World Karate Federation officials discussed Para karate's progress with IPC representatives ©WKF

World Karate Federation (WKF) representatives have met with senior officials from the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), with the aim of advancing efforts for Para karate to feature on the sports programme at Los Angeles 2028.

Wolfgang Weigert, vice-chair of the WKF and its commissioner for Para karate, and Para Karate Commission chair Dusana Augustovicova participated in the IPC's open days.

They also discussed the potential Paralympic inclusion of the sport and its progress in recent years with IPC chief executive Mike Peters, senior chief manager of the Paralympic programme Jürgen Padberg and members of the IPC's classification department.

Para karate's development and the benefits it brings to people with disabilities were discussed during the meetings, and the Para Karate World Championships in Dubai last year were hailed as a success.

WKF President Antonio Espinós believes Para karate would be ready to make its Paralympic debut at the Games in eight years' time.

"The progress of Para karate has always been at the core of the WKF’s development," he said.

"Para karate goes very much in line with the many values of our sport, and we have made huge efforts to create the right environment to promote this discipline worldwide, as it brings life-changing benefits to people with disabilities.

WKF President Antonio Espinós said Para karate would bring "tremendous added value" to the Paralympics ©WKF
WKF President Antonio Espinós said Para karate would bring "tremendous added value" to the Paralympics ©WKF

"We are definitively convinced of the tremendous added value that Para karate would bring as a Paralympic discipline."

In a boost to the WKF's Paralympic prospects for Los Angeles 2028, the WKF has also been confirmed as a full member of Virtus at its General Assembly in Vichy, where it was represented by Augustovicova.

Moreover, the II1 and II2 Para karate classifications have been added to the programme for next year's Virtus Global Games, which are also due to be held in Vichy.

Virtus, formerly known as the International Sports Federation for Persons with Intellectual Disability, has partnered with the WKF on the promotion of Para karate since 2020.

Karate made its Olympic debut at Tokyo 2020, but was overlooked for Paris 2024.

The WKF argued that this represented an "injustice", but is aiming for karate to feature as an additional sport at Los Angeles 2028.

The Californian city is set to stage the Paralympics for the first time in 2028, with the IPC set to announce its sport programme next year.