well as victories in exhibition doubles matches.
Having received their first international classification earlier in the week during the Agitos Foundation-BWF Sport Technical Course, a number of athletes were excited about their first international tournament.
Afghanistan’s Nooria Najafi said: “The tournament has been good to me because I have taken a lot of experience from being here. I’d like to thank the Agitos Foundation for the opportunity.”
Bahrain team coach Dana Ali, who participated in the coaches’ workshop where individuals were assessed on delivering practical sessions with the players, said: “It’s a great opportunity to be at the IWAS World Games.
“Thank you to the Agitos Foundation and the BWF for the opportunity. We just started Para badminton in Bahrain and we hope to continue to develop our programme in the future.”
The BWF would like to congratulate all athletes, coaches, technical officials and the organising committee for being part of this wonderful event as we continue the journey towards the sport’s debut at Tokyo 2020.
Many of the athletes will be back in UAE in a few months’ time for the Dubai Para-Badminton International from 1-7 April.