IPC to finalise Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games sports programme

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(ISN) – The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) will announce on Saturday (31 January) at 10:00 CET the final line-up of sports for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.

A maximum of 23 sports can be included in the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games and in October 2014 the IPC Governing Board approved the first 16 sports for inclusion. The 16 sports are: athletics, archery, badminton, boccia, equestrian, goalball, powerlifting, rowing, shooting, sitting volleyball, swimming, table tennis, triathlon, wheelchair basketball, wheelchair rugby and wheelchair tennis.

This week (30 January – 1 February) the IPC Governing Board will meet in Abu Dhabi, UAE, to finalise the sports programme with eight sports – canoe, cycling, football 5-a-side, football 7-a-side, judo, taekwondo, sailing and wheelchair fencing – still in contention. Although a maximum of 23 sports can be included in the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic sports programme, the IPC has the option to reduce the number of sports if it feels it is necessary.

Twenty four sports – the 22 sports that will feature at Rio 2016 – together with new sports badminton and taekwondo – were eligible to apply for inclusion in the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.

Following the submission of applications from the eligible sports, the IPC management team undertook a rigorous assessment of all applications. Sports were assessed for worldwide participation in terms of countries and continents, where the sport is regularly practiced, quadrennial competition programme, athlete classification, anti-doping programme, rules and regulations, and initiatives undertaken to make their sport more attractive.

On completion of the review process, the IPC management team made recommendations to the IPC Governing Board ahead of their October 2014 meeting in Berlin, Germany, where 16 sports were approved for inclusion.

The eight sports that were not approved at October’s meeting were asked to provide additional information to the IPC addressing issues identified in their applications. This information has since been reviewed and a further analysis has been provided to the IPC Governing Board ahead of this week’s meeting.

The 22 sports currently on the summer Games programme that will feature at Rio 2016 are: athletics, archery, boccia, canoe, cycling, equestrian, football 5-a-side, football 7-a-side, goalball, judo, powerlifting, rowing, sailing, shooting, sitting volleyball, swimming, table tennis, triathlon, wheelchair basketball, wheelchair fencing, wheelchair rugby and wheelchair tennis. Both para-canoe and para-triathlon will make their Games debut at the Rio 2016 Paralympics.

Since the first Paralympic Games in Rome, Italy, in 1960, the Paralympic Games have continued to grow in size and stature. The first Games featured 400 athletes from 23 countries competing in eight sports – archery, athletics, dartchery, snooker, swimming, table tennis, wheelchair fencing and wheelchair basketball.

At London 2012, the Games involved a record 4,237 athletes from 164 countries who took part in 503 medal events across 20 sports. A cumulated global audience of 3.8 billion watched the Games, whilst 2.78 million tickets were sold, making the Paralympics the third-biggest sporting event in the world behind the Olympics and FIFA World Cup.

In 2010, para-badminton, intellectually impaired basketball, para-golf, powerchair football and para-taekwondo all applied to be part of the Rio 2016 Paralympic sports programme but were unsuccessful with the Governing Board instead choosing applications from para-canoe and para-triathlon.

The Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games will be held from 25 August – 6 September 2020.

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