Dubai 2024 Para Athletics GP: World record for Swiss legend Hug; UAE win nine medals

As many as 573 athletes from 71 nations competed at the 15th edition

By Team KT

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Legendary long-distance racer Marcel Hug winning themen’s 5000 m wheelchair final T54 in record time. - Supplied photo
Legendary long-distance racer Marcel Hug winning themen’s 5000 m wheelchair final T54 in record time. - Supplied photo

Published: Sat 17 Feb 2024, 2:37 PM

The curtains fell on the 15th Fazza International Para Athletics Grand Prix – Dubai 2024 with the UAE winning a gold medal on the final day while legendary wheelchair racer Marcel Hug saved the best for last – setting a new world record in men’s 5000m T54.

Overall, the hosts claimed nine medals, highlighted by the gold by Emirati Paralympic star Mohamed Hammadi in his pet event men’s 800m T34 wheelchair race, while Noura Alketbi, Maryam Alzeyoudi, and Maryam Alzeyoudi claimed silver medals at the Dubai Club for People of Determination grounds.


Emirati Paralympic star Mohamed Hammadi competes in his pet event the men’s 800m T34 wheelchair race. - Supplied photo
Emirati Paralympic star Mohamed Hammadi competes in his pet event the men’s 800m T34 wheelchair race. - Supplied photo

On the final day, apart from Hammadi’s heroic performance, Dubai Club trainee Omair Younas attained a personal best throw of 24.28 m for the bronze in men’s javelin wheelchair final F55.

“It was a great event. I am very happy to achieve my personal best today. It's a good stepping-stone for bigger events. I want to play more international events and hopefully, this year I will be playing more events and improve further,” said Omair who was part of the triumphant UAE's men's wheelchair basketball team at the West Asia Para Games in Sharjah.


However, the highlight of the final day was the record-breaking shows from legendary long-distance racer Marcel Hug in men’s 5000 m wheelchair final T54 who improved his own world record*, racing in 9:13,81 mins.

Dubai Club trainee Omair Youna won the bronze in the  men’s javelin wheelchair final F55. - Supplied photo
Dubai Club trainee Omair Youna won the bronze in the men’s javelin wheelchair final F55. - Supplied photo

“I feel very happy. It’s nice to be back here in Dubai,” said the six-time Paralympic and 12-time world champion who already has three more gold in Dubai – the 400m, 800m and 1500m T54 races..

“It’s early in the season but it’s an important competition for me to see where I am standing, where I need to improve; it’s important for preparation in the build-up to the Paris 2024 Paralympics. So far, I am very satisfied with the competitions and my timings here in the UAE,”

“A lot of training, discipline and experience,” added the legend when asked about his winning secret.

Another wheelchair racing great David Weir of Great Britain settled for the second place with a timing of 9:13.83min, just 0.2 seconds behind Hug.

Belgium sprinter Roger Habsch had a special outing in Dubai setting his second world record* in the Grand Prix en route winning the men’s 200 m final T51 in 35.74s on Thursday.

Meanwhile, another Swiss star Catherine Debrunner signed off in style much like she had started their campaign winning the women’s 5000 m wheelchair final T54 in 9:13,81min.

Among other Arab nations, Para athletes from Syria, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Algeria won medals including the gold medal from Abdellatif Baka in men’s 1500m men final T13/20.

As many as 573 Para athletes from 71 nations are competing at the 15th edition

of the Grand Prix in a quest to qualify for Kobe 2024 World Para Athletics Championships and Paris 2024 Paralympic Games.

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