Stoke Mandeville hosts World Junior Games

Hundreds of athletes from around the world have descended on Aylesbury this week to take part in the 10th International Wheelchair and Amputee Sports Federation World Junior Games at Stoke Mandeville Stadium.

A total of 320 athletes from 31 countries will compete in six sports: archery, athletics, powerlifting, swimming, table tennis and wheelchair fencing. Para taekwondo will be a demonstration sport.

The age group of competitors is 14-22 and the Games will provide valuable competition for all up-and-coming youngsters and 2016 Rio Paralympic prospects.

In the team table tennis event, Nico Anderson (above) helped Great Britain take gold on Wednesday as the 18-year-old came from 2-0 down to win 3-2 in his singles match, which was enough to clinch the gold medal for Britain.

The decision to return the event to Stoke Mandeville means that some of the world’s best young athletes will have the opportunity to compete at an elite level of sport at the home of the Paralympic movement and will take place nine years after the first ever World Junior Games, which was also held at Stoke Mandeville.

A number of current London 2012 Paralympians will be competing and past youngsters include Aled Davies, Marcel Hug, Nathan Stephens and Holly Arnold, whose first major competition was at previous World Junior Games.

This year’s Games follow on from last successful World Junior Games in Puerto Rico.

Paul DePace, IWAS President, said: “IWAS is fortunate to be able to build on the legacy of London 2012 by the renewed interest and especially so in Buckinghamshire – the birthplace of the Paralympic Movement.”

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