The medal tallies are starting to soar as we reach the half-way point of the Paralympic programme. Here are the Mena para-athletes to watch out for on Monday.
Yumenoshima Ranking Field
Iran’s Farzaneh Asgari and Mohammedreza Zandi have made it through to the 1/8 elimination round of their respective competitions, Asgari in the women’s individual compound, Zandi in the men’s individual W1.
Emirati wheelchair sprinters Mohamed Al Hammadi and Ahmed Nawad will both be racing in the final of the 100m T34 class sprint. Tunisia’s Walid Ktila will be the favourite to pick up his third successive Paralympic gold.
Paralympic champion and record-holding wheelchair sprinter Ahmad AlMutairi of Kuwait is a firm medal favourite in the final of the men’s 100m T33 class.
Amir Khosravani of Iran will be leaping in the men’s long jump final T12 class. His all-time best is definitely within range of a medal position.
Tunisia’s Mohamad Chida and Ali Al-Rikabi of Iraq will be racing for their place in the final of the men’s 400m T38 class.
Ariake Gymnastics Centre
If Nadav Levi of Israel beats Watcharaphon Vongsa of Thailand, he will top his pool, going into the final game.
Aomi Urban Sport Park
Morocco’s men face Thailand today in their second group game.
Makuhari Messe Hall
Egypt’s women take on Brazil today. Both teams will be hoping for their first win in the group stages.
Tokyo International Forum
Once again a strong Mena contingent in the powerlifting, this time in the heaviest weight categories for both men and women.
Saman Razi of Iran just missed out on the podium five years ago in Rio, coming in 4th. He will be aiming for the podium, as will Abbas Naisan of Iraq in the men’s -107kg competition.
Jordan’s Tharwh AlHajaj and Egypt’s Amany Ali both won medals in Rio. Both could well get on to the podium in the women’s -86kg, however all eyes are likely to be on Nigeria’s Folashade Oluwafemiayo who broke the world record in this event in March. Look out too for Iraq’s Hanan Al Majidi making her first Paralympic appearance.
Randa Mahmoud’s Paralympic career for Egypt has been impressive, winning silver in Beijing in the -75kg class, silver in the -82.5kg in London and gold in the women’s -86kg in Rio. For the fourth successive games she has moved up weight classes and now will be wanting to add a +86kg medal to her collection. Egypt’s Huda Ali and Israel’s Polina Katsman are worth keeping an eye on too.
Half the field of the men’s +107kg class is packed with heavy-hitting rivalries from the Mena region. Expect some explosive competition between Jemil Eshebli of Jordan and Amr Mosaad of Egypt who placed third and second in Rio respectively, Mosaad taking the silver by 1kg. There will also be a battle between Mansour Pourmirzaei from Iran and Faris Al-Ageeli of Iraq, the former pipping the latter for the 2019 world championship silver by just 1kg as well.
Asaka Shooting Range
The UAE’s Abdulla Sultan Al Aryani and Ayesha Al Mehairi get their Paralympic campaigns underway today in the 10m Air Rifle Standing competitions.
Al Aryani picked up silver in the mixed competition in Rio and will be undoubtedly shooting for gold in Tokyo in the men’s SH1, whereas this is the first Paralympic outing for Al Mehairi, looking to make her mark in the SH2 class.
Roghayeh Shojaei of Iran will also be competing in the women’s SH1 class.
Makuhari Messe Hall
Iran’s men will want to capitalise on the momentum from their first win when they take on Rio’s fourth place finishers Brazil, also off the back of a big win in the preliminary pool.
Tokyo Aquatics Centre
Israel’s Mark Malyar’s campaign has opened up with a blast, bagging gold in the 200m Individual medley and 400m freestyle in the SM7 class, and he doesn’t look like slowing. On Monday he will look to continue his haul in the 100m backstroke and 400m freestyle.
Compatriot Ami Dadaon will want to add to his silver medal, as he takes to the pool in the men’s 200m freestyle in the S4 class along with Ariel Malyar, Mark’s twin.
Veronika Guirenko will also be racing for a place in the final of the women’s 100m freestyle s3 class.
Algeria’s men face the USA at the Ariake Arena.