Some of the top Asian para shuttlers including Paralympic and World Champions will be in action when the 4th Fazza Dubai Para Badminton International 2022 BWF Para Badminton World Circuit gets underway at the Shabab Al Ahli Club here from today.
While the Dubai 2022 Championships will have its usual names, nations like Iraq and Iran will be making their international debut in Para Badminton. Overall, 180 para shuttlers from 30 nations including hosts United Arab Emirates will vie for top honours in the BWF Level II Championships that runs until Sunday (May 29, 2022).
UAE players aim to hone skills
Both Iran and Iraq will field six shuttlers each, while the hosts United Arab Emirates team will rest their hopes on Salama AlKhateri and Humaid Fawzi AlSenaani competing in women’s and men’s SL4 events.
UAE coach Mahmoud Taifour said the goal for his players would be to know the level of players and hone their skills. He pointed out that the next stage would be widening the pool of players in the UAE team and reach podiums in the near future.
Team India will field the largest number of players of 40 players, led by Paralympic champion Pramod Bhagat and Manasi Joshi, the reigning world champion in womne’s singles SL3, while Team Japan will also have some of their Paralympic stars like Daiki Kajiwara and Yuma Yamazaki as they look to grab some medals.
Bhagat is fresh from twin gold medals winning show in last week’s Bahrain 2022 Para Badminton International as do Malaysia’s Paralympic champion Cheah Liek Hou, who leads a six-member Malaysian team and hopes to enjoy the week in Dubai playing some good matches.
Cheah looks to enjoy playing good badminton
“Even if I won two gold medals in Bahrain, I am not very satisfied with my form. I have to still work on a lot of areas to retain my best form, which I had during the Paralympics. I hope to play some good matches this week and gain the important rankings points. The World Championships in Japan is far so I am focusing on one step at a time and aim will be stay maintain my fitness and speed.”
Hong Kong will hope their Tokyo 2020 Paralympic medallists Chu Man Kai and Daniel Chan Ho Yuen grab the top places in men’s SH6 and men’s WH2 singles events, while South Korea’s Kim Jung Jun will be standing in Yuen’s road to glory.
Among others, Indonesia, who are here without their doubles specialist Leani Ratri Oktila, will bank on Fredy Setiawan and Suryo Nugroho to put up challenge in men’s SL4 and SU5 events.
Welcoming the teams, Chairman of the Fazza Championships and Dubai Club for People of Determination Thani Juma Berregad said: “We are delighted to welcome the teams for the 4th Fazza Dubai International. And we are confident of witnessing some excellent badminton matches in the next few days. In saying that, we also like to once again pay our tribute to late H.H. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who had always been a big motivation and support to the Para Sport Movement in the country.”
The Championships, held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Dubai Sports Council, will be the second tournament in as many weeks after the Bahrain 2022 Para Badminton International.