The IWAS World Games in December have been cancelled ©IWAS

This year's International Wheelchair and Amputee Sports Federation (IWAS) World Games in Thailand have been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The event had been due to take place in Nakhon Ratchasima from December 10 to 17. 

The decision was made to cancel the event as a result of the ongoing uncertainty caused by the pandemic, which was impacting the ability of teams to compete.

"It is with a heavy heart that IWAS and the organisers have made the decision to cancel this year’s World Games," said IWAS President Rudi van den Abbeele. 

"A huge amount of effort has gone in to trying to ensure they could take place so that athletes and teams could have a positive end to the year.

"However, we recognised that the travel restrictions worldwide and particularly quarantine procedures would cause significant logistical and financial implications for our members that was deemed too great."

Van Den Abbeele suggested Thailand may yet host an IWAS World Games in the future. 

"We are in discussion with the Sports Association for the Disabled Thailand to host a future edition, potentially in 2023," he said.

"I would like to thank them, their supporters and partners for working with us through a very tough year. 

"We look forward to being able to host a Games in Thailand in the not-too-distant future."

IWAS President Rudi Van Den Abbeele said he hoped Thailand would host a future IWAS World Games ©Facebook
IWAS President Rudi Van Den Abbeele said he hoped Thailand would host a future IWAS World Games ©Facebook

The IWAS Wheelchair Fencing Asian Championships were due to take place as part of the World Games. 

The event has been scheduled for the same location in April 2021 and will still be a qualifier for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. 

"Wheelchair fencers have also had a difficult year with the postponement of the Paralympics, World Cups cancelled and regional Championships re-scheduled," said Van Den Abbeele.

"We remain committed to ensuring that they have the best possible lead-up to Tokyo 2020 and are monitoring the situation with all upcoming competitions closely." 

This year's IWAS World Games were originally scheduled for February but were postponed to April and then December in response to the challenges posed by COVID-19.

The IWAS is now reviewing its Games cycle for the coming years. 

As well as the World Games, this includes the IWAS World Youth Games and the inaugural IWAS Guttmann Games.

The Guttmann Games offers athletes competing in non-Paralympic sports the chance to take to the global stage.