The International Federation for Athletes with Intellectual Impairments (INAS) has announced that table tennis competitions at the 2019 INAS Global Games in Brisbane, Australia, will be recognised by the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) for the first time.
The move means that all class 11 players competing between 12-19 October will be able to achieve ranking points for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics according to the ITTF’s factor 20 status.
The INAS Global Games are the world’s biggest high-performance sports event for athletes with intellectual impairments. The 2019 edition will feature 11 sports, with table tennis the latest to be recognised by the relevant International Federation.
Marc Truffaut, INAS President, said: “We are absolutely delighted to achieve this historic milestone thanks to a great partnership with the ITTF. We want the Global Games to be an important stop on the calendar, especially as they always take place in the year before the Paralympics.
“Brisbane 2019 is aiming to be the biggest edition yet with 1,000 athletes from 80 countries competing across all sports. This news will go a long way to attracting the absolute best table tennis players as they reach for Global Games titles and Tokyo 2020 qualification.”
“ITTF is very happy to establish a long term cooperation with INAS and this approval of the Global Games is an awesome first step. Intellectually impaired athletes is the biggest population in numbers inside Para sport and their progressive integration is totally consistent with our “Table tennis for all” values. I am sure that Brisbane will witness a great competition next October and athletes will enjoy the quality they deserve,” said Steve Dainton, Chief Executive Officer of the ITTF.
As well as table tennis, the other Paralympic sports on the Global Games programme – swimming and athletics - will be recognised by World Para Swimming and World Para Athletics respectively.
Taekwondo, a growing sport for athletes with intellectual impairments which is led by World Taekwondo, will also be sanctioned ahead of the sport’s Paralympic debut in Tokyo.