IWAS World Games 2019 come to Sharjah


More than 500 athletes from 50 countries have made the journey to the third largest Emirate. They will compete in seven sports across three venues – the Al Tiqah Club for the Disabled, the American University Sharjah and the Al Dhaid Sports Club.

The 2019 International Wheelchair and Amputee Sports Federation (IWAS) World Games are set to get underway in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, following the official flag raising on Sunday (10 February).

More than 500 athletes from 50 countries have made the journey to the third largest Emirate. They will compete in seven sports across three venues – the Al Tiqah Club for the Disabled, the American University Sharjah and the Al Dhaid Sports Club.

The competition is an important stop on the road to the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, but is also known as a proving ground for emerging athletes. A number of sports offer qualification for the next Paralympics.

Results will be available at the IWAS World Games 2019 website when first competitions begin on Monday (11 February).


South Korea’s Ouk-Soo Lee and Dong-Sub Koo are targeting gold as two of the top ranked players.

Lee is the world No.14 in the men’s compound individual open and was part of the bronze-medal winning team in the mixed compound open from the Rio 2016 Paralympics.

“I would like to win a gold medal!,” Lee exclaimed when asked what his aims are for the World Games. But he also has a longer term goal in mind. “Fortunately, unlike previous Games, archery at the IWAS World Games is approved by World Archery.

“I think it would be a good opportunity for me to check my performance level before Tokyo 2020, competing with other Para archers.”

Sub is the world No.13 in the men’s W1 individual and is looking to add to his silver in the men’s team W1 from Rio 2016.

Archery will take place at the Al Tiqah Club for the Disabled from 13-16 February.


Mohamed Al Hammadi will try to impress as he competes on his home track at the Al Tiqah Club. He is the 800m T34 Paralympic champion as well as a podium finisher from the 2017 World Para Athletics Championships in the 100m, 200m, 400m and 800m.

Al Hammadi has competed at previous editions of the IWAS World Games, securing multiple medals.

Also headlining the hosts’ athletics team is Noura Alktebi and Sara Alsenaani. Both women left Rio 2016 with silver medals in the shot put F32 and F33 respectively.

Algeria are sending a trio of Paralympic champions in Samir Nouioua, Asmahane Boudjadar and Nassima Saifi.

Nouioua won gold at Rio 2016 in the men’s 1,500m T46 whilst Boudjadar and Saifi are the reigning champions in the women’s discus F57 and shot put F33.

Athletics runs from 13-16 February.


Two Indian athletes highlight the entries as badminton prepares to make its Paralympic debut at Tokyo 2020.

Pramod Bhagat, the top men’s singles SL3 player in the world, enters Sharjah 2019 off the back of several strong performances in the last year. That includes gold at the 2018 Asian Para Games in October.

“2019 is the qualifying year for Tokyo 2020 and competing in IWAS Games will help me in gaining experience in playing with world class athletes and also help in interacting with them,” Bhagat said. “Competition at IWAS is going to be high and tough.”

His teammate Parul Parmar is also the world No.1 in the women’s singles SL3. Parmar too excelled at the Asian Para Games, clinching wins in the singles and doubles.

Badminton takes place at the American University Sharjah from 13-15 February.


A host of World No.1s are keen to get their season underway. The IWAS World Games are will also act as the first World Cup of 2019 and will feature the under 17 and under 23 World Championships.

Italy’s world, Paralympic and European champion Beatrice Vio will compete in the women’s foil category B. But the Italian is not unbeatable. In Sharjah she will face Russia’s Liudmila Vasileva who defeated her at the final World Cup of 2018 in Kyoto, Japan.

In the men’s, two British fencers headline the epee competitions.

Piers Gilliver and Dimitri Coutya are the respective world No.1s in the men’s category A and B.

Fencing will be contested at the Al Thiqah Club for the Disabled from 11-16 February. The World Cup will take place between 11-14 February ahead of the 2019 IWAS Wheelchair Fencing under 17 and under 23 World Championships from 14-16 February.


Taking place at the Al Dhaid Sports Club, shooting is another sport where the hosts are expected to shine.

Abdullah Sultan Alaryani is the star attraction as the reigning world champion in R7 (50m rifle prone SH1) and R6 (50m rifle three positions SH1). The former able-bodied shooter, who represented the UAE at the Sydney 2000 Olympics, is also a triple Paralympic silver medallist from Rio 2016.

Shooting runs from 11-13 February.


Thailand have entered a strong team of swimmers, all with medals from the 2017 IWAS World Games in Vila Real de Santo António in Portugal.

Natthaphone Wiprajong is defending a title in the men’s 100m backstroke.

Patchara Singhmanon will also go for his second consecutive gold in the men’s 200m freestyle.

Phuchit Aingchaiyaphum and Ekapan Songwichean will be looking to improve on their various bronze and silver medals from men’s events in 2017 as will Monruedee Kangpila in the women’s.

Swimming begins on 13 February and ends on 16 February. It will be staged at the American University Sharjah.

Table tennis

A number of top ranked players will take to the table at the IWAS World Games.

Host country the UAE are the favourites to take gold in the men’s standing as World No.1 Yousuf Alkaabi lines-up.

Thailand’s Teeradech Klangmanee is the world No.3 in the men’s wheelchair division and Hungary’s Endre Major is the second best men’s class 1 player in the world.

Table tennis runs from 14-15 at the American University Sharjah.

Pictures will be available on request from lucy.dominy@iwasf.com.