TPC seeks to increase number of Paralympic athletes for Tokyo Games 

07Apr 2020
Joseph Mchekadona
Dar es Salaam
The Guardian
TPC seeks to increase number of Paralympic athletes for Tokyo Games 

​​​​​​​TANZANIA Paralympic Committee (TPC) has disclosed it will beef up the number of athletes who will represent the country at the next year’s Tokyo Paralympic Games.

Swimming coach, Ramadhan Namkoveka (L), coaches a domestic Paralympic swimmer in Dar es Salaam recently.

Gwakisa Mwakabete, TPC chairman, said on Sunday they will beef up the squad with two athletes in shot put and discus.

He added the aim is to see to it the country is having many athletes at the Games so as to stand a chance of winning medals.

Currently, the country has Ignatius Mtweve and Sauda Njopeka who as revealed by TPC were expected to represent the country at the Tokyo Paralympic Games.

The Tokyo Paralympic Games have though faced postponement due to Coronavirus outbreak. The Games will be held next year.

Mwakabete stopped short of mentioning the two athletes, saying selection will base on their previous performances.

According to him the committee will soon start looking for funds to enable the two athletes to seek participation in qualifying events for the Tokyo Paralympic Games.

“Our aim is to have more athletes representing the country at the next year’s Paralympic Games in Japan, we have decided to add two more athletes, they will go to Japan upon qualification not on solidarity ticket,” he said.

Paralympic Games and Olympic Games which were to be held in Japan this year were postponed weeks ago due to the Coronavirus disease spread and the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) president Andrew Parsons hailed the decision to postpone the Games.“Postponing the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games as a result of the global COVID-19 outbreak is absolutely the right thing to do,’’ he disclosed.

‘’The health and well-being of human life must always be our number one priority and staging a sport event of any kind during this pandemic is simply not possible.’’“Sport is not the most important thing right now, preserving human life is. It is essential therefore that all steps are taken to try and limit the spread of this disease,” he said.Parsons went on to say that the next year’s Paralympic Games in Tokyo will be spectacular global celebration of humanity.

“When the Paralympic Games do happen in Tokyo next year, they will be a spectacular global celebration of humanity coming together again as one,’’ he noted.

‘’In the meantime, we will liaise and work closely with our athletics community, National Paralympic Committees and International Federation impacted by this postponement,” he said.