Iran Flagbearer for Asian Youth Para Games Named

Iran Paralympics team in Rio, 2016Iran Paralympics team in Rio, 2016

Zahra Balazadeh was introduced by the Iran National Paralympic Committee as the flagbearer for the Iranian Paralympics squad at the third Asian Youth Para Games in Dubai, December 10-14.

Valazadeh, 18, will carry Iran’s flag during the opening ceremony at the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Stadium, reported.

The Iranian boccia player hopes to win the gold medal at her first international attendance. “I feel proud and happy that I am chosen as Iran’s flagbearer for the Emirate Youth Para Games”, Balazadeh, said. “I hope that I win a medal and see the Iranian flag raised high at the games”.

Boccia is a precision ball sport played by athletes with severe physical disabilities. It was originally designed to be played by people with cerebral palsy but now includes athletes with other severe disabilities affecting motor skills.

In 1984, it became a Paralympics sport, and in 2008 was being practiced in over fifty countries worldwide. Boccia is one of only two Paralympics sports - along with goalball - that have no counterpart in the Olympic program.

The 2017 Asian Youth Para Games parallels the 2017 Asian Youth Games, as a multi-sport event for Asian athletes with disability.

A total of 600 athletes from 45 nations will compete in ten sections, including archery, athletics, badminton, boccia, bowling, chess, goalball, powerlifting, swimming and table tennis during the four-day tournament.

Iran’s delegation to the event has been named ‘Persian Gulf’. Iran is sending 35 women and 95 men to the competition.

The first edition of the Asian Youth Para Games was held in 2009 in Tokyo. Iran finished in second place in the second edition in Kuala Lumpur in 2013.

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