Injured world champ Frith aims to win medals in Dubai

Joanna Frith back in training at the Dubai Club for the Disable on Tuesday. (Supplied)

Several world champions will be descending on Dubai for the Second Fazza International Para Archery Championship Dubai 2016 that will be held at the Dubai Club for the Disabled from January 13 to 19.

Among them is Great Britain’s Joanna Frith, who intends to bounce back after being hospitalised in the emirate following a setback in training.
 
Frith is the most high-profile athlete at this meeting having held every W1 women's world record in para archery.

But, the 54-year-old was laid low recently by a neck injury in the UAE and she expressed her gratitude to the local organising committee for helping her to recover.

“I was able to resume training because of the great care taken by the officials, who got me the best treatment. My heartfelt thanks go out to them for taking me to hospital and ensuring I got the best care. I promise to do my best to win medals,” said Frith after resuming training on January 12 morning.

Frith expects to encounter some tough competition at the Fazza International Para Archery Championship since it has gained recognition by World Archery.

“This is a world-class tournament. All the athletes are eager to make a good start to the year and carry forward ranking points on the road to the Rio Paralympics,” said Frith, who has been overwhelmed by the amazing hospitality on her first visit to Dubai.

Jessica Stretton, John Cavanagh and John Walker are the other top-ranked para archers in Team GB, who are using this championship as preparation for the Rio Paralympic Games.

“We wanted a camp in the winter time at home, but it’s between zero and five degrees there. We wanted to go where the sun is shining and where we can shoot outside, so it’s ideal to come here and shoot in the sunshine. The climate here is absolutely perfect for archery,” said the head coach of Team GB Michael Peart, who lauded the world-class facilities in Dubai.

“It’s really a training camp to start the Paralympic year. The purpose is to get ready for the summer that is coming up. We have a European Championship in April, then a European Grand Prix in Holland, another Para Grand Prix in Czech Republic and then Rio in September.

“I’ve been totally impressed by how welcome everyone has made us feel and the facilities here; they have everything here for world-class team preparation. I believe the Fazza International Para Archery Championship will be a world-class competition.”

Team GB have brought the largest contingent of 14 athletes for the second edition of the Fazza International Para Archery Championship that has been recognised by the international governing body of the sport, World Archery, which is affiliated to the International Paralympic Committee.

The championship is organised and supervised by the Dubai Club for the Disabled with the support of the Hamdan Bin Mohammed Heritage Center (HHC) and in cooperation with the Dubai Sports Council (DSC), the General Authority for Youth and Sports Welfare and the UAE Paralympic Committee.

The number of participating countries for the Second Fazza International Para Archery Championship has increased from eight to 15 countries, namely: Canada, Czech Republic, Finland, France, India, Iran, Iraq, Mongolia, the Netherlands, Romania, Russia, Great Britain, South Korea, Thailand and tournament hosts the UAE. There will be 50 athletes vying for honours in this competition, including 20 female archers.
 

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