The International Canoe Federation is thrilled it will reach gender equality in paracanoe in Paris in 2024, following the announcement today a new women’s event will be added to the Paralympics programme.

Women’s VL3 will make its debut in Paris, taking to 10 the total number of medals on offer at the Games. Both men and women will compete in five events, an increase from the nine gold medal races in Tokyo.

The International Paralympic Committee also confirmed an extra 10 athlete quotas would be made available for paracanoe, taking the total number to 100. Each event will have ten specific quotas available, with the potential to double up between the kayak and the Va’a categories.

ICF paracanoe committee chairman John Edwards said the announcement reflects the strong growth in women’s VL3.

We are grateful to the IPC for the confidence they have shown by including women’s VL3 on the Paris programme,” Edwards said.

It’s very exciting for us to know we will have gender equality at the Paralympics. We have worked very hard to encourage more women to give this category a go, and the growth in numbers has been fantastic.

It was obvious at our world championships in Copenhagen this year that women’s VL3 was ready for the big stage, and now it’s official. I’m sure there will be great celebrations among our VL3 athletes all over the world tonight.”

Great Britain’s Charlotte Henshaw, who won gold in the women’s KL2 in Tokyo, is also the reigning world champion in the VL3.

She said after her win in Denmark that the VL3 had proved it was ready for the Games.

You’ve seen it here, we had two heats which is the first time that’s happened, it’s a competitive race even before it is announced as part of the Paris programme,” Henshaw said.

It’s really exciting to see it grow, and become even more competitive.”