Athletes from 49 countries are counting down the hours to the start of the sixth IWAS World Games, which begin in Sharjah on Thursday.
Delegation to Sharjah IWAS games grows
Athletes from 49 countries are counting down the hours to the start of the sixth IWAS World Games 2011 which begin in Sharjah on Thursday.
The 10-day Games, coordinated by the International Wheelchair and Amputee Sport Federation, has attracted hundreds of disabled athletes from around the world to compete in sports such as athletics, swimming, table tennis and powerlifting.
The organising committee confirmed Sunday that teams from Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Palestine will be taking part, with delegations that include a total of 68 competitors.
The UAE has already announced a team of 78 athletes, including 17 women, to take part in the Games, the first of their kind to be held in the Arab region.
Tareq Sultan bin Khadem, the Deputy Chairman of the Higher Organising Committee, said: "We are now counting down days towards the opening of one of the most important sporting events for people with disabilities.
"The preparations have been accelerated in the emirate of Sharjah, with intricate attention being dedicated to the smallest details. As of now, there is nothing remaining but to honour deserving winners on the podiums.
"We dedicate these efforts to our nation on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the UAE National Day".
The Arab teams also include Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
The delegations from Russia, China and Taipei have already arrived in the UAE. The 55-member Russian delegation includes 37 athletes, the 42-member Chinese delegation has 30 competitors and the 23-member Taipei delegation includes 12 athletes.
The delegations from Australia, Ireland, Germany, Hungary, Iran, Italy, Japan, Norway, Saudi Arabia, Slovakia and South Korea, with a total of 276 participants, are all due to arrive in the UAE this week.
"We are extremely elated to note the participation of countries from different regions and continents in the competitions, including our region's countries," bin Khadem said.
"We expect that the strong competition will motivate our athletes to do their best and win as much medals as possible in competition with the Paralympics and world championships. We do hope that our fans will support us to achieve the best results
* Compiled by The National staff with agency