UAE players Salama Al Khateri and Humaid Al Senaani during training. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Some of the top para shuttlers including Paralympic and World Champions will be in action when the 4th Fazza Dubai Para Badminton International 2022 BWF Para Badminton World Circuit gets underway at the Shabab Al Ahli Club here today.

While the Dubai 2022 Championships will have its usual names, nations like Iraq and Iran will be making their international debut in Para Badminton. Overall, 180 para shuttlers from 30 nations including hosts United Arab Emirates will vie for top honours in the BWF Level II Championships that runs until Sunday (May 29, 2022).

Both Iran and Iraq will field six shuttlers each, while the hosts United Arab Emirates team will rest their hopes on Salama Al Khateri and Humaid Fawzi Al Senaani competing in women’s and men’s SL4 events.

Reach podiums

UAE coach Mahmoud Taifour said the goal for his players would be to know the level of players and hone their skills. He pointed out that the next stage would be widening the pool of players in the UAE team and reach podiums in the near future.

Team India will field the largest number of players of 40 players, led by Paralympic champions Pramod Bhagat and Krishna Nagar while Team Japan will also have some of their Paralympic stars like Daiki Kajiwara and Sarina Satomi as they look to pick up some medals.

Bhagat is fresh from twin gold medals winning show in last week’s Bahrain 2022 Para Badminton International as do Malaysia’s Paralympic champion Cheah Liek Hou, who leads a six-member Malaysian team and hopes to enjoy the week in Dubai playing some good matches.

Hong Kong will hope their Tokyo 2020 Paralympic medallists Chu Man Kai and Daniel Chan Ho Yuen grab the top places in men’s SH6 and men’s WH2 singles events, while South Korea’s Kim Jung Jun will be standing in Yuen’s road to glory.

'Excellent matches'

Welcoming the teams, Chairman of the Fazza Championships and Dubai Club for People of Determination Thani Juma Berregad said, “We are delighted to welcome the teams for the 4th Fazza Dubai International. And we are confident of witnessing some excellent badminton matches in the next few days.”

Meanwhile, a three-day BWF Level 2 Classifiers Course is currently underway at the Shabab Al Ahli Club with participation of nine participants. BWF’s Dubai Badminton Development Manager Jaffer Ebrahim praised Dubai Club’s effort in continuously growing the sport in the country and region. “We are very hopeful that soon the country will have International Classifiers,” Ebrahim said.

Currently, Dubai has three Level II Classifiers and overall, five in West Asia region including two from Saudi Arabia.

In the last two days, 26 para shuttlers were being classified.