By Zjan Shirinian

Six sports and three disciplines have been vying for a spot on the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic programme ©AFP/Getty ImagesMarch 6 - Badminton and Para-taekwondo have been shortlisted in the race to be added to the programme for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.

They edged ahead of seven other sports to make it into the second phase of the application process, after a decision today by the International Paralympic Committee's (IPC) Governing Board meeting in Sochi.

For taekwondo, only the Kyorugi discipline is being considered for inclusion in the Games.

The sports which will no longer be considered for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics are powerchair football three-on-three, intellectually impaired basketball, electric wheelchair hockey, amputee football, one person multi-hull sailing, blind match racing sailing and three-on-three wheelchair basketball.

"With the size and stature of the Paralympic Movement growing with each Games, we are keen to ensure we have the best sports on the programme," said IPC chief executive Xavier Gonzalez.

"All sports and disciplines were measured against a set criteria which they needed to fulfil in order to progress through to the second phase of the application process."

On March 24, the 22 established sports on the Paralympic programme, plus badminton and Para-taekwondo, will be invited to complete a "comprehensive questionnaire" before July 25.

In October, the IPC Governing Board will meet to decide which sports will make up the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic sports programme.

Reacting to the announcement, World Taekwondo Federation President Chungwon Choue said: "We are very grateful to the IPC for granting us this honour and will continue to put all our efforts into guaranteeing that Para-taekwondo respects and complies with all IPC requirements.

"It has always been a dream of ours to see athletes competing in Para-taekwondo at the Paralympic Games as we look to ensure that taekwondo is a sport for all which promotes equality and teaches respect for human diversity.

"Although there is still a long way to go before the final decision in October, this announcement brings us one step closer to achieving our objective.

"At London 2012 we saw what a huge success Taekwondo was and we have no doubt that if Para-taekwondo is included in the Paralympic programme for Tokyo 2020, it will act as a catalyst to inspire a new generation of athletes from all over the world to participate in the sport."

Badminton, intellectually impaired basketball, Para-golf, powerchair football and Para-taekwondo all applied to be part of the Rio 2016 Paralympics but were unsuccessful.

The Governing Board instead chose applications from Para-canoe and Para-triathlon.

The Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games will be held from August 25 until September 6.

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