IPC Governance Review Begins


Duane Kale, chairperson of the committee (Photo: Attitude Awards)


BONN, Germany – After the last governance review of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) happened in 2004, a new President in Andrew Parsons has lead to the call for another review. That review, part of Parson’s promises to get elected, will now get underway, with the goal to strengthen the IPC as “a world leading sports organization”.

“When I was elected IPC President, I committed to make the IPC an organisation for all and to fully unlock the potential of the Paralympic Movement,” said Parsons. “In order to achieve this it is vital the IPC has in place the best and most up-to-date sports governance structures so that it is well positioned for further development and growth in the years ahead.”

To secure a genuine review of IPC governance, Parsons will not be taking part in the review, instead the highest ranking IPC member will be Vice President Duane Kale. Eight members will make up the working group, with representatives from all regions, an athlete representative, and a sport representative.

“We are fortunate that we start this review from a position of strength. The current IPC governance structures are far from broken, but since the last governance review in 2004 the IPC and Paralympic Movement have grown beyond all recognition,” said Parsons. “With tremendous growth, comes greater responsibility, interest and scrutiny. Therefore, we must ensure that the IPC is an organisation with best practice and robust governance at its core.”

Kale will be the chairperson of the working group with sports governance expert and lawyer Maria Clarke serving as his vice chair. Europe is represented by the NPC France president Emmanuelle Assmann and NPC Italy president Luca Pancalli, sport is represented by Sabrina Ibanez the President of the Association of Paralympic Sports. Athletes are represented by Canadian Paralympian and lawyer Josh Vander Vies, Asia is represented by NPC Kazakhstan Executive Director Yerlan Suleimenov with IPC CEO Xavier Gonzalez also serving on the group.

“This governance review will go beyond matters of structures, integrity and ethical standards to include other good governance principles such as openness and accountability,” said Kale. “We have a responsibility to the IPC membership and all the Para athletes that we serve to strengthen the IPC’s position as a strong and highly respected world leading sports organisation.”

Work will begin in May and the proposed framework for the review is set to be presented at the IPC Membership Gathering in September. It is expected that the work will be presented at the 2019 IPC General Assembly.


Huig and McFadden Claim Boston Wins Again


The men’s race in Boston (Photo: IPC)


BOSTON – There were familiar names at the top of the results in the Boston Marathon on Monday as Marcel Hug and Tatyana McFadden won the races in difficult conditions on the famous course.

With intense winds and pouring rain, all the athletes in Boston were made to work hard just to finish the course and impressive performances from Hug and McFadden saw them win the legendary marathon yet again.

Early in the race South African Ernst van Dyk and Hug broke away from the pack and took the lead before Hug broke away on Heartbreak Hill. Hug won the race in 1:46:26, which is one of his slowest times on the course thanks to the difficult conditions, claiming his fourth straight title.

“It was very cold all the time, just freezing. I was together with Ernst van Dyk but then in the uphill, I broke away,” said Hug. “It was just so tough, so freezing, I don’t realize what happened now – I’m just very glad I made it.”

Van Dyk did manage to hold on for second place finishing a minute behind Hug with American Daniel Romanchuk finishing a further three minutes back for third place.

The defending champion in the women’s race Manuela Schaer was leading the race in the early stages, but before the halfway mark she was caught by McFadden. The American just pushed on from there claiming a big victory in 2:03:39, her fifth Boston crown.

“I knew today was going to be tough so I started out comfortably, what I could handle down that hill because it was pretty scary but I just kept hammering; kept a consistent speed, really working on the ups and the straight-aways – and I did it,” said McFadden after the race.

It was an American one-two in the women’s with Susannah Scaroni leading in the rest of the field in 2:20:01 while Switzerland managed a second medal of the day with Sandra Graf wrapping up the podium in 2:26:32.

Australia Claims First Commonwealth Games Table Tennis Gold


Melissa Tapper celebrates her gold (Photo: IPC)


GOLD COAST, Australia – Melissa Tapper won Australia’s first Table Tennis Commonwealth Games gold medal for any athlete. Tapper claimed the historic gold in the women’s singles TT6-10 final on Saturday after competing in both para and non-para events in the Gold Coast.

In front of a mammoth home crowd, Tapper came from behind to win the gold, defeating Nigerian faith Obazuaye 3-1 (7-11, 11-2, 11-6, 11-3). It was an entertaining match, in front of the biggest crowd for Australian Table Tennis history, with Tapper using the energy from the crowd to claim gold.

Continue reading “Australia Claims First Commonwealth Games Table Tennis Gold”

Britain Dominates as Tunisia Makes Debut at Madrid Boccia Open


Photo: BISFed


MADRID – The Madrid Open Boccia tournament took place this weekend but was notable for the debut of Tunisia, entering its first Boccia meet, firmly joining the ranks of world boccia.

In the individual BC1 was easily won by British player David Smith, who won the final 12-0 against Dutchman Daniel Perez. The home fans were left disappointed as Greek player Christos Kypriotis defeated Spaniard Desiree Segarra 7-2 in the bronze medal match.

There was some success for Tunisia in its first ever tournament as there was Tunisian semifinalist in the Individual BC2. Achraf Tayahi made history becoming the first Tunisian in a BISFed meet semifinal finishing fourth after falling to Belgian Francis Rombouts. Yet again Spanish fans were left disappointed as Bernd Meints managed a 4-1 win over home hope Benito Sanchez in the final.

British success continued in the individual BC3 with two medals in the classification through Jamie McCowan and Patrick Wilson. Unfortunately for Team GB, they were the minor medals as Greek player Grigorios Polychronidis defeated McCowan for the gold. Wilson claimed the bronze with an 8-1 win over Belgian Pieter Cilissen.

A second British champion was crowned in the individual BC4 as Stephen McGuire beat Portuguese player Manuel Cruz 8-2 in the final. Spain managed its first medal of the meet in an all Iberian bronze medal match as Vasile Agache defeated Portuguese player Nuno Guerreiro.

Britain also claimed the win in the Pairs BC3 event, winning a thriller 6-5 against Belgium, claiming the win in a thrilling come back. 5-0 down after two ends things were looking bad but the British pair of Jamie and Scott McCowan scored four in the third end after substituting in Scott McCowan for Patrick Wilson. In the final end, the British pair managed to score two to claim the gold in a thrilling match.

The bronze was also a thrilling match with a Portuguese comeback falling agonizingly short losing to Greece 5-4. After Greece shot out to a 5-0 lead, Portugal responded, managed three in the third end to make for a tight finish. But in the final end, Portugal could only manage a score of one giving Greece the bronze.

The team event saw another gold for Great Britain as it dominated the tournament easily defeating Greece in the final 12-0. The bronze medal match was another lopsided affair as the Netherlands defeated France 10-1 to take the minor medal.

Swiss Success Excites Home Fans


Thomas Pfyl (Photo: IPC)


OBERSAXEN, Switzerland – Home fans had plenty to cheer about on the super-combined day at the Europa Cup finals in Obersaxen, Switzerland on Tuesday. Thomas Pfyl and Christoph Kunz both won their events in one of the final events of the season.

Pfyl had finished third in the super-g but responded brilliantly to win the super-combined in the men’s standing classification. He was trailed by the super-g winner, Austrian Markus Salcher and was joined by team-mate Robin Cuche on the podium.

The other Swiss gold came in the men’s sitting as Kunz took the super-g run after finishing second in the slalom to claim the victory. Italian Rene de Silvestro took second after winning the slalom run with another Swiss skier in third with Murat Pelit claiming bronze.

Italian Melania Corradini got closer to claiming the women’s standing Europa Cup title claiming her second gold medal of the meet. There was another Swiss medal in the event with Bigna Schmidt winning silver and Spaniard Ursula Pueyo Marimon claimed bronze.

Joining Corradini with a perfect start to the meet was German Ruth Hagspiel who won the women’s sitting, beating Dutchwoman Barbara van Bergen.

France claimed the final gold of the day as Thomas Civade (Guide: Fabien Chambost) won the men’s vision impaired race.

Japan and Argentina Manage Wins to Open IBSA Blind Football World Grand Prix

TOKYO – Japan got off to a perfect start at the IBSA Blind Football World Grand Prix on Wednesday, managing a win in the opener. They were joined in the winners circle by Argentina, to open the historic tournament, a first step on Japan’s road to the 2020 Paralympic Games which will also be hosted in Tokyo.

Japan took on England in the opening game of the tournament and got off to a perfect start opening the scoring in the 14th minute leading to optimism of a strong result. But that excitement was quickly extinguished as England managed through the appropriately named Dan English following a great run from his own half one minute later.

Continue reading “Japan and Argentina Manage Wins to Open IBSA Blind Football World Grand Prix”

PyeongChang 2018 Day Nine – Stunning Results Close Games


United States players celebrate (Photo: IPC)


PYEONGCHANG, Republic of Korea – Perhaps the most dramatic moment of the 2018 Paralympic Games was saved for last when the United States managed a stunning 2-1 overtime victory against Canada in the Ice Hockey final at the Gagneung Hockey Center.

With 37 seconds to go in the game Canada seemed destined to win the gold medal, with the American goaltender pulled, Canada hit the post with less than a minute to go. But it all changed when Declan Farmer scored with just 37 seconds on the clock to send the game to overtime. Early into overtime Farmer came back again and scored the winning goal, defending the Americans title.

“It was an awesome feeling to tie it up and then to score the winner is like a kid’s dream. I owed it to the team too because I missed some chances. I had to make it up to them,” said Farmer after the game.

Things went as expected as Frenchwoman Marie Bochet claimed her fourth gold in the women’s standing classification. But Canadian Mollie Jepsen pushed the French legend all the way, taking silver after a thrilling Games for the teenager

The upset of the day came in the women’s vision impaired slalom as Slovakian Henrieta Farkasova seemed destined to claim her sweep of the alpine skiing events. But 19-year-old Briton Menna Fitzpatrick stunned the world, claiming the win, just the second ever British alpine skiing gold medal, denying Farkasova’s pursuit of perfection, claiming her fourth medal.

In the cross country, the final event was the popular mixed team event which was taken out by Ukraine, with France winning the open relay to finish fourth in the overall medal table.

The United States ended up winning on the overall medal table thanks to 13 gold, 15 silver, and eight bronze medals. NPA just edged out the Canadians for second with the two tied on eight gold medals NPA’s 10 silver medals compared to Canada’s four saw the NPA take second, relegating the Canadians to third.