Libya’s Ghazala Alakory was honored Monday during National Day of Sports events at the Martyrs of February Stadium in Benina, Libya. This included being given a national sporting award. Despite missing key qualifying events for Rio because of funding issues, it is still possible for Ghazala Alakory to get an invite to compete at the 2016 Summer Paralympics where she add to the history of Libyan participants in the event at the Paralympic Games if she can get an invite through Bipartite Invitation Allocation and funds are made available .
Alakory took up disability sport in 1995, competing in javelin and shot put events in athletics. She went on to compete at an international event in Egypt in 1996. Alakory was disappointed by her results, and returned home to change sports. She took up powerlifting in Benghazi under the tutelage of one of the country’s best coaches. In 1998, Alakory participated in several international competitions and became the champion of Libya. She qualified for the 2000 Summer Paralympics in Sydney where she was the country’s first female representative. Competing in the Women’s Over 82.5 kg event, she finished ninth with a lift of 67.5 kg. She continued with the sport, claiming a bronze at a competition in Nigeria. She continued to compete internationally as she could afford to. At a national championship in 2008, she lifted 87.5 kg. As a result of funding issues, her domestic and international competition experiences were primarily being paid for by her father who supported her sporting endeavors. His death made it harder for her to continue to compete at the international level because of a lack of financial support.
The ongoing political situation in Libya has led to government financial problems inside the country, which has had a flow on effect to the Libyan Paralympic Committee. Sportspeople have not been able to secure funds to compete in qualifying events. The Libyan Paralympic Committee was founded in 1981 at the Libyan General Federation of Sports for People with Disabilities, and has ten sub-branches that deliver disability sport around the country. Much of the recent funding since the onset of the political crisis has come from Libyan social security fund and through the Libyan Olympic Committee with support of funds through the Olympic Solidarity Commission. The country made their major international debut at the 1990 International Stoke Mandeville Games, and made its Paralympic Games debut at the 1996 Games when they sent four powerlifters to Atlanta. They sent their largest ever delegation to the 2000 Summer Paralympic in Sydney, when they were represented by three judokas, two powerlifters and a sitting volleyball team. The delegation shrank in 2004, when they were represented by two powerlifters, and increased only by one at the 2008 Games when they had three. Libya’s delegation was back to two competitors in London, with a powerlifter and athletics competitor. The country’s only medal came in Sydney when powerlifter Abdelrahim Hamed won bronze in the men’s over 100kg division.