World’s best Para athletes shook off their rust and made the most, as World Para Athletics Grand Prix returned with the four-day Fazza International Championships – Dubai 2021 Grand Prix that wrapped up on Saturday (13 February) in the UAE.
Italy’s 19-year-old Ambra Sabatini made a telling statement on her international debut by setting a new world record for the women’s 100m T63 on Friday with a time of 14.59 seconds.
“I can’t be happier than this. I made a good start and hoped until the end that it was a good time, and the record has arrived. I’m so excited to be here now,” said Sabatini, who lost her left leg in a traffic accident less than two years ago on her way to an athletics practice.
Three more world records were set at Dubai Club for People of Determination. World champion in 2019 at the same venue, Uzbekistan’s Bobirjon Omonov set a new mark in the men’s shot put F41 with 14.31m. Omonov eclipsed Germany’s Niko Kapel’s record by a mere 0.1m.
Rio 2016 Paralympic champion Marie-Amelie Le Fur broke her own world record in the women’s long jump T64 with a leap of 6.14m.
“It was a very important jump for me because I needed to come back to track and feel it again. I broke the world record in the first jump and I am very happy. Now I am more confident for Tokyo [2020 Paralympic Games] because I want to take the gold medal and break the record again,” said Le Fur, who also is the President of the National Paralympic Committee of France.
Morocco’s Hind Frioua stole the show on the final day setting a new world record with a throw of 20.45m in women’s Club Throw F31 event. Besides, several regional records were broken during the four-day competition.
Among the 2019 World Champions who made a happy return to Dubai were India’s Sandeep Chaudhary, who clinched gold in the men’s javelin multi-class F38/42/44/63/64 with his last throw (61.22m) while Iran’s Hamed Amiri won the men’s javelin F54 with a throw of 30.96m to set a new Asian record.
Thailand topped the standings with 39 medals (14 gold, 13 silver and 12 bronze) while Uzbekistan finished second with 24 medals (13 gold, 5 silver and 6 bronze), followed by India, who finished with 23 medals (11 gold, 6 silver and 6 bronze).
The hosts UAE ended their campaign with 15 medals including seven silver and eight bronze.Also 18 athletes from 11 countries (Kyrgyzstan, Jordan, Madagascar, Malawi, Maldives, Mozambique, Oman, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe) took part at the Dubai 2021 Grand Prix in search of Minimum Qualification Standard (MQS) for Tokyo 2020.
Complete results from Dubai 2021 can be found here.
By Fazza LOC and World Para Athletics/International Paralympic Committee