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Thu 14 Nov 2019 02:12 PM

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Paralympics chief hails 'powerhouse' Dubai for hosting championships

Andrew Parsons, president of the International Paralympic Committee, praises UAE leadership for their support of the Paralympic movement

Paralympics chief hails 'powerhouse' Dubai for hosting championships

Andrew Parsons, president of the International Paralympic Committee.

Andrew Parsons, president of the International Paralympic Committee, has hailed the UAE leadership for their support of the Paralympic movement after Dubai hosted a successful 2019 World Para Athletics Championships.

The Dubai 2019 Championships, which will come to a close on Friday after nine days of intense competition at the Dubai Club for People of Determination, are the biggest of the nine World Para Athletics Championships held since 1994 in terms of participation with more than 1,500 athletes from 122 countries taking part.

Parsons said: “Dubai is a powerhouse when it comes to delivering Paralympic events. It has a long tradition of delivering events at the highest possible level and here is no different. The athletes are happy and the teams are happy. I was in Brazil for the first half of this Championship, watching on TV, and it was amazing.

“We know that the UAE committed to organise this championship at a very short notice - only two years and to deliver a World Championship like this in two years is amazing. They are making it very difficult for the next ones. Our Japanese colleagues in Kobe [host of 2021 World Para Athletics Championships] will have to work really hard because Dubai have really raised the bar.”

Parsons travelled to the UAE capital to meet and thank Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi.

“I went from here to Abu Dhabi just to meet His Highness,” Parsons said. “The only thing I told him is ‘Your Highness, thank you for the support the government is giving to Paralympic sport, not only in UAE because the way you are doing it, you are supporting the growth of the Paralympic movement in Asia and at a global level’. That was my brief message to His Highness.

“There is a lot of support from the UAE government and a lot of goodwill of the people here, the quality of people who have been working with us. At the end of the day, support from the government is fundamental and super important, but if you don’t have good people who can deliver, then it becomes difficult.

“Here you have very good people delivering at the highest level. So it is always good to be back here. And I was elected here in Abu Dhabi, so always a pleasure to be back here.”

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