Fazza Dubai Para Badminton: Iraqi shuttlers reveal long-term goal

Karrar Hayder Abbas Ghalwah, one of Iraq's top players, has a bronze medal in men's doubles event from the West Asia Para Games

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Members of the Iraq national team in Dubai. (Supplied photo)
Members of the Iraq national team in Dubai. (Supplied photo)

By Team KT

Published: Wed 25 May 2022, 10:36 AM

Last updated: Wed 25 May 2022, 10:56 AM

Iraq para shuttler Karrar Hayder Abbas Ghalwah might have lost his opening match at the ongoing 4th Fazza Dubai Para Badminton International, but he beamed with confidence.

Ghalwah was happy to take away the positives – the learning experience which he said will make him a better player.

The six-member Iraq team are participating for the first time in an international event after their appearance in the continental West Asia Para Games held in Manama, Bahrain, in February, 2022.

“It was great to play in these courts. I was really excited. More than the result, it was about competing here,” said Ghalwah, who competes in WH2 category and has a bronze medal in men’s doubles event from the West Asia Para Games.

“This (the Fazza Championships) is a high level competition. And we have the top players competing in almost all the categories.

“I am here to watch every player playing and learn from their game. It’s not about just getting medals,” said Ghalwah who lost to Australia’s Grant Manzoney in his opening Group A match.

Meanwhile, Ali Alasadi, the SL3 player competing in men’s singles and doubles events, was ready to work hard and get good results in upcoming events.

A Wheelchair Tennis player for the last eight years, Ali is inspired by Roger Federer and wants to make his country proud with his performance.

The Iraq Para Badminton Federation was formed only three months ago. And coach Ali Saihood has big ambition for his players.

“I want my players to be at top of the rankings among the Arab countries and in the West Asian region. I know it’s a long way to go for them until we reach our dream, but they are ready to work hard. We are taking one step at a time,” Saihood said.

Mohammed Talib, President of the Iraq Para Badminton Federation, said the last two and half months’ training before the Fazza Championships wasn’t easy as the players lived in different cities in Iraq.

“But everything was worth after coming here for the Championships. Competing in Championships like this one will help them become better players and set their future goals,” Talib said.

“I hope we have more players including women joining the sport in the near future. Our aim will be to participate in major championships. The players’ performance here will definitely motivate youngsters back home.”

On the Fazza Championships, coach Saihood added: “The competition is very strong at the Fazza Championships and my players are in the learning process. A big thanks to the organising committee for the generosity and spirit. We are so happy to be here and competing.”

UAE players in action

While the first day of competition saw the seeded players win their matches easily, local players Humaid Fawzi Alsenaani and Salama Alkhateri lost their opening round robin matches in SL3 men’s and women’s singles events.

While Alsenaani lost to Korea’s Cho Nadan 2-21, 2-21 in men’s SL4 Group F opener, Alkhateri went down to Indonesian Paralympic medallist Khalimatus Sadiyah 3-21, 3-21 in women’s SL4 Ground B match.

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