Also Checkout: the Tokyo Olympics 2020 Schedule
What's the story?
The National Para Athletics Championship will be held at the Chamundi Vihar Stadium in Mysuru from 26th to 28th March, a tournament which will serve as a qualification event for the Tokyo Paralympics 2020.
In case you didn't know
The Tokyo Paralympics 2020 will be held from 25th August to 6th September 2020 just after the conclusion of the Tokyo Olympics 2020.
In order to qualify for the athletics events at the Tokyo Paralympics, an athlete needs to achieve a minimum entry standard (MES) performance between 1st October 2018 and 2nd August 2020. Only performances in competitions that are recognised by the World Para Athletics body are eligible for qualification.
Additionally, all athletes who finished within the top 4 at the 2019 World Championships booked a slot for the Paralympics. A total of 12 Indian athletes have already qualified for the athletics events at the Tokyo Paralympics by virtue of their top 4 finish at the World Championships.
Heart of the matter
The 19th National Para Athletics Championship will be conducted in Mysuru with 1600 athletes from 28 states expected to participate in the event.
Deepa Malik, Paralympic Committee of India (PCI) President, announced at a press conference that the event will serve as a qualification event for the Tokyo Paralympics 2020 as the event is approved by the International Paralympic Committee.
PCI Secretary General Gursharan Singh added that PCI being suspended by the Sports Ministry will not be an impediment for the athletes to qualify for the Paralympics.
“The PCI is recognised by the IPC, which is the only criteria for Paralympics qualification. So an Indian para-athlete who qualifies for the Paralympics will compete under the Indian flag. The only disadvantage of being suspended by the Sports Ministry is that the PCI is not entitled to funds from the Ministry”
He was optimistic that the Sports Ministry would soon revoke the suspension imposed on the body last year.
“Our committee has come into being with the Delhi High Court order. We have submitted our papers to the International Paralympic Committee and to the Registrar of Societies. We are awaiting the completion of formalities by the Registrar of Societies after which we will submit it to the ministry and hope that within two to three weeks, the government will revoke our suspension"
He also added that PCI would be arranging for the para-athletes to compete in various international competitions in order to help them achieve the Paralympics qualification mark.
A star-studded field including Mariyappan Thangavelu (2016 Paralympics high jump gold medalist), Varun Singh Bhati (2016 Paralympics high jump bronze medalist) and Sundar Singh Gurjar (2019 World Para Championship javelin gold medalist) is expected to participate in the event
The para athletes would like to make use of this opportunity to meet the qualifying standards for the Tokyo Paralympics. They would also be hoping that the ban on the PCI is lifted at the earliest as it would help them in getting government funds for their training and international competitions.
Also check out: the Tokyo Olympics 2020 medal tally
Follow Sportskeeda to get the Olympics 2020 schedule, latest news, updates and more.Published 01 Mar 2020, 17:29 IST