Tokyo Paralympics Know Your Sport: Badminton, Table Tennis, Taekwondo, Canoeing

Tokyo Paralympics: While Table Tennis has been part of every Paralympic event since 1960, Canoeing will make its second appearance after 2016. Badminton and Taekwondo will make their debuts at the Tokyo Paralympics.

Know Your Paralympic Sports: Para-badminton, Para table tennis, Para-taekwondo and Para Canoe.   -  GETTY IMAGES


The International Paralympic Committee, on September 2017, announced 14 badminton events- seven men's, six women's and one mixed for Tokyo 2020. The sport is making its Paralympic debut. 

There are six classes depending on the type and severity of impairment - two wheelchair and four standing. The standard rules of badminton will apply - best of three games, each of 21 points - with minor changes.

Singles matches in the wheelchair class will use half the court, with the players controlling their chairs to engage in rallies. In the four standing classes, all matches will be played on the full court except for one class - athletes with lower limb impairments where the half court would be used. There is also a class for short-statured athletes. 


SL3-This is the first standing class, where the players have impairment in one or both the legs and poor walking/ running balance. 

SL4- This is the second standing class where the players have a lesser impairment compared to SL3. The players could have an impairment in one or both legs and minimal impairment in walking/running balance. 

SH6- Players of short stature participate in this class. 

The other classifications include- the two wheelchair classes (WH1 and WH2) and players with an upper limb impairment (SU5).



Indians playing - 

Men’s singles: Pramod Bhagat (SL3), Manoj Sarkar (SL3), Tarun Dhillon (SL4), Suhas L. Yathiraj (SL4), Krishna Nagar (SH6) 

Women’s doubles: Parul Parmar and Palak Kohli (SL3-SU5) 

Medal Events for Indians- Indians have a chance of going through three medal events in the men’s singles and one medal event in the women’s doubles event. 

READ: Pramod Bhagat says representing India at the Paralympics a dream come true

READ: We'll win at least 5 medals, including 3 golds: Indian para badminton coach  

Para Table Tennis 

According to the Paralympics website, Table tennis was included in the first Paralympic Games in Rome in 1960, 28 years before the sport made its Olympic debut. It consisted of 11 medal events, six for men and five for women. All events were for athletes in wheelchairs, until the Toronto 1976 Paralympics included the first events for standing players.

Singles and team events are contested across 11 classes, which reflect the degree of impairment.

With the basic rules on equipment, match process and point-scoring similar to those used in the Olympics, there are special rules regarding the ball toss of the service in some classes. Matches are played as the best of five sets with 11 points in each.

The serve plays an important part in the Olympic Table Tennis. According to Olympic rules, the ball must be placed in the open palm of the hand, thrown at least 16 cm into the air and struck. In Para table tennis, where this is not possible, the ball may be tossed by placing it on the elbow or the racket.


Para table tennis athletes are grouped into 11 classes according to the impact of their impairment on their performance: wheelchair (classes 1-5), standing (classes 6-10) and intellectual impairment (class 11). Within the wheelchair and standing classes, the lower the number, the greater the impact the impairment has on an athlete's ability to compete (via

Indians playing -

Women’s class 3- Sonalben Patel

Women’s class 4- Bhavina Patel

Medal Events for Indians- Indians have a chance of going through two medal events in the women’s class 3 and class 4.

Para Taekwondo 

Taekwondo is also making its debut at the Tokyo Paralympics 2020. It comprises two disciplines - Kyorugi and Poomsae. Kyorugi for athletes with upper limb impairments and Poomsae for athletes with neurological impairments, intellectual disabilities or visual impairments. However, the Paralympics will only feature Kyorugi.

The events are divided into four classes- K41 to K44, with K41 being the greatest degree of impairment. K44 and K43 will be integrated as one sport class at Tokyo 2020. Men and women will compete in three weight categories: -61 kg, -75kg and +75kg for men, -49kg, -58kg and +58kg for women. Head and trunk protection will be worn in all bouts.

Taekwondo will make its Paralympics debut in Tokyo with the Kyorugi (athletes with upper limb impairments) discipline included in the competition.   -  GETTY IMAGES


Three rounds of two minutes each with rest intervals of one minute. Athletes are awarded between two and four points for valid attacks. In case of a tie after three rounds, an extra round is held. 

Classification - 

K43 includes athletes with bilateral amputation below the elbow, or equivalent loss of function in both upper limbs

K44 includes athletes with unilateral arm amputation (or equivalent loss of function), or loss of toes which impact the ability to lift the heel properly

Both classes will compete in the K44 class. 

Indians playing - 

Women’s K44 (49kg): Aruna Tanwar 

Medal Events for Indians- Indians have a chance of going through one medal event in the women’s K4 49 kg category.

READ: Paralympics 2021: Women lead India's medal hopes in Tokyo

Para Canoeing 

Athletes with impairments to the lower body or trunk race over 200m towards a finish line.

Paracanoe races are competed using two types of boat, kayak and va’a, meaning small boat in Polynesian.


In kayak events, KL1 athletes have no leg function and limited trunk function, severe impairments in their lower bodies and sometimes need a special seat with and backrest in the boat. KL2 athletes are partially able to use their legs and trunk, and can sit upright in a kayak but might need a special backrest. KL3 have trunk function and can sit in a forward, flexed position, but have partial leg function.

A slightly different method is applied in classifying athletes in va’a events. Athletes in VL1 have no trunk or leg function. VL2 and VL3 athletes have trunk functions, and further evaluations are conducted to determine specifically which class they should be in.

Indians playing - 

Women’s VL2-Prachi Yadav 

Medal Events for Indians- Indians have a chance of going through one medal event in the women’s VL2 category. 

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