A Panama athlete has eyed Tokyo 2020 ©World Taekwondo

A Para-taekwondo athlete from Panama has set his sights on the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.

The sport will make its Games debut in the Japanese capital and Daniel Verbel hopes to fly the flag for his nation.

He has already been selected as the first Panama athlete to compete at a tournament in Costa Rica.

Verbel suffers from hemiparesis which prevented him from walking and moving his right hand.

His doctor recommended that he start practicing taekwondo as part of his therapy.

"I feel great pride and happiness," the 15-year-old told Panamaon.

"I never expected this moment."

Para-taekwondo is preparing for its Paralympic debut ©World Taekwondo
Para-taekwondo is preparing for its Paralympic debut ©World Taekwondo

Verbel has received support from both the Pan-American Taekwondo Federation and the Panama Paralympic Committee.

"Two years ago we met Daniel through his coach and we saw his development," said Esther Fashka, President of the latter body.

"We made the procedures to participate in Para-taekwondo in conjunction with the national and international federation.

"We are making history by having the first disabled athlete in a combat competition."