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Gold Coast 2018 to host largest para-sport program in Commonwealth Games history
The Para-sport program at Gold Coast 2018 is set to be the most extensive in Commonwealth Games history after organisers revealed 38 medal competitions will take place in seven sports at the event in two years’ time.
The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) and the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Corporation (GOLDOC) announced the integrated para-sport program for the 2018 Games today (14th March), marking international Commonwealth Day celebrations and this year’s theme of “an inclusive Commonwealth”.
Around 300 Para-athletes will compete at the Games, due to be held from 4th to 15th April 2018, a 45% rise compared with the 2014 Games in Glasgow.
Among the events to be hosted, para-triathlon will make its Commonwealth Games debut while athletics will include the T54 marathon for the first time.
Swimming, lawn bowls, powerlifting, track cycling and table tennis will also be on the program.
Competition will include an equal number of men’s and women’s Para-sport events.
The decision to integrate further Para-sport events onto the programme at Gold Coast 2018 is the result of discussions between Gold Coast 2018 and the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF), led by its Scottish President Louise Martin.
Martin explained “with the largest-ever number of Para-sport events in Commonwealth sporting history, we are thrilled that Gold Coast 2018 will deliver an ambitious and welcome growth for the inclusive and integrated Para-sport competition first presented at a Commonwealth Games in Manchester 2002.”
The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) were also involved in the discussions to enhance the amount of events at Gold Coast 2018.
IPC President Sir Philip Craven described the announcement as “fantastic news”, stating “at Glasgow 2014 the Para-sport events were extremely popular and I am sure the Australian crowds will turn out in force to see some of the best athletes in the world line-up across seven sports.
“It is fantastic news for all Commonwealth Para-athletes that Gold Coast 2018 will stage the biggest Para-sport program to date at a Commonwealth Games.”
Member associations will be subsidised to allow them to send large delegations of Para-sport athletes, as part of the Transformation 2022, the CGF’s new strategic plan.
Para-events were held in athletics, swimming, powerlifting, lawn bowls and track cycling at Glasgow 2014, where a total of 22 medals were on offer.
Image: Para athletics action at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games.
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