After a year’s delay due to the pandemic, the 16th Paralympic Games got underway today in Tokyo with a spectacular opening ceremony and a commemorative flight over Tokyo by the Japan Air Self-Defense Force’s Blue Impulse aerobatic flight team.
Tokyo is the first city to stage two Paralympic Games, having hosted the 1964 edition, and Games organisers are hopeful the Games can help make Japanese society more inclusive, alongside the sporting spectacle of top-class competition. That action begins tomorrow with several Scots beginning their campaigns as part of ParalympicsGB.
Robyn Love and Jude Hamer are part of the ParalympicsGB Wheelchair Basketball squad set to take on Canada in their opening game of Group A. It is a third Paralympics for Jude and a second for Robyn, and the side will be on the hunt for medals after a fourth place finish in Rio.
Toni Shaw makes her Paralympic Games debut on Wednesday and will be looking to recapture the form that saw her win six medals at the 2019 World Championships. The 18 year old begins her Games with the heats of the Women’s S9 400m Freestyle (01:13) with the final scheduled for 09:10.
Neil Fachie will be looking to add to his gold and silver from London 2012 and silver from Rio 2016 as he lines up in the B 4000m Individual Pursuit on Wednesday with pilot Matt Rotherham. Double gold medallists for Team Scotland at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, the pair are drawn in Heat 2 alongside Ghana’s Frederick Assor and Rudolf Mensah. There is further Scottish interest in this event with Lewis Stewart piloting James Ball in Heat 1 where they face Kai Kristian Kruse and Robert Foestemann of Germany. Qualifying begins at 03:52 with athletes aiming for the bronze (06:50) and gold (06:57) medal races later in the day.