Record medal haul for Muslim paralympians

28th Oct 2016
Record medal haul for Muslim paralympians

Maroua Brahmi of Tunisia, who won two golds in the Club Throw and Shot Put, she is seen during her arrival f at Carthage International Airport in Carthage, Tunisia (Photo: Amine Landoulsi/ AA)

Elham Asaad Buaras

Muslim paralympians won a total of 161 medals at the Rio Games, 59 more than their Olympic counterparts and 25 more than their London Games tally, according to data compiled exclusively by The Muslim News.

Uzbekistan finished the Games with 31 medals (13 of which were won by women), the record haul of 8 gold, 6 silver and 17 bronze medals making it the most decorated Muslim nation. Remarkably the Central Asian country finished the last Games with just 1 medal, a silver by judoka Sharif Khalilov in the under 73kg category.

Uzbekistan’s success could be attributed to its branching out beyond its traditional sports such as Judo (where they won 10 medals), Powerlifting (only 1) and track events (6 medals). 12 of the country’s medals were won in the pool. Uzbek swimmers stormed to their first Paralympic gold’s with two titles, one in a world-record time, thanks to a 17-year-old.

Fotimakhon Amilova knocked more than three second of the women’s 100m breaststroke (SB13), from lane one. Her new mark of 1:12.45 lowered the former record of Great Britain’s Rebecca Redfern (1:13.81).

Amilova also won a silver in the 200m Medley (SM13) and a bronze in the 100m Butterfly (S13); fellow country woman Muslima Odilova secured the silver.

Iran, which was the most successful Muslim nation in the 2012 Games, had to settle for the second spot in Rio. Iran matched its 2012 performance with 24 medals, however, most of their medallists are male.

With 12 medals won in the field events (discus, javelin and shot put) athletics proved to be the most successful event for the Iranian team.

Iranian Para-cyclist Bahman Golbarnezhad died following an accident during the men’s C4/C5 road race. The 48 year old sustained serious injuries and died on September 17.

The Iranian flag was lowered to half-mast in the Paralympic Village following Golbarnezhad’s passing, it was also lowered the following day at the Riocentro venue where Iran played Bosnia and Herzegovina in the sitting volleyball gold medal match.

Iran won the opening set 25-21 before Bosnia and Herzegovina countered to tie the match at one set each. Iran won the following two sets 25-18, 25-15.

Tunisia was the most successful Arab country im the Games, winning 19 medals, including 7 gold, 6 silver and 6 bronze, all in athletics – finishing 21st in the overall medals table.

Tunisia also secured the same number of medals as the UAE, Iraq, Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait combined, and was one of the few Muslim countries whose female competitors outperformed their countrymen. In fact, Tunisian women doubled the men’s medals tally (13 to 6).

All but two of Tunisia’s 7 gold medals were won by women. Tunisia’s dominance in Athletics was showcased in the women’s 1,500m (T13), where they took the top two spots, led by world champion Somaya Bousaid (4:21.45) and Najah Chouaya in second place. Bousaid had pulled clear of the field early on, with only Chouaya able to stay in touch.

With one lap to go the 36-year-old extended her lead, crossing the line over 30m clear of her rivals. Chouaya set a new T12 African record as she won silver ahead of Spain’s bronze medallist Izaskun Oses Ayucar (4:39.99).

Muslim competitors also helped secure medals for non-Muslim countries.

Spain’s Abderrahman Ait Khamouch won silver in the marathon (T45/46), with a season best time of (2:37:01). Khamouch, whose arm was amputated as a result of a fall when he was a child, has won a total of four Paralympic medals: a silver in the marathon in London, a silver in the 1500m (T46) and a bronze in the 800m (T46) in Beijing.

Abdillah ‘Abdi’ Jama and Gaz Choudhry helped the British wheelchair basketball team secure bronze. Team GB narrowly lost to Spain in the semifinals (63: 69) but were victorious against Turkey in the bronze medal playoff. The medal is Jama’s second Paralympic medal (bronze in the 2008 Beijing Games) and Choudhry’s first.

Ali Jawad became the first British Muslim to win a Paralympic medal in powerlifiting.

Jawad won a silver in the men’s 59kg.

The 27-year-old, who was born without legs, lifted a Paralympic record of 190kg with his first lift, but was beaten by Egypt’s Sherif Osman, who immediately broke the record again by lifting 203kg.

Osman then went on to lift a world record 211kg, winning his third consecutive Paralympic gold.

Jawad missed out at London 2012 when he finished fourth after having two lifts dismissed.

 

Medals won by Muslim paralympians:
Archery (4)
Athletics (84)
Football 5-a-side (1)
Football 7-a-side (1)
Goalball (1)
Judo (16)
Powerlifting (22)
Shooting (7)
Swimming (16)
Table Tennis (3)
Triathlon (1)
Wheelchair Volleyball (1)
Wheelchair Basketball (1)
Wheelchair Fencing (1)

Exclusive: Muslim Olympians make history in Rio

 

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