Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games
Asian Nations: Para Canoe and Para Cycling Previews
Asian nations were not in the para canoe medals at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games but Shakhnoza Mirzaeva from Uzbekistan will be hoping to change that. She burst onto the scene taking silver at the 2017 World Championships in the women’s KL3 behind Australian Paralympic champion Amanda Reynolds. Proving her medal was no fluke, she showcased her strength with World Cup victories in 2018 and 2019, and upgraded her silver to gold at the 2019 Worlds. But her biggest rival, Laura Sugar of Great Britain, has been tailing the 22-year-old closely in all events. Expect a tight battle for the Paralympic podium in Tokyo.
Para canoe made its debut at the Rio 2016 Games. It is raced over 200m with two types of boat Kayak (K) and Va,a (V). The Tokyo 2020 event takes place from 2nd – 4th September at Sea Forest Waterway.
Para cycling action at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games will start on the track at the Izu Velodrome before moving to the road events at the Fuji International Speedway.
A total of 51 medals across the two disciplines are up for grabs with China expected to be the strongest Asian nation. Their performance of winning 10 medals, including 3 golds in Rio put them 7th on the medal table overall with all of their medals being won on the track.
Li Zhangyu once again led the medal charge, taking two gold medals in the C1-3 1km Time Trial and the C1 Individual pursuit. Although a track specialist, Li also competed at the 2018 road world championships, taking bronze in the individual road race.
Host nation Japan will be hoping to add to their medal tally of two silver medals at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. In Rio Yurie Kanuma won silver in the Women’s B Time Trial and Masaki Fujita took the silver in the Men’s C3 Time Trial.
South Korea are the only other Asian nation to have won a cycling medal at the Paralympic Games with their most recent medallist, Lee Do-yeon taking silver in the Women’s H1-4 Road Race in Rio.