TOKYO — A record number of athletes will be participating in the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games this year. More female athletes than ever before will line up at the postponed Games, which open Aug. 24.

Host nation Japan has the most athletes at the Games with 254, nearly double their delegation at Rio 2016. In total, 4,403 athletes (2,550 male/1,853 female) will compete across 22 sports and 23 disciplines (cycling has two disciplines, track, and road). 

With 4,328 athletes, Rio 2016 held the previous record for the most athletes, and this means Tokyo now has the record for most athletes at the Games. 

“To break the record for the highest number of athletes at Tokyo 2020 is testament to the tremendous work of all NPCs (National Paralympic Committees) and International Federations who have gone above and beyond the call of duty during the most testing of times,” said Andrew Parsons, International Paralympic Committee President according to paralympic.org.

“Over the coming days, the outstanding performances of Paralympians will smash stereotypes and demonstrate why persons with disabilities need to be active, visible, and contributing members of a global society now, more than ever.” 

In total, 1,853 female athletes will compete at Tokyo 2020, beating the previous record of 1,671 women that competed at Rio 2016. This is a 10.9 percent improvement over the last record.

“It is absolutely fantastic news that more women than ever before will compete at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, and a lot of credit needs to go to NPCs and International Federations for ensuring this continued growth in numbers, said Parsons.

“Although we are still some way short of gender parity, we are heading in the right direction with the number of women competing at the Paralympics almost doubling since the Sydney 2000 Paralympics,” said Parsons.

Japan has the biggest delegation at the Games, with 254 athletes across 23 disciplines. This is their biggest ever delegation at a Paralympic Games, and nearly double what Japan had at Rio 2016 when they had 132 athletes. 

They are followed by China (248 athletes in 21 disciplines). The next three biggest are Russia at 243 athletes/20 disciplines, the United States of America with 235 athletes across 20 disciplines, and Brazil at 234 athletes in 21 disciplines. 

India will be playing its biggest Paralympic contingent in the history of the games. 54 athletes are going to represent India across nine disciplines over the next 14 days. The country has some remarkable talents, most notably in Para-Badminton and Weightlifting events, among others.

The Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games will run from Aug. 24 and to Sept. 5 and will feature 539 medal events across 22 sports.

(With inputs from ANI)

Edited by Amrita Das and Krishna Kakani



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