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Para athletes eager to get going in Dubai Games

James Jose/Dubai
Filed on November 5, 2019
Para athletes eager to get going in Dubai Games
The UAE's Sara Al Senani with Japan's Atsushi Yamamoto. (Supplied photo)

And two-time Paralympic champion Algeria's Abdellatif Baka hopes to continue winning more medals for his country

With the clock ticking down to the start of the World Para Athletics Championships, one of the biggest events on the Para Athletics calendar, the athletes were excited and eager to make a mark in Dubai.

Close to 1400 athletes from 118 countries including hosts UAE are getting the final pieces together before the event gets going from Thursday. The event concludes on November 15.

And two-time Paralympic champion Algeria's Abdellatif Baka hopes to continue winning more medals for his country.

"I won championships in 2012, 2013 and 2017 and I'm very happy to have kept my titles and I'm here to do the best I can. I've been training hard and I want to continue winning medals for my country," Baka, who won the men's 1500m T13 in a time faster than the Rio Olympic champion, said at the Dubai Club for People of Determination on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the UAE's Sara Al Senani, who became the first female Emirati athlete to win a medal at the Paralympic Games when she clinched bronze in the women's shot put F33 at Rio in 2016, welcomed all the athletes.

"I would like to thank all the athletes for being here in my amazing country and for us to be hosting this championship. I'm very excited to be a part of it," said Al Senani. History will be made at the Championships with Vanuatu competing in the event for the first time. The country is supported by the International Paralympic Committee's Agitos Foundation.

And Ken Kahu, who was the only athlete flag bearer at this year's Pacific Games, is thankful for the opportunity and can't wait to compete.

"I'm very thankful to be participating in the World Para Athletics Championships. This is the first time that Vanuatu is participating in one of these big events. I'm looking forward to a good result and win a medal for my country," said Kahu.

Kare Adenegan, who was announced as one of two captains of the Great Britain team, felt honoured and privileged to be given the chance.

"I feel really honoured to be captain of the Great Britain team. It is such a huge honour for me as I'm one of the youngest athletes on the team. I'm quite excited but I feel very privileged to be a captain despite the fact that I'm not necessarily one of the most experienced in the team," said the 18-year-old.

"I feel like I've learnt a lot and I've got a lot of experiences which I can pass on to others. That's what it is all about, working together as a team and making the most of the opportunity," added Adenegan, who is the 100m T34 world record holder.


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