BREAKING NEWS: Para-Badminton Approved for 2020 Paralympic Games

Para-badminton athletes will make their debut in the 2020 Paralympic Games, the International Paralympic Committee’s Governing Board announced yesterday following a meeting in Berlin, Germany.

Badminton has been listed among the first 16 sports for inclusion in the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games sports programme.

The list released by the IPC is as follows: athletics, archery, badminton, boccia, equestrian, goalball, powerlifting, rowing, shooting, sitting volleyball, swimming, table tennis, triathlon, wheelchair basketball, wheelchair rugby and wheelchair tennis.

IPC President Sir Philip Craven (below; right) said: “Our aim is to ensure that the final Tokyo 2020 Paralympic sports programme is fresh and features the best para-sports possible. I would like to thank all the sports who submitted their applications.

“This has been an extensive and rigorous review process and all sports were assessed against the same criteria.

“Although we can have a maximum of 23 sports in six years’ time, we have an option to reduce the number of sports in order to ensure we have a compelling and attractive para-sports programme.

“I would like to congratulate the 16 sports that we have already confirmed will be included in the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, in particular badminton, who after missing out four years ago, submitted a very strong application.

“The IPC looks forward to working with the Badminton World Federation (BWF) over the coming years to manage their smooth transition into the 2020 sports programme.”

Reacting to the announcement, BWF President Poul-Erik Høyer (above; left), who led a delegation to present badminton’s case for inclusion to the IPC Governing Board last Sunday, was understandably elated at the news and underlined the significance for para-badminton athletes.

“On behalf of the Badminton World Federation, I would like to thank the IPC Governing Board for this landmark opportunity which they have given to athletes with impairments in the badminton community. Today is a dream come true for so many talented competitors who have shone on the badminton courts and who have yearned to do so at the highest level of sport for para-athletes,” he said.

“We have worked hard in their name and for their cause and we are humbled and honoured by this decision that will bring joy to so many of our players.”

The IPC Governing Board has deferred a final decision until its next meeting in late January on the remaining eight sports that aim to be part of the Games. This is so that the sports in question can provide additional information to the IPC addressing issues identified following an extensive management review process of the applications which started in late July.

A maximum of 23 sports can be included in the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic sports programme however the IPC has the option to reduce the number of sports if it feels necessary.