Following a milestone week at the TOTAL BWF Para Badminton World Championships in August, our Para badminton stars now enter the final phase of qualification for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.
Close to 300 Para badminton athletes took to the courts in Basel competing in 22 wheelchair and standing events. It was six days of thrilling badminton action that showcased some of the most exciting matches seen in the sport.
It was also one of the first times that a Para Sport World Championships had been integrated fully into an able-bodied World Championships.
Attention now turns to the Japan Para Badminton International which doubles as the Paralympic Games Test Event.
Excitement for the Paralympics is already in overdrive as a record 390,000 people participated in the first Paralympic ticket lottery held for residents of Japan during August and September.
This is more than three times the number of people who took part in the initial offering of tickets for the London 2012 Paralympic Games.
Such interest has never been seen before in the history of the Paralympic Movement, with Para badminton sure to be a favourite sport among locals given the prowess of the Japanese National Para Badminton Team.
The Test Event from 11-17 November is a fantastic opportunity for Japanese athletes and local organisers to further raise the profile of the sport in the lead up to the Games starting 25 August in Tokyo.
A total of 90 players will compete in singles, doubles and mixed doubles events across six sport classes at the Paralympic Games, with the qualification period ending on 29 March 2020.
As part of the Test Event, the BWF Integrity Unit will be delivering a comprehensive education and awareness campaign called iZone aimed at educating Para badminton athletes on what to expect in terms of testing and intelligence gathering during the Paralympics.
The iZone set up is part of a larger collaboration between the BWF Integrity Unit and the Japan Anti-Doping Agency (JADA), including the promotion of their Play True 2020 and Sport For Tomorrow initiatives created for Tokyo 2020.
This article first appeared in BWF Shuttle World – Edition 27 World which is now available for download on the BWF website.