Games chases para-sport competition boost

Para-sports have been a successful inclusion in the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games but the next challenge is boosting the performance across all countries.

The 2018 Games have featured approximately 300 para-athletes competing in 38 medal events across seven sports.

Nations across the Commonwealth have enjoyed success in para-sport events on the Coast with Nigeria claiming four para-powerlifting golds and athletes from Malaysia, India and Singapore claiming minor medals.

Vanuatu's first Commonwealth Games medal has also come in the para-sport events, with Friana Kwevira securing third in the women's F46 javelin on Monday.

There have been concerns about the level of competition in some events however with English and Australian athletes dominating fields and medals.

"What we're trying to achieve now, both internationally and within the Commonwealth, is how do we get more of our smaller developing nations involved in sport and that is critical," New Zealand Paralympian and International Paralympic Committee board member Duane Kale said.

"If we can do that for our smaller nations, that would not just be good for their sport, but society as well."

Events which would need the heaviest investment are those that require expensive facilities or equipment such as the para-triathlon or cycling.

The track cycling boasted eight athletes across the men's and women's events with just two of those not hailing from British nations or Australia.

Of the 12 athletes across the men's and women's competitions in the para-triathlon, none were from outside the UK or Australia.

"A small investment has gone a long way, imagine what we can do with more investment," Commonwealth Games Federation chief executive David Grevemberg said.

"We represent two thirds of the world's small states and island states with tons of untapped potential, so let's just release that potential.

"That's certainly the ambition. It's facilities. It's equipment. It's expertise ... we have to be idealistic but we're not naive to the challenge either."

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