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Lubega to Undergo Surgery to Qualify for Paralympic Games

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According to Lubega medics from the International Paralympic Committee disqualified him claiming that his elbow was performing well compared to other athletes in his category and advised him to undergo surgery to cut off the upper part of his hand so as to qualify.
lubega Abdu Karim. Photo by Fahad mugnda

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Abdu Karim Lubega has decided to undergo surgery to qualify for the Paralympic games. Lubega was part of Uganda’s delegation that travelled to Morocco in February 2020 to participate in the All Africa Paralympic Games, which was also the Paralympic qualifier for athletics, blind ball, javelin and long jump among other sports. 

He was disqualified by the classifiers at the event claiming that he didn’t have a class he belonged to qualify for the Paralympic games. The athlete has an improperly developed right without fingers, which affects the movement of the elbow while running.

According to Lubega, medics from the International Paralympic Committee disqualified him claiming that his elbow was performing well compared to other athletes in his category and advised him to undergo surgery to cut off the upper part of his hand so as to qualify.

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James Senkungu, the National team coach of the Paralympic team, says the entire delegation was shocked by Lubega’s disqualification because they had used local classifiers and confirmed that he belongs to the category of Para athletes. 

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Lubega has now decided to undergo surgery to finalize what is required of him to participate in the Paralympic games.  Unfortunately, it will be late for the athlete to participate in the Tokyo Olympic 2020. However, Lubega says that he has his eyes on all other international competitions including the 2024 Olympics in Paris, France.

Lubega says that he needs Shillings 6.7 million for the surgery and might need some assistance because he cannot fund it all by himself.

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The Para-athletics classification is used to determine the kind of disabilities each athlete has. The athletes are designated under classes and each class has a code consisting of a letter and two digits, with the latter being either "T" or "F" (indicating track or field events) and the number representing the level of physical ability. T/F11–13 is for visual impairment, T/F20 intellectual impairment, T/F31–34 movement disorder and cerebral palsy and T/F40–41 for dwarfism among others.  Lubega fell in the T/F category, which includes people with impairments on their arms.

According to Senkungu, the major purpose of the classification is to balance the athletes and ensure that sure no one gains an advantage over the other.


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