Sharjah 2019: IWAS World Games kick off10.02.2019
More than 500 athletes from 45 countries to compete in seven sports
The International Wheelchair and Amputee Sports Federation (IWAS) World Games open in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, on Sunday (10 February).
With hundreds of athletes from around the world either making their international debut, competing on the road to the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, or trying to finish their careers on a high, the World Games are a highlight of many sports' calendar.
Here are five things you need to know about Sharjah 2019:
More than 500 athletes from 45 countries
You read that right – the IWAS World Games have attracted athletes from all around the world. One of the biggest draws for countries is the chance to get their athletes classified and this will be offered in four sports – archery, badminton, table tennis and wheelchair fencing.
This could mean there will be a lot of new faces competing for the first time and hoping to make an impact.
Athletes will compete in seven sports – archery, athletics, badminton, shooting, swimming, table tennis and wheelchair fencing. All competitions will be sanctioned by the relevant International Federation and in some cases results will go towards the all-important world rankings.
The wheelchair fencing will be extra special – the event doubles as the first World Cup of 2019 and the under 17 and under 23 World Championships.
All seven sports will be hosted between 10-16 February in a trio of venues.
The Althiqah Club for the Disabled will stage archery, athletics and wheelchair fencing. Track and field athletes will be the first to compete on its newly laid Mondo track.
Swimming, badminton and table tennis will be contested at the American University of Sharjah. Shooting heads to the Aldhaid Sports Club for all 10m, 25m, and 50m competitions.
Sharjah 2019 will be the seventh edition of the IWAS World Games in its current form, following the establishment of IWAS in 2005. The first was held in Taipei City, Chinese Taipei, in 2007 and every two years since.
It is also the second time the event has been held in Sharjah following on 2011. Other editions have been held in Bangalore, India; Stadskanaal, the Netherlands and Sochi, Russia, before the last edition in Vila Real de Santo Antonio, Portugal, in 2017.
Sharjah 2019 will feature six new International Dwarf Sports Federation (IDSF) events on the track and field.
With this, IWAS aims to include events not on the Paralympic programme. This gives athletes the chance to compete on an international stage in more events.
More information about the 2019 IWAS World Games, including results, can be found at the IWAS website.