Under the generous patronage of H.H. Sheikh Nahyan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Charitable & Humanitarian Foundation (ZayedCHF), and with the presence of H.H. Sheikh Khalid bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Zayed Higher Organization for People of Determination (ZHO), the opening ceremony of the 2022 World Paralympic Shooting Championship was held yesterday evening (Saturday) at Al Jahili Fort in the city of Al Ain. This championship is being hosted by the Emirate of Abu Dhabi for the first time on the level of Middle East & North Africa (MENA) region at Al Ain Equestrian, Shooting & Golf Club over the period 3-18 November under ZHO’s organization, in cooperation with the International Paralympic Shooting Federation and the International Paralympic Committee (IPC).
H.H. Sheikh Khalid bin Zayed Al Nahyan, ZHO’s Chairman, welcomed IPC’s delegation and all the delegates and athletes taking part in the competitions of the tournament on the land of Zayed the Good. His Highness said: “With all respect and appreciation, we receive you. You will discover in your visit a unique experience to explore our culture and the accomplishments achieved by the UAE on all levels.
Khalid bin Zayed: With the support of our wise leadership,
all accomplishments become true
His Highness added in a press statement: “It is a source of our pride, pleasure and honor to host the competitions of the 2022 World Paralympic Shooting Championship in the city of Al Ain in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi for the first time in MENA region, a thing which proves and emphasizes the successes that have been achieved and that are being achieved in the sport of the people of determination in the UAE. Such achievements would not have taken place without the big support we keep receiving from our wise leadership, under the leadership of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the President of the UAE (May Allah Protect Him), and His Brother, H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Vice President & the Prime Minister of the UAE and the Ruler of Dubai (May Allah Take Care of Him), and Their Brothers the Rulers of the Emirates.”
H.H. Sheikh Khalid bin Zayed Al Nahyan pointed out: “The outstanding sport capabilities and the big success achieved by the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and ZHO in the organization and hosting of a series of paralympic shooting world cups throughout a span of five years, as well as the organization of several international sport events, constitutes a large trust being vested by the international sport community into Abu Dhabi and the UAE. This yielded positive results that have contributed to attaining a record number as 54 countries throughout the world have confirmed their participation in the competitions of the tournament.”
He offered gratitude to H.H. Sheikh Nahyan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Chairman of ZayedCHF’s Board of Trustees and the Chairman of Abu Dhabi Sports Council (ADSC), for His Highness’s generous support and care of the tournament, and gratitude to all the Council’s officials for their fruitful cooperation with ZHO. He also thanked all the corporations and organizations supporting and sponsoring the tournament for their contributions, along with ZHO, to ensuring the success of the event.
H.H. Sheikh Khalid bin Zayed Al Nahyan conveyed His best wishes for all players to excel and compete strongly for earning the top positions within a framework of honest athletic competition, so that the tournament would become a bridge of peace and love to all the peoples of the world, embodying by such the noble humanitarian principles and values of mercy, tolerance and human fraternity, which we have learnt from the Founding Father Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan (May Allah Have Mercy Upon Him), and which are being instilled within our spirits and daily lives by our wise leadership.
From his side, H.E. Dr. Mugheer Khamis Al Khaili, the Chairman of Abu Dhabi Department of Community Development (ADDCD), said: “The successes that are being achieved by the people of determination in all regional and international arenas are the fruit of the attention of our wise leadership, as presided by H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the President of the UAE (May Allah Protect Him), the main supporter of sport for the people of determination.”
His Excellency said in a press statement after attending the opening ceremony of the championship: “The organization and hosting of the 2022 World Paralympic Shooting Championship by the Emirate of Abu Dhabi in the city of Al Ain, and the remarkable successes achieved by hosting five prior world cup tournaments, are a certification of success and excellence, largely contributing to introducing the international sport family to the capabilities of the people of the UAE and their generous organization. The championship registers the name of the UAE and the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, which excels in the hosting and organization of sport tournaments for the people of determination. Furthermore, the tournament contributes to lifting the banner of the UAE high at world sport gatherings.”
H.E. Dr. Mugheer Al Khaili applauded the big and generous efforts that were behind hosting the competitions of a tournament of this magnitude of record participation this year, and the cooperation of all the concerned governmental entities for a model organization as witnessed by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF), and the members of the delegations taking part from all countries of the world. He offered gratitude to the International Federation for such trust vested into the UAE, the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and ZHO for hosting this world championship.
From his side, H.E. Abdullah Abdul Aali Al Humaidan, ZHO’s Secretary-General, welcomed all participating delegations of athletes and the members of the technical and administrative staff to the land of the UAE and the city of Al Ain in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. He said: “ZHO is aiming, by cooperation and coordination with all entities on the level of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, to provide a model tournament that expresses the capabilities of the people of the UAE to host and organize the largest events, especially sport events, under the support of our wise leadership.”
He offered his utmost gratitude and appreciation to H.H. Sheikh Khalid bin Zayed Al Nahyan, ZHO’s Chairman, for the honor granted by His Highness’s by his attendance of the opening ceremony, a gesture which indicates His Highness’s big attention to support the efforts for the successful hosting of the tournament. He conveyed his wishes that the champions of our national paralympic shooting team would make it to the podiums and book qualification cards to take part in the competitions of the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games, while he noted that the athletes of our national team have large capabilities and a strong will and are able to snatch medals in various competitions.
H.E. Abdullah Al Humaidan offered gratitude and appreciation to all the entities, organizations and corporations that are supporting and sponsoring the tournament, and that greatly contribute to the success of all the events being organized by ZHO, especially sport events. Such sponsors include, most importantly, Abu Dhabi Sports Council (ADSC), ZHO’s strategic partner and governmental supporter, the General Authority of Sports (GAS), Abu Dhabi General Headquarters, Abu Dhabi Civil Defense (ADCD), the Department of Culture & Tourism (DCT) – Abu Dhabi, the UAE Paralympic Committee, Emirates Transport (ET), Tamouh Healthcare, Al Ain Water, Al Fo’ah Dates, Al Baddad Tents, and Ramasat Perfumes.
259 (214 males and 82 females) athletes, representing 54 countries from the various continents of the world, are taking part in the tournament, being accompanied by their coaches, the heads of delegations, and specialized and qualified shooting referees from the UAE and abroad. Such athletes will be competing in 41 various competitions for men and women individuals and teams, in the form of air and fire pistol shooting and air and fire (Siktoon) rifle shooting for various distances and positions, in addition to shotgun shooting, whereas the tournament will witness, for the first time, the enlistment of accredited official competitions for the blind category.
IPC has allocated 31 qualification cards for competing shooters in the various enlisted competitions to take part in the competitions of Paris 2024 Paralympic Games, a thing which gives more significance to the tournament and makes world champions keener to take part in its competitions.
The participating countries are: Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Spain, Finland, France, Britain, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Indonesia, India, Iran, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, South Korea, Latvia, Luxemburg, Mexico, North Macedonia, Norway, New Zealand, Panama, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Singapore, Slovenia, Serbia, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Slovakia, Sweden, Chinese Taipei, Turkey, Ukraine, Uruguay, USA, Korea, Uzbekistan, and the UAE.
The Technical Meeting
On the other hand, the technical meeting of the teams and athletes was held yesterday (Saturday) at the headquarters of the competitions at Al Ain Equestrian, Shooting & Golf Club, with the presence of H.E. Abdullah Ismail Al Kamali, ZHO’s Executive Director for the People of Determination Sector and the Chairman of the Higher Organizing Committee, and Jeslin Breeze, the Chairperson of the Technical Committee of the World Paralympic Shooting Championships and the Tournament’s General Controller, and the Chairman of the Refereeing Committee. Such meeting witnessed the explanation of the technical and administrative instructions of the competitions, with emphasis on the adoption and application of all the laws of the International Paralympic Shooting Federation.
The meeting witnesses the presentation of all the instructions for the progress of competitions and the kick-off timing of every competition throughout the days of the tournament, and entry instructions into the field prior to the kick-off of every competition, with emphasis on adherence to all instructions and the possibility of disqualification in the case of breaching the instructions. Furthermore, the suggestions of the heads of delegations and the coaches were heard and their enquiries were answered to, in addition to the correction of athletes’ data and making them aware of the regulatory aspects of the tournament, especially as in relation to the services provided to them. The requirement of athletes’ punctuality was stressed as in relation to the kick-off timings and durations of the competitions so that no athlete would be disqualified.
Today’s (Sunday) Competitions
Today will witness the competitions of the 10m air pistol prone SH1 tournament, including qualifiers and the final, as well as the qualifiers for the mixed 25m fire pistol (Siktoon) SH1 team tournament, in addition to team trainings for various competitions.