Just one day left till the opening ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games and a strong Algeria delegation will be going all out for medals.
It will be a seventh participation for Algeria at the Paralympics and the delegation will be looking for a repeat of the previous games in Rio 2016 where a total of 16 medals were won, four gold, five silver and seven bronze.
This time around a total of 57 make up the Algerian delegation that will take part across five different disciplines in the Japanese capital.
Algeria are represented by 21 athletes in the athletics, three in both the judo and powerlifting respectively. In addition, there will be two teams competing at the Paralympic games, firstly the men’s goalball with six players and men’s and women’s wheelchair basketball with 12 players in each team.
High hopes of winning medals lie with the Algerian’s competing in the individual sports, mainly in the para-athletics, where new faces will be competing alongside some experienced athletes.
Those defending their titles from the previous Rio 2016 games will be Abdellatif Baka and Samir Nouioua (1500m), Nassima Saïfi (discus) and Asmahane Boudjadar (shotput and javelin).
In addition seven athletes who were medalists at the previous edition of the Paralympic Games, namely Nadia Medjmedj (shotput and javelin), Mounia Gasmi (shotput), Lynda Hamri (sprint and long jump), Mohamed Berrahal (100m), Bahlaz Lahouari and Kamel Kardjena (throwing events) as well as Abdellaoui Cherine in judo.
The new faces who have earned a place in Tokyo and who have great hopes of medals are Algerian technicians cite sprinter Athmani Skander-Djamil (T13/100 and 400m), Walid Ferhah (F32/club), Salah Khelaifia (T13/100m), Abdelkrim Krai (T38/1500m) and Ahmed Mehideb (F32/javelin throw).
In para judo, the chances of medals rest on Abdellaoui Cherine (-52 kg), bronze medalist in Rio and ranked fourth in the world. His compatriots Ishak Ouldkouider (-60 kg), 6th in the world and Abderrahmane Chetouane (-90 kg) will be also taking part.
In para powerlifting, a fairly new event that marks its third Paralympic participation, will have three athletes will defending the national colours. They are Hocine Bettir, Hadj Ahmed Beyor and Samira Guerioua.
Hopes of better performances for the wheelchair basketball and goalball teams after their last participation in Rio 2016.
It will be a difficult test for the men’s wheelchair basketball as Algeria will compete in Group B, alongside the USA, Great Britain, Germany, Austria and Iran, while the Women will face China, the Netherlands, the USA and Spain.
The men’s goalball team will face the same difficulties in the first round of the Games, as they take on Japan, Lithuania (defending champion), Brazil (bronze in Rio) and the USA (silver).
It should be remembered that Algeria achieved at the Rio-2016 Paralympic Games a harvest of 16 medals (4 gold, 5 silver and 7 bronze) and a 27th place out of 83 ranked countries.
The Paralympic Games are scheduled between August 24 to September 5 in Tokyo.
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