By Duncan Mackay

A team has been visiting Sochi to inspect facilities being proposed for next year's IWAS World Games ©Russian Paralympic CommitteeSochi is in line to host the International Wheelchair & Amputee Sports Federation (IWAS) World Games next year following a successful inspection visit to the Russian city which staged this year's Winter Olympics and Paralympics.

The visit, led by Pavel Rozkhov, first vice-president of the Russian Paralympic Committee, and Jan Bockweg, technical manager of IWAS, inspected the proposed competition venues and accommodation facilities ahead of a final decision due to be announced later this month.

They also met with several key officials involved in the bid, including Mikhail Dremov, chairman of the South regional sporting centre of the Russian Ministry of Sport Ug Sporta.

During the meeting, various details concerning the organisation of the Games, readiness of sporting venues, accommodation facilities and other infrastructure projects were discussed. 

These included Sochi's ability to be able to deal with several hundred athletes and officials in wheelchairs. 

Among the facilities visited was the Grand Hotel Polyana in the National Park, located among the Caucasus Mountains in the heart of Krasnaya Polyana.

The hotel has an Olympic-sized outdoor swimming pool, as well as a 25 metre indoor pool, which would host swimming, one of three sports expected to be on the programme, along with archery and athletics. 

Proposed accommodation for the 2015 IWAS World Games in Sochi was among the facilities inspected ©Russian Paralympic CommitteeProposed accommodation for the 2015 IWAS World Games in Sochi was among the facilities inspected ©Russian Paralympic Committee

Participants also inspected the hotel Aivazovskiy, which would be the main hotel for the Games having played a key-role the Paralympics earlier this year. 

The hotel would also host the IWAS General Assembly on the eve of the Games. 

The IWAS World Games were a forerunner to the Paralympics, having been first held in 1948 by neurologist Sir Ludwig Guttmann, who organised a sporting competition involving World War Two veterans with spinal cord injuries at the Stoke Mandeville Hospital.

The Games are now held every two years, most recently in Stadskanaal in The Netherlands in 2013, where 260 athletes from 26 countries competed. 

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