mustaqila is reporting today that the budget for the Iraq Paralympic Committee has been cut as part of across the board austerity budget cuts by the central government.
The budget cuts impact things like the length of time that national teams can be in internal training camps ahead of competition. The new maximum length is 15 days. The length of time that national teams can be in training camps abroad ahead of competitions has also been reduced to 10 days for neighboring countries, and 14 days for camps in countries in the European Union.
Travel for athletes is also being restricted, with the goal to only send competitors to championship events, or events required to qualify for championships. Further exceptions exist for table tennis players, wheelchair tennis players, archers, wheelchair fencers and shooters because Paralympic qualification is based on points or ranking systems that necessitate participation in many events not considered championships. These athletes may compete in up to four events each. Travel for members of the Iraq Paralympic Committee is also being restricted, except for that of the President.
Iraq sent a team to the 2014 Asian Para Games. They finished twelfth on the medal table out of thirty-three countries. Iraq was behind Kazakhstan and ahead of the United Arab Emirates. The Iraqi delegation won 31 total medals, 6 gold, 6 silver and 19 bronze medals. The men’s goalball team finished fifth out of eight teams, ahead of Jordan and behind hosts South Korea. The men’s national wheelchair basketball team finished seventh in a field ten deep. They were ahead of Hong Kong and right below Malaysia. Wurood Basim Ati Al-Murshedi was one of Iraq’s gold medalist in archery, winning the women’s individual compound open event. The Iraqi team won a bronze in the Team compound open event. The Iraq Paralympic Committee is trying to find solutions to the austerity budget cuts to continue to achieve and improve on the level of success they attained at this year’s Asian Para Games.