Eight teams to line up for wheelchair basketball

Dubai: Japan, South Africa, Morocco, Turkey, South Korea, China Taipei and Thailand will join hosts UAE in the Tenth Fazza International Wheelchair Basketball to be held at the Shabab Al Ahli Dubai Club in Al Mamzar from May 6 to 10.

Organised by the Dubai Club for People of Determination, the tournament will be held under the patronage of Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Sports Council (DSC). The schedule for the five-day competition will be finalised after the technical meeting on Saturday.

Teams have already started arriving for the competition before spending the next two days of practice sessions.

The eight teams will be divided into two groups of four each with the round-robin competition starting on Sunday. This year marks the 10th anniversary of this event that bears extra significance due to it being held to mark the ‘Year of Zayed’.

Great Britain defeated Japan to win the title last year, while hosts UAE ended in fourth place. Majid Al Usaimi, Tournament Director was confident this year’s competition will be keen despite Great Britain not confirming their presence to defend their title.

“We have always targeted strong teams as this is one of the ways to motivate our national team in raising their level of play. We’ve got a cross-section of teams from across the world this time as well including South Africa, Turkey and Japan. And as we mark the tenth year we hope our team can do better,” Al Usaimi told Gulf News.

“The support and patronage of Shaikh Hamdan has ensured that this tournament has evolved into one of the best wheelchair competitions in the region. But we won’t be stopping here as we challenge ourselves to host a truly international event at all times,” he added.