By Gary Anderson

March 10 - BWF President Poul-Erik Høyer has wlecomed badminton's  move closer to inclusion on the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic programme ©Getty Images After being shortlisted for inclusion on the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic programme last week, Badminton World Federation (BWF) President Poul-Erik Høyer has urged everyone involved in the sport to "harness the momentum" generated by the decision which moves the prospect of badminton's debut in the Games closer.

Badminton and taekwondo were chosen ahead of seven other sports to move forward to the next stage of the selection process following a meeting of the International Paralympic Committee's (IPC) Governing Board in Sochi prior to the start of the Winter Games.

"BWF is happy to have received this news from the IPC," said Høyer, speaking at the BWF Council meeting in Birmingham.

"It's an important step for our sport and for those who compete in Para-badminton and dream of having the opportunity to perform at the highest level as an athlete.

"Para-badminton is a wonderful sporting spectacle and BWF believes it would add great value to the Paralympic Games.

"We will put forward the best case possible to the IPC Governing Board for inclusion.

"London 2012 marked 20 years since badminton's admission into the Olympic Games in Barcelona and it is time we make another step of similar significance within the Paralympic Movement."

Having launched an unsuccessful bid for inclusion at Rio 2016, Høyer claims that the fact that badminton was the first to submit its Declaration of Intent to the IPC demonstrates the sport's "commitment" to develop and establish its Paralympic credentials.

After losing out to Para-triathlon (pictured) and Para-canoe for Rio 2016 inclusion badminton made its intentions to go for Tokyo 2020 clear early on ©Getty Images After losing out to Triathlon (pictured) and Para-canoe for Rio 2016 inclusion badminton made its intentions to go for Tokyo 2020 clear early on ©Getty Images

"This [Paralympic Games] is the most prestigious multi-sport event in Para-sports and the criteria for inclusion is quite demanding," continued Høyer.

"Para-badminton has been improving and growing in stature over recent years and that was demonstrated vividly at last year's BWF Para-Badminton World Championships in which 235 competitors participated from 36 countries across all five continents.

"It was a superb tournament and there are others planned for this year which will give our Para-badminton athletes even greater exposure.

"We must harness this momentum and continue working diligently to achieve our goal - Para-badminton in the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games."

Badminton and taekwondo will now join the 22 established sports on the Paralympic programme who will be invited to complete a "comprehensive questionnaire" before July 25 as part of the next stage of the selection process.

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

The sports that missed out on selection in Sochi last week were 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.

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