Top Para archers return to action with Fazza-Dubai 2021

Some of the world’s best Para archers, including Iran’s back-to-back Paralympic champion Zahra Nemati, were in action as Para archery resumed with the 7th Fazza Para Archery World Ranking Tournament-Dubai 2021.

As many as 70 archers from 11 nations competed in the Championships which culminated last week in the grounds of the Dubai Club for People of Determination. Having hosted the last Para Archery Championships (the 6th Fazza Para Archery World Ranking Tournament) in February 2020 before the Coronavirus Pandemic struck, it was a fitting venue to mark the welcome return of International Para Archery action.

Nemati (23, 16, 22, 23), who was top seed after the ranking round, settled for the silver medal in Recurve Women Open, losing to Turkey’s Yagmur Sengul (22,22, 24, 24) 6-2 in the Final.

“Today wasn’t a very good day. I had a bad shot and lost my focus later in the competition. Overall, it was a good competition and good preparation for Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. This event was part of my training programme which had helped me analyse my game,” said the Iranian champion, who is one of the shortlisted candidates for IPC’s 2021 International Women’s Day Recognition in the Next Generation category.

Among other top names, Slovakia’s former world no. 1 and former champion at the Championships Marcel Pavlik managed the Compound Open Men bronze medal with a 141-138 win over Turkey’s Erdogan Aygan.

Meanwhile, India’s Indonesia 2018 Asian Para Games Harvinder Singh compensated for his disappointing showing in Individual category with the Recurve Open Mixed Team Gold medal combining with Pooja. The pair defeated Turkey’s Merve Nur Eroglu and Sadik Savas narrowly 5-4 in the Final.

“For me personally, it was getting an opportunity to get my old rhythm back. I had the same feeling which I had during my gold medal match at the Indonesia 2018 Asian Para Games. It was a good learning experience here,” said Harvinder on his Mixed Team gold medal match. The Indian had faltered in the Recurve Open Individual quarter-finals

Indian Compound archers stand out

Elsewhere, India’s compound archers made the most of the opportunity and stood out with four medals including a Gold in Compound Open Men event.

In an all-Indian final, Rakesh (29-28-30-28-28) stayed ahead right from the first end against Swami (26-26-28-28-27) and maintained the momentum until the end winning by 143-135.

“I have been working on the mental aspect lately in my training and this had helped me in the final here. The condition was windy so getting this score in this condition is okay. Overall, it was a good experience to be in the shooting line after a long time,” said Rakesh.

Silver medallist Swami added: “Now we go back and train to shoot in windy condition. Our preparation for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games continues.”

Turkey sweeps Combined W1 events

In the medal standings, Turkey finished on top with eight medals (3 Gold, 2 Silver and 2 Bronze), ahead of Russia who had four medals (3 Gold and 1 Silver) and India with five medals (2 Gold and 3 Silver).

Turkish para-archers, in fact, swept the Combined W1 podium with their reigning world champion and current no.1 Bahattin Hekimoglu, Yigit Caner Aydin, current world no. 3, and Nihat Turkmenoglu finishing on top.

Hekimoglu prevailed over compatriot Aydin 134-131 in the Combined W1 Gold medal match, while Nihat Turkmenoglu beat Bogdan Raicu 132-113 for the Bronze medal.

Among other Asian nations, Iran was on fifth place with Nemati’s silver medal.

World Archery gives thumbs up to Dubai

Overall, it was yet another successful tournament for Dubai and the Local Organising Committee (LOC) who managed to successfully put in place all precautionary measures during the competition.

They even received a pat on the back from the World Archery. Chairman of the Para Archery Committee at World Archery Dominique Ohlmann expressed his satisfaction over the arrangements Dubai had put in place to host the Fazza Para Archery Championships amid the Pandemic.

“We are happy to be here and plan the World Championships for next year. We are very confident that this Championships will be as successful as the Para Athletics Grand Prix last week.

“Dubai and Bangkok (in Asia) are among the 10 cities in the five continents that have the ability to organise major global events. And we have great confidence in Dubai to organise an ideal tournament and expect more than 200 players to come here for the World Archery Championships next year.”

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