Paralympic qualification is in full swing for some sports in May, and a number of sports have major events to give qualified sportspeople additional opportunities to prepare for Rio. At the same time, those sports outside the Paralympic program continue on, including qualifying efforts for the 2017 Deaflympics.
One of the biggest and most important events in May is the 2016 IPC Swimming European Open Championships, Portugal, which take place from May 1 to 7. This will serve as an important Paralympic qualifying event for a number of swimmers and give a really good idea as to who will medal. The event is taking place in Funchal, the largest city in Madeira. If you’re at all clued in to the Paralympic medal swimming race in Rio, this is the event you need to be watching for.
The 2016 IWAS Wheelchair Fencing World Cup has an event in Laval, Canada from April 27 to May 1. Outside of continental championships, the event serves as an important ranking event and competition to get international experience. The best wheelchair fencers in the world should be there.
Europe’s shooters have a good chance to get in more practice at the 2016 IPC Shooting World Cup Szczecin, Poland that gets underway on April 28 and concludes on May 5. Paralympic qualifying is done, but practice is good. Regional shooters who didn’t make the cut for Rio but might be in the running for 2020 are likely to be putting in appearances. It provides another important opportunity to get a look a at the world’s future best and brightest in the sport.
The 16th IBSA European Championships in Ninepin Bowling take place in Koprivnica, Croatia on May 21. The event is being hosted by the Croatian Blind Sports Association. For vision impaired ninepin bowlers, this is the biggest event of the year.
The 2016 INAS Africa Open Futsal Tournament get underway on April 23 and conclude on May 1 in Yaounde, Cameroon. With ID Football not on the Paralympic program, this is the biggest event for ID footballers in Africa this year. It should assist in developing the sport on the continent in preparation for future world championships, an event typically dominated by Saudi Arabia and Brazil. It is worth watching to get an idea of future world powers.
The IWAS Wheelchair Fencing European Championships take place in Italy from May 17 to May 22. The event is an important continental championship in the lead up to the Rio Paralympics. Any European Paralympic competitor will be at this event as part of their qualifying and preparation efforts. This event is followed up less than a week later with the Americas Championship in Brazil. Getting underway on May 26, it concludes on May 28.
The International Shooting Competition of Hannover 2016 takes place from May 7 to May 15. The field of Paralympic shooters already registered for the event makes it the second biggest event of the year in terms of participation, lagging only behind the Paralympic Games. The event will be another important training and preparation event for Rio, and for future Paralympians. If you’re into shooting, this is an event you want to watch.
From May 1 to May 4, the 2nd World Deaf Cadet and Junior Greco-Roman & Freestyle Wrestling Championships take place in Tehran, Iran. Immediately following the competition, the 4th World Deaf Senior Greco-Roman & Freestyle Wrestling Championships take place and conclude on May 9. In a non-Deaflympics year, this is the biggest event on the deaf wrestling calendar and one well worth checking out if you’re in Iran, a country who are beginning to become a dominant force globally on all levels of disability sport.
On May 15, the 11th European Deaf Handball Championships get underway in Berlin, Germany. Handball is only beginning to take off as a major disability sport, with only ID handball really available consistently to people with disabilities outside deaf sport. This event is the biggest one of the year for all disability handball.