Dubai: Nearly 150 athletes will be in action at the fifth Fazza International Powerlifting Championships for People with Disability to be held at the Dubai Club for Special Needs Sports from February 21 to 28.
The UAE will field a squad of 16 athletes during the week-long competition that is being held under the patronage of Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman, Dubai Sports Council (DSC). In total 22 countries will be represented, including Cameroon, Kazakhstan, India, Libya, Liberia, Russia, Thailand, Egypt and Uzbekistan.
The foreign athletes will start arriving from Thursday and the opening ceremony will take place at 6.30pm on Saturday.
“I think we’ve done well to attract such a huge number of outstation athletes this year,” Championships Director Majid Al Usaimi told media at a press conference held to announce the event on Monday.
Thani Juma Berregad, Chairman of the Dubai Club for Special Needs Sports, added: “The ultimate goal for our athletes is qualifying to the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games, but there are several high-profile competitions before that and we need to give our athletes the platform to participate.”
The competition, which is sponsored by Pepsi, Emirates NBD, DP World, Emirates Transport and Definitely Dubai, will implement the new competition rules laid down by the international governing body for powerlifting.