Rio 2016 Paralympics: Paula Dunn concerned about events

By Elizabeth HudsonBBC Sport
Paralympic champion Josie Pearson
Josie Pearson won Great Britain's 10th athletics gold of the 2012 Paralympics, in the F51/52/53 discus

British Athletics Paralympic head coach Paula Dunn expressed concern after the International Paralympic Committee released a list of events in danger of being dropped for the 2016 Rio Games.

The IPC listexternal-link includes 27 events which do not currently meet the minimum athlete numbers to be staged in Rio.

Among the British athletes affected are Paralympic champions Josie Pearson and Hannah Cockroft, plus world medallists Jonathan Broom-Edwards and Holly Neill.

Rio confirms its programme in April.

Dunn told BBC Sport athletes should carry on with their preparations for the Rio Games "because, at the moment, their event is still included".

She added: "I'm sure they will have concerns but they should lie with us as the governing body and the athletes should just focus on their own training."

The draft programme for Rio,external-link announced last year, included an increase in the number of events for women and for athletes with high support needs - and it is some of those events that appear on the list.

Dunn wants other nations to act quickly to secure the future of the events.

"We are really good at making sure our athletes are licensed and the information on their performances is being sent to the IPC," she said.

"My plea to other nations is to do the same so that every country can know in plenty of time what events will and will not be included in the final programme."

The IPC will reassess after this summer's IPC European Championships in Swansea and October's Asian Para Games in Korea.

And Dunn said there were "a lot of implications" to the decision.

She said: "We support our athletes with a focus on Paralympic medals, so if anyone's event is at risk now we may not take on new athletes in that event until the programme is confirmed.

"For existing athletes, if their event is taken out and they are not able to compete in another event, they may be removed from funding."

IPC Athletics head Ryan Montgomery said: "We want to ensure that all athletes with the potential to compete at Rio 2016 are registered and licensed to ensure we have the exact numbers because, at the moment, we do not think this is the case."