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2020 preview: What to watch

Tokyo 2020 highlights action-packed year of Para sports 07 Jan 2020
By IPC

The Paralympic year has finally arrived. As the world turns it’s attention to Tokyo, Japan, to watch the best Para athletes fighting for top honours, there are other competitions that would also keep you tuned in 2020.

Along with the much-awaited showpiece event in Tokyo, the Para sporting calendar promises to offer plenty of excitement this year. 

Check out some of the high-profile events lined up for this season. 

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS

Three sports that will be celebrating their top international events are: 

Para Canoe: Duisburg, Germany, will be staging the World Championships from 21-24 May. This event will also serve as a Paralympic qualifier.

Para Cycling: The world’s best cyclists will test themselves ahead of Tokyo 2020 at the Track World Championships in Milton, Canada, from 30 January-2 February and at the Road World Championships in Ostend, Belgium, from 4-7 June.

Para Triathlon: Milan, Italy, will play host to top Para triathletes at the Worlds, to be held from 2-3 May.

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Dutch Para cyclist Jetze Plat celebrates with his hands up while crossing the finish line
Ⓒ JB Benavent / UCI

TOKYO 2020 PARALYMPIC GAMES

Between 25 August and 6 September, the biggest Para sport competition in the world will feature 4,350 Para athletes across 22 sports, with badminton and taekwondo making their Paralympic debut.

A record number of broadcasters will live telecast 21 disciplines from 19 sports, six more than Rio 2016. This means Tokyo 2020 is expected to exceed the cumulative audience of 4.1 billion who watched the 2016 Games. 

Moreover, an unprecedented 3.1 million tickets were requested from the Japanese public during the first Paralympic ticket window, with 2.3 million tickets overall.

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Japanese wheelchair tennis player Shingo Kunieda lifts his arms after winning the final
Ⓒ Getty Images

LOOKING AHEAD TO 2022

The world’s best biathletes and wheelchair curling teams will test themselves at their respective World Championships with two years to go until the 2022 Winter Paralympics in Beijing, China. 

Ostersund, Sweden, will stage the 2020 World Para Biathlon Championships from 11 to 15 March.

It will be the first time Para biathlon and cross-country are not part of the same World Championships since 1990 in Jackson, USA, when only cross-country events were part of the competition programme.

The World Wheelchair Curling Championship 2020, set to take place from 29 February–7 March in Wetzikon, Switzerland, will be the first event in which qualifying points will be available for countries to make the field for Beijing 2022.

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wheelchair curlers watching a stone
Ⓒ Simon Bruty for OIS/IOC

PyeongChang 2018 gold medallists China will aim to reassure their dominance before their home Winter Paralympics by claiming their first world title.