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Canoeing And Triathlon Added To 2016 Paralympics

December 13, 2010

The International Paralympic Committee has voted to increase the number of sports at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games from 20 to 22.

The board decided to maintain the existing sports and add canoeing and triathlon to the programme.

Badminton, golf, powerchair football, taekwondo and basketball for athletes with learning disabilities also applied for inclusion but were unsuccessful.

The Rio Paralympic Games will take place from 7-18 September, 2016.

The decision was made at the IPC’s governing board meeting in China.

The 14 members of the board discussed the evaluations of both the seven applications and the 20 existing sports, and – with the exception of IPC chief executive Xavier Gonzalez – voted on which sports should be included for 2016.

The first vote found the governing board unanimously in favour of maintaining all 20 existing sports in the Rio 2016 programme. A second vote saw the group then decide to increase the number of sports in 2016 – seven were in favour and three against.

The board were then invited to vote on the recommendations provided to them by the IPC management team that only canoeing and triathlon should be considered for inclusion in a expanded sports programme. The board found in favour by six to four.

Jose Perurena Lopez, president of the International Canoe Federation, said: “This has been a key strategic project of the ICF over the last two years and we are delighted with this result.”

The British Triathlon Federation and the International Triathlon Union had launched a campaign which received widespread support.

Britain already has a strong reputation in the sport and won five medals, including four golds, in September’s ITU World Championship Grand Final in Budapest.

Jane Egan, Faye McClelland, Charlotte Ellis and Iain Dawson claimed golds in their respective classes with former Paralympic swimmer Clare Cunningham winning silver behind McClelland.

World and European champion, McClelland, said: “Having the opportunity to compete at the Paralympic Games has been a dream of mine for many years.

“The Paralympics is the ultimate accomplishment for disability sport and I am absolutely motivated and excited by the potential to race along the Copacabana in the Paralympic Games in Rio in 2016.”

Phil Lane, chief executive of ParalympicsGB, added: “We welcome the inclusion of triathlon and canoeing to the 2016 Paralympic Games. The sports have demonstrated a strong case and we welcome the expansion of the Paralympic family to include them.”

The last sport to be added to the schedule was rowing, which made its debut at the 2008 Games in Beijing.

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