Last week, the Iraqi Paralympic Committee announced their annual plan for the country’s national teams in response to budget cuts that have taken place in multiple sectors across Iraq.
Iraq Paralympic Committee President Aqil Hamid was quoted by multiple Arabic language news sources as saying, “The Committee adopted standards and financial controls that have been identified because of fiscal austerity taking place in the country, which is what made us take the decision regarding foriegn competitions and choose the most important ones to announce our participation in order to secure lasting gains and achievements for the national disability teams who based on performance in recent years.”
The next major competition that Iraq has planned to send athletes to internationally is this month’s IPC FAZAA Athletics Grand Prix competition in the Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The number of Iraqi athletes has been cut down to ten, and includes only men’s javelin and discuss competitors. Iraqi female athletes were unable to participate for technical reasons, and no further explanation has been provided either by the IPC or Iraq Paralympic Committee. There were also apparently technical problems getting men’s 100 meter, 200 meter and 400 meter competitors to participate. There are also plans to send an Iraqi delegation to the 2015 IPC Athletics World Championships in Doha, Qatar in October
Wheelchair fencing is included on the plan, with Iraq planning to send competitors to the IWAS Wheelchair Fencing World Cup in Pisa, Italy in May, along with the Italian national wheelchair fencing championships scheduled for the same period. Wheelchair fences are also scheduled to participate in the Eger, Hungary hosted IWAS Wheelchair Fencing World Championships in September. Plans also include sending competitors to the BNP Paribas Wheelchair Tennis World Team Cup in Turkey.
In archery, Iraq is planning to send a team to the Thailand hosted Asian Para Championships in November as part of the team’s efforts to qualify for the 2016 Summer Paralympics.
Iraq’s powerlifters are scheduled to be in a training camp during July, ahead of the IPC Powerlifting Asia Open Championship. This competition is important for a few lifters who are also seeking qualification for the 2016 Summer Paralympics