Asian Youth Para Games to kick off in Bahrain

Around 750 Para athletes from 30 countries set to compete in nine sport from 2 to 6 December in the fourth edition of the event 01 Dec 2021
Two young Japanese Para athletes waving in front of a poster of the Asian Youth Para Games in Bahrain
Japan has 39 athletes competing in Bahrain and topped the medals table in the last edition of the Asian Youth Para Games in Dubai
ⒸNPC Bahrain
By Asian Paralympic Commitee and IPC

Bahrain is all set to host its biggest Para sport event ever, the 4th Asian Youth Para Games (AYPG), from December 2 to 6.

Around 750 Para athletes under 23 years of age from 30 countries will be in action for the next five days competing across nine sports – Para athletics, Para badminton, boccia, goalball, Para powerlifting, Para swimming, Para table tennis, Para taekwondo and wheelchair basketball. 

The final preparations for the Games are underway ahead of the Opening Ceremony which will take place on Thursday at the Bahrain International Circuit where the Formula 1 Grand Prix takes place. 

Iran and Thailand have arrived with the biggest ever delegation with over 100 athletes and hoping to top the medals table.

“Definitely we are looking to top the medals table,” said NPC Iran President Mahmoud Khosravi Vafa.

“The AYPG would be a stepping stone for the young athletes aiming for a bright Paralympic career. We want our athletes to have a great time, make friends and get used to of the atmosphere,” added Khosravi Vafa.

Meanwhile, Thailand, led by Tokyo 2020 Para athletics Paralympic gold medallist Athiwat Paeng-nuea, hopes to have a great experience from these Games and prepare for the next Paralympic Games. 

The newest NPCs Bhutan and Maldives are also in Bahrain with smallest delegations of one player each, both female, while a small delegation from Bangladesh coming to observe the Games.

At the previous editions of the Games, Japan topped the medal table with Iran and China in second and third place, respectively. 

“The Games are the first overseas event for the players since the COVID Pandemic. And we are hoping our players come out with the best result,” said Japan Chef de Mission Yusuke Hatsuse who is heading a team of 39 Para athletes.

At the official press conference, Asian Paralympic Committee President Majid Rashed said: 

“By providing more opportunities for our young Para athletes to compete, these Games play an important role in our strategy to grow the Paralympic Movement in Asia. This is needed because even though more athletes from Asia competed at the Tokyo Paralympic Games earlier this year, Asia is still under represented with only 24 per cent of athletes in Tokyo from our region, whereas Asia accounts for 60 per cent of the world’s population.”

Before the start of the competition, around 500 of the athletes went through classification opportunities.

On the opening day, three sports - boccia, goalball and wheelchair basketball – kick off with pool matches at the Isa Sports Stadium.

More information about the Bahrain 2021 AYPG can be found on the APC website