USA and Australia pick up extra Rio places

Cassie Mitchell at the 2015 World Championships (Photo:  Clement Bucco-Lechat/WikimediaCommons)
Following Russia’s suspension from the Paralympic Games their spots have had to be reallocated and on Monday the first 31 athletes to receive places because of that reallocation were announced. The United States have added 22 extra athletes to their squad while Australia added nine.

The United States actually got 23 of Russia’s 267 slots, but one of those slots went to an athlete that is already part of their squad. Athletics competitor, Cassie Mitchell has suddenly got a busier September as she will now also compete in swimming in Rio, and will compete in both sports.

The 23 extra slots have added to their military contingent with four veterans added and an additional current active duty athlete. That makes it 35 total athletes in the USA delegation that has ties to the military.

Australia have added nine athletes to their squad for Rio competing in three different sports, goalball, wheelchair tennis and athletics. The women’s goalball team will be taking Russia’s berth in the tournament, actually improving the tournament as Australia hold a higher world ranking, of sixth, than the Russians who are ranked eighth.

Australia adds one more Wheelchair Tennis player Sarah Calati to their delegation in Rio as they seek tennis medals again. Two more athletics competitors will enter the delegation in Rio with Jesse Wyatt and Tamsin Colley which will see Australia’s total delegation reach 178. There will still be over 230 slots from Russia to be issued out to other nations in the various sports over the coming weeks.

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