Thursday, 13 Jun 2024

Badminton Pan America

After a successful debut at the Paralympics in September, the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) has made an exciting announcement regarding Para badminton. The sport will have a total of 16 medal events at the Paris 2024 Games, two more than at Tokyo 2020.

The inclusion of women’s singles SL3, women’s singles SH6, and mixed doubles SH6 for the first time ensures an equal number of singles events for both men and women, with 60 players representing each gender. However, women’s doubles SL3-SU5 has been dropped from the program.

This change aligns with the IPC’s efforts to create more opportunities for women and athletes with high support needs, an initiative that the Badminton World Federation (BWF) strongly supports. BWF President Poul-Erik Høyer sees this as a positive step towards the growth of Para badminton.

With seven medal events for men and women, as well as two mixed events, badminton has made a significant impact in Tokyo, leading to this increase in quota for Paris. President Høyer believes that this achievement is a reward for the years of hard work put in by the entire Para badminton community.

The IPC has made various quota changes for the upcoming Paralympic Games after consultations with International Federations. Paris 2024 will see a maximum of 4,400 Para athletes competing across 22 Para sports in a total of 549 medal events.

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Notably, the Games will feature a record 235 medal events for women, representing an increase of eight events compared to Tokyo 2020 and a 28% increase since the Athens 2004 Paralympic Games. Furthermore, there will be at least 1,859 slots reserved for female athletes, 77 more than Tokyo 2020.

The inclusion of more medal events and increased slots for female athletes demonstrates the commitment to gender equity in sports. The number of women participating in the Paralympics has almost doubled since the Sydney 2000 Games. Additionally, Paris 2024 offers 339 gender-free slots, allowing for further participation by athletes.

Badminton contributes to this inclusivity with two gender-free events: SL3-SU5 mixed doubles and SH6 mixed doubles. IPC President Andrew Parsons commends the International Federations for their progress in shaping the Paralympic program, as it was a complex task to determine the final medal events and quotas.

With the program and quotas now finalized, National Paralympic Committees and athletes can begin their preparations for what promises to be a spectacular Paralympic Games in Paris 2024.