The Higher Organising Committee of IWAS World Games Sharjah 2019, confirmed today that 1,462 participants, of which 555 include international female and male athletes, from 50 countries are set to compete in the world's largest wheelchair and amputee sports championship in Sharjah from Feb. 10-16.
Held under the patronage of His Highness Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, the IWAS World Games has returned to the emirate for a second time after its successful debut in the emirate in 2011.
The eighth edition of the world championship brings together seven games, which includes archery, athletics, badminton, swimming, shooting, table tennis and wheelchair fencing, which are scheduled to be held across three state-of-the-art facilities in Sharjah.
New details of the upcoming biennial sports championship were revealed at a press conference on Monday at the Sheraton Sharjah Beach Resort & Spa. The conference was attended by Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi, Chairman of the Higher Organising Committee of IWAS World Games Sharjah 2019; Dr. Tariq Sultan bin Khadem, Vice-Chairman of the Higher Organising Committee and Chairman of the Executive Committee; and Ali Salem Al Midfa, Vice Chairman of the Executive Committee.
Also attending were Khalid Jassim Al Midfa, Chairman of the Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA); Eissa Hilal Al Hizami, Secretary General of the Sharjah Sports Council; and IWAS Committee members.
The conference also brought together the championship's sponsors and strategic partners including Sharjah International Airport Free Zone (SAIF), UAE Disabled Sports Federation, Sharjah Islamic Bank (SIB) and Tilal Properties.
Global athletes landing in Sharjah over the next few days are set to represent 50 competing nations confirmed by the Higher Organising Committee which include: the UAE, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Algeria, Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Egypt, India, Sweden, Ukraine, Thailand, Turkey, Brazil, Portugal, Switzerland, Japan, Australia, Kenya, Russia, China, Ireland, Kazakhstan, Italy, South Africa, South Korea, Poland, Pakistan, Norway, Kenya, Latvia, Macau, Azerbaijan, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Estonia, Germany, Serbia, France, Georgia, the UK, the US, Hong Kong, Greece, Czech Republic, Austria, Belarus and Comoros.
Among the 1,462 participants at the eighth edition of the world championship, 555 include female and male participating athletes, 111 include technical and administrative support, whereas 39 include international judges, 99 local judges, 155 volunteers and 503 members from a number of logistics, media and services committees during the 6-day tournament. Winners during this year's IWAS Global Games will be awarded with the opportunity of qualifying for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, making Sharjah an important stop for global athletes.
Competitions will be held at three main venues: Al Thiqa Club for the Handicapped will host fencing competitions, from Feb. 11-16, and archery and athletics from Feb.13-16.
Badminton, table tennis and swimming competitions will be held between Feb. 13-15, at the American University of Sharjah (AUS), while the shooting contest will take place at Al Dhaid Shooting Club from Feb.11-13.
The archery game will see the participation of 25 male and female players, while 200 players will compete in athletics, and 25 players in badminton, 205 athletes in fencing, 24 in shooting, 28 in swimming and 48 players will compete in table tennis.
Highlighting the importance of bringing these games to Sharjah and the UAE, Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed, said: "Hosting this championship is one of the key steps for Sharjah in sharing its inspiring message to the world, which is to provide competitive opportunities to sportsmen and women with a physical disability. The IWAS World Games Sharjah 2019 deeply resonates with the emirate's values demonstrated through our community initiatives directed towards achieving inclusivity and humanitarianism locally and internationally."
He added: "Media outlets in the UAE and the world play a crucial role in supporting such achievements, and to support these professional athletes and their inspiring journeys through messages that promote awareness and commemorate their dedication and determination."
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