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Morocco's Paralympian athletes ready for Tokyo 2020 Games

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He is one of the Morocco's most famous Paralympian athletes.

At 35, shot put specialist Azeddine Nouiri will try to win a third gold medal in a row at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, after dominating competitions in 2012 and in 2016, and setting a world record of 13,10 metres in 2012.

Nouiri has enjoyed a strong 2021 season so far, and won medals at the World Para Athletics Grand Prixs in Dubai in February and in Tunisia in March - events which also sealed his qualification for Tokyo.

"We have been in preparation since January. We stopped only for a short time, and then we restarted our preparation for the Tokyo Paralympic Games. We have already participated in many meetings and have been able to secure our qualification for the Paralympic Games. We competed at the 2021 World Para Athletics Grand Prixs in Dubai in February and in Tunisia in March, where myself and some of my fellow athletes were able to qualify for the upcoming Games. Our preparation will hopefully help us to achieve good results in Tokyo," says Azeddine Nouiri.

Preparing for the Paralympics games can be very challenging for the athletes, as infrastructures are scares in the Moroccan Kingdom.

"Athletes with disabilities in Morocco suffer a lot. We do not have the infrastructure. The Federation has also experienced difficulties finding a centre where we can train. This is a big problem. We hope there will be more interest which develops. But, honestly, despite all these obstacles, we have achieved good results and we will continue to have more positive results," says Morocco's Paralympics team coach Abdelaziz Azedmoute.

Despite a year of Covid-19 linked restrictions and curfews, the Moroccan paralympian athletes remain confident in their preparation. They look to bring back medals come the end of August.

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