Tokyo 2020 Sets Record For Most Women Participating In Paralympic Games
The 2020 Paralympic Games will set a new record for the amount of female athletes taking part when the event kicks off in Tokyo this week.
The Paralympics opening ceremony takes place today, August 24, and marks the start of the Games, which are set to continue until September 5 following the Tokyo 2020 Olympics which drew to a close earlier this month.
Tokyo 2020 is set to be the biggest Paralympic Games ever. Following a delay to the event due to the coronavirus outbreak, a record number of 4,403 athletes are preparing to compete across 22 sports and 23 disciplines – cycling has two disciplines, track and road. The previous record was set at the Rio 2016 Games, which saw 4,328 athletes compete.
As well as breaking the record for the number of athletes overall, the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics has beaten the previous record of female athletes, which was set in Rio when 1,671 women competed.
This year, a total of 1,853 female athletes will compete at the Paralympic games, marking a 10.9% increase.
Andrew Parsons, International Paralympic Committee (IPC) President, commended the news of the record in a statement, saying:
It is absolutely fantastic news that more women than ever before will compete at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games and a lot of credit needs to go to NPCs and International Federations for ensuring this continued growth in numbers.
Although we are still someway short of gender parity, we are heading in the right direction with the number of women competing at the Paralympics almost doubling since the Sydney 2000 Paralympics.
Host nation Japan is set to have the most athletes at the Paralympic games, with 254 competitors slated to compete for the country, while Team GB will compete with 227 athletes.
Great Britain itself also has a record number of female athletes competing, with 100 women contributing to a representation of 44% within the team – up from 40% at Rio 2016. Tokyo 2020 will mark a return to the Paralympics for 143 athletes in Team GB, including 14-time gold medal winner Sarah Storey.
Parsons described the record number of athletes at the games as a ‘testament to the tremendous work of all NPCs and International Federations who have gone above and beyond the call of duty during the most testing of times’.
He added: ‘Over the coming days the outstanding performances of Paralympians will smash stereotypes and demonstrate why persons with disabilities need to be active, visible, and contributing members of a global society now, more than ever.’
The Paralympics opening ceremony is set to begin at midday BST and is expected to last around four hours.
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