UAE’s top Para athletes Mohammed Alhammadi, Noura Alktebi and Sara Alsenani will be leading the host nation’s challenge as Dubai gears up to host the World Para Athletics Championships from 7-15 November.
Alhammadi is a three-time Paralympic medallist who took silver and bronze, respectively, in the men's 200m and 100m T34 at the London 2016 Games before going on to clinch gold in the 800m T34 at Rio 2016.
Alktebi and Alsenani made a telling statement and entered the history books by bagging silver and bronze in the Shot Put F32 and F33, respectively, at Rio 2016.
More than 1,400 Para athletes from 122 countries are set to compete at the World Para Athletics Championships, which is the biggest qualifying event for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.
Among the strong star-studded teams heading to Dubai are the USA with 43 athletes and Great Britain with 42. Initially, the Brits would take the same number of athletes as the USA but they will be missing the services of their ace sprinter - two-time Paralympic and world champion Jonnie Peacock.
The 26-year-old is forced to miss the contest due to a knee injury. Germany another leading contender are flying in with a strong squad of 32 and Australia with 37.
Speaking at a press conference on Monday, Thani Juma Berregad, Chairman of the Dubai Club for People of Determination and Chairman of the Dubai 2019 Organising Committee, said: “We like to thank the Dubai Sports Council for its support in organising the competition. It will be the largest in the history [of Para athletics] where many countries were keen to participate.
"Dubai came to host this tournament because of [the city's] reputation and strength and ability to organise major international events at the best international regulatory standards.”
Thani Juma also revealed the medals of the World Championships, which carries the image of the most prominent tourist attractions in Dubai and was designed in Braille language to suit the participants with vision impairments.
Dubai 2019 in numbers
Number of countries: 122
Number of athletes: 1,400
Number of volunteers: 800
Number of delegates: 2,500
Accredited media representatives: 350
Number of events: 172
Arrival of participating delegations: 2 November
Departure of participating delegations: 16 November
Opening ceremony: 7 November at 18:00
Number of hotels used during the competition: 14
Competition venue: Dubai Club for People of Determination.
Training venues: Al Wasl Club and Dubai Police Officers Club.