New Delhi: The Commonwealth Games, to be held here from October 3-14, will offer the highest number of gold medals ever for para-sports featuring athletes with physical disabilities.
Para-athletes from 26 countries are expected to compete for 15 gold medals in four sports disciplines - Athletes, Swimming, Powerlifting and Table Tennis - during the mega-sporting event, a release from Organising Committee said.
Para-Sport event director Lisa Lavigne said this marks a new high in the history of the Commonwealth Games for para-sports athletes and Delhi`s count of medals for para-athletes is three more than at Melbourne in 2006.
"All arrangements have been made for para-sport athletes competing in Delhi 2010," said Lavigne.
"The facilities for para-athletes include the provision of accessible competition and training venues. In addition the Games Village and transport for athletes will be fully accessible," Lavigne said.
It was at Victoria (Canada) in 1994 that para-sports first appeared as a demonstration sport, with 55 athletes competing in three demonstration events, but, the medals at these Games did not count toward the overall medal tally.
Para-sports was first included in a fully inclusive sports programme in the Commonwealth Games in 2002 at Manchester, where 158 para-sports athletes from 20 nations competed for 10 medals in five sports disciplines.
The athletes belong to six different disability groups in the Paralympic Movement: amputee, cerebral palsy, visual impairment, spinal cord injuries, intellectual impairment, and les autres (a group that comprises all that`s not included in the other five categories).
In the Delhi Commonwealth Games, para-sports athletes will compete in four of these categories - amputees, cerebral palsy, spinal cord injuries and les autres.