The 2020 Tokyo Paralympics will feature more female athletes than any other Games, according to the International Paralympic Committee (IPC).
Of the 4,400 athletes who are expected to take part in the Paralympics, at least 1,756 athletes will be female. This is a 17 per cent increase on the number of female athletes that took part in the London Paralympics in 2012.
The number of female athletes is also expected to increase with the introduction of 294 gender free slots.
The IPC also announced that there will be increased opportunities for athletes with high support needs. As part of this drive, the sport boccia has been allocated 116 athlete slots – eight more than Rio 2016.
Sir Philip Craven, IPC President, said, “We wanted to increase the number of slots for female athletes and athletes with high support needs.”
“We are confident we can build on the success of Rio 2016, a Games widely regarded as the best yet in terms of athletic performance.”
“The competition to secure medal events and athlete quotas is now equally as competitive and hotly contested as the action on the field of play.”
Chelsey Gotell, Chair of the IPC Athlete’s Council said, “I am particularly pleased that Tokyo 2020 will feature more women than ever before and an increase in athletes with high support needs.”
“This is a great step in the right direction and the international federations and IPC should be congratulated for this move.”