The International Wheelchair and Amputee Sports Federation has announced the cancellation of the 2020 IWAS World Games, due to take place in Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand, from 10-17 December.
The decision was made as a result of ongoing uncertainty caused by COVID-19 around the world impacting the ability of teams to compete.
IWAS President, Rudi Van Den Abbeele, said: “It is with a heavy heart that IWAS and the organisers have made the decision to cancel this year’s World Games. A huge amount of effort has gone in to trying to ensure they could take place so that athletes and teams could have a positive end to the year.
“However, we recognised that the travel restrictions worldwide and particularly quarantine procedures, would cause significant logistical and financial implications for our Members that was deemed too great.
“We are in discussion with the Sports Association for the Disabled Thailand to host a future edition, potentially in 2023. I would like to thank them, their supporters and partners for working with us through a very tough year. We look forward to being able to host a Games in Thailand in the not-too-distant future.”
Seven sports were set to feature at the 2020 IWAS World Games: athletics, powerlifting, shooting, swimming, wheelchair tennis and wheelchair fencing – which would double up as the IWAS Wheelchair Fencing Asian Championships.
The Asian Championships will now be held in the same location in April 2021 and will still be a qualifier for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.
“Wheelchair fencers have also had a difficult year with the postponement of the Paralympics, World Cups cancelled and regional Championships re-scheduled,” Van Den Abbeele continued. “We remain committed to ensuring that they have the best possible lead-up to Tokyo 2020 and are monitoring the situation with all upcoming competitions closely.”
The 2020 IWAS World Games were originally scheduled for February but were postponed to April and then December in response to the challenges posed by COVID-19.
IWAS is now reviewing its Games cycle for the coming years. As well as the World Games, this includes the IWAS World Youth Games and an exciting new addition – the first IWAS Guttmann Games.
The Guttmann Games offers athletes competing in non-Paralympic sports the chance to take to the global stage.
More details about the current IWAS and IWAS Wheelchair Fencing calendar can be found here.