Sports Desk, Mar 4 (EFE).- A record 138 women are set to take part in the Beijing 2022 Paralympic Winter Games, which kick off on Friday.
This is five more than the number of women who participated in the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games.
The 564 para athletes participating in the upcoming Games equals the previous best set at PyeongChang in South Korea.
“It is a fantastic achievement to equal the record number of Para athletes to compete at a Paralympic Winter Games bearing in mind the challenges faced during the last two years. This is testament to the outstanding efforts of National Paralympic Committees and International Federations,” IPC President Andrew Parsons said in a statement.
“With International Women’s Day on the horizon I am delighted to see that the number of female Para athletes has grown tremendously, reaching record levels. Much work still needs to be done to achieve gender parity but having increased female participation significantly at the Winter Games in the last 20 years, shows we are heading in the right direction,” he added.
Representatives from 46 National Paralympic Committees have arrived in Beijing to participate in 78 medal events across six sports.
The only three countries making their debut at the Games are Israel, Panama and Azerbaijan.
Athletes from Russia and Belarus have been barred from the Games by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) due to threats from other countries that they would not participate if they were allowed to compete.
The decision by the IPC came amid strong international backlash against Russia following its invasion of Ukraine. EFE