Bahrain 2021 Asian Youth Para Games opens with Opening Ceremony at Bahrain International Circuit

The fourth edition of the Asian Youth Para Games got underway last night (2 December) when the around 700 athletes gathered at the Bahrain International Circuit for the Opening Ceremony.

The athletes from the 30 countries who are competing at the Games entered the arena and then His Excellency Shaikh Mohamed bin Duaij Al Khalifa, President of the Bahrain Paralympic Committee, and His Excellency Mr. Majid Rashed, President of the Asian Paralympic Committee both gave an opening address.

Rashed stated the importance of the Games: “They are a fundamental part of growing the Paralympic Movement across our region so that more Asian para-athletes can shine and in doing so they can help to shift perceptions of what all people with impairment are capable of. In this way, we can start to deliver on the APC’s vision ‘to make for an inclusive Asia through para sport’

We hope that over the next four days of sport, all of the young athletes here can shine and through their performances can encourage and excite other young Asian people with impairment to believe that there is no limit to what they can achieve. We hope too that their performances can break down barriers and can drive towards more inclusion in sport and society.”

After urging the athletes to make the most of the opportunities that the Games were giving them, he ended his address by inviting Highness Shaikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa, First Deputy Chairman of the Supreme Council for Youth and Sports, President of the General Sports Authority and President of Bahrain Olympic Committee to open the Games.

Earlier in the day, some of the sports had got underway. The Wheelchair Basketball competition is acting as the qualification tournament for the 2022 Men’s U23 World Championship. The first pool matches which took place on 1 December saw I.R. Iran beat the Philippines and Jordan, whilst host country Bahrain got their championships off to a good start with victory over Saudi Arabia but unfortunately lost out to the Philippines at the end of day 1. Iraq were also victorious, beating Thailand 42-31.

Badminton started on 2 December and India and Korea laid down a marker, with India winning five of their matches and Korea four of theirs. In Boccia pool matches in the individual competition started with Male and Female events for the first time at the Asian Youth Para Games. In Goalball both Thailand’s men’s and women’s teams won their first matches and there were victories too for Iran and Korea’s men’s teams.

Friday (3rd December) sees these sports continue in their pool stages and the start of Athletics, Swimming and Table Tennis with the first medals of the Games to awarded in Athletics and Swimming.

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