Rio 2016: the qualifiers so far

In 2014, 271 Paralympic places were decided for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games in 10 sports. 08 Jan 2015
Dartanyon Crockett

Dartanyon Crockett competes against Russia's Oleg Kretsul at London 2012 in his Paralympic debut.

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By Rio 2016

Although the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games are not until next year, the race to qualify well and truly started in 2014 with places in 10 Paralympic sports up for grabs.


In total 271 Paralympic places have been filled and come 2016 there will be 4,350 Paralympic athletes competing for medals in South America’s first Paralympic Games.


“It’s been a really exciting year as the first athletes and teams have won places at the Games,” said Melina Xanthopoulou, Rio 2016’s Sport Entries Manager. “It makes them and us here at the committee feel even closer to the Games, and it inspires everyone here to ensure we prepare the perfect conditions for the athletes to shine on their big days.”


See below for an overview of the qualifying tournaments held in 2014:

Football 5-a-side

Argentina was the first country to qualify for Rio 2016, as runner-up in November’s World Championship in Tokyo, Japan. Brazil, who already had their place guaranteed as host nation, won the world title.

Football 7-a-side

Ukraine as winners of the European Championships in Maia, Portugal, are the only team to qualify so far.


Great Britain, the Netherlands and Germany were the first to qualify for the team event, via the World Equestrian Games in Normandy, France.


The World Championships in Espoo, Finland, qualified three women’s teams (the USA, Russia and Turkey) and two men’s teams (Finland and the USA).


Nine countries secured the 13 places up for grabs at the World Championships in Colorado Springs, USA: Ukraine (3), Azerbaijan (2), China (2), Algeria, USA, Hungary, Mexico, Russia and Uzbekistan.

Wheelchair rugby

Australia qualified for the Rio 2016 Games by defeating Canada in the final to win the World Championship in Odense, Denmark.

Wheelchair tennis

Japan’s Shingo Kunieda and Thailand’s Sakhorn Khanthasit were the first to qualify for Rio by winning the Incheon 2014 Asian Para Games titles in South Korea.


Of the 150 Paralympic Games places, 63 were decided at the IPC Shooting World Championships in Suhl, Germany. With 11 spots, South Korea will be a strong contender.


The World Championships in Halifax, Canada, qualified 39 athletes from 10 countries: Australia (6), Great Britain (6), France (4), Germany (4), Norway (4), Canada (6), Greece (3), USA (3), Italy (2) and Finland.

Sitting volleyball

As the first qualifying tournament in all sports for the Rio 2016 Games, the World Championships in Elblag, Poland, qualified the women’s teams from China and USA and the men’s teams from Bosnia & Herzegovina and Iran. The Asian Para Games in Incheon, South Korea, qualified the women’s team from Iran and the men’s team from China.


Qualification for the Paralympic Games is an ongoing process and final entries will only be officially confirmed in August 2016. Entries are recommended by national federations or sport organisations to their respective National Paralympic Committees, who decide on final selections.


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