On Friday, at the World Trade Centre halls in Dubai, the motivated men’s team of the UAE is ready to make history when they take on Italy in their opening Group A game of the IWBF Wheelchair Basketball World Championships Dubai 2022.
Although it will be the first time the home team will partake in a World Championships, it will be a dream come true for most players to play with the top teams in the world.
As hosts, this will also be the first time UAE will host a Wheelchair Basketball World Championships, becoming the first Arab and West Asian country to do so.
The UAE team looked more robust and is ready for the big challenge with a new coach, Abbas Aghakoucheki, who has been an important figure in Iran’s success in men’s wheelchair basketball in Asia.
Aghakoucheki said the team’s confidence and spirit are building up in the ongoing training session.
The coach, who has been the head of Iran in two Paralympic Games, said that ” the participation in the recent events in Thailand, Kuwait, and training in Turkey was good preparation for the team. The World Championships are short-term loans for me after I joined them in July 2022. We have also brought some younger players like 19- year old Mansour( Mohamed Alnaqbi) to have more speed and enthusiasm in the side.”
Furthermore, the coach also pointed out that the UAE side has many experienced players, which will be their advantage.
Currently, the UAE is placed second among Gulf countries and has a bronze medal at the Bahrain 2022 West Asia Para Games. At last month’s Arab Championships. UAE finishes in fourth place, with Egypt taking first place.
Besides, the team was also in a 10-day training in Turkey and has fine-tuned their skills for the Championships.