The International Canoe Federation is thrilled to confirm paracanoe has been officially included on the program of the 2022 Asian Para Games in Hangzhou, China.

Paracanoe will join taekwondo in making its debut at an Asian Para Games, and is another exciting step in the continued growth of the sport. Paracanoe will appear at its second Paralympics next year, after a successful debut in Rio in 2016.

Athlete numbers continue to grow across the paracanoe disciplines, with several athletes from other sports showing a keen interest. Three new medal events will be introduced at Tokyo 2020, taking to nine the total number of gold medals on offer.

“We are delighted that the Asian Paralympic Committee has chosen paracanoe for the 2022 Hangzhou sport program,” ICF paracanoe chairman, John Edwards, said.

“This confirms the strong growth in the region and will only enhance future development. It is a very exciting time for our sport, and Asia is one area where we are seeing a real spike in interest.

“With the Paralympics in Japan next year, and now our inclusion in the Asian Para Games in China, it is a great platform for the Asian region and the first step toward making it an international paracanoe powerhouse.”

Asia picked up two gold medals at this year’s ICF paracanoe world championships in Szeged, Hungary, with Uzbekistan’s Shakhnoza Mirzaeva winning the women’s KL3, while Japan’s Monika Seryu won the women’s VL1.

Iran’s Shahla Behrouzirad picked up her country’s first ever paracanoe medal when she won bronze in the women’s KL3.

There will be 22 sports contested at the 2022 Asian Para Games, including 19 which are part of the Paris 2024 Paralympics program.

“This highlights the important role these Games have in helping athletes from Asia prepare for the Paralympic Games, both in terms of their own individual performances but also exposing them to a large-scale multi-sport environment,” Asian Paralympic Committee CEO, Tarek Souei, said.

“The scale of these Games helps us to grow the Paralympic Movement in Asia by shining a spotlight on the best of para-sport between the Paralympic Games. The large number of athletes generate interest and media coverage in their home countries and hopefully encourage more people with an impairment to get involved in sport.”

The Hangzhou 2022 Games will be the fourth edition of the Asian Para games and will take place between October 9 and 15, 2022.

The ICF is also working hard to have paracanoe included in the program of the Parapan American Games, with the next event to be held in Santiago, Chile, in 2023.

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