TOKYO (Dispatches) -A
record 4,403 athletes will compete at the Tokyo Paralympic Games as an opening ceremony was held Tuesday night to kick off the event.
“I can tell you we’re breaking a record at these Games,” International Paralympic Committee spokesman Craig Spence told a press conference. “We’re going to have 4,403 athletes competing here over the next 12 days. That is a record, the most number of athletes ever to compete at a Paralympic Games.”
The previous record was 4,328 which was set at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.
“To achieve that, bearing in mind how hard it has been for many National Paralympic Committees to get athletes to competitions in the last 20 months is a remarkable achievement,” he added.
“There are 2,550 male athletes and 1,853 female athletes. We have record participation of female athletes. So with 1853 female athletes, we beat the previous record of 1671 women that competed at Rio 2016.”
Japan has the biggest delegations, 254 athletes across 23 disciplines. “It’s their biggest ever delegation at a Paralympic Games, and nearly double what they had at Rio 2016 when they had 132 athletes,” Spence said.