Asian paralympic committee president declares Rio 2016 a success for Asian nations and says Asia will build on their legacy

  • More Asian nations won more medals than in London 2012
    • 24 Asian countries won medals in Rio versus 16 in London 2012.
    • Of these 18 countries increased their medal tally on London 2012.

On the morning after the closing ceremony, the Asian Paralympic Committee President Majid Rashed declared the Games a success for the Asian nations and commented that it bodes well for the next editions of the Games which will all take place in Asia.

823 athletes from 39 Asian nations competed with additional numbers of pilots, guides and competition partners, meaning that Asian athletes made up c. 20% of the athlete cohort but overall accounted for 26% of the medals won. 

Rashed commented:

Rio 2016 has been a fantastic Games. Before the Games started, there were many worries such as would the tickets sell but once the sport started these quickly disappeared. The Cariocas have taken the Paralympics to their hearts and we have seen some stunning performances from athletes, including many from Asia. China has once again put in an exemplary performance to top the medal table but with more Asian nations winning more medals than in London, we’re excited about the coming years when the next three Paralympic Games will all come from our region. There have been many stand out performances that have enthralled not just the crowds here in Rio but also back in the athletes’ home countries where people have followed the Games with awe and pride in their team.

The Paralympic Games have once again shown the world that nothing is impossible and remind us of what the human spirit is capable of. However at these Games we have also tragically had a reminder about our vulnerability with the passing of Iran’s Bahman Golbarnezhad. We know how deeply our colleagues in the NPC of the Islamic Republic of Iran feel his loss and we share in their grief and pain.

Stand out performances from Asian athletes included

  • The strongest Paralympian, Powerlifter Siamand Rahman from Iran. The London gold medallist in the over 100kg category retained his title and set a new World Record lift of 310kg.
  • Iran’s Zahra Nehmati who competed for the second time in Rio having been part of Iran’s Olympic team where she carried her nation’s flag at the Olympic Opening Ceremony. She repeated her London success winning Gold in the Women’s Individual Recurve Open and a Silver in the Mixed Team Recurve Open.
  • India’s athletes who captured the hearts of their nation when their largest ever team won four medals in total, their best ever performance at a Paralympic Games. This included winning both the Gold and Bronze medal in the T42 Men’s high Jump (Gold: Thangavelu, Bronze:Varun Singh), Devendra breaking his own World Record which had stood since 2004 to win Gold in the T43 Javelin and Deepa Malik winning Silver in the Women’s Shot Put F53
  • Malaysia who had never won a Gold medal before, won three plus a bronze.
  • Qatar won their first Paralympic medals ever taking two silver in both the men’s F34 Shot Put and the women’s F33 Shot Put.

Rashed commented further:

We owe Rio and Brazil a huge debt of gratitude for the way that they have risen to deliver these Games, the first on the South American continent, under challenging circumstances. But deliver they have. And the Paralympic movement has been further strengthened by this wonderful, joyful celebration of the human spirit. In Asia, we look forward to our turn to build on this incredible legacy. We will use these Games to spur our nations onto greater success in 2018, 2020 and 2022.

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