The International Federation for Athletes with Intellectual Impairments (World Intellectual Impairment Sport) has announced that table tennis competitions at the 2019 World Intellectual Impairment Sport Global Games in Brisbane, Australia, will be recognised by the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) for the first time.
The move means that all class 11 players competing between 12-19 October will be able to achieve ranking points for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics according to the ITTF’s factor 20 status.
The World Intellectual Impairment Sport Global Games are the world’s biggest high performance sports event for athletes with intellectual impairments. The 2019 edition will feature 11 sports, with table tennis the latest to be recognised by the relevant International Federation.
Marc Truffaut, World Intellectual Impairment Sport President, said: “We are absolutely delighted to achieve this historic milestone thanks to a great partnership with the ITTF. We want the Global Games to be an important stop on the calendar, especially as they always take place in the year before the Paralympics.
“Brisbane 2019 is aiming to be the biggest edition yet with 1,000 athletes from 80 countries competing across all sports. This news will go a long way to attracting the absolute best table tennis players as they reach for Global Games titles and Tokyo 2020 qualification.”
Australia is preparing to host Oceania’s first Global Games in Brisbane with high quality venues, transport and accommodation. It is expected to set the standard for future editions.
“ITTF is very happy to establish a long term cooperation with World Intellectual Impairment Sport and this approval of the Global Games is an awesome first step. Intellectually impaired athletes is the biggest population in numbers inside Para sport and their progressive integration is totally consistent with our “Table tennis for all” values. I am sure that Brisbane will witness a great competition next October and athletes will enjoy the quality they deserve,” Steve Dainton, Chief Executive Officer of the ITTF, said.
Robyn Smith, Chief Executive Officer of the Global Games Company who are organising the event, said: “The recognition by the ITTF to award the table tennis competition (class 11) with a factor 20 status is monumental to not only the Global Games 2019 and the world’s best players with an intellectual impairment, but to the relationship between World Intellectual Impairment Sport and ITTF into the future. Both Federations are working in partnership to ensure that table tennis is developed at all levels across the globe for these talented athletes.”
As well as table tennis, the other Paralympic sports on the Global Games programme – swimming and athletics – will be recognised by World Para Swimming and World Para Athletics respectively.
Taekwondo, a growing sport for athletes with intellectual impairments which is led by World Taekwondo, will also be sanctioned.
Basketball, cycling, futsal, rowing, tennis, cricket and hockey competitions will act as the World Championships for each sport, with World Intellectual Impairment Sport acting as the current International Federation.
More information about the World Intellectual Impairment Sport Global Games can be found at the official website or at www.inas.org. Entries for 2019 are currently open.