One year after the start of the Tokyo2020 Paralympic Games, Portugal is already guaranteed to debut in paracanoagem and three individual places secured, a qualification that will run until August 3 next year.
"All the preparation for the Tokyo2020 Games is going on schedule, and very recently we have achieved the unprecedented qualification in the paracanoagem mode, which debuted at the Paralympic program four years ago in Rio de Janeiro," Lusa Leila Marques told reporters. Head of the Portuguese Paralympic Mission.
With 10 modalities in the Paralympic preparation program, including rookie badminton and paratriathlon, the debut in new sports was one of the goals set by the Portuguese Paralympic Committee (CPP) for the Tokyo2020 cycle.
The program of The Tokyo2020 Olympic Games, which will take place between 25 August and 6 September next year, will include 22 sports, including debutants badminton and taekwondo.
With three vacancies secured in athletics, cycling and paracanoagem, Leila Marques, former Paralympic athlete, admits that the Portuguese representation in Japan may be lower than the 37 athletes present in Rio de Janeiro in 2016, “due to a redistribution of vacancies. "
Four years ago, Portugal was one of the countries benefiting from increased participation quotas, driven by the exclusion of Russia following a state-sponsored doping scandal.
Tokyo2020 Olympic Games Qualification
With the qualification for the competition closing only on August 3, Leila Marques, who participated in four editions of the Paralympic Games, foresees "a lot of excitement in the coming months, regarding the obtaining of seats".
“Next September is going to be filled with competitions that make it possible to get seats, and by May, when Madeira receives the European Paralympic Committee (IPC) European Swimming, we will have an intense qualifying schedule”, said Leila Marques, noting that the vacancies are always by country and never nominal.
With “everything going according to plan” at the sporting level, the head of mission ensures that the same happens at the organizational level, and foresees a trip to Tokyo in September to get all the details.
The current Paralympic cycle should be marked by the equalization of Paralympic preparation scholarships with the Olympic ones, a process which, according to the latest government decisions, should be completed during the year 2020.
At the close of the Rio2016 Games, the Japanese, which as early as 1964 hosted a competition for athletes with disabilities, promised a competition under the motto “Change and Attitude,” committed to showing that new opportunities for people with disabilities open every day.
As has been the case since 1988 in Seoul, the Paralympic Games, the world's second largest multisport competition, will be held at the same venue as the Olympic Games, which will be held in Tokyo between July 24 and August 9.