The first ever IPC Athletics Asia-Oceania Championships Dubai 2016 got off to a spectacular start on Monday when two Asian records were broken.
Sri Lanka’s Anil Prasanna Jayalath Yodha Pedige sizzled in the men’s 200m T42 final shattering his own record while Vietnam’s Be Hau Nguyen set a new Asian mark in the men’s shot put F55/56.
The Championship is being held under the patronage of Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum, the Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Sports Council (DSC).
The Sri Lankan army commando scorched the track at the Dubai Police Officers Club stadium in Jadaf clocking 25.11 seconds, clipping his previous Asian record of 25.81 set in Qatar during the IPC World Championships last year by 0.76 seconds.
The 30-year-old, a gold medallist in the 200m T42 event at the 2014 Asian Para Games in Incheon, South Korea, is determined to win a medal at the Rio Paralympic Games.
“I was confident before coming to Dubai that I would but my main ambition is to improve my time before the Rio Paralympics. I want to win medal in Brazil,” said Jayalath who wants to lower his time to 24.3 before flying to Brazil.
Atsushi Yamamoto of Japan took silver (26.83) while another Sri Lankan Buddika Indrapala (27.50) claimed the bronze medal in this event.
Vietnamese Be Hau Nguyen improved the Asian record with a throw of 10.18m (780 points). Silver went to Mongolia’s Sambuudanzan Ganzorig with a best of 9.13m (610) while Iran’s Parviz Golpasandhagh took bronze (576 points).
Hosts UAE also made an impressive start to the competiton with Mohamed Hammadi leading the medal charge with gold in the men’s 200m T34.
Hammadi coasted to a victory in a time of 29.31 winning comfortably ahead of Kuwait’s Ahmad Almutairi (T33) and Qatar’s Mohammed Al Kubaisi (T34).
“This is my first race for the season and my preparation for Rio Paralympics is beginning in Dubai,” said 30-year-old Hammadi, who hopes to race in the 100m and 800m in Brazil.
Hammadi, a silver medallist at the World Championships in Qatar last year, is aiming for gold in the 100m, 400m and 800m T34 in Dubai.
UAE topped the Placing Table after 11 of 111 events by securing 41 points ahead of Japan (34) and Iran (32) winning two bronze medals in addition to a gold medal.
Ahmed Alhousani (F33) took bronze in the men’s discus throw F33/34 with 22.78m (592 points) while Saeed Mubarak came third (F36) with 607 points.
There was more success for regional athletes with Iran topping the medal standings after day one with two gold medals and a silver.
Hashemiyeh Motaghian Moavi (F56) won gold in the women’s javelin F55/56 (690 points) while Seyed Javanmardi (F35) won the men’s shot put F35/36 with a best of 13.21m (865 points).
Japan are lying in second position with five medals after dominating the podium in the men’s 1,500m T20 won by Daisuke Nakagawa in 4:08.03.
China picked up the first gold of the day as Ming Xin took gold in the men’s 100m T35, crossing the line in 15.70.
Saudi Arabia’s Hani Alnakhli (F33) topped the podium in the men’s discus throw F33/34 with a throw of 27.44m (828 points) ahead of Qatar’s Abdulrahman Abdulrahman (F34) who threw 30.72m (619 points).
“My preparations for the Rio Paralympic Games in Brazil begins in Dubai. I’m coming back from an injury and am glad to win the gold medal in the first Asia-Oceania Championships. This has given me confidence of qualifying for the Paralympic Games,” said world record holder Alnakhli.
Iraq took gold and silver in the men’s javelin F40/41 with Ahmed Naas (F40) throwing a best of 35.75m (1017 points). Jabbar Al-Azzawi (F35) (673 points) claimed the silver.
The IPC Athletics Asia-Oceania Championships is organized and supervised by the Dubai Club for the Disabled with the support of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), the General Authority for Youth and Sports Welfare, the DSC and the UAE Paralympic Committee.
The Official Sponsors of this Championship are as follows: Hamdan Bin Mohamed Heritage Center (HHC), Al Maktoum Foundation, Sheikha Maitha Centre for People with Special Needs, Dubai Health Authority (DHA), Falcon City, Dubai Municipality, Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), Awqaf and Minors Affairs Foundation, BMW and Dubai Investments.
The competition is held from 3.30pm to 7.30pm daily. Athletes compete in distances from 100m, 200m, 400, 800m, 1,500m, 5,000m, 4x100m and 4x400m relay events on the track, and field events of shot put, discus, javelin, club throw, long jump, high jump and triple jump. The track and field events are held in accordance with the rules and regulations of IPC Athletics.