Fazza Dubai Boccia 2019 Regional Open kicks off

The 6th Fazza BISFed 2019 Dubai Boccia Regional Open Championships kicked off with the Individual Pool matches at the Shabab Al-Ahli Club on Monday, with as many as 60 players vying for ranking points towards their qualification for Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.

Organised and hosted by the Dubai Club for People of Determination under the banner of the annual Fazza Championships for the People of Determination, this Championships is the last chance for the Boccia players to gain ranking points and book Tokyo 2020 slots for their nations. The deadline for BISFed Boccia Individual, Team and Pairs world ranking list is December 31, 2019. A total of 116 players will qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Games.

This year the Championship has attracted 14 countries, including Indonesia and Mongolia who are making their debut here. However, some of the top teams like Thailand, Slovakia and Greece have given it a miss, having already qualified their desired slots for Tokyo but the competition is still set to be fierce.

Welcoming the teams in Dubai at the opening ceremony, Chairman of the Dubai Club for People of Determination and Chairman of the Local Organising Committee HE Thani Juma Berregad, said: “We are very glad to have you here every year. As we aim to raise the awareness and level of Para sport competition in the UAE, this Championship plays a significant role. I hope we will get to witness some high standard competition in the next few days. I wish all of you good luck and a pleasant stay here.”

BISFed Technical delegate Helena Bastos added: “We are very happy to see some new countries at this edition of the Championships. Thank you, Dubai and the organisers because every year we have some good surprises. Hopefully this year too, we will witness great competition. I know everybody cannot be a winner but I am sure at the end, everyone will be going back home happy. Enjoy the competition.”

Among others gracing the opening were the members of the Club’s board of directors including Mr. Ahmed Julfar and Mrs. Mona Hammad.

Hosts UAE fields 11 players

The absence of Thailand, who has been a dominant force in the sport as well as in this Championships in the past, have raised hopes of many other nations to make the most of this situation and gain maximum ranking points. Nations who are expected to make a mark are Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, China and Australia.

Like Thailand, South Korea and Hong Kong booked several Tokyo 2020 slots at the BISFed 2019 Seoul Boccia Asia-Oceania Regional Championships in July.

South Korea Team manager Gwangtaek Im, who is accompanying a 11-member team here, said: “This is the last competition for 2020 Tokyo Paralympics quota. We already got BC1 and 2 team and BC3 quota. This the first competition in which Korean National Team and Korean Regional team are participating together. So, it’s an important event for us.”

As for the hosts, UAE have fielded 11 players including seven men and four women players. Khalid Almarashda (BC2) and Raisa Alfalasi (BC4) are the top ranked men and women player with 89th and 62nd ranks, respectively.

In Pairs events, Hong Kong, Australia, Japan and South Korea are expected to fight it out for the top position.

For teams like Indonesia and India, their players are aiming to learn new technique and strategy at this Championships. For both the nations, boccia is an upcoming Parasport with a lot of interest generating among the players.

The Championships run from December 16 to 19, 2019 and the results can be found on http://bisfed2019-dubai-ind.sport80.com/app/main/#/matches.

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