IWAS Wheelchair Fencing publishes updated Paralympic ranking process for Tokyo 2020


The International Wheelchair and Amputee Sports Federation (IWAS) Wheelchair Fencing has published its updated ranking process for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, following the cancellation of all remaining qualifiers.

On 3 March the sport announced that a World Cup in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and regional Championships in the Americas, Asia and Europe had been called off because of the challenges presented by the coronavirus (COVID-19).

Representatives of the IWAS Wheelchair Fencing Committee have since been working to publish a revised ranking pathway. This now gives more weight to athlete performances at World Cups, beginning from the original qualification start date of 1 November 2018.

Key amongst these changes are:

  • The removal of the requirement for athletes to have competed in at least one World Cup in each region.
  • The removal of regional Championships in 2020 which count towards the rankings, and had more weight.

Instead results from the best six World Cups that took place after 1 November 2018, regardless of their location, will be used to calculate the top fencers in each weapon.

In addition, if two or more athletes have the same amount of points in the ranking, their best World Cup results will now be given a higher weighting in place of their performances at regional Championships.

Results from the 2019 World Championships in Cheongju, South Korea, remain the most important factor for qualification.

The revised IWAS Wheelchair Fencing Paralympic ranking process can be found here.

Pal Szekeres, Chairperson of the IWAS Wheelchair Fencing Executive Committee, said: “We remain incredibly disappointed to be in this position at this point of the qualification pathway for Tokyo 2020. I would like to reiterate how difficult a decision it was to cancel the final Paralympic qualifiers, but with an ever-changing situation in countries we needed to offer athletes and teams some stability.

“We promised to go away and look carefully at how we could amend the IWAS Wheelchair Fencing qualification pathway to make it as fair as possible for everyone.

“We believe that we have done that with the athletes at the front of our minds,but understand that for some the revisions may mean the end of their journey this time. We remain open to questions and feedback from anyone with concerns.

“I would like to thank all fencers, the Athletes’ Commission, countries, team staff and colleagues for their support and understanding in the last week. We are looking forward to Tokyo 2020 where the sport can shine once again.”

IWAS Wheelchair Fencing announced the cancellation of remaining qualification events in Sao Paulo, Brazil; Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand; and Hatfield, Great Britain in response to the growing challenges presented by the Coronavirus (COVID-19). These included constantly shifting national travel restrictions, requests to change venues and growing concerns from stakeholders.

The Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games will go ahead as planned, with wheelchair fencing scheduled for 26-30 August at Makuhari Messe Hall B.