Elite Swimmers Set to Shine at GG2023 stage

Japan’s incredible performance at the 2022 Virtus OA Games, where they shattered six Virtus Asia records across individual and team events, showcased their prowess as a powerhouse in Swimming. However, Brazil and Hong Kong are determined to challenge this, with their finest athletes who are ready to showcase their skills and push the limits. With these strong competitors from different nations, the stage is set for a thrilling battle at GG2023 as they strive to outperform each other and leave their mark on the global stage of Paralympic sports.

Here are some of the best athletes to look out for:

(L-R) Gabriel Bandeira, Yamaguchi Naohide, Yui Lam Chan. Photo Credit: OIS, World Para Swimming and HKSAPID

  1. Gabriel Bandeira (Brazil): With an impressive performance at Tokyo 2020 and Madeira 2022, Paralympic Champion Gabriel Bandeira has proven himself as a force to be reckoned with. His collection of medals includes one gold, two silver and one bronze from Tokyo 2020 and three gold, one silver and two bronze from Madeira 2022, and his determination to maintain his streak of outstanding results makes him a top contender.
  2. Yamaguchi Naohide (Japan): Yamaguchi Naohide’s world record-breaking swim at Tokyo 2020 catapulted him into the spotlight. He made waves at Tokyo 2020 by breaking the world record in the SB 100m Breaststroke event (1:03:77sec). At the 2022 Madeira Para-Swimming Championship, he also set a championship record (1:04.46sec) and established a Virtus Asia Record in the Men’s 200m Breaststroke II1 category (2:21:26sec). As a Paralympic Champion and holder of multiple records, he brings exceptional form and unmatched skills to the breaststroke events.
  3. Yui Lam Chan (Hong Kong): At an early age, Yui Lam Chan has already made a name for herself. As the youngest Paralympian from Hong Kong at Tokyo 2020, she secured an impressive tally of medals at the 2019 Virtus Global Games (3 gold, 3 silver and 2 bronze medals). Her recent gold medal in the 100m Butterfly at the 2023 Citi Series further cements her status as a rising star.

    (L-R) Debora Carneiro, Beatriz Carneiro and Anku Matsuda. Photo Credit: Debora Carneiro and Deion Menzies

  4. Debora Carneiro (Brazil): Part of the dynamic Carneiro twins, Debora Carneiro has already made her mark on the Paralympic stage. Her bronze medal at Tokyo 2020 and subsequent success at Madeira 2022 demonstrates her prowess in the 100m Breaststroke discipline. Her impressive performance at the Global Games 2019 further marks her as a top contender.
  5. Beatriz Borges Carneiro (Brazil): The other half of the Carneiro twins, Beatriz Borges Carneiro, brings her own set of accomplishments to GG2023. With a bronze medal from Rio 2016 and an impressive tally of medals from the Global Games 2019 including two golds, one silver, and one bronze, Beatriz is determined to contribute to Brazil’s success once again.
  6. Anku Matsuda (Japan): Anku Matsuda, a talented butterfly specialist and Japanese champion, made waves with his international debut at Madeira 2022. His performance in the Men’s 100m Butterfly finals showcased his skills, while his world record-breaking swim in the Men’s II1 200m Butterfly at the 2022 Virtus OA Games secured his status as a gold medal contender.

    (L-R). Aira Kinoshita, Wai Lok Tang and Alexander Hillhouse. Photo Credit: Deion Menzies and World Para Swimming


  7. Aira Kinoshita (Japan): Aira Kinoshita, a formidable force in the female category, shattered records at Virtus Asia and maintained an undefeated streak at the Citi Swimming World Series 2022. Her performance in the 200m Freestyle (with Virtus Asia record) and victories in the 200m Medley and 100m Breaststroke at the OA Games make her a fierce competitor to watch out for.
  8. Wai Lok Tang (Hong Kong): Wai Lok Tang, the gold medallist in the 200m freestyle at Rio 2016, brings a wealth of experience to GG2023. His victories in the 100m freestyle, 50m breaststroke, and 200m freestyle at the 2022 OA Games highlights his versatility and competitiveness as a spectacular athlete.
  9. Alexander Hillhouse (Denmark): Denmark’s Alexander Hillhouse made his mark with a bronze medal at the 2022 Madeira Para-Swimming Championship. Awarded by the ‘Top Junior Athletes’ title  at the Citi Swimming World Series 2022, Hillhouse is poised to showcase his talent and make an impact at GG2023.

GG2023 is set to feature an incredible lineup of Paralympians including Liam Schutler, Pernilla Lindberg (SWE), Wonsang Cho (KOR), Keichi Nakajima (JPN), Mikika Serizawa (JPN), George Marchi (ITA), Janina Falk (Austria), Ayemeric Permentier (BEL), and the local favorite, Nathan Maillet.

Thus, with such impressive athletes coming together to contest for the top spot, GG2023 will certainly be a valuable journey for all. And whether they are defending champions, record holders or rising stars, their performances at GG2023 are definitely going to captivate audiences worldwide and inspire athletes to deliver the best of themselves.

View Swimming schedule

Paralympic Medalists Ready to Conquer the GG2023 Track & Field

By Ihuoma Kanife for Virtus

Hosted by the Fédération Française du Sport Adapté (FFSA), the Virtus Member Organization for France, the sixth edition of the Virtus Global Games- GG2023 will have more than 15 Paralympians setting the tracks on fire.

Here is a list of the top 10 Paralympic medalists to look out for at GG2023:

(From L-R) Barbara Bieganowska- Zajac (POL), Karolina Kucharczyk (POL) and Charles-Antoine Kouakou (FRA). Photo Credit: OIS/ Joe toth.

  1. Barbara Bieganowska- Zajac: Mother of two daughters, the ‘Golden Basia’ is a four-time Paralympic Champion, competing mainly in category T20 sprint and middle-distance events. In Tokyo 2020, Bieganowska won the gold medal in the Women’s 1500 m – T20 final, clocking her season-best time of 4:27.84sec. Barbara also stayed undefeated at the 2022 Virtus European Games, 2020 Virtus Indoor Athletics and multiple preceding events organized by Virtus.
  2. Karolina Kucharczyk: Karolina had a historic win at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, in the Long Jump T20 event where she broke her Paralympic record twice to reclaim the title with a jump of 6.03m after her first gold medal in the London 2012 Summer Paralympics for the Women Long Jump F20 events. Karolina also won the Gold in 2022 Virtus European Games.
  3. Charles-Antoine Kouakou: The home favourite Charles-Antoine Kouakou made his debut at the Paralympic Games and emerged as a winner of the gold medal for the men’s 400 m – T20 events in the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games in athletics.

    (From L to R) Poleth Mandes (ECU), Lenine Cunha (POR) and Ndiaga Dieng (ITA). Photo Credit: OIS photos

  4. Poleth Isamar Mendes Sanchez: Ecuador’s Poleth Mendes Sanchez is another name which cannot be forgotten. In 2021, Poleth made an impressive win for Ecuador in the Women’s shot put F20 at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, where she created history by winning the first Paralympic medal for Ecuador. She also set New World and Paralympic records with a distance of 14.39m.
  5. Lenine Cunha: Virtus ambassador, Lenine Cunha from Portugal, will compete in his sixth Virtus Global Games. Lenine made his debut appearance at the Paralympics in the Sydney 2000 Paralympic Games held in Australia where he emerged a finalist in the Men’s Long Jump F20. In the London 2012 Paralympics, he made a comeback winning a bronze medal at the event finals, and thereafter participated in the Rio 2016 Games event finals. Lennie has an impressive medal tally consisting of more than 200 International medals, including three gold, one silver and two bronze at the 2022 Virtus European Games.
  6. Ndiaga Dieng: Dieng, an Italian of Senegalese descent, made Italy proud at the Tokyo 2020 Summer Paralympics where he emerged a Bronze medalist in the men’s 1500 m T20 event (3:57.24sec). He also represented Italy in the men’s 400m T20 finals, coming in 5th place (0:48.42sec). Ndiaga will be running to defend his titles in the II1 Men’s 800m and 1500m from 2022 Virtus European Games and 2019 Global Games Brisbane respectively.

    (L to R). Maksym Koval (UKR), Jardênia Felix Barbosa da Silva (BRA), Liudmyla Danylina (UKR) and Oleksandr Yarovyi (UKR). Photo Credit: OIS photos and Virtus

  7. Maksym Koval: Another debutant to the Paralympics in 2021, Ukrainian para-athlete Maksym represented Ukraine in the Men’s shot put F20 in the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics, and emerged the gold medallist setting a new World and Paralympic record with a distance of 17.34m.
  8. Jardênia Felix Barbosa da Silva: Jardênia is a Brazilian athlete who made her debut at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics and won Bronze for her country at the age of seventeen. She also claimed two bronze at GG2019 in 100m and 200m.
  9. Liudmyla Danylina: Ukrainian athlete, Liudmyla, is a multi-time competitor in the T20-classification Paralympics middle-distance running events. She won the silver medal in the women’s 1500 m T20 event (4:32.82sec) at the 2020 Summer Paralympics in Tokyo, Japan. Earlier in 2016, she represented Ukraine at the 2016 Summer Paralympics in Rio, Brazil where she won the bronze medal (4:28.78sec) in the same event. Liudmyla also won the silver at the 2020 Virtus Indoor Athletics.
  10. Oleksandr Yarovyi: Another Ukrainian athlete to look out for is the twenty-three-year-old Oleksandr made his debut appearance to the Paralympic Games in 2021 when he represented Ukraine in the shot put F20 event at the 2020 Summer Paralympics and won a silver medal with a distance of 17.30m.

In addition, two-time Paralympic silver medallist Daniel Pek (POL) along with Sandro Bases (POR), Sayaka Makita (JPN), Cristiano Pereira (POR), Gloria Agblemagnon (FRA) will also line up at the GG2023. New World or Paralympic records can also be anticipated this year.

With the Virtus Global Games held every four years and always in the year preceding the Paralympic Games, GG2023 will give thousands of defending champions and emerging athletes with intellectual impairments, an opportunity to compete ahead of the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games.

View Athletics schedule

Top Five II1 Women to Compete for Spot at Paris 2024

With so many of the top ten ranked women’s athletes participating, the competition promises to be fierce. Serving as Paris 2024 qualifiers for II1 athletes, the Global Games 2023 will turn as the ultimate battleground for the talented women in this particular category to showcase their skills, determination, and unwavering spirit to win their Golden ticket to the upcoming Paralympic Games.

Here are the top five A-listers who will try to outshine their competitors and claim their rightful place in Paris 2024:

1. Lea Ferney: A Paralympic Sensation

Lea Ferney. Photo Credit: ITTF

Seizing the top spot in the ITTF rankings, French athlete Lea Ferney has cemented herself as an intimidating force in the world of table tennis. Lea made headlines with her stellar performance at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, clinching a silver medal in her debut appearance. Though she faced defeat against Ebru Acer from Turkey in the 2022 Virtus European Summer Games, Lea bounced back to reclaim her spot atop the rankings at Andalucía 2022. Her tenacity and skill make her a strong contender for success at GG2023.

2. Natalia Kosmania: The Ukrainian Dynamo


Natalya Kosmania. Photo Credit: ITTF

Ranked second in the ITTF standings, Natalia Kosmania will represent Ukraine with unwavering determination. As the gold medalist from Rio 2016, she has proven herself on the global stage. With her sights set on securing a place at Paris 2024, Natalia is poised to demonstrate her exceptional talent at GG2023. Expect fireworks as she showcases her prowess against the world’s best.

3. NG Mui Wui: A Rising Star from Hong Kong


NG Mui Wui. Photo Credit: ITTF

NG Mui Wui, the bronze medalist from Rio 2016, has been steadily climbing the ITTF rankings and currently sits in third place. Hailing from Hong Kong, NG Mui Wui’s skills and strategic play have propelled her to the forefront of the sport. Her doubles victory alongside Wong Ting Ting at the 2022 Andalucían Championships further solidifies her potential for success. Watch out for NG Mui Wui as she strives to reach new heights at GG2023.

4. Dorota Nowacka: The Polish Contender


Dorota Nowacka. Photo Credit: ITTF

Dorota Nowacka, the fourth-ranked Polish athlete, aims to make a strong comeback at GG2023. While she narrowly missed out on the finals at Rio 2016, her drive and determination have only grown stronger. Despite her defeat to fellow Polish athlete Lysiak Krystyna at the 2022 Spanish World Para Table Tennis Championship, Dorota remains a formidable competitor. GG2023 presents a perfect opportunity for her to showcase her resilience and compete at the highest level.

5. Ebru Acer: The Turkish Phenomenon


Acer Ebru. Photo Credit: ITTF

Ebru Acer, the rising star from Turkey, made a name for herself by defeating Paralympic medalist Lea Ferney at the 2022 Virtus European Championship. Although her subsequent performances did not match her early success, Ebru currently holds the fifth spot in the ITTF rankings. Her talent and potential are undeniable, and all eyes will be on her to see if she can replicate her remarkable Krakow 2022 performance at GG2023.

As they vie for a spot in Paris 2024, the competition promises to be intense, leaving spectators on the edge of their seats. The world will be watching as these exceptional women strive to secure their place among the elite and leave their mark on the world of II1 table tennis.

View Table Tennis Schedule

A Battle for Paris 2024 ticket at GG2023

The upcoming Global Games 2023 (GG2023) in Vichy is not only a prestigious event for all Virtus table tennis athletes but will also serve as a gateway to the next 2024 Paralympic Games in Paris for II1 athletes. With the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) announcing that the top male and female II1 champions will secure their spots for the upcoming Paralympics, the stakes have never been higher. Sixty-six elite II1 players from twenty countries are ready to unleash their skills and claim victory in Vichy, creating an atmosphere of intense competition and excitement. Let’s delve into the journey of the top five exceptional athletes who are vying for a chance to shine in Paris 2024.

1. Lucas Creange: The Powerhouse from France


Lucas Creange. Photo credit: ITTF

Topping the list is Lucas Creange, the current ITTF World No. 2 in table tennis. With an impressive track record, Lucas has secured numerous accolades, including a bronze medal in the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics. His prowess extends beyond that, with two bronze medals at the 2019 Global Games and a gold medal in the II1 Men’s singles at the 2022 Virtus Table Tennis European Championship. As GG2023 takes place in his home country, Lucas aims to reign supreme and add another triumph to his remarkable career.

2. Peter Palos: The Hungarian Hero


Peter Palos. Photo Credit: ITTF

Peter Palos, the Hungarian sensation, has solidified his status as a force to be reckoned with in the world of table tennis. As a three-time Paralympic gold medalist and the current ITTF World No. 3, Peter’s tenacity and skill have taken him to incredible heights. With a remarkable victory against Sam Von Einem in the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics, Peter is determined to make his mark once again at GG2023. The GG2019 champion’s relentless pursuit of excellence is an inspiration to athletes around the globe.

3. Kim Gi Tae: A Triple Threat


Kim Gi Tae. Photo Credit: ITTF

Kim Gi Tae’s meteoric rise in the world of table tennis has been nothing short of extraordinary. Claiming three gold medals in men’s singles, doubles, and mixed doubles at the Andalucía 2022 World Para Table Tennis Championships, he became the most successful player of the event. Currently ranked as the ITTF World No. 4, Kim Gi Tae is set to captivate audiences with his formidable skills and unwavering determination at GG2023. Expect nothing short of greatness from this exceptional athlete.

4. Takashi Takemori: Unleashing the Tremors


Takashi Takemori. Photo Credit: ITTF

Hailing from Japan, Takashi Takemori is another fierce player on the table tennis court. The GG2019 silver medallist known for his deadly smashes is currently ranked as the ITTF World No. 5. His thunderous shots and strategic gameplay make him a formidable opponent for anyone who faces him. As he prepares to unleash his arsenal of skills at GG2023, all eyes will be on Takashi as he aims to climb higher in the rankings and etch his name in table tennis history.

5. Sam Von Einem: The Unyielding Australian


Sam Von Einem. Photo Credit: ITTF

Sam Von Einem, the Australian table tennis star, has etched his name in the annals of Virtus and Paralympic games. With two silver medals from Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020 Paralympics, Sam has showcased his unwavering resilience and skill on numerous occasions. Although currently ranked sixth on the ITTF list, Sam’s determination knows no bounds as he seeks to make a resounding comeback at GG2023. Expect an intense battle when Sam takes to the table, as he leaves no stone unturned in his pursuit of victory

With a total of 86 players participating across all three Virtus categories, II1, II2 and II3, the competition will be fierce, and every match will be a testament to the sheer dedication and passion of these athletes.

View Table Tennis Schedule

First live Equestrian tournament to kick off at GG2023

By Arunav Choudhury and Mousumi Mazumdar for Virtus

This year, competition and spirit will come together at Vichy as the first live tournament of Equestrian will take place at the Virtus Global Games 2023. It is one of the newest sports on the Virtus programme and was added in 2016. Virtus has organized six annual editions of Para Equestrian Video competition.

Throughout the decades, Equestrian has been an engaging sport which involves precise manoeuvres and movements demanding a delicate balance between agility and stability. As such, for the upcoming Equestrian tournaments at the Global Games 2023, athletes are preparing themselves with determination. Control and coordination will be put to the test as riders will have to come up with the perfect recipe involving skill, steadiness and communication with their horses to have a shot at victory and earn accolades.

Sonia Villalba. Photo Credit: Virtus

Spanish rider Sonia Villalba, a Paralympian and three time II-1: Grade IV champion at the online para-dressage competition will compete in the tournament. Sonia is a veteran of Para Equestrian and has competed at many World and European championships including the Sydney 2000 Paralympic Games. Expressing her excitement for the GG2023, Sonia says,

“I am very happy to see the efforts of Virtus to introduce Equestrian as one of their sports. I am hopeful that the celebration of Equestrian at the Global Games will be a huge step towards the total integration of the riders with intellectual impairment in the Paralympic movement in the future”.

Likewise, Alejandro Espejo from Spain and Sui Watts (AUS) have been winning all the II2 category events and will be riding to defend their spot. In addition, youngest among the athletes in the II3 category for Equestrian, Rui Yan Ta (TPE) with his youthful spirit and focus will also be present in the tournament and will be aspiring for glory at the 2023 Global Games. Also fulfilling their dreams are Andrew Driffield (AUS), Christopher Bradley (GBR), Georgina Maton (GBR), Laurie Descouture (FRA), Maria Sanchez (Spain), Tatjana Raible (GBR) in II1 and Anna Beem (USA) in II3.

Uta Rindfleisch, Chairperson of Virtus Equestrian expressed her heartfelt gratitude towards the LOC of GG2023 for not only organizing the first offline para-dressage competition, but also for taking on the demanding task to source suitable horses for the athletes who are not able to bring their own mounts to Vichy.

“After 5 years of video competitions we are absolutely excited to finally meet our riders at a live tournament, where athletes will have the chance to represent their country on the World Stage. In addition, having a veteran of Para Equestrian like Sonia will be inspiring for young athletes to join the Para Equestrian movement”,Uta told Virtus.

The inaugural edition of Equestrian at the Virtus Global Games will feature some of the greatest riders from Spain, Australia, Great Britain, USA, Egypt, Germany, Chinese Taipei as well as France.

An exciting tournament with a vibrant display of quality sport awaits in the month of June and the audience will be thrilled as well as delighted to witness a showcase of fine talents and exhilarating performances. This incredible addition to the list of sports at the Global Games 2023 will certainly create a memorable event for all participants. But more importantly, it will pave the way for future athletes to come together as fellow competitors, deliver their best and experience the wonder of sport.

View Equestrian schedule

Australian team seeking medals GG2023 Rowing

By Joshua Wakefield and Mousumi Mazumdar for Virtus

Athletes from around the world will be displaying their remarkable abilities in various sports in this year’s Virtus Global Games in Vichy, France. Rowing is a fast-growing sport within the Virtus programme, and the Virtus Global Games has provided a stage for rowers with intellectual impairments to shine, inspiring us all with their exceptional skills. This year, both on-water and indoor rowing events are included at GG2023 and thirty five out of forty rowers will be seen competing in both indoor and on-water rowing.

The indoor rowing event at GG2023 will showcase a range of individual and relay competitions for athletes across all three Virtus competition classes: II1, II2, and II3 and will feature four distinct races: 500m, 1000m and 2000m row along with the thrilling team relay covering a total distance of 2000m. On-water rowing will feature an exhilarating line-up of four events, the skiff (individual), double sculls (two-rowers team event), quadruple sculls (four-rower team event) and coxed fours (four rowers and one coxswain event).

Who to look out for?

Mac Russells with flaunting his GG2019 Gold medals Photo Credit: Mac Russell

II1 Australian rower, Macintyre Russell, also known as Mac, is one of the most decorated Virtus rowers so far. With a remarkable performance in the previous Global Games, where he secured seven gold medals, two silver medals, and one bronze medal in indoor and on-water rowing, Mac has established himself as a standout athlete. During the competition, spectators noticed Mac carrying a poster bearing the phrase ‘The Mac Attack,’ which could be seen as a symbolic representation of his remarkable dominance over his rivals in the games he competed in.

I am training almost every day in the lead-up to the VIRTUS Games. I do 5 on water sessions each week, 4 gym sessions plus a couple of bikes & ergs. I’m working so hard that I’m finding it difficult to eat enough of each meal to keep my weight up!’, Mac told Virtus.

Bronte Marshall at GG2019
Photo Credit: Sport Inclusion Australia

Another Australian hoping for gold in this year’s Global Games is female indoor and outdoor rower Bronte Marshall in II1 category. With gold in the 2000m in GG2019, she seeks to further her achievements by securing medals in both the 500m and 1000m rowing events.

The Australian team is eagerly anticipating the results of their intensive training, hoping that their efforts will pay off and surpass the formidable South Korean team, who delivered an impressive performance in the team relays at the previous Global Games, covering a challenging distance of 2000m.

Francesco Di Donato, an Italian athlete, impressed at the 2019 Global Games, winning gold medals in the men’s 1000m and 2000 indoor rowing events. He aims to continue his success at this year’s competition and secure a hat-trick of gold medals. Ecuadorian rower, Brayan Quinquiguano also showed promise at the 2022 OA Games, winning two bronze and one silver, and is expected to compete strongly at GG2023.

The Australian team demonstrated their dominance in both on-water and indoor rowing at the 2022 OA Games and GG2019, securing a total of 32 gold, 28 silver, and 17 bronze medals across the two events. Their exceptional performance showcased their commitment and skill, establishing them as a fierce force in the sport. However, France is determined to make their mark at GG2023 with their team of seventeen rowers, leveraging their familiarity with the water to challenge Australia’s supremacy.

View rowing schedule here

Taekwondo, Judo and Karate set to unleash thrills at GG2023

            By Alisha Bramhall and Mousumi Mazumdar for Virtus

The first combat sport – Judo – and Karate Kata and Taekwondo Poomsae are making their way to the Global Games in Vichy this year. Some of the world’s greatest competitors are set to go for gold at the 6th edition of the Games for athletes with intellectual impairments in Vichy France (June 4th, 2023).


Taekwondo Poomsae was first introduced at the 5th World Para Taekwondo Championship in Moscow Russia in 2014 and debuted as a medal event at the 2019 Global Games in Brisbane.

In the Men’s category, United States of America’s Ji Soo Kim took home the gold medal for the P20 over 30 category while Edison Joel Chiguano Aguilar (ECU) claimed it for P20 Under 30 in Brisbane and both will make their appearance at GG2023. Michele Cianciotto (ITA) is also making his way to the Games, hoping to take revenge on Edison in the P20 under 30 category.

In the Women’s category, Jhormary Rojas representing Colombia will be defending her 2019 title in the  Over 30 Poomsae. Meanwhile USA’s Morgan Delany Barber will be trying to turn her 2019 silver medal into gold in the under 30 category, which she lost to Chilean Athlete, Matinez Paloma.

The USA dominated the medal tally in Brisbane with 4 medals, and with over 20 athletes making their debut at this year, eyes will be on the USA to see if they can repeat history.

View the Taekwondo schedule


Karate Kata is an inaugural sport on the Games programme and follows an MoU with World Karate Federation in 2020. The first Para-Karate championship (endorsed by Virtus) was held in Dubai in 2021 and featured two categories for athletes with intellectual impairment – K21(II1) and K 22(II2) for both female and male. Three of the world top ranked K21 female athletes will be competing in Vichy 2023.

Kakosy Olivia (HUN) in action. Photo Credit: World Karate Federation

In Dubai, Olivia Kákosy’s took home gold for the Hungarian team and, currently ranked no. 1, Kaksoy is looking to shine at the Global Games. Kákosy’s teammate and current World no. 3 Petra Kárpáti, took silver in Dubai and looks to go one better in Vichy.

Meanwhile 2019 European Para Karate Champion Charlene Odin is hoping for medal success at the Games. The French athlete is ranked 4th in the world and is one to watch at the Games.

In K22, World No. 3, Alexandra Szabó from Hungary is another champion competing at GG2023 alongside Salma Eibrahim (Egy) and Natalia Olson from Canada who won Gold and Bronze respectively at Dubai 2021.

In the male categories, three of the top 10 K21 athletes are set to compete. Albert Singer, ranked 2nd  took home the bronze medal for Germany in Dubai, whilst Antonio Pereira also gained a bronze medal for the Portuguese team. Pereira, who is currently ranked 3rd, is expected to face some tough competition from János Csatári from Hungary ranked 4th.

In K22 males, interesting matches are expected between the four athletes, World no. 1, Mattia Allesina (ITA), Home favorite and World no. 3, Jordan Fonteney, World no. 4 representing Portugal JOÃO Azevedo and DANIELE MONTANARI (ITA) who is ranked seventh.

A total of 25 athletes will compete in Karate in its debut at the Global Games.

View the Karate schedule


Judo was added to the Virtus program in 2020 and was included as a competition event for the first time at the 2022 OA Games where a total of 23 athletes competed.  Some of the 2022 OA Games medallists are making their appearance at the GG2023 to create historical moments as the sport is making its way into the Global Games events calendar for the first time.

© Sport-Inclusion-Australia_Photo-Credit-Deion-Menzies

In the Female II1 category, Nikki McDermott (GBR)  took gold in Brisbane in the under 52kg along with teammate Skye Westwood (57kg category) who is also set to compete at the games.

In the II3 demonstration event, Phoebe Ladlow from Australia took Gold and is looking to repeat that this time at Vichy.

In the mens competition, double European champion Thomas Mawdsley (GBR) is one of the lead male entries of this year’s games with teammate Joshua Hughes who took gold in Brisbane in the under 73kg men II3.

The inaugural edition of Judo at the Virtus Global Games will feature the participation of the worlds top judo athletes from Japan, Israel, Poland, Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, Australia, Great Britain, Croatia, and France – a total of 43 athletes.

View the Judo Schedule

Cycling excitement soars at Vichy, France

 By Callum Burchett and Mousumi Mazumdar for Virtus

As the world eagerly awaits the sixth edition of the Virtus Global Games, the city of Vichy in France is gearing up to showcase an exhilarating display of athletic prowess. Building on the successes of previous cycling competitions, the stage is set for cycling to reach new heights and create a buzzing atmosphere like never before. With the highly anticipated event just around the corner, fans and athletes alike are eagerly awaiting the chance to witness the sheer brilliance and competitive spirit of the cycling events.

In II1 Men’s individual events, De Jong Lars (BEL) surfaced as champion in both short and long races, securing gold in both events at Krakow 2022. Lars’s consistent performances and unwavering focus makes him a force to be reckoned with. However, Ecuadorian super-cyclists David Arellano and Erik Javier are expected to give Lars a tough fight. While GG2019 champion Erik has proved his skills in both GG2019 and Krakow 2022, he will be racing fiercely to defend his GG2019 titles. Meanwhile, Arellano will be persistent in climbing the ranks up from Krakow 2022 results. All three captivated spectators at the 2022 European Games with their impressive speed and remarkable endurance, marking them as a leading contender for glory in Vichy.

Home nation heroes, Jeremy Pereira, Leo Collet, and Jean Thievient will carry the weight of expectations but also benefit from the support of passionate fans. With their sights set on the 2023 Games, all three will have the opportunity to showcase their skills on familiar terrain and make their nation proud.

In Women’s II1, Nofar Hangebi from Israel proved her excellence in the women’s road race, emerging as a phenomenal champion. With an exceptional display of skill and determination, she secured first-place, showcasing her talent on the challenging course. Additionally, in the individual trial, she continued her impressive performance by capturing second-place position, demonstrating her versatility and endurance. Georgia Powning and Molly Thatcher from Australia face a daunting task as they aim to dethrone the formidable Nofar Hangebi from Israel. With determination and perseverance, Powning and Thatcher might have the potential to create an electrifying competition, pushing themselves to their limits in pursuit of victory.

Nizan Shamiz. Crédit photo: Geoffroy Wahlen / FFSA.

When it comes to II3 races, Nizan Shamiz from Israel has truly made a lasting impact in all the Road-cycling events. Despite the II3 category being a demonstration class until the GG2023, Shamiz showcased remarkable skill and determination in each event and is looking forward to script history in the first full-competition event for II3.

In both the 2022 World Cycling Championship and the GG2019 Brisbane, France showcased their dominance in the men’s teams cycling competitions. They secured the first-place in both events, highlighting their exceptional talent and consistent performance on the global stage. Meanwhile, Australia proved to be a formidable contender finishing second in the GG2019 Brisbane. India, on the other hand, made a significant breakthrough in the GG2019 Brisbane by clinching the third-place, demonstrating their rising prominence in the world of cycling.

Beyond the competition itself, the 2023 Games aims to promote inclusivity and raise awareness about the exceptional abilities of athletes with intellectual impairments. The cycling events will serve as a reminder of the power of sport to transcend boundaries and inspire individuals to achieve greatness, both on and off the track.

Track Cycling will be hosted at Bourges velodrome, Creps Centre-Val de Loire and the Road Cycling will be taking place at the Town of Magnet.

Track cycling schedule: https://gg2023.org/en/sports/cycling-en/#sport-programme

Who will rule the Tennis court at GG2023?

By Akhila Chungath and Mousumi Mazumdar for Virtus

The 2023 Virtus Global Games will see an impressive turnout of athletes from across the globe, showcasing their talent. The success of the previous Virtus Global Games tennis tournaments demonstrates not only the dedication of the athletes who participated but also the value of international sporting events in fostering the spirit of the sporting community. The 2023 Virtus Global Games Tennis tournaments will be backed by the International Tennis Federation for the second time in a row after their endorsement at GG2019.

Picture Credit : Sprawni Razem and FFSA

In II1 Men’s Singles, let’s delve into the captivating rivalry between three top players: Australia’s Archie Graham, and Great Britain’s Fabrice Higgins and Dominic Iannotti. These three powerhouses have showcased their exceptional skills by securing victories over each other in various tournaments, captivating audiences worldwide. With the stakes high at GG2023 competing for the title of the surely put on another great show. Another player to watch out for will be Ondrej Sedlisky from the Czech Republic, who gave a tough competition to Archie at the 2022 World Championship and missed the gold by just a few points.

Photo Credit: Sport Inclusion Australia and Sprawni-Razem

Among the II1 female players, a massive showdown is predicted between Anna Mcbride (GBR), Kelly Wren (AUS), and Hanne Lavreysen (BEL). At the age of 14, Anna McBride from Great Britain made a remarkable feat at the 2018 European Summer Games, winning the championship title and successfully defending her title at the 2019 Global Games. Hanne swooped up from second place at GG2019 to the top place at the 2022 World Championship and is not someone to be underestimated this season. Kelly missed the Gold by just few points at Krakow 2022 and will be looking for a redemption this time.

“I have recently lost weight and I now feel more energetic and can move as fast as a leopard over the court! I am training hard for the GG2023, I am continuing to train on the court to keep my level stable and off the court I am working on my endurance. I am looking forward to playing against my friends from all over the world”, Hanne told Virtus.

In Doubles, the Australian Mens Doubles team is looking forward to taking their third Global Games title but it will not be as easy as it looks. British duos Fabrice Higgins and Dominic Iannotti have been the toughest competitors for the Aussies who are returning to the Games with a determination to win the top spot. Likewise, Australian women dominated the II1 Womens Doubles in GG2019, but the dynamic doubles, Natalia Babinska & Dorota Kostka from Poland stole the spotlight at the 2022 World Championship, cementing their place as one of the top pairs in the sport last summer and only time will decide who gets their hand on this edition’s trophy.

Timothy Gould (AUS) has been dominating the II2 class since 2019 and is looking forward to having another successful event at Vichy.

With the II3 class getting introduced as a full competition event at Vichy, spectators will be rooting a little extra to welcome the first winners from this class.

It will be a thrilling spectacle as the world’s best players come together to showcase their skills with resilience and determination, and a battle for glory in the upcoming Virtus Global Games at Sporting Vichy-Bellerive Tennis.

Tennis Schedule: https://gg2023.org/en/sports/tennis-en/

For more updates, keep following GG2023 and Virtus Sport.

Portugal hoping to dominate team events at GG2023

By Callum Burchett and Mousumi Mazumdar for Virtus

Portugal has proven their dominance in all three team sports- handball, basketball, and futsal so far at different regional and Global Games. Their championship victories in these disciplines showcase their skill and talent on the international stage.


Futsal, the fast-paced and skilful indoor variant of football, will once again take centre stage at the highly anticipated Virtus Global Games 2023. With adrenaline-pumping matches and unforgettable moments, the tournament will once again be a testament to the power of sport in promoting inclusion and celebrating the abilities of all athletes.

The Virtus Global Games 2023 futsal tournament sets the stage for a high-energy display of skill, teamwork, and sheer passion for the game. The competition will feature teams from various nations, from Portugal to Australia, and will include powerhouse squads that have honed their skills through rigorous training and dedication.

Previous editions of the Games and the teams’ performances on the world stage in recent times give rise to the potential of the 2023 Games to be the most entertaining yet. The 2019 Global Games in Brisbane saw France and Portugal top the respective group tables – Portugal in particular boasting a goal difference of +22 and eventually taking home the gold medal. This year, France will be hoping to overcome the Portuguese to be crowned champions; but there are plenty of other teams in their way.

Poland scored an incredible 30 goals across in the 2019 Virtus Futsal tournament, and with an established pedigree in the games from their results in previous years, could be a force to be reckoned with. Australia will be hoping to bounce back from their disappointing showing in their home tournament in 2019, whilst Spain are perhaps the team to look out for, heading to the games this year – can they harness some of their nation’s futsal and football prowess to surprise a few people?


Portugal, the reigning champions from the 2022 European Games and GG2019, will aim to defend their title once again in the upcoming tournament. In the men’s category, the Portuguese team showcased their dominance by defeating Australia with an impressive score of 94-68 at the Brisbane Games.

Meanwhile, at GG2019, the French team secured the bronze medal by defeating Poland with a commanding score of 88-48 in the bronze medal match. Additionally, France also achieved success at the 2022 European Championship, where they earned a silver medal.

These performances highlight the strength and competitiveness of Portuguese, Australian and French teams. As they prepare for the upcoming tournament, they will undoubtedly be strong contenders to watch out for.

Winners from GG2019 Basketball – Japan

The upcoming GG2023 will witness another clash between long-standing rivals, Japan and Australia. These two nations have a history of facing each other in the finals of previous Virtus Global Games tournaments. In Ecuador 2015 and Italy 2011, Australia emerged as the victors in their encounters with Japan. The matches resulted in scores of 8-6 and 65-42 in favour of Australia, respectively. However, the tide turned in Brisbane 2019 when the Japanese women’s team achieved their long-awaited revenge. They triumphed over Australia Gold in the Gold medal match with a narrow score of 14-13, securing the top spot on the podium.

Host nation France, who narrowly missed out on the Bronze medal at GG2019 by just a few points to Australia’s second team, Australia Green, will be seeking redemption on their home soil this time around. They will be determined to make a strong impact and improve their previous performance.

The rivalry between Japan and Australia in the Virtus Global Games has been intense and captivating, and fans can expect another thrilling encounter between these two competitive teams at GG2023.


The sport of handball is set to make its debut at the Virtus Global Games in Vichy 2023 as a demonstration sport, adding an exciting new dimension to the competition.

In recent handball competitions, Portugal has demonstrated their prowess. At the 2022 Virtus European Championship, Portugal emerged victorious in a playoff match against Poland, securing a 2-1 victory. This showcased their skill and determination in the sport.

Furthermore, at the 2018 European Championship, Portugal faced Poland once again in the finals and triumphed with a close score of 24-22, claiming the championship title. France, on the other hand, settled for the bronze medal in that tournament.

With all three nations, France, Poland, and Portugal, set to compete in handball at GG2023, it promises to be an intense and competitive event. These teams will bring their best players and strategies to vie for the coveted trophy. Fans can anticipate thrilling matches as these skilled teams showcase their handball expertise on the global stage for the first time in the Virtus Global Games.

Sports schedules for Basketball, Handball and Fustal can be accessed from here.