Kazakhstan and Iceland Announce Rio 2016 Delegations

Jon Margier Sverisson celebrates his gold medal in London (Source: Iceland Government)

Despite clouds surrounding travel funding to the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games two more nations have announced their delegations. Kazakhstan and Iceland announced their squads on Tuesday with Kazakhstan sending 10 and Iceland sending five athletes to Rio.

Kazakhstan are sending four swimmers, three powerlifters and one each in athletics, archery and judo. One of those swimmers, Zulfiya Gabidullina, is a strong medal hope, competing in the S4 category she won two European Championships in May in the 50m and 100m freestyle, setting a world record in the 50m.

After making his major event debut four years ago in Rio Anuar Akhmetov returns after four more years of experience. That included competing in the World and European Championships in the last two years that should see him a bigger competitor in Rio.

Outside of the pool, Kazakhstan’s best hope comes in Judo with Anuar Sariyev flying the flag. Sariyev will be competing in the men’s -60kg category where he is currently ranked fifth in the world.

Iceland’s team is also heavy on swimmers with three of their five strong team competing in the pool. The star of that team is Jon Margeir Sverrisson who looks to defend his 200m freestyle S14 title, coming in after coming second at the world championship last year.

In athletics Iceland will have hopes of a medal with Heigl Sveinsson in the javelin F44, competing in his second Paralympic Games and comes in having won bronze at the 2015 World Championships. The final member of the team is archer Thorsteinn Halldorsson who will make history, the first Icelandic archer to compete in the Paralympic Games, he will shoot in the men’s compound after qualifying in the very last qualification tournament in June.

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