"We believe we have achieved all of our objectives and delivered a programme that will showcase the best of what Paralympic sport and Paralympic athletes have to offer at Tokyo 2020.”
The Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games will feature 4,400 athletes who will compete in 537 medal events the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) has announced.
The final medal event programme and athlete quotas were approved by the IPC Governing Board on Monday (4 September) following the conclusion of a 10-month-long consultation exercise with international federations. Key highlights include:
• At least 1,756 slots for female athletes, the most ever, which represents a 17 per cent increase in the number of women that took part in London 2012. This number is likely to increase further due to the allocation of 294 gender free slots.
• Badminton and taekwondo, the two sports that will make their Paralympic debut in Tokyo, have been awarded with 14 and 6 medal events respectively
• Canoe, which made its Paralympic debut at Rio 2016 with six medal events, will have nine medal events due to the inclusion of three va’a class events
• As part of the IPC’s drive to increase opportunities for athletes with high support needs, the sport of boccia has been allocated 116 athlete slots, 8 more than Rio 2016
• Compared to Rio 2016 14 sports will feature the same number of athletes. The sports of boccia, canoe, judo, shooting, table tennis, triathlon and wheelchair fencing all have additional slots
• Four sports – canoe, shooting, table tennis and wheelchair fencing – have more medal events than Rio 2016 while athletics and swimming have less events.
• The final list of events for athletics, swimming and triathlon will be published at later dates
Sir Philip Craven, the IPC President’s, said: “We are greatly excited about the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic programme which we are confident can build on the success of Rio 2016, a Games that were widely regarded as the best yet in terms of athletic performance.
“It is testament to the strength of Paralympic sport and the work of the international federations that the competition to secure medal events and athletes quotas at the Paralympic Games is now equally as competitive and hotly contested as the action on the field of play.
“In determining the final Tokyo 2020 programme we wanted to increase the number of slots for female athletes and athletes with high support needs. At the same time we did not want to increase costs for the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee having already identified a number of cost savings. We believe we have achieved all of our objectives and delivered a programme that will showcase the best of what Paralympic sport and Paralympic athletes have to offer at Tokyo 2020.”
Chelsey Gotell, Chair of the IPC Athletes’ Council, said: “"I think the final Tokyo 2020 medals event programme provides a good balance across all sports and all impairment groups.
"I am particularly pleased that Tokyo 2020 will feature more women than ever before and an increase in athletes with high support needs. This is a great step in the right direction and the international federations and IPC should be congratulated for this move.
“With 19 of the 22 sports medal events announced, this will help give many athletes a clearly defined road map for the less than three years leading into Tokyo 2020.
“I feel great empathy for those athletes whose events are not on the programme, however I know there are valid reasons behind the IPC’s decisions which I know they will feedback to international federations.”
Between them international federations submitted to the IPC in January 2017 proposals to include 4,979 athletes and 555 medal events in Tokyo.
The Rio 2016 Paralympic Games featured 4,328 athletes who competed in 528 medal events. The non-inclusion of football 7-a-side and sailing in Tokyo 2020 provided 192 athlete slots and four medal events.