The 2019 edition of the world’s biggest high performance sports event for athletes with intellectual impairments – the INAS Global Games – officially opened with a glittering ceremony in Brisbane, Australia, on Saturday.
The Voice Australia finalist, Ellen Reed, headlined the performances at the Brisbane City Town Hall and more than 800 athletes from nearly 50 countries marched their way through the city centre.
The national anthem was then performed by ‘Choir of Hard Knocks’ Founder Jonathon Welsh ahead of fireworks in the city square. The opening was rounded off by a stirring performance by the Brisbane City Gospel Choir.
In attendance were Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk; Brisbane Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner; Federal Minister for Sport, Senator Richard Colbeck; and Para sport luminaries including International Paralympic Committee President, Andrew Parsons, and INAS President, Marc Truffaut.
Athletes will compete on their road to the Paralympic Games in athletics, swimming and table tennis whilst others will go for gold in seven other sports at the most important event of their careers.
Competition in athletics, swimming and table tennis will be shown live at https://gg2019.org/ alongside live results.
A high quality field of athletes have made the journey to Brisbane.
This includes swimming Paralympic champions Michelle Alonso and Wai Lok Tang.
Spain’s Alonso is a double gold medallist in the women’s 100m breaststroke SB14 from London 2012 and Rio 2016. Tang, one of Hong Kong’s leading swimmers, is the title-holder in the men’s 200m freestyle S14.
Cape Verde’s Gracelino Barbosa is the bronze medallist from the men’s 400m T20 from Rio 2016.
France’s Gloria Agblemagnon is the world No.2 in shotput F20 and the 2015 INAS Global Games champion in the hammer throw. Agblemagnon is likely to be challenged in the shot-put by Ecuador’s Poleth Mendes, the silver medallist from the 2017 World Para Athletics Championships.
Hungary’s World No. 2 Peter Palos collected silver as the 2018 International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) Para Table Tennis World Championships. Palos followed that up with the same colour at the Euros earlier this year.