IWAS Wheelchair Fencing closes Paralympic qualification window
The International Wheelchair and Amputee Sports Federation (IWAS) Wheelchair Fencing has announced that the qualification window for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics has closed.
Regional Championships in Europe, the Americas and Asia, as well as a World Cup in Brazil, postponed from 2020, were due to offer world ranking points before 31 May. However, due to ongoing uncertainty around international travel and a number of other practical challenges, it has been decided these competitions will no longer count towards Paralympic qualification.
Pal Szekeres, Chairperson of the IWAS Wheelchair Fencing Executive Committee, said: “Almost exactly one year ago when we originally postponed regional Championships and World Cups, we never imagined we would again be faced with the same difficult decisions.
“We are very conscious of the impact that freezing the world rankings will have on athletes who were still hoping to qualify. We are all hugely disappointed that we are not able to end things as we would all like. However we had to look at the overall situation, including the feedback we were receiving from organisers and national authorities and addressing the uncertainty for teams that still remains because of COVID-19.
“We hope that whilst this is not a position any of us wanted to be in, that it offers clarity for the majority of athletes and teams on the road to Tokyo 2020. We are looking forward to the Paralympics and all that they will bring with much anticipation, as well as being able to get back to normal as soon as possible.”
The Local Organising Committee of the Asian Championships in Bangkok, Thailand have confirmed they will go ahead with the competition from 12-17 May.
IWAS Wheelchair Fencing will liaise with the organisers of the Europeans in Eger, Hungary; and Americas Championships and World Cup in Sao Paulo, Brazil, to decide if they still wish to host, and when.
The IWAS Wheelchair Fencing Executive Committee has also confirmed that the publication of qualification slots will take place in early June, according to the original timelines.