IWAS welcomes new International Dwarf Sports Federation events to World Games
New medals will be awarded across the track and field in the 60m, 100m, 200m IDsF classes 1, 2 and 3 and shotput, javelin and discus in class 3.
The International Wheelchair and Amputee Sports Federation (IWAS) has announced that six International Dwarf Sports Federation (IDSF) events will debut at the IWAS World Games 2019 in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates.
New medals will be awarded across the track and field in the 60m, 100m, 200m IDSF classes 1, 2 and 3 and shotput, javelin and discus in class 3.
The IWAS World Games are a key proving ground for new athletes who aspire to compete at the Paralympic Games, as well as offering a wide variety of events not on the Paralympic programme.
IWAS President Rudi Van den Abbeele said: “We are delighted to strengthen our relationship with the IDSF by expanding the number of events for athletes with short stature, offering them more opportunities and chances to compete on a world stage. A common misconception is that the IWAS World Games are for amputee or wheelchair athletes, but we already cater for and respect a diverse range of physical impairments.
“Every edition, hundreds of sports people from around the world flock to the World Games because they know it is a great place to advance their careers. Many of them have gone on to win medals at the Paralympic Games.
“However we are also pleased to be able to offer events which are not currently contested at the Paralympics, to give those athletes the opportunity to excel at what is one of the highest levels against their peers.”
International Dwarf Sports Federation President, Arthur Dean, said: "The International Dwarf Sports Federation welcome the new sports available to all athletes with dwarfism at IWAS World Games.
“Including class 3 for the field events and providing the new events on track of 60m 100m and 200m is an exciting development that we hope will increase the numbers of athletes accessing IWAS events and will lead to extended sporting opportunities at an international level for the future.
“We encourage all the countries sending a team in 2019 to include more athletes with dwarfism and to support these new events."
The IWAS World Games are held every two years and include categories for youth (under 23s) and Masters (over 35s). Youth Games are also held on a biennial basis.
The 2019 World Games will take place in Sharjah between 10-16 February. The preliminary programme includes eight sports: archery, athletics, badminton, indoor rowing, shooting, swimming, table tennis and wheelchair fencing.