The Bahrain 2021 Asian Youth Para Games saw five countries – Bahrain, Iraq, Jordan, Philippines, and Saudi Arabia – make their Under 23 debut at a major competition, alongside I.R. Iran and Thailand.

Played over six days in a round-robin format at Khalifa Sports City Hall, the top two teams of the group would progress to the final and play for gold, with the teams in third and fourth in the group stage fighting it out for the bronze medal. The top two teams would not only play for the gold medal, but would book their ticket to Chiba next year to compete in the Men’s U23 World Championship.

Iran comfortably made the final remaining undefeated in the group stage, whilst it was Iraq who edged second place thanks to a narrow win over their nearest competitors Thailand on the opening day of the competition, 42-31.

Saudi Arabia claimed the fourth spot in the group with a better points difference following a three-way tie between them, Bahrain, and the Philippines, resulting in Bahrain finishing fifth and the Philippines sixth, with Jordan seventh and bottom of the group without a win.

Iran confirmed their superiority in the final against Iraq with a score of 117-18. Thailand won the bronze medal beating Saudi Arabia 84-18.

IWBF Asia Oceania Secretary-General, Don Perriman, said:

“We’d like to thank the Asian Paralympic Committee and the Local Organising Committee for their flexibility to accommodate changing the age limit for the Asian Youth Para Games to Under 23’s to allow us to use this as the qualification tournament. Their willingness to accept this initiative ensured our teams gained further support from their National Paralympic Committees which enabled them to compete on the international stage. It is great to see the development of the wheelchair youth programmes across Asia. We wish Iran and Iraq good luck in their preparations for the U23 World’s.”

Final Rankings

1 – Iran
2 – Iraq
3 – Thailand
4 – Saudi Arabia
5 – Bahrain
6 – Philippines
7 – Jordan

Full Results