By Abdellatif Sharaa
KUWAIT: The Kuwait national team returned earlier in the week after participating in the West Asia Paralympic Games in Bahrain. The delegation was received by Deputy Chairman of Kuwait Paralympic Committee, board members Sheikh Jaber Thamer Jaber Al-Ahmad and Fatima Hayat, Honorary President of Irada Disabled Sports Club Sheikha Suhaila Al-Sabah, Chairman of Kuwait Disabled Sports Club Shafi Al-Hajeri and parents of athletes.
Kuwaiti athletes won 16 gold, 11 silver and 7 bronze medals in the third West Asia Paralympic Games. Iraq stood first with 52 medals, while UAE came second with 75 medals and Kuwait third with 34. The games saw more than 700 athletes from 12 countries participating.
Deputy Chairman of Kuwait Olympic Committee Mohammad Jaafar lauded this major achievement. “We are proud of this performance by Kuwait athletes and happy with the number of medals. This adds to the joy of celebrating the national and liberation days, and we hope for more achievements in the future,” he said.
Chairman of the Paralympic Committee Nasser Al-Ajmi said the achievement was due to the efforts of everyone, adding that winning 34 medals is an unprecedented achievement and is considered a new beginning for disabled sports in various games. Ajmi said the Paralympic Committee is keen on developing all games with the cooperation of all disabled clubs, adding that efforts are being made according to a clear mechanism, as games are under specialized committees.
Member of the board of KOC Sheikh Jaber Thamer Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah said the disabled athletes added to the happiness of the Kuwaiti people, as they represented Kuwait at their best. KOC board member Fatima Hayat congratulated Kuwaiti athletes for their achievements. “We congratulate the board of the paralympic committee and Kuwait people”. She said Kuwait women proved their abilities during the third West Asia Paralympic Games.
Honorary President of Irada Disabled Sports Club Sheikha Suhaila Al-Sabah expressed satisfaction at the return of Kuwait athletes with the medals, adding that this paves the way to compete for top places at the international level.
Meanwhile, Chairman of Kuwait Wheelchair Basketball Federation and Chairman of Kuwait Disabled Sports Club Shafi Al-Hajeri dedicated Kuwait national wheelchair basketball team’s West Asia Cup win to HH the Amir Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, HH the Crown Prince Sheikh Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, and the Kuwaiti government and people.
Hajeri promised more achievements to keep Kuwait’s flag flying high in the coming continental and international events. The team won all its matches during the 3rd West Asia games held in Manama. Kuwait’s win coincides with the celebration of its 61st National Day and 31st Liberation Day.