The second West Asian Para Games came to its conclusion on Sunday 22nd September in Amman, Jordan with Kuwait lifting the gold medal in the wheelchair basketball competition.
This was the second edition of the multi-sport event, with the first being hosted in 2017 in the UAE. Six countries took part in the wheelchair basketball event – Iraq, Bahrain, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Oman, and Jordan – who were split across two pools.
Iraq topped Pool A with wins over Bahrain and Kuwait, and Oman finished top in Pool B with wins over the UAE and Jordan. The semi-finals matched Iraq with second in Pool B, the UAE, whilst Oman met Kuwait who finished second in Pool A.
Bahrain and Jordan, who both finished bottom of their respective pools, battled it out for 5th/6th place, and it was Bahrain who just edged out the hosts for fifth place, 54-48.
In the semi-finals, Iraq and Kuwait both put on impressive performances with convincing wins over the UAE and Oman, respectively. Iraq defeated the UAE by 27 points, 52-25, whilst Kuwait saw off Oman, 56-33.
The bronze medal game was a nailbiter between the UAE and Oman. The lead exchanged hands numerous times throughout the game, with the pressure telling on both teams as a number of missed shots towards the end of the fourth quarter showed the nerves, and meant it went right down to the wire. The UAE managed to successfully hold onto a two-point lead for the last two minutes of the game to take home bronze, 57-55.
The gold medal game was a repeat of the Pool A top-of-the-table game earlier in the tournament between Iraq and Kuwait, with Iraq winning that by six. Iraq came out the stronger of the two teams again in the opening half of the final to push out to a 22-12 lead, however the tables turned when Iraq’s key scorer Alla Abdullah was thrown out of the game for an illegal chair height. Kuwait slowly chipped away at Iraq’s advantage and eventually took the lead, which they kept until the end of the game to win the 2019 West Asia Para Games, 48-43.
The tournament was overseen by six referees – four from Jordan, one from Bahrain, and one from Kuwait – as well as two classifiers from Jordan. Lebanon’s Toufic Allouche acted as the Technical Delegate for the competition.