IWAS Wheelchair Fencing makes it to Paris 2024 Paralympics
The International Wheelchair and Amputee Sports Federation (IWAS) Wheelchair Fencing has shared its excitement for the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games after the sport was included on the programme following a rigorous application process.
The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) made the announcement following their Governing Board meeting in London, Great Britain, on Friday (25 January).
The confirmation followed a 14-month assessment through which the sport had to show its activities in areas such as anti-doping, governance, worldwide reach and quadrennial competition programme.
It means that wheelchair fencing maintains its place as it has done at every edition since the first Paralympics in Rome, Italy, in 1960.
IWAS President Rudi Van Den Abbeele said: “We are absolutely delighted that wheelchair fencing will remain at the Paralympics for Paris 2024.
“The sport is growing all the time and has a solid competition cycle to ensure athletes have various opportunities to compete at a high level every year, countries can classify and test new fencers, and that fans can follow their favourite stars.
“This is the second time that we have taken part in the process for inclusion and the standards are definitely increasing as more sports apply. IWAS appreciates the opportunity to show why wheelchair fencing deserves its place, and also to learn what improvements can be made in the future. We are always working to make it one of the most attractive sports.
“We are excited to be heading to Paris and look forward to our part in making it a very special Paralympic Games.”
Pal Szekeres, Chairperson of the IWAS Wheelchair Fencing Executive Committee, said: “Paris 2024 is a hugely exciting prospect for wheelchair fencing. We know the impact that staging a Paralympic Games can have on the growth and profile of the sport in the host country, and France have built a very successful history over the years with medals from every edition but one.
“We are confident that we have a great platform from which to build on our successes to date, and continue to make wheelchair fencing a popular sport all around the world. We will do everything we can to ensure it stays a Paralympic sport for a long time to come.”
Wheelchair fencing made its first appearance at the Paralympic Games in 1960 with just one country – Italy – sending a team. At the last Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 2016, athletes from 18 countries competed. A total of 43 countries have licensed fencers.
The sport is preparing for a busy year that includes five World Cups and a World Championships in Cheongju, South Korea, from 17-23 September.
The first World Cup will take place from 12-16 February in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, as part of the IWAS World Games. The under 17 and under 23 World Championships will also be hosted at the same time.