World’s leading shuttlers return to action at Dubai Para Badminton International

World’s leading shuttlers return to action at Dubai Para Badminton International

1 April 2021

Some of the world’s leading Para Badminton stars, including reigning world champions and Asian Para Games winners, returned to action at the Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum 3rd Dubai Para Badminton International 2021 Championships that got underway in Dubai on Tuesday (March 30).

There were all smiles at the Shabab Al Ahli Club as players took to the courts in the first BWF Para Badminton tournament after more than a year because of the Covid-19 Pandemic. The last international meet was held in Peru in February 2020.

As many as 127 players from 29 countries including hosts United Arab Emirates are participating at the championships, which has several world champions including Indonesia’s top player Leani Ratri Oktila, India’s multiple-time world champion and Indonesia 2018 Asian Para Games winner Pramod Bhagat and Manasi Joshi, France’s Lucas Mazur among others.

Among other highlights of the Championships are Asian teams from Kuwait, Maldives and Nepal who are competing here for the first time.

Top players excited to compete finally

Oktila, who has been a multiple-time world champion in SL4, said that the tournament will set the tone for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.

“I am very happy that finally I can compete again, hopefully it can be a spirit to go to Tokyo.”
“I have good memories of this championships and just like before, I am targeting three gold medals here.”

Meanwhile, Bhagat, a SL3 player, felt that this is a good opportunity to test their form ahead of Tokyo 2020.

“This is better than no tournament. I missed performing internationally. This is good opportunity to test my Tokyo preparation. Definitely the target is not less than the gold,”

His team-mate Kadam added: “This is the 1st time we got lot of time for preparation. I am so excited to play Dubai international after all this Covid situation. Definitely many things will be changed during tournament but still I am excited to perform under all situations. Because I really missed international tournaments during lockdown.”

New name launched for Championship

This year the Championships, known as Fazza- Dubai Para Badminton International in the past years, has been renamed to pay tribute to His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Deputy Ruler of Dubai and UAE Minister of Finance and Industry, who passed away recently.

The decision on the name of the Championships was taken in coordination with the Dubai Sports Council and the Badminton World Federation (BWF).

Majid Rashed, Asian Paralympic Committee President and Director of the International Fazza Championships for People of Determination, said that the late Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum cultivated will, confidence and determination within the ‘People of Determination’ and showed his love and generosity. “He will always remain in our hearts.”
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