Last week’s extremely successful World ParaVolley Sitting Volleyball World Championships not only crowned our latest world champions but also saw the start of the official qualification process for Sitting Volleyball at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics.
With the finalists from each of the men’s and women’s World Championships qualifying for Tokyo 2020, Iran and Bosnia & Herzegovina (men) and Russia and USA (women) have all confirmed their spots at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, joining hosts Japan, meaning the gold medallists from Rio 2016 (men- Iran, women – USA) will have the chance to defend their titles.
With eight teams participating per gender and Japan having already qualified as the host country (1 spot), the Sitting Volleyball World Championships 2018 is the first qualification tournament (2) with the rest of the qualification process including four Zonal Championships in 2019 (4) and one ticket at the 2020 ParaVolley Final Paralympic Games Qualification Event (1).
Iran has won six Paralympic men’s titles out of the 10 editions since the first appearance of Sitting Volleyball at the Arnhem Games in 1980, while they have alternated with Bosnia & Herzegovina between gold and silver medals for the past five Paralympics.
Women’s Sitting Volleyball debuted at the Paralympics in 2004 and has seen China win the first three gold medals before USA, who had a bronze and two silver medals to their name, beat China to gold at Rio 2016. Russia will be participating for the first time.
Tokyo 2020 hosts Japan have participated once before in the women’s competition finishing seventh in 2012 while the men have recorded a ninth place (2000), and two seventh places finishes in 2004 and 2008.
World ParaVolley will announce in the future the location and dates for the remaining events in the qualification process as well as the regulations for participating.
The four Zonal Championships are the following:
ParaVolley Asia Oceania Zonal Championships, ParaVolley Africa Zonal Championships, ParaVolley Pan America Zonal Championships, and ParaVolley Europe Zonal Championships with the possibility of separate events being by gender.