Seven sports to feature at IWAS World Games

Competition to take place in Nakhon Ratchasima in December counting towards Tokyo 2020 qualification in some disciplines 02 Sep 2020
A man without his arms jumping in the swimming pool with another man behind him
Sharjah in UAE hosted the last edition of the IWAS World Games in 2019 with more than 500 athletes from 50 countries

The International Wheelchair and Amputee Sports Federation (IWAS) has revealed the list of seven sports that will feature at the 2020 IWAS World Games in Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand, from 10-17 December.

Athletics, powerlifting, shooting, swimming, wheelchair tennis and wheelchair fencing will form the programme for the event. 

In athletics, the performances achieved at the IWAS World Games will count towards slot allocation and Minimum Entry Standards for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics.

The World Games will also be part of the World Para Powerlifting World Cup calendar and will provided ranking points towards Tokyo 2020.

The swimming competition will also be a qualifier for the Paralympic Games, while in shooting it will be a level 1 approved competition – not counting for Tokyo 2020.

Wheelchair fencing will stage its Asian Championships – a qualifier for the Paralympics - and under 17 and under 23 World Championships in Nakhon Ratchasima.

eSports will also make an exciting World Games debut.

The programme was decided based on expressions of interest from countries. 

Charmaine Hooper, IWAS Chief Executive Officer, said: “We are moving forward with our plans to host a re-scheduled World Games in December, and are delighted to offer a healthy programme of seven sports – six of which are on the Paralympic programme. 

“It will be a chance for fans to follow their favourite stars once again and of course for athletes to test their progress on the road to Tokyo 2020.

Up-and-coming athletes

The full entry process will open on 15 September, along with more details about safety measures relating to COVID-19.

“We appreciate that it has been a difficult year so we want to give athletes the chance to shine once again, especially those who might just be starting out on their careers and for whom the World Games are an important part of their journey,” Hooper added. 

“This of course depends on the safety and welfare of everyone who will be participating as well as the local and national public health picture in Thailand. We will be responsive to that as we have before, and will be providing members with more information when entries open in two weeks’ time.”

In Nakhon Ratchasima, the Local Organising Committee and the Thailand Para eSports Federation will showcase a discipline which is hugely popular in the country and region.

“It is great that we can once again offer our members a new discipline to try and observe at the World Games, following in the footsteps of other sports who have taken the opportunity in the past,” Hooper continued. 

“It will also hopefully lead to more attention for the World Games in Thailand as we tap into the profile of eSports there and in Asia more widely.”

The 2020 IWAS World Games were originally scheduled to take place in February but were moved to April, before being postponed to December due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

As a place where champions are born, the IWAS World Games have long provided opportunities for up-and-coming athletes to compete at an international level before going on to the Paralympic Games or major Championships.

The last edition took place in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, in February 2019 with more than 500 athletes from 50 countries competing across seven sports.