DUBAI 18 April 2017: Dubai and the UAE have achieved a new milestone in their sporting success and in the sport of people with disabilities, after the Boccia International Sports Federation (BisFed) announced the adoption of Dubai as an accredited international center for training players, referees and coaches.
The agreement was made after a meeting held between Thani Juma Berregad, Chairman of the Organizing Committee of the Fazza Bisfed Regional Open Championship – Dubai 2017, Majid Abdullah Al Usaimi, Director of Fazza Championships for the Disabled and Martin Lam, Secretary-General of Bisfed.
“Dubai has been chosen as an international center for the development of Boccia in recognition of UAE’s commitment to support disabled sports and specially the efforts of Dubai Club for the Disabled, to transform the sport in the region through the establishment of workshops, courses and raise the levels of all athletes. We can look forward to achieve greater success in the sport of Boccia after this agreement and promote it not only in this region but around the world,” said Lam.
The Bisfed official said that the Fazza Bisfed Regional Open Championship – Dubai 2017, played a significant role by providing all facilities for the participants, advanced infrastructure and organizing it in a manner that made it fully qualified to become an international championship.
Hong Kong and Thailand shared the honours on the second day of the Fazza Bisfed.
It is being organized and supervised by the Dubai Club for the Disabled with the support of their strategic partners Dubai Sports Council, Bisfed, the General Authority for Youth and Sports Welfare (GAYSW) and the UAE Paralympic Committee, and will continue until Wednesday 19th April with the participation of 56 elite Boccia players from 10 countries.
The participating countries are Australia, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong, India, South Korea, Singapore, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Thailand and hosts UAE who are fielding 13 players. The Fazza Bisfed Regional Open Championship – Dubai 2017 is a qualifier to achieve ranking points for the forthcoming World Championships and Tokyo 2020 Paralympics.
Hong Kong studded with several Paralympians in their ranks including Rio gold medallist Yuk Wing Leung underlined their supremacy in the BC3 and BC4 pairs events while Thailand spearheaded by world number two Pattaya Tadtong triumphed in the BC1/BC2 Team event.
Hosts UAE continue to maintain their regional superiority with the trio of Salem Al Ketbi, Khalid Al Marashda and Salim Al Kaabi producing a superlative performance against Saudi Arabia to clinch third position in the Team competition.
In the Pairs BC3 pool matches there were some tightly contested ties with Hong Kong topping the table after a nerve wracking 4-2 win over Australia in the final session. Trailing 1-2 for much of the contest, Hong Kong’s Paralympian Yuen Kei Ho, the world’s third-ranked BC3 player, and Ling Yan Tsang displayed tenacity to claw their way back to seal victory in the final end of this key encounter.
South Korea who romped to a 17-0 win over UAE in the morning ended the unbeaten run of Hong Kong in the afternoon winning by the narrowest margin 5-4 in a thrilling match. Australia came into the decisive match against Hong Kong with impressive wins over Thailand (5-1) in the morning and UAE (13-0) in the afternoon.
However, Australia’s Paralympian Daniel Michel and Spencer Cotie blew away their chance of taking top spot.
Hong Kong were ranked number one despite having three wins and one loss like Australia who also had a better points difference (23) having 29 points for and only six against. Hong Kong had a points difference of 17 scoring 26 for and having nine against.
Thailand ended their pool matches with a 12-0 win over UAE finished in third position by virture of a better points difference (9) than South Korea after being tied with two wins apiece. UAE were ranked in fifth position.
Australia’s BC3 coach Ken Halliday was pleased with their performance despite coming second best.
“This is our first tournament since the Paralympics. We started training straight away after Rio with breaks for Christmas. The tournament in Dubai is very important because is the first one of the year. It’s always good to get good results to judge how we are going and how other teams are doing,” said Halliday explaining the challenges BC3 players face.
“It is the category where players use the ramp. It’s very different and requires a lot more brain work. They have to think about what ball to play and where they put it. It depends on tactics and strategies,” said Halliday who is in Dubai for the second time as Australia’s coach.
In the Pairs BC4 pool matches, Hong Kong’s Yuen Cheung and Wai Yan Vivian Lau sealed top spot with a 3-1 win over Australia’s Jean-Paul La Fontaine and Sarah Mutton in the morning session before winning their final match against Kuwait 12-0.
Thailand’s Pornchok Larpyen, the world’s no.4 ranked BC4 player, and Nuanchan Phonsila, eased to victory over Kuwait (12-1) in the morning and UAE (9-1) in the afternoon to secure second spot.
Australia had to settle for third position after notching wins over Kuwait (13-3) and UAE (12-0). UAE finished ahead of Kuwait in the rankings.
Hong Kong’s success was a result of keeping the momentum going after Rio Paralympics said Lesley Fung, Executive Director of the Hong Kong Paralympic Committee and Sports Association for the Physically Disabled.
“We have two new players this season – Pak Lun Chan (BC2) and Yuen Cheung (BC4). We keep the momentum by building the team for the next four-year cycle. We have to prepare for the next Paralympics with Bisfed having a new competition system in place which requires us to attend different competitions. Several athletes who took part in Rio such as Yuen Kei Ho (BC3), Wai Yan Vivian Lau and Rio gold medallist Yuk Wing Leung (BC4), Mei Yee Leung, John Loung and Hiu Lam Yeung (BC2) are taking part in Dubai. That is we are able to sustain our performance,” said Fung explaining their dominance in the competition.
In the Team competition, Thailand’s Pattaya Tadtong, Witsanu Huadpradit and Subin Tipmanee prevailed over UAE (16-0) in the morning before outplaying Hong Kong 11-2 in the final session.
Hong Kong’s Mei Yee Leung, Pak Lun Chan and John Loung scored one of the biggest wins of the tournament when they outclassed debutants Saudi Arabia 24-0 to take second position.
Hosts UAE basked in glory and secured third spot in the Team competition after an impressive 16-0 win over Saudi Arabia.
The individual competition held in four categories – BC1, BC2, BC3 and BC4 – will continue for the next two day with the morning session scheduled to be held from 9.30a.m. to 12.20p.m. and the afternoon session from 2.20p.m to 6.30p.m. A total of 40 pool matches are scheduled to be worked off on Tuesday 18th April with no less than 14 matches lined up in the BC2 category.
By Sports Staff