2nd December 2021
Update on Paris Paralympic Games Medal Event Programme:
Following our correspondence with World Para Athletics on the events that were removed from the proposed Paris Medal Event programme, UK Athletics continues to liaise with key partners including the British Paralympic Association and UK Sport. This has been devastating for a number of athletes, the sport as a whole and affects the development of a number of events for the future in this country. UKA continues to work with athletes affected to provide support, and despite the statement from World Para Athletics stating there is no appeal process we will continue to seek solutions wherever feasible.
UKA received the following reply from World Para Athletics on questioning the decision making process:
“Thank you for your response. I regret to inform you that there is no appeal process to the announcement of the Paris 2024 Medal Event Programme. I can only write on behalf of WPA, and express my sincere sympathies, because we know and understand the impact this medal event programme has on the dreams and aspirations of the Para athletes.
“In terms of the process to develop the programme, WPA engaged its stakeholders in a comprehensive consultation process, which eventually resulted in the WPA medal event programme proposal. When the proposal was submitted to the IPC, it included 172 medal events (i.e., the Tokyo 2020 medal event programme and 4 additional events). As a result of negotiations between the IPC and Paris 2024 Organising Committee, the total number of Para athletics events needed to be reduced from 168 medal events in Tokyo to 164 in Paris. As previously explained, all medal events which failed to meet the inclusion criteria set out in the IPC Handbook, were automatically removed. Therefore, 6 of the 168 medal events which had taken place in Tokyo were removed from the proposed Paris programme. There’s no doubt in my mind that each and every Para athlete impacted by this decision is hurting as a result.
“However, the removal of 6 medal events meant that WPA was able to increase the number of opportunities for female athletes. WPA proposed the Women’s Shot Put F46 and Women’s Shot Put F64 events (two of the four additional events proposed for inclusion in Paris, based on the consultation previously carried out with the membership). Thereafter, WPA was unable to propose further events for inclusion in the Paris 2024 Medal Event Programme for the reasons set out in my last email.
“Regarding the criteria for medal events to be included in the Paralympic Games. This information is available in the Paralympic Games Chapter of the IPC Handbook (see section 4 in particular). Therefore, it would not be correct to say that this information is circulated only a couple of years before the Games. The inclusion criteria for new and existing medal events can be found at paragraph 4.14 et. seq. of that Chapter.
“Finally, the IPC carries out a viability assessment of each event just prior to the Paralympic Games (following the close of the final entries). This is a separate process to the assessment against the inclusion criteria. Therefore, the viability assessment of the events will take place just before the start of the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games.”