Portuguese city Vila Real de Santo António has been named as the new host of the International Wheelchair and Amputee Sports Federation (IWAS) World Games 2017 following the withdrawal of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates.
It was announced in December of last year that Sharjah would stage the event at the state-of-the-art sport facilities at the Al Thiqah Club, but IWAS has confirmed that the city has pulled out due to an inability to secure the financial support needed to fulfil the responsibilities of its proposal.
Vila Real de Santo António Complexo Desportivo, located in the Eastern Algarve in Southern Portugal, will now stage all sports on the preliminary programme, which includes archery, athletics, beach ParaVolley, Para-taekwondo, swimming and table tennis.
It offers a wide variety of sporting facilities at the acclaimed High-Performance Training Centre.
"Located just 50 kilometres from the nearest international airport and 3km from the hotel facilities, the sport centre provides an ideal location with a great deal of experience in managing international events," an IWAS statement reads.
IWAS President Paul DePace said he is excited to bring the Games, which are scheduled to take place from November 30 to December 6, to the Vila Real de Santo António Complexo Desportivo for the first time.
"The event, which has the full support of the nation’s IWAS member, Federação Portuguesa de Desporto para Pessoas com Deficiência (FPDD), will bring a wider variety of sports than previous Games, including Para-taekwondo and beach ParaVolley, giving an opportunity to new athletes to experience the value of the IWAS World Games," he said.
"We greatly look forward to welcoming the athletes and staff of the IWAS membership to Portugal later in the year."
The IWAS General Assembly of Nations, which will include Board elections, is also due to be held in conjunction with the IWAS World Games on December 2.
Hosts Russia finished top of the medal table at the previous IWAS World Games in Sochi in 2015.
Athletes from 34 countries took part, with the sport programme consisting of athletics, archery, arm wrestling, swimming, table tennis and Para-taekwondo.
Russia secured 121 gold, 104 silver and 94 bronze medals and were followed in the final standings by China, who earned 25 gold, 18 silver and 13 bronze.
Sharjah was the site of the IWAS World Games four years earlier.