There are just a few days left for the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Paralympic Games (scheduled from 24 August to 5 September) and the Italian team presents itself to the appointment with the largest group ever: 115 athletes (number which includes Charlotte Bonin, guide of Anna Barbaro – paratriathlon athlete – and helmsman of 4 + PR3 Mix Lorena Fuina), engaged in 15 disciplines.
For the first time, female participation will be higher than male participation: 63 athletes and 52 athletes. For the blues and blues of taekwondo and sitting volleyball this is the debut in a Paralympic game. Taekwondo has been included in the program of the Games in this edition. The women’s national sitting volleyball team, the only Italian team present in Tokyo, has instead won the first historic qualification in this discipline introduced as a demonstration activity in the 1976 Toronto Games.
A total of 69 newcomers to the Tokyo Paralympic Games, 18 of these are part of the Italian national swimming team. Judo returns to a Paralympics after 13 years: the last participation dates back to Beijing 2008. The discipline with the most athletes competing is swimming: 29. Swimming is also the group with the lowest average age: 25.6 years. . The youngest athlete of the entire expedition is the 17-year-old from Trieste Matteo Parenzan, a talented table tennis player. The most experienced athlete is Francesca Porcellato, star of para-cycling with a past in athletics and Nordic skiing, in her eleventh Paralympics. Porcellato will turn 51 on 5 September, the day of the closing of these Games. The first Azzurri to compete at the Tokyo Paralympics will be those of swimming, table tennis and fencing, starting at 2 am in Italy, 9 am in Japan, on 25 August.