The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) has released the revised qualification guide for the postponed Tokyo 2020 Paralympics, initially covering IBSA Goalball with judo and football-5-a-side to follow.
The road to Tokyo remains the same for goalball, having completed its qualifiers before the coronavirus pandemic took hold globally.
For IBSA Goalball, regional Championships in 2019 and early 2020 in Europe, Africa, Asia and the Americas, as well as the 2018 World Championships, determined the final list of teams.
Goalball players also competed in an extra qualifier in Fort Wayne, USA, taking place in July 2019 to replace the full IBSA World Games.
All countries have been notified of their slots and have accepted.
In the men’s defending champions Lithuania and world title holders Brazil will return to the Paralympic stage. Japan will take on the rest of the world as the host country alongside Germany, Belgium, Algeria, the USA, China and Turkey. Ukraine will make their Paralympic debut.
The women’s competition will feature Rio 2016 gold medallists Turkey and world champions Russia. Brazil, Algeria, USA, China, Israel, Australia, Canada and Japan will join them.
In terms of classification, athletes must now have a confirmed or review status of no earlier than 2022. IBSA Goalball is looking at ways in which athletes can be classified, either at competitions or separate classification events.
IBSA Executive Director, Henk van Aller, said: “We have been working round the clock with the IPC to formulate the revised qualification guide for Tokyo 2020. We are very happy to now be able to give athletes and members the information they need to start planning their activities for the next 18 months or so.
“Even though many teams cannot train normally or together, we hope it offers them some stability.
“We will now be working further within IBSA Judo to finalise their qualification pathway. For IBSA Blind Football, the teams that have already been announced retain their slots. All that remains is to work out some finer details. We will keep everyone informed about both sports as we go along.”
The revised Tokyo 2020 Qualification Guide can be found here.