Some of the world’s best para archers will return to action when the 7th Fazza Para Archery World Ranking Tournament- Dubai 2021 gets underway at the Dubai Club for People of Determination grounds here from Tuesday.
As many as 70 archers from 11 nations will compete in this year’s Championships which will also mark the return of Para Archery action after a year. Dubai had hosted the last Para Archery Championships – the 6th Fazza Para Archery World Ranking Tournament in February 2020 before the Coronavirus Pandemic struck the world suspending or cancelling all sporting events.
This year’s Championships, hosted under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mansoor bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Dubai Sports Council, will have the participation from Algeria, France, India, Iran, Kazakhstan Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Turkey, Ukraine and the hosts United Arab Emirates.
Among the top names who will be in action this week are Iranian London 2012 Paralympic medallist Zahra Nemati, former World No. 1 in Men’s Compound Open Marcel Pavlik from Slovakia, Asian Para Games gold medallist Harvinder Singh from India besides several other Tokyo 2020 qualifiers and former champions.
All of them will be looking to return back to shape and review their shooting skills and technique during the Championships.
While Turkey who had claimed seven medals last year are here with maximum 14 players, the hosts United Arab Emirates will field 7 players.
UAE’s Mohammed Abdulla Ali Sayo Alshehhi, a compound archer who trains at the Dubai Club for People of Determination, was excited to compete after a long time. “I am looking to get my personal best score here. I will try my best. I have been competing in Fazza Championships for many years now.”
‘Great to return to shooting line’
France Team coach Hybois Vincent said the competition is very important for his players’ heart.
“We are very pleased to be here. It is the first time, after more than a year, that we can be together, we can compete, join other teams and once again be in the shooting line,” said Vincent who accompanied a team of four players in this competition.
India’s Recurve para archer Harvinder, who has good memories at the Fazza Championships, said that it’s a good opportunity to review his performance in the build up to Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.
Singh along with three others including Vivek Chikara, 2019 Asian Para Championships gold medallist, have secured quotas for India and will look forward to a good competition.
“I am confident that the team will return with good results,” Harvinder added.
Welcoming all the teams, Chairman of the Championships Mr. Thani Juma Berregad said: “We are very happy that we had hosted a successful Para Athletics event last week which marked the beginning of the Fazza Championships for this year. We wanted to set a benchmark for the future competitions and I believe we managed to do it well. The health and safety of the participating teams are of top priority, so we are making sure that all the precautionary measures will be in place during the Championships. I wish good luck to all the players.”
The Championships will be played over four days with the qualification rounds for Recurve and Compound Open starting Tuesday.