IWAS have announced changes to their World Games Programme which will take effect from 2016 ©IWAS

The International Wheelchair and Amputee Sports Federation (IWAS) World Games will be split into under-18, under-23, open and masters categories from the year 2017, the governing body has announced.

The Games are due to be held every two years and IWAS will soon be making the bid documents for the events in the 2017 to 2022 cycle available to interested countries.

As well as the alterations to the World Games, IWAS have revealed that they will stage an Under-23 World Games from 2016, which will also take place in alternate years.

It is hoped the revamped structure of their Games programme will help countries field athletes in suitable categories and will therefore go some way in reducing financial costs for each country.

Entering the open category, while also getting the opportunity to observe competitors in the masters category for those who are 40-years of age or older, will aid the development of the younger athletes at the Games, IWAS believe.

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Final inspections have taken place ahead of the 2015 IWAS World Games in Sochi which begin on September 26 ©IWAS

Bids for the Under-23 World Games in 2016 have been considered and the host country will be announced in September.

The changes come as a result of recommendations from member countries of the governing body and the developments are part of IWAS’ aim to aid the development of their athletes.

The 2015 IWAS World Games are due to take place in Sochi, host of the 2014 Winter Olympics and Paralympic Games, from September 26 to October 2.

Inspections on the three venues, hotels and transportation services took place last week and plans for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies were also finalised.

Around 700 athletes are set to descend on the Russian city and they will compete in six sports - athletics, swimming, table tennis, archery, arm wrestling and taekwondo.

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