July 3 - A record number of entries have been submitted for the 2013 Paralympic Sport Awards which will recognise the achievements of athletes at London 2012, the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) confirmed today.
Among the prizes, which will be handed out on November 23 in Athens, is the Best Games Debut award, which has had to be split in to two categories, covering male and females, due to the sheer volume of entries received.
Six Awards will now be presented, comprising the Best Female Athlete, Best Male Athlete, Best Team Performance, Best Female Paralympic Games Debut, Best Male Paralympic Games Debut and Exemplary Paralympic Games Official.
The shortlist for all the categories will be announced on September 4.
"It's fantastic news that we have received a record number of entries for the 2013 Paralympic Sport Awards, double the number we normally receive," Xavier Gonzalez, the IPC's chief executive, said.
"It underlines just how good the London 2012 Games were and the remarkable performances put in by athletes, teams and officials.
"The judges who decide the winners now have the hardest job of all.
"I am sure there will be a lot of interest in the shortlists when they are announced on 4 September and also in November when the winners' names are called out in Athens."
The Paralympic Sport Awards have been given out every two years since 2005.
Canadian athletes, including wheelchair racer Chantal Petitclerc, have taken home the most honours, winning five different awards, while other past winners include the likes of swimmers Matthew Cowdrey of Australian and New Zealand's Sophie Pascoe, and the Australian men's wheelchair basketball team.
The Paralympic Media Awards will also be presented at the same ceremony to honour members of the international media - broadcast, written, photo and radio - who covered London 2012, while a number of people will also receive the Paralympic Order, which recognises people and organisations that have made outstanding contributions to the Paralympic Movement.
Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]