Earthquake in Turkey-Syria

On behalf of the Virtus family, we would like to extend our thoughts and wishes to the people of Turkey and Syria following the series of earthquakes in recent days. We hope that the ongoing search and rescue efforts bring better news and wish everyone involved in the affected areas safer days ahead.

II3 eligibility group to become full medal at Virtus Global Games

Following a lengthy research and trial period, the Virtus Governing Board recently confirmed that the II3 eligibility group – for athletes with autism – will be considered as full medal competition at the upcoming Global Games. Until now the group had been offered on a demonstration basis.

The Global Games are the pinnacle event in the Virtus calendar and the 6th edition – which take place in Vichy – France from June 4th 2023 – offer the largest sport and medal programme to date, featuring championship competition in 14 sports.

Research into the development of a new competition category began in 2018 when it was recognised that many athletes with autism face barriers in sport. Some may need specific adaptation and support which is not available in mainstream sport and competition and so are not able to fulfil their sporting potential. The new Virtus pathway is unique in the world of sport.

Details of the new II3 eligibility criteria are available here and Virtus will be sharing more information to members in early February.

 

 

 

II3 Eligibility Panel Members (voluntary) – INTERNAL APPLICANTS ONLY

Virtus is pleased to invite applications to join its new II3 Eligibility Panel, with responsibility for reviewing and approving athlete applications in the II3 (athletes with autism) eligibility group.

Please note that applications are initially invited from existing NEO’s in Virtus member organisations. 

To submit an expression of interest in the post, please use the online form above giving details of your relevant experience and qualification in the assessment and diagnosis of autism. Virtus will then contact you to discuss the role in more detail.

Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact eligiblity@virtus.sport

 

 

 

Virtus signs MOU with World Baseball Softball Confederation

Virtus – the International Sports Federation for Athletes with an Intellectual Impairment is delighted to announce that Virtus has signed the MOU with World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) 

Virtus and WBSC will now join forces and work towards the development and implementation of strategies and programmes to grow Baseball and Softball for people with an intellectual impairment.  

Following this collaboration, the WBSC will now introduce a new intellectual impairment class as part of future Championships where possible to promote the inclusion of players with an intellectual impairment at World, Regional, National, and other competitions.  

Virtus Executive Director Nick Parr, who will also be part of the Paralympic commission of WBSC which will oversee the activities said,

 “Virtus is really pleased to embark on this new partnership with WBSC to grow baseball/softball for players with an intellectual impairment. We work closely with a number of International Sports Federations and this latest agreement represents an exciting new opportunity for us. ”  

The WBSC Paralympic Commission listed the creation of a Baseball5 version for athletes with an intellectual impairment as one of the priorities among the objectives of the Strategic Plan 2022-2028.

“This MOU with VIRTUS marks a significant step in the WBSC’s continuous effort to grow baseball and softball and increase accessibility to our sport,” commented WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari. 

We are committed to seeking recognition by the IPC and have baseball/softball a sport on the programme of the Paralympic Games by Brisbane 2032″, he added. 

With the addition of the WBSC, it will be the sixth International federation, including World Karate Federation, World Sailing, World Taekwondo, European Disabled Golf Association (EDGA) and Confédération Internationale Francophone Sport Adapté Culture (CIFSAC), with whom Virtus has partnerships to grow sports for athletes with an intellectual impairment. 

TUE Committee Members wanted

As part of our ongoing commitment to drug-free sport, we are seeking medical professionals to join our Therapeutic Use Exemption Committee (TUE Committee) which supports the Virtus Anti-Doping Committee to evaluate TUE requests in accordance with the International Standard.

USA dominate medals at Cross Country in San Diego 2022

After two days of rigorous competition, the 2022 Virtus World Cross Country Championship concluded on Sunday in San Diego, USA. Both long-course and short-course races were offered to the athletes to compete in. Paralympians like Michael Brannigan, Gael Geofrey and Breanna Clark made their way to the championship.

The championship turned out to be of huge success for the host nation, claiming five out of the eight golds from the championship and topping the medal tally.

Winners of Men’s II1 long and short course race. (From left) Adam Angalone, Michael Brannigan and Gael Geoffrey. Picture Credit- Bob Bettancourt

In the II1 category, Paralympian Michael Brannigan (USA) became the host nation’s superstar by winning three golds in 8K long course, 4k short course and overall Men’s team event alongside team mates Adam Angelone, Benjamin Bluemond, Tyler Wingington, Tae Sebastian, Kenneth Noguchi and Ishaan Ramanathan Eye.

Although Spain came second in the Men’s 4K teams event, the team defeated the host nation in the long course 8K event adding gold to their medal tally. The team consist of Adrián Parras Álvarez, Jose Martínez Moron, Raúl Martínez Garri, Ibai Magdaleno Pala and Jesús Fernández Pére.

Gael Geoffrey from France, who competed in 1500m at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics, finished third in both the long course and short course. He was also part of the French team who won the bronze in the Men’s team event.

Winners for II1 Women’s long and short course race. (From left) Franziska Dziallas (GER), Kaitlyn Bounds (USA) and Aleksandra Gustaffson (SWE). Picture credit- Bob Bettancourt

In the Women’s short course race, Kaitlyn Bounds from the host nation won the gold (7:34sec) by defeating Franziska Dziallas from Germany (7:51sec). Sweden’s Aleksandra Gustaffson settled for the bronze. The podium finish was repeated by the American, German and Swedish runners in the exact same sequence in the long course.

Two-time Paralympic Champion in 400m Breanna Clark who tried her luck in Cross country for the first time finished fourth in the short course race.

Jason David from France. Picture credit- Bob Bettancourt

In the Men’s II2 category, Jason David from France became the first athlete ever to participate in a cross-country competition. He was the sole participant in both short and long-course events in the men’s category in II2.

Full results are available here.

Tennis to be endorsed by ITF at Global Games 2023

Virtus, the International Sports Federation for Athletes with Intellectual Impairment is delighted to announce that the Tennis competition at the 2023 Virtus Global Games, in Vichy from 4th to 10th June, will be endorsed by the International Tennis Federation.

I am so pleased that the ITF continues to endorse the Virtus tennis competitions and the Global Games 2023 in Vichy, France. Their support and recognition of our tennis programme enhances the competitions we provide for our very talented athletes” said Lesley Whitehead, Virtus Tennis director.

After the 2019 Global Games in Brisbane, it is the second time that the ITF has recognised the Virtus Global Games. Marc Truffaut, Virtus President and President of Fédération Française du Sport Adapté – FFSA is also excited to see the continued partnership between Virtus and ITF.

 “We are absolutely delighted to receive the backing of the ITF for the second time. It will be an excellent recognition for the outstanding players who will compete in Vichy in June 2023.”

The 2023 Virtus Global Games are happening from 4th to 10th June 2023 in Vichy, France. The multi-sport event will offer competition across twelve sports- Athletics, Swimming, Table Tennis, Basketball, Futsal, Track and Road Cycling, Horse riding, Water and Indoor rowing, Judo, Karate and Taekwondo, along with two demonstration sports- Handball and Indoor Hockey.

More information about the Virtus Global Games can be found at the official website or at 2023 Virtus Global Games. Entries for 2023 are currently open.

Kim Gi Tae steals the show at Andalucia WPTTC 2022

The 2022 World Para Table Tennis Championship took place in Granada, Spain between 6th and 12th of November.

A total of 32 athletes with intellectual impairment, 16 men and 16 women took part in the competition in the Class 11 category. Players who attracted the greatest attention were the returning Paralympic Champions. However, major casualties occurred in both men’s and women’s matches where many Tokyo2020 medallists failed to progress to the semi-finals.

Australia’s Samuel Von Einem was beaten by Kim Chang Gi by 3-2 in the first round whilst in the quarterfinals, Hungary’s Peter Palos lost to Kim Gi Tae from South Korea 3-0, and Cuesta Eduardo from Spain took down Lucas Creange (FRA) 3-2.

Kim Gi Tae (S.KOR) in action. Picture Credit- ITTF

From not qualifying to the semi-finals at the Paralympic Games last year to becoming the World no.1, South Korea’s Kim Gi Tae made quite a comeback. He emerged as the most successful player of the championship, securing gold in all three possible events – men’s singles, men’s doubles, mixed doubles – the only player to achieve the feat.

In Men’s singles, Gi Tae overpowered Kim Chang and claimed the championship title by 3-0 (11-7,11-7,11-3) whilst in the doubles he and partner Jeong Kyuyoung grabbed the top spot on the podium by 3-0 win over Japan’s Takes Takemori and Kate Koya. Zhao Antoine and Ivaldi Timothe from France settled for the Bronze.

In Mixed doubles, once again South Korea dominated everyone. Kim Gi Tae and Seo Yang Hee (S.Korea) won the Gold by beating Japanese team (Asian Takashi/Furukawa Kanami) and French players Lea ferney and Lucas Creange settled for Bronze.

In the Women’s section, beating Maki Ito from Japan by 3-0, French superstar Lea Ferney secured herself a spot in the finals. Meanwhile, Polish player Lysiak Krystyna ended the hopes of Nowacka Dorota (POL) and entered the finals by 3-0.

In the finals, determined to win the championship, Tokyo 2020 silver medalist from France crushed her Polish opponent Lysiak Krystyna by 3-0.

Lea Ferney smashing in the finals. Picture Credit- ITTF

“I am glad to win the Gold. I started at 3rd rank and I am the first now, its a great feeling. Me and my coach prepared strategies before the competition and watched videos, and tried to do as we decided. This competition was great.” said Lea Ferney.

In Women’s doubles, Hong Kong’s NG Mui Wiu and Wong Ting Ting, defeated Lea Ferney and Anne Divet by 3-0. Turkey and Poland grabbed the final spot on the podium.

Full results can be accessed from ITTF Website.

Hong Kong players ruled the Badminton court

On the final day of the 2022 Virtus OA Games, a lot of actions were coming from the Badminton courts at the Chandler Theatre where the final matches were being played.

Hong Kong made a strong impression and won three out of four medal events.

In the II1 Women’s singles, Emma Mangan (AUS) was smashed by Ally France Yuet Yeung (HKN) by 21-12 and 21-8.

Men’s Doubles team on the podium (team AUS on the left and team Hong Kong on right) P.C- Hong Kong Sports Association for Persons with Intellectual Disability

Men’s and Women’s double matches too were won by Hong Kong. Pat Kui Tam and Chi Shing Wong (HKG) stayed undefeated by Australia’s Alex baker and Timothy Gould with a score of 21-5 and 21-11 in the Men’s category.

Talking to the reporters of the OA Games, Alex baker shared how important this event was for him-

“I have always wanted to play sport for Australia and the OA Games have been absolutely amazing, to play in your home country or home state against some of the world’s best. It has been absolutely phenomenal.”

On the other hand, in the Women’s category, Emma Mangan and Sabrina Weier from Australia did manage to put on some struggle against Tsz Ying Luk and Ally Grace Yuet Yeung, they had to taste defeat by 21-16 and 21-14.

Meanwhile, in Men’s II1 class, Rintaro Nagano from Japan interrupted Hong Kong’s reign and thrashed Chi Shing Wong with an astounding score lead of 21-3 and 21-4.

Athletes were pleased with their first International Virtus competition.

 “It’s a very fun tournament because you can you can interact with athletes from various countries,” said Rintaro.

Full match stats are available on Badminton Australia’s website.

Watch the highlights from the semi-final matches.

Japan shine in both swimming and table tennis

While Australia continues to stay on top of the medal tally, Japan yet again proved that it is the powerhouse when it comes to shattering records. They also took two out of three Golds in table tennis.

Swimming

On day-4 of the ongoing 2022 Virtus OA Games, the hungry Japanese relay teams shattered two more Virtus World Records today in the 4x50m medley relay in both men’s and women’s II1 categories. The men’s team consisting of Saito Masaki, Yamaguchi Naohide, Matsuda Anku and Kagose Rei broke the previous record of 1:53.76sec by timing 1:52.20sec. On the other hand, the women’s team of Fukui Kasumi, Serizawa Mikita, Inoue Mama and Kinoshita Aira clocked a new Virtus record time of 2:11.06sec.

In the same event, Australia also broke the Oceania record with 2:16.03sec which was set in 2019. Thompson Kale, Bruzzese Stephanie, Younes Yasmine-Bella and Lucy Jade were swimming for Australia in this race who added silver to Australia’s tally.

In II1 Women’s 200m Freestyle, Aira Kinoshita from Japan broke Asia’s record twice today. Clocking a time of 2:13.70sec, she broke it first in the prelims and later in the finals, she set the new record for 2:11.16sec.

In Women’s 50m Butterfly, Yui Lam Chan from Hong Kong had it all prepared to break her own Virtus record which she set in 2019. While she managed to succeed in her plan by timing 30.25sec, 00.17sec lesser than her previous record time, Corry Taylor (AUS)snatched away the Gold medal from Yui Lam along with the Virtus World Record with a time of 30.06.

Wai Lok Tang from Honk-Kong created a new Asia’s record in II1 Men’s 50m Breaststroke with 31.81sec.

Full swimming results can be accessed here.

Table Tennis

It was yet another exhilarating day at the  Sleeman Sports Complex where the finals of II1 doubles matches were staged.

Japan and Hong Kong made their way into the finals by beating Chinese Taipei and Macau by 3-2 and 3-0 respectively.

The finals couldn’t be more thrilling. Honk kong won the first two sets with a huge lead of 11-4 and 11-9 pushing the Japanese team into the third and deciding set. With tremendous pressure of winning the set to stay in the game, the Japanese team brought their A-game and dragged the third set to deciding points and dramatically won it by 14-12, after which there was no turning back. Miya Yamaguchi and Kawasaki Ayumi (JPN) kept on returning smashes across the table and won the next two sets by 11-4 and 11-7, winning the finals by 3-2 over Wong Put Key and Wong Ka Man from Hong Kong.

Meanwhile, Li Lydia Yi-Ya and Li Jing Shaun from Chinese Taipei had a smooth win over Japan’s Wada Natsuki and Ota Ayumi with a score of 13-11, 13,11 and 11-7.

In II1 Men’s doubles, Japan took a head start by winning the first two sets by 11-9, 11-6 against Chinese Taipei. However, winning the third set by 11-9, Chen Po Yen and Hseieh Fei from Chinese Taipei kept their position steady in the match. In the fourth match, Yamamoto Shunta and Hara Hajime started playing aggressively to which the Chinese Taipei team had no defence and lost the Gold to Japan by 11-9. Indonesia and Hong kong took the final podium spot.

In the mixed doubles, Shunta Yamamoto paired up with Wada Natsuki for Japan and played against their fellow countrymates Hara anime and Yamaguchi Miya. While Yamamoto and Wada won the first match by 11-9, Hara and Yamaguchi won the next matches by 11-5, 11-9 and went a step closer to the Gold. Winning the next match, Yamamoto and Wada pushed Chinese Taipei into the deciding match. Both the teams gave tough competition to each other and pushed the final set beyond typical match points but Hara and Yamaguchi couldn’t shake the determined mood of Yamamoto and Wada and lost the final set by 14-12. Chinese Taipei’s Chen Po Yen and Li Jing Shiuan and Japan’s Yoshikawa Aoto and Kawasaki Ayumi settled for Bronze.

Full match stats can be accessed from the ITTF website.

Here are some actions from the doubles matches played today.