|HYPER Ganbare to the Japanese Paralympians|
The Japanese Paralympic delegation for London 2012 comprises of approximately 135 athletes, who were this week welcomed the Olympic Village. Although the number of Japanese Paralympians participating in London 2012 is slightly less than that of Beijing 2008, this is a reflection of the increasing international recognition of the importance of these games, which has really heightened the competition to qualify. Japan has nonetheless increased its Paralympics budget since 2008, and hopes are high for this year’s event.
In total, there will be 166 nations competing for medals in 21 sports. Japan won several gold medals in the 2008 Paralympics, including in wheelchair tennis and athletics, and will be hoping to maintain it’s pole position in these events this time round. There are also medal hopes for the swimming and cycling events, women’s sitting volleyball, women’s goalball (a ball game for visually impaired athletes), judo, wheelchair basketball, and wheelchair rugby, aka murderball.
Secretary General of the Japan Paralympic Committee and Delegation Chief, Kunio Nakamori, pointed out that since Beijing 2008, there have been several significant changes in legislation to support this event, greatly improving conditions for competitors. The Paralympics must now be managed by the same body as the Olympics, must be held in the same place, and the athlete’s village and food served there must be the same as the Olympics. This year’s Paralympics has already sold a record-breaking 2.2 million tickets, making it the most successful ever in terms of ticket sales.
HYPER JAPAN wishes all the athletes from Japan participating in London 2012 the best of luck- ganbatte kudasai!