Dubai: Japan were leading the medals table ahead of Iran at the midway stage of the Asian Youth Para Games being held Dubai.
Japan were clear at the top of the table with 23 gold medals, leaving Iran in second place with 17 gold, while Uzbekistan were in third overall with ten gold and a silver and bronze each for a total of 12 medals.
Japan and Iran have travelled for the week-long games with the two largest contingents, with 89 and 116 athletes respectively. It was the Japanese swimmers who made a splash, reeling in 14 gold medals at the Hamdan Sports Complex. Athletes from Iran put in a good all-round show while bagging medals in track and field, powerlifting, boccia, goalball, table tennis and badminton.
Hosts the UAE are currently in joint 13th place with a total of four medals, including two gold and a silver and bronze each.
This is the third edition of the Asian Youth Para Games and has attracted the largest number of athletes with nearly 800 travelling from 30 countries competing in seven sporting disciplines.
Outside of the competition, the young para-athletes have been given the opportunity to take part in various workshops being held alongside the Games. Most of the workshops have been delivered thanks to a grant by the Agitos Foundation, the development arm of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC).
Athletes are also being educated on anti-doping measures following a collaboration between the Japanese Anti-doping Agency and the Asian Paralympic Committee.
Pos. Country G S B Total
1.Japan 23 11 10 44
2. Iran 16 18 11 45
3. Uzbekistan 10 1 1 12
4. Korea 9 4 4 17
5. China 9 3 0 12
6. Thailand 8 7 6 21
7. India 6 6 7 19