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Dubai to host 2014 ITTF Star Awards

The annual awards aim to recognise and celebrate the stars of table tennis, with two awards dedicated to para-athletes.

Anna-Carin Ahlquist Sweden's Anna-Carin Ahlquist was named the ITTF's 2013 Para-Female Table Tennis Star. © • ITTF
By ITTF

The International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) has announced that its Dubai 2014 ITTF Star Awards will be held at the Armani Hotel in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on 7 January 2015.

This will be the second edition and the second time Dubai has hosted the annual table tennis awards, which aim to recognise and celebrate the stars of table tennis – including para-table tennis players and coaches.

The 2014 edition will include two new awards – the Table Tennis Star Coach, and the Fair Play Star.

At the 2013 awards, China’s Ma Lin won the Para-Male Table Tennis Star award, whilst Sweden’s Anna-Carin Ahlquist was awarded the Para-Female title.

China were the most successful nation on home soil at the 2014 Para-Table Tennis World Championships in Beijing, winning 14 gold, eight silver and five bronze medals.

The nominees for the 2014 awards will be announced in the coming months.

For more information, visit the ITTF website.

Two powerlifters suspended for Anti-Doping Rule violations

The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) has announced that two powerlifters – United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) Rashed Hassan Ahmed and Kazakhstan’s Oleg Gridassov - have been suspended and fined for separate Anti-Doping Rule violations committed at the 2014 IPC Powerlifting World Championships in Dubai, UAE.

IPC Powerlifting anti-doping education IPC Anti-Doping Committee member Joseph de Pencier held informative sessions with athletes and team staff at the 2013 IPC Powerlifting Open European Championships in Aleksin, Russia. © • IPC
By IPC

For both athletes, all results obtained from the date of the test and onwards, will be disqualified with all the resulting consequences including forfeiture of any medals, points, records and prizes.

Ahmed returned an adverse analytical finding for dehydrochloromethyl-testosterone and its metabolites in a urine sample provided on 10 April 2014 after he had competed in the men’s up to 97kg class.

This substance is included on the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) 2014 Prohibited List under the category S1.1a Exogenous Anabolic Androgenic Steroids (AAS) and is prohibited both in and out of competition. As a result of his violation, Ahmed will be ineligible from competition for two years from 10 April 2014 (date of test) and fined EUR 1,500.

Gridassov tested positive for dehydrochloromethyl-testosterone and its metabolites in a urine sample provided on 8 April 2014 after he had competed in the men’s up to 80kg competition.

This substance is included on the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) 2014 Prohibited List under the category S1.1a Exogenous Anabolic Androgenic Steroids (AAS) and is prohibited both in and out of competition.

As a result he has been suspended from competition for two years from 8 April 2014 (date of test) and fined EUR 1,500.

For both athletes, all results obtained from the date of the test and onwards, will be disqualified with all the resulting consequences including forfeiture of any medals, points, records and prizes.

The principle of strict liability applies to anti-doping matters. Therefore, each athlete is strictly liable for the substances found in his or her sample, and that an anti-doping rule violation occurs whenever a prohibited substance (or its metabolites or markers) is found in his or her bodily specimen, whether or not the athlete intentionally or unintentionally used a prohibited substance or was negligent or otherwise at fault.

As a signatory of the World Anti-Doping Code (WADC), the IPC remains committed to a doping free sporting environment at all levels. The IPC, together with the International Federations and the National Paralympic Committees, established the IPC Anti-Doping Code to prevent doping in sport for Paralympic athletes, in the spirit of fair play. The IPC Anti-Doping Code is in conformity with the general principles of the WADC.

For further information, please visit the IPC website.

South Korea continue to dominate at the 2014 IPC Shooting World Championships

Jinho Park and Youngjun Jeon both win individual golds and set or equal world records on a day to remember for South Korea at Suhl 2014.

Youngjun Jeon of South Korea, a gold medal winner at Suhl 2014 Youngjun Jeon of South Korea competing in the R4 (Mixed10m Air Rifle Standing) SH2 final at London 2012 Paralympic Games © • Getty Images

“Before starting the final, the head coach told me to remember what I did in practice and do the basics right.”

Jinho Park and Youngjun Jeon both won individual gold at the 2014 IPC Shooting World Championships in Suhl, Germany, on Monday (21 July) on a tremendous day for Korean shooting with the country winning four golds and a total of five out of the eight medals available.

In a thrilling R3 (Mixed 10m air rifle prone SH1) final, Park led from the front and, despite being pushed hard by Great Britain’s Matt Skelhon, was able to claim gold ahead of a field that contained Sweden’s Jonas Jacobsson and Slovakia’s Veronika Vadovicova – both gold medallists already in Suhl.

The 37-year-old did have a slight worry however when, with just two shots to go, Skelhon cut his advantage and drew level.

But the Brit could not maintain the momentum and fired a 10.0 with his penultimate effort to all but hand the gold to Park, who landed a 10.7.

With his final effort, Park held his nerve with a 10.4 to score 211.9 and equal the finals world record.

“At the beginning, I felt very anxious, but as time went by, when my shots were good I felt more comfortable, which allowed me to win the gold medal,” said Park.

“Before starting the final, the head coach told me to remember what I did in practice and do the basics right.”

In what looked to be a tactical move, the South Korean waited until everybody else had fired before taking his shot. Park claimed however it was the conditions, rather than then a ploy to gain an advantage over his rivals.

“Originally, I felt very hot, so it was very hard to control, the humidity was high, so it was hard to concentrate, so that is why I took my time,” he said.

“I didn’t feel any pressure on myself, I just wanted to participate and do well.

For silver medallist Skelhon in 211.3 it marks an improvement from the 2010 World Championships, and matches his finish in this event at the London 2012 Paralympic Games.

The United Arab Emirates ’ Abdulla Sultan Alaryani (189.1) claimed bronze, whilst South Korea claimed another world title for their combined qualification score of 1892.7.

In the evening’s R4 (mixed 10m air rifle standing SH2), final, there was more South Korean success, as Youngjun Jeon beat his compatriot Juyoung Kang to the gold medal.

Paralympic gold medallist Kang led going into the latter stages, but remarkable shooting from Jeon, which included three 10.7’s to finish, was enough to secure a first world title and set a new finals world record of 210.7.

“It is the first time I have won a gold medal, so this is the best day,” said Jeon

“With the last shot, I felt very anxious and it was difficult for me as I was against somebody else from the Korean team. It was very good competition for me.

This result is a dramatic improvement for Jeon, whose previous best place finish was sixth at the London 2012 Paralympic Games.

The 48-year-old was quick to dedicate the victory to those closest to him.

He said: “My family is the most important thing to me. 10 days ago, my father passed away, so I have had a very difficult time in the preparation and during this competition. I am going to do my best, and when I get back to Korea I will feel very happy”

“The next competition for me is the Incheon 2014 Para Asian Games, so I am just going to take things step-by-step and do my best.”

Elsewhere, there was an incredible battle for bronze, as France’s Tanguy De La Forest saved himself from elimination with a 10.7, to claim third place by just one-tenth.

Meanwhile, the strong performance of the South Korean’s helped their team to another qualification gold and a new world record of 1894.7.

More information, including live results are available at the event website

You can also listen to all finals live at http://ipc.chaos-radio.net.

Jawad: World record in Dubai was ‘career defining’

Great Britain’s Ali Jawad arrived at the 2014 IPC Powerlifting World Championships with the aim of casting aside disappointment which started at Beijing 2008.

Ali Jawad Great Britain's Ali Jawad reacts after a lift in front of his home crowd at the London 2012 Paralympic Games. © • Getty Images
By Caryn Maconi | for the IPC

“Since the heartbreak of London 2012, I promised myself I would never feel anything like that again on an international platform”

Great Britain’s Ali Jawad has spoken candidly about how his world record lift at the 2014 IPC Powerlifting World Championships finally allowed him to lay the ghosts of Beijing 2008 and London 2012 to rest.

“The performance in Dubai was career-defining,” Jawad said. “I felt so relieved that all the sacrifice and hard work had paid off, and finally I would not be considered as the ‘nearly man’ of the sport. It showed that with hard work, I could come back from adversity and succeed.”

In Dubai, UAE, Jawad, 25, hauled 190kg to add 5kg onto his own world record in the men’s -59kg.

“Since the heartbreak of London 2012, I promised myself I would never feel anything like that again on an international platform,” he said.

Jawad was born without legs and grew up competing at an international level in judo. He discovered the sport of powerlifting in 2006, and two years later was set to represent Great Britain at the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games. The night before his competition, though, Jawad fell ill.

Though he still competed, the medal favourite turned in a disappointing ninth-place finish. Eight months later, Jawad found out that his illness was due to Crohn’s disease, an inflammatory condition that affects the intestines. He has been living with the disease, and still competing at the elite level, ever since.

At the London 2012 Paralympic Games, Jawad had hoped to erase the memory of Beijing. Though he turned in a much better performance than he had in 2008, he narrowly missed the podium with a devastating fourth-place finish in front of his home crowd.

Those set-backs now seem like a distant memory.

The road to Rio – history in the making?

Now that Jawad has finally bagged an international title, he can look towards raising the bar even further.

No athlete with Crohn’s disease has ever won gold at the Olympic or Paralympic Games, something which Jawad hopes to change at Rio 2016.

“It has been a roller coaster journey suffering with Crohn’s disease,” Jawad said. “Not many doctors believed I could compete at the world class level, and they advised me to retire. But I’m the type of person who sees the end goal and will not be satisfied until I achieve it. I have one goal in Rio 2016, and that is to win the gold medal.”

For Jawad, victory in Rio would mean more than personal glory, it would also be a chance to inspire people with Crohn’s disease worldwide.

“My sole motivation in training is to try to push the boundaries of what the human body can tolerate with Crohn’s disease,” Jawad said. “I have had the dream of winning Paralympic gold since I was six years old, and I want to fight for my dream.”

Before that, the Leeds based powerhouse is preparing for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games in July, where he aims to add yet more to his world record with an historic 200kg lift.

IPC Education Programme Dubai

IPC Education Programme Dubai

Asian Para-Games spots on line at West Asia Championships

Eight teams will compete in Dubai: Iraq, Oman, Jordan, UAE, Kuwait, Palestine, Saudi Arabia and Syria.

A man in a wheelchair shoots a basketball layup. UAE will host the 2014 IWBF West Asia Wheelchair Basketball Championships. © • Fazza
By IPC

The Asian Para-Games are scheduled to take place from 18-24 October in Incheon, South Korea, where Japan and South Korea are expected to be the top contenders in wheelchair basketball.

The 2014 IWBF West Asia Wheelchair Basketball Championships will begin on Saturday (10 May) in Dubai, UAE, where four teams will try to qualify for October’s Asian Para-Games.

Also known as the Fazza Championships for the Disabled, the men’s tournament at the Al Ahli Club in Dubai will be played round-robin style the first three days with the semi-finals to take place on 13 May and the final on 14 May.

Group A will include Iraq, Oman, Jordan and UAE, while Group B will consist of Kuwait, Palestine, Saudi Arabia and Syria.

The top three finishers will qualify for the Asian Para-Games.

The Asian Para-Games are scheduled to take place from 18-24 October in Incheon, South Korea, where Japan and South Korea are expected to be the top contenders in wheelchair basketball.

IPC Powerlifting Dubai

IPC Powerlifting Dubai

Omar comes out on top in battle of champions

Egypt's Fatma Omar beats Mexican Amalia Perez as records are broken across all competitions on day four of the 2014 IPC Powerlifting World Championships in Dubai, UAE.

Fatma Omar Dubai 2014 Fatma Omar, four-time Paralympic champion, stormed to gold at the 2014 IPC Powerlifting World Championships in the women's -61kg. © • IPC
By IPC

With the medals decided, Perez then failed with a 135kg world record attempt and could only watch on as World Champion Omar managed 135.5kg, to add 3.5kg to her previous best set five months ago.

Two London 2012 Paralympic champions went head-to-head at the 2014 IPC Powerlifting World Championships in Dubai, UAE, on Tuesday (8 April) with Egypt's Fatma Omar coming out on top against Mexico's Amilia Perez, on a day that saw world records continue to fall.

Due to changes in weight categories made in 2013, Omar - the -56kg champion from London - was pitched against Perez - the -60kg gold medallist - in the women's -61kg.

Despite the rivalry, the gold medal was effectively decided in the first round with world record holder and four-time Paralympic champion Omar lifting 130kg. The weight was 15kg more than any of her competitors could manage in the opening exchanges and a lift that was never challenged in the following rounds.

Returning from a shoulder injury, Perez struggled to find her rhythm and failed with her first two attempts at 128kg, whilst Omar, confident of victory, was unsuccessful at two 135kg world record attempts.

With the prospect of not even posting a weight, never mind winning a medal, a growing possibility for Perez, the 40-year-old showed grit and determination to succeed with her third attempt at 128kg, which was good enough to secure the silver medal ahead of China's Yan Yang (115kg) in bronze.

With the medals decided, Perez then failed with a 135kg world record attempt and could only watch on as World Champion Omar managed 135.5kg, to add 3.5kg to her previous best set five months ago.

The junior world title and European record went to Russia's 19-year-old Irina Galitcyna (70kg).

Nigeria's Paralympic champion Esther Oyema looked comfortable as she first equalled, then broke, her own world record twice on the way to victory in the women's -55kg.

The 31-year-old opened with 120kg, before lifting 123kg in round two to break the record she set in Kuala Lumpur in November 2013.

With a third-round flourish, Oyema hauled 125kg to further her world mark.

China's Shanshan Shi (115kg) finished in silver, whilst Russia's Anastasia Khonina (109kg) took bronze.

The junior title went to 19-year-old Italian Martina Barbierato (70kg).

The men's -80kg was an incredibly close fight which looked to be going the way of Egypt's Metwaly Mathana until China's Xiao Fei Gu pulled out an astonishing final round lift to secure gold and break the world record.

During the first two rounds, Mathana was 4kg ahead of his rival, first posting 225kg before following it up with 232kg, 2kg more than Gu's world record, in the second.

Undeterred, London 2012 silver medallist Gu lifted 236kg in the third round to claim back his world record and secure gold as Mathana failed with an attempt at 237kg.

In lifting a European record 197kg, Latus Wawrzyniec looked surprised at winning bronze, Poland's first medal in Dubai.

France's Julian Avom Mbume, 18, won the junior gold and world record with a lift of 160kg.

Buoyed on by the success of her teammate, Yujiao Tan then broke her own world with a second round lift of 132.5kg in the women's -67kg to win China's second gold of the day.

Egypt's third medal of the day came courtesy of silver medallist Amal Mahmoud (116kg) with Russia's Kheda Berieva (115kg) in bronze with a European record.

The 2014 IPC Powerlifting World Championships, featuring over 330 athletes from nearly 60 countries, run from 5-11 April and are the first opportunity for athletes to begin qualification for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.

The competition also features the climax to the "Raise the Bar campaign," which has seen powerlifters and team officials take part in education seminars as part of efforts to reduce doping in the sport.

A full competition schedule and live results can be found at the Dubai 2014 website as well as further information about the competition.

The competition is also being live streamed.

Fatma Omar Dubai 2014

Fatma Omar Dubai 2014

Turkey’s Muslu makes history at powerlifting worlds

Nazmiye Muslu made history one day one of the powerlifting world championships by becoming the first woman in the -41kg category to lift more than 100kg and Paralympic champion Nigerian Yakubu Adesokan wins the men’s -49kg title.

© •
By IPC

"I am very happy with my record. It has been a lot of hard work and a long time coming"

Turkey's Paralympic champion Nazmiye Muslu made history on the first day of the 2014 IPC Powerlifting World Championships in Dubai, UAE, on Saturday (5 April) by becoming the first woman to break the 100kg barrier in the -41kg weight category with a gold medal winning lift of 103kg.

Muslu showed her intent to break new ground with her first lift by equalling her own world record of 100kg set at the 2013 IPC Powerlifting European Championships. Then, in the second round, the 35 year old went further lifting 103kg and was able to sit-out the final round.

"I am very happy with my record. It has been a lot of hard work and a long time coming," said Muslu afterwards.

China's Zhe Cui (98kg) added 3kg onto her personal best to take silver and equal her medal performance from London 2012. Indonesian Ni Nengah Widiashi (93kg) took bronze.

The women's junior crown went to Russian Yulia Vorontsova (69kg) with a new junior world record.

In an incredibly tense men's -49kg, which saw the world record fall three times, Nigeria's Yakubu Adesokan beat off a sustained challenge Vietnam's Van Cong Le.

The gold medal looked to be Le's after the 29 year-old broke Adesokan's world record with a lift of 177kg in the second round, and improved it further still with a 180kg lift in the third round.

However, Adesokan showed true champion qualities with a final lift of 181kg to take back the world record and complete a unique Grand Slam of Paralympic, world and Commonwealth titles.

Russia's London 2012 silver medallist Vladimir Balynetc (166kg) finished third, whilst the junior world record went to 15 year-old Iranian Mohsen Bakhtiar (131kg) who finished tenth overall.

The 2014 IPC Powerlifting World Championships, featuring over 330 athletes from nearly 60 countries, run from 5-11 April and are the first opportunity for athletes to begin qualification for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.

The competition also features the climax to the "Raise the Bar campaign," which has seen powerlifters and team officials take part in education seminars as part of efforts to reduce doping in the sport. A full competition schedule is available as well as live results.

For more information about the 2014 IPC Powerlifting World Championships, please visit the event website

The competition is also being live streamed.