Paralympic taekwondo, badminton move forward in Tokyo 2020 application process
From the International Paralympic Committee:
The International Paralympic Committee's (IPC) Governing Board has invited the sport of badminton and sport of taekwondo to advance to the second phase of the application process to become a part of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games programme.
For Taekwondo, only the Kyorugi discipline is being considered for inclusion in the Tokyo 2020 Games.
In January, the IPC announced that six sports and three disciplines had expressed an interest in being a part of the Tokyo 2020 Games. With badminton and taekwondo moving forward in the process, the other sports and disciplines will no longer be considered for inclusion. The ones not moving forward include powerchair football, 3-on-3 intellectually impaired basketball, electric wheelchair hockey, amputee football, one person multi-hull sailing, blind match racing sailing and 3-on-3 wheelchair basketball.
Xavier Gonzalez, IPC Chief Executive Officer, said: "We would like to thank the nine international federations for expressing an interest in becoming a part of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games sport programme. With the size and stature of the Paralympic Movement growing with each Games, we are keen to ensure we have the best sports on the programme.
"All sports and disciplines were measured against a set criteria which they needed to fulfil in order to progress through to the second phase of the application process."
Beginning on March 24, the 22 established sports on the Paralympic programme, plus those additional sport that have been approved by the Governing Board, will be invited to complete a comprehensive questionnaire before July 25.
In October, the IPC Governing Board will meet to decide which sports will make up the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic sports programme.
Currently, there are 22 sports on the summer Games programme - 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. The two latest additions are para-canoe and para-triathlon, and both 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 Aug. 25-Sept. 6, 2020.