"Here more than anywhere else, technology is dominant and in many instances it is what enables the athlete's participation in these activities."
Paralympic sports were centre stage at the Asian Pacific Congress on Sports Technology (APCST) held in Tel Aviv, Israel, from 16-19 October. The congress, which connects scientists and entrepreneurs with athletes, sports professionals and trainers, devoted its final day entirely to Paralympic sports.
Israeli Paralympians Inbal Pezaro, Moran Samuel, Pascale Berkovitch and Doron Shaziri took part in the APCST and shared their experiences on how technology affected their sport career. They also discussed the question of how much technology impacts on the athlete's achievements.
Pezaro in Para swimming, Samuel in rowing and Shaziri in shooting won Israel’s three medals at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. Berkovitch won the silver medal in rowing at the 2008 Paralympics in Beijing.
The President of the Israel Paralympic Committee, Yehoshua Dekel, made the welcome address followed by lectures from Dr. Osnat Fliess Douer, member of the IPC Sports Science Committee. Douer made the first presentation on current technologies and their application in Para sports, and the second on technology utilised to provide efficient feedback to trainees.
“It was important to include Paralympic sports in the congress, in the understanding that, here more than anywhere else, technology is dominant and in many instances it is what enables the athlete's participation in these activities,” said Dr. Douer.
The APCST special guest speaker Prof. Daniel Theisen, head of the research laboratory for sports medicine at the Luxemburg Institute of Health, spoke about technology use to avoid injuries in sports.
Yonatan Gorfung from Israel’s Innovation Tech Terminal (ITT) lectured on new technological means for measuring athletes' achievements, with timers replaced by shirts and shoes capable of measuring stamina, distance, and effort.
This was the eight edition of the APCST. Over the last 13 years the congress has taken place in Australia, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Spain and the United States.