Para table tennis has had its place at the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games confirmed by the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF).
Today’s announcement by the CGF also confirms women’s T20 cricket and beach volleyball as part of the programme, meaning the Birmingham 2022 Games will have the largest female and para sport programmes in history.
It follows a vote by the 71 Commonwealth Games Associations to accept a proposal from Birmingham 2022 to add the three sports.
CGF President Dame Louise Martin said: “Today is an historic day for the Commonwealth Games and I am delighted that we can now confirm Birmingham 2022 will have the largest ever female and para-sport programme in history.
“I would like to congratulate and formally welcome Women’s T20 Cricket, Beach Volleyball and Para Table Tennis to the official sports programme for Birmingham 2022 and I know they will all help enhance what will be a spectacular and vibrant multi-sport event.”
The three sports were chosen following presentations from national and international governing bodies to an ‘Additional Sports Review Panel’, whose recommendations were then approved by the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games board.
As part of this process, Table Tennis England, supported by the ITTF, had pitched for the inclusion of para table tennis. The sport had been included in the 2018 Games in Gold Coast, Australia, where England’s Ross Wilson and Kim Daybell took gold and silver respectively, with Josh Stacey of Wales winning bronze.
Louise Martin added: “I would also like thank our Commonwealth Games Associations for recognising the benefit that these three exciting sports will add to Birmingham 2022 and voting to include them to the sports programme.
“We are passionate advocates of women’s sport and para-sport so I am thrilled we are able to make this special announcement today.”
Sara Sutcliffe, Chief Executive of Table Tennis England, said: “As a sport which prides itself on being inclusive, we are thrilled that our para athletes will take their place in the Team England ranks for a home Commonwealth Games and that the other Home Nations athletes will also line up at such a prestigious competition.
“This fantastic news also means that a potentially huge domestic and worldwide audience will get the chance to see top-class para table tennis and be inspired to take up the sport.”
2018 gold medallist Wilson said: “It is brilliant news that Para table tennis will be included in the Commonwealth Games in 2022.
“Competing for Team England on the Gold Coast last year was an incredible experience and I’m really proud to be Commonwealth champion. It is something I’ve always dreamed of and to go out and win was just an absolutely amazing feeling and one I can’t really describe.
“I really hope that I will have the chance to defend my title in Birmingham in 2022 as to do that in front of a home crowd would be so special.”
Today’s announcement confirms that there will be 4,500 athletes competing at Birmingham 2022 across 18 sports. The Games will take place from 27 July to August 7 in 2022.