Yesterday, the International Blind Sports Association announced that sporting organizations from Albania, Mozambique and Central African Republic had formally affiliated with them.
Albanian Blind Association is the new Albanian affiliate. They are based in the capital city of Tirana. At the most recent Paralympic Games, Albania sent only one athlete, and it was not one with a vision impairment. It was handle cyclist, Haki Doku. It was the country’s first time competing at the Games. Outside of the Paralympics, the nation has not been hugely involved in the international disability sport scene, with no vision impaired competitors having participated at major international competitions.
Central African Republic Sports Association for the Blind and Partially Sighted is the new Central African Republic affiliate. They are based in the country’s capital, Bangui, and currently do not have a website. CAR has not traditionally participated much inside the wider Paralympic movement, only sending one athlete to the 2008 and 2012 Summer Paralympics. That athlete, Clemarot Nikoua-Rosel, was an F40 athletics competitor. In 2004, they sent only one competitor, a powerlifter named Thibaut Bomaya who finished eleventh in his class. They have yet to send an athlete with a visual impairment to the Games.
Mozambique Sports Federation for Persons with Disabilities is the affiliate for Mozambique. They are based in Maputo, the country’s capital. Mozambique made their debut at the 2012 Summer Paralympics, and had two vision impaired athletes participating, T11 Pita Bulande and T12 Maria Muchavo. They were their country’s sole representatives at the Games, and neither advanced out of their heats during qualifying. Muchavo subsequently went on to compete in last year’s IPC Athletics World Championships, competing with guide runner Anelton Tinga.
Beyond these additions in affiliation, the national affiliation for Kazakhstan was changed to the Kazakhstan Paralympic Committee.