Mohammed Khamis Khalaf, the experienced Emirati Paralympian, is confident of a rich medal haul for the host team in the Fazza 12th Dubai 2022 Para Powerlifting World Cup starting from Thursday at the Dubai Club for People of Determination.
The final World Para Powerlifting event of the year has drawn 243 para athletes from 40 countries vying for not just medals but rankings points for Paris 2024 Paralympics.
The UAE has a 14-strong team led by the experienced Khalaf, who is out to grab medals as well as Paralympic qualification points in a squad that includes Mohammad Fahad, Adel Shanbih and teenager Ayesha Al Mutaiwei in the women’s division.
“My body feels good. I am hoping to get a medal at the Fazza Championships this time as well,” said Khalaf, who won gold at the 2004 and 2016 Paralympics.
“This event will be a preparation for the World Championships that also taking place in Dubai next year. Obviously the main goal at this event is to go for medals as well as earn rankings points for Paris 2024.”
Al Mutaiwei, 16, already has seven medals including five gold in her rookie year and is a strong prospect for the Paris Games.
Meanwhile, among the stars to arrive in Dubai are Mexico’s Amalia Perez, a four-time Paralympic champion and the reigning world champion in the 61kg category.
She will be aiming for yet another gold after her success at the 2022 Parapan American Open Championships in July.
Jordan are represented by the Tokyo Paralympic medallists Omar Qarada and Abdelkareem Khattab, who also struck gold in 2021 Dubai World Cup.