With less than a month to go until the Asian Para Games kick off in Jakarta, Indonesia, on 6 October, it is time to start taking a closer look at each of the Para sports being contested. We start with archery, which promises to be one of the highest quality fields at Indonesia 2018.
Six Paralympic and three world champions headline the archery competition, which will begin on 7 October at the Gelora Bung Karno sports complex.
Perhaps the greatest rivalry will be in the women’s individual recurve open where Iran’s Zahra Nemati will face China’s Wu Chunyan. Nemati is arguably the most popular and successful female Paralympian to come from Iran. She competed at both the Rio Olympics and Paralympics and had the honour of carrying the flag for her delegation at Rio 2016 Olympics Opening Ceremony. She beat Chunyan to the Gold medal at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games and then again took the gold at the Beijing 2017 World Championships in Beijing with Chunyan this time in third.
Another hotly contested event is likely to be the men’s individual recurve open. Here Rio 2016 gold medallist Gholamreza Rahimi of Iran will go up against current world champion Lixue Zhao from China. Thailand’s Rio 2016 silver medallist Hanreuchai Netsiri, who was also runner up to Zhao in the 2017 Worlds will be hoping to go one better in Jakarta – a case of third time lucky perhaps?
In the team events, China will be the nation to beat. They won two gold medals in Rio in the team compound open and team recurve open respectively and then took gold in the recurve women’s team open at Beijing 2017.
The archery competition will also see one of Bhutan’s two athletes competing when Rigsel Pema enters the men’s individual W1 open. Bhutan were welcomed to the Paralympic family at the International Paralympic Committee’s 2017 General Assembly, when their membership was ratified. This will be the first time that their athletes have competed at an international multi-Para sport event.