Asia nations perform strongly at the Dubai 2019 World Para Athletics Championships

Asia nations perform strongly at the Dubai 2019 World Para Athletics Championships

18 November 2019

As the World Para Athletics Championships returned to Asia after four years, nations from the region recorded some good performances with China finishing on top of the table at Dubai 2019.

Much like at the London 2017 Championships, China topped the medals tally clinching 59 medals including 25 Gold and many Asian nations improved on their London performances, with Uzbekistan’s taking eight medals, including four gold, taking them into the top 10 on the medal table this time around.

Several countries including Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Thailand and the hosts United Arab Emirates won gold medals that had eluded them at London 2017. Overall, 16 Asian nations made it onto the medals table with more medals including golds this time. And among the 49 world records broken in this Championships, 14 came from Asian athletes.

With the Dubai 2019 Championships one of the key stops in the road to the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, International Paralympic Committee President Andrew Parsons praised the performance of the Asian nations.

“It’s amazing to see so many good performances from Asian nations especially in this Asian decade where we have Summer and Winter Paralympics in PyeongChang, Tokyo and Beijing. It shows that the Paralympic Movement is growing in this region and how serious the nations are taking their preparation towards Tokyo 2020. They are not only finding support from partners and government but also implementing pathways in the development of the athletes. We can expect an incredible Tokyo 2020 Games in only 10 months’ time,” Parsons told Asian Paralympic Committee (APC).

Top Performers

Among the performers, China’s two-time Paralympic champion Lihong Zou clinched five medals, including four gold in T54 middle-distance races– the maximum by any athlete here.

Zhou’s compatriot Xiaoyan Wen was equally impressive shining with two world records and three gold in women's 100m T37, women’s 200m T37 and women's long jump T37.

Paralympic and former world champion Khusniddin Norbekov stood out for Uzbekistan setting a world record while taking the gold in men’s shotput F35 finals.

Behzad Azizi (men's javelin throw F13), Hamed Amiri (men's javelin throw F54) and Mahdi Olad (men's shot put F11) clinched a gold each as Iran finished with 11 medals taking the 12th place in the medal standings.

Japan’s campaign was closely followed by the Japanese media in preparation for hosting the next Games, and it was led by Tomoki Sato who won two gold medals in the men's 400m T52 and men's 1500m T52, defending his title in style. Japan eventually finished in the 13th place with 13 medals.

Home favourite Alhammadi takes gold of final day

UAE’s Mohammed Alhammadi lived up to the expectations of the home crowd winning all the three medals UAE clinched at the Championships. After winning the silver and bronze in men’s 400m and men’s 100m T34 events, Alhammadi brought the curtain down on the Dubai 2019 Championships with the gold in his favourite event – the 800m T34 race finishing with a championship record time of 1 minute and 44.36 seconds.

The joy was obvious for his home fans at the Dubai Club for People of Determination. “I am happy from the core of my heart as I can see the people of UAE happy. I fought to win the gold in 100m and 400m races but I couldn’t. Today, I got this gold for UAE and for the people of UAE. If my people are happy than I am happy. To hear the national anthem at the podium is one of things that I train for. I will now see my family after long time,” Alhammadi said on his title win. He now has three Worlds title overall following his double gold in Christchurch 2011 Worlds. 

New Champions

The Championships witnessed some new champions as well.

India’s Sandeep Chaudhary pulled off a new world record en-route his first World Para Athletics gold after hurling the javelin to a distance of 66.18m in the men’s javelin F64 finals. As F44 and F64 was combined into one event, Chaudhary attained the new mark in F44 category while compatriot Sumit, who took the silver, bettered his F64 world record sending the spear to a distance of 62.88m.

Overall India finished with nine medals in 24th place, their best ever in Worlds, with Sundar Singh Gurjar clinching the other gold in men’s javelin F46 category.

Meanwhile, Indonesian teenager Karisma Evi Tiarani shone with her first World Championships gold medal, also the only gold for Indonesia at the event, which also came with a new world record in the women’s 100m T63 (14.72seconds).

Thailand finished in the 16th place with multiple-time Paralympic gold medallist Prawat Wahoram returning home as a double World champion winning the men's 1500m T54 and men's 5000m T54 finals. This was also Thailand’s best ever show.

Nour Alsana gave Saudi Arabia its first gold medal at the Championships winning the men's 400m T44 finals, while Ahmad Almutairi successfully defended his men’s 100m T33 title as Kuwait took its only gold in Dubai 2019.

Jordan’s Ahmad Hindi showed that he will be the man to beat in Tokyo 2020, in men’s Shotput F34 event, getting a new world record to his name with a throw of 12.17 metres. His medal was Jordan’s only medal at the Championships, much like Kuwait. Among others, Malaysia and Iraq settled with four medals each that included silver and bronze medals. Pakistan and Korea finished bottom of the points table with one medal each.

The next World Para Athletics Championships will be held in Kobe, Japan in 2021.
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