IPC in Doha for GCC Para-Athletics Championships and Doha 2015 Test Event

Doha Sept 14, 2015: The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) are confident that Doha will deliver a very successful IPC Athletics World Championships in October. Led by Head of IPC Athletics, Ryan Montgomery, the IPC delegation are in Doha to observe the GCC Para-Athletics Championships, which are serving as a Test Event for the World Championships.

Speaking at a press conference to discuss the outcome of the Test Event, Ryan Montgomery said:

“We have been able to witness a lot of functional areas that are going to be in operation during the World Championships and from what we have seen, we are sure that the World Championships in a few weeks’ time will be very successful. We came here with a number of questions and those questions were answered fully and successfully and we’ve left very, very happy. These World Championships are going to allow the Paralympic Movement to expand into a new region and reach new levels. They will inspire and excite the world.”

The GCC Para-Athletics Championships have given the Doha 2015 Organising Committee the opportunity to test operational procedures and functions in order to ensure that they are fully prepared for October’s World Championships. Areas that have been successfully tested include Hamad International Airport’s ability to handle an increased flow of passengers with an impairment across all areas of the airport, accessibility of buses and transport load zones for wheelchair users, and the implementation of structural modifications to Qatar Sports Club and official Championship hotels, which have ensured that they are fully accessible to all.

Mr Ameer al-Mulla, CEO of the Doha 2015 Organising Committee said:
“All operational tests have gone smoothly and to plan during the GCC Para-Athletics Championships indicating that we are fully prepared to host a World Championships in October that will be organised to the highest possible standards. Furthermore, the accessibility modifications and improvements that have been made to venues and facilities across Qatar are a significant legacy that will be left behind long after the World Championships have finished. These World Championships will have an impact on Qatar and the region that will go beyond an incredible 10-days of world-class action.”

Six countries are participating in the GCC Para-Athletics Championships, which are running from 12-15 September at Qatar Sports Club, including hosts Qatar, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Kuwait and Bahrain. Organized by the GCC Organising Committee for Sports of the Disabled, the Championships aim to create new platforms for regional athletes through which they can experience high-level competition and gain invaluable experience that can be transferred to the world stage.

Mr. Jassim Hassan Mubarak, Secretary General of the GCC Organising Committee for Sports of the Disabled said:
“Since 1993, the GCC Organizing Committee for Sports of the Disabled has always endeavored to cover all ages, gender and sports. We have witnessed great development in para-sports in the region as evidenced by the GCC Para-Athletics Championships which has seen new records and has motivated our athletes to excel in the upcoming Doha 2015 IPC Athletics World Championships in October. By hosting GCC-wide para-sport events our coaches and technical officials have gained valuable experience that enables them to classify athletes instead of having to send them abroad for classification.”

Forty three GCC Champions have been crowned so far during the GCC Para-Athletics Championships, with two world-records broken on the opening day of action. Qatar’s very own Abdelrahman Abdelqader broke the shot put F34 world-record, and Kuwait’s Ahmed al-Mutairi set a new world record in the 100m T33. The action has also seen London 2012 Paralympic Champion, Mohammed al-Hammadi of the UAE win the 100m and 200m T34, and London 2012 Paralympic silver medallist, Hani al-Nahkli of Saudi Arabia take gold in the discus T34.

Speaking about his new world-record, Abdelrahman Abdelqader said,
“By breaking the world record in shot put during the GCC Para-Athletics Championships I now have great motivation to maintain this momentum and carry it forward to the Doha 2015 IPC Athletics World Championships in October. The GCC Para-Athletics Championships is my last competition before the World Championships and I feel that I am well prepared and in good form.”

The IPC Athletics World Championships will take place from 21-31 October at Qatar Sports Club. Tickets for the ten-day competition are on sale now at https://doha2015.q-tickets.com. All proceeds of ticket sales will be donated to charity. —- Nicola Milan

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