The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) have confirmed to the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) in a meeting that the process of selecting sports for the Tokyo 2020 has officially drawn to a close, all but ending their hopes of having the sport reinstated.
Sailing had been part of the Paralympic sports programme since Sydney 2000 but was omitted, along with football seven-a-side, from the 2020 Games following an at a Governing Board meeting in Abu Dhabi, in January.
When announcing the decision IPC President Sir Phillip Craven stated that both sports "did not fulfil the IPC Handbook's minimum criteria for worldwide reach", with canoe, cycling, football five-a-side, judo, taekwondo and wheelchair fencing being confirmed on the Tokyo 2020 programme, with 16 para-sports already confirmed in October.
Following the decision the ISAF Executive conducted a review into the announcement, while encouraging their 139 Member National Authorities to write letters of support for the sport to the IPC in a bid to have the decision altered.
Carlo Croce and Scott Perry, ISAF President and Vice President, met with Xavier Gonzalez, chief executive of the IPC, and Juergen Padberg, Paralympic Games sport manager following the review.
At the meeting in Bonn, the ISAF were informed that sailing’s exclusion related to an affiliate organisation the Association for Disabled Sailing (IFDS), who governed disabled sailing until November 2014, prior to a merger with the ISAF.
The IFDS were deemed to have failed to justify sailing’s inclusion on the Tokyo 2020 programme on three occasions to the IPC, resulting in the sport missing out on the Games.
Despite informing the ISAF that the decision stands, the IPC praised their merger with the IFDS, which was designed to better serve the needs of its sailors and help to facilitate the development of disabled sailing.
Additionally the ISAF’s application to become an IPC member was welcomed, with sailing’s governing body outlining their commitment to working closely with the Paralympic Movement.
The ISAF state that they will take the lead in discussions with the IPC in ensuring that the sport could be reinstated for the 2024 Paralympic Games, while continuing to pursue the small chance of being included in Tokyo 2020.
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February 2015: ISAF Disabled Sailing Committee "profoundly disappointed" by Tokyo 2020 Paralympic exclusion
February 2015: Britain leading campaign to overturn IPC decision to drop sailing from Tokyo 2020
February 2015: Taekwondo to be added to Tokyo 2020 Paralympic programme as sailing and football seven-a-side miss out