Powerlifting is one of three sports on the 2021 IWAS World Games programme ©Getty Images

Athletics, powerlifting and cerebral palsy football will comprise the sport programme for this year's International Wheelchair and Amputee Sports Federation (IWAS) World Games - with the first-ever Guttmann Games delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

It had been planned for the IWAS World Games and Guttmann Games to run in parallel, featuring six sports, but this will no longer happen because of coronavirus complications.

Vila Real de San Antonio in Portugal is due to stage the IWAS World Games from October 7 to 13.

Swimming, wheelchair cricket and beach ParaVolley have all been cut following an IWAS survey of interest.

"It has been an incredibly tough 18 months for our members and athletes around the world, but we remain determined to fly the flag for development in Para sports by continuing with our plans to host the IWAS World Games in Portugal," said IWAS President Rudi Van Den Abbeele.

"It has never been more important to give aspiring athletes the chance to compete on an international stage."

The multi-sport event has been contested six times under the IWAS World Games moniker, starting with the 2009 edition in Bangalore in India.

Jonnie Peacock is among those to have benefitted from racing at the IWAS World Games ©Getty Images
Jonnie Peacock is among those to have benefitted from racing at the IWAS World Games ©Getty Images

"The IWAS World Games has a track record of helping to produce some of the world’s biggest stars, many of whom will compete at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics this summer," Van Den Abbeele added.

"Our members know this and we are grateful for their support, and we are doing everything we can to put on another great IWAS World Games in October."

The Games are designed to give aspiring Paralympians and emerging athletes their first taste of international competition.

The United States' seven-time Paralympic champion Tatyana McFadden, Britain's gold medal-winning sprinter Jonnie Peacock and Germany's long jump T64 world record-holder Markus Rehm are among those to have come through the IWAS World Games.

The IWAS World Games will return to Vila Real de Santo Antonio for the second time as the 2017 edition was also held in the Algarve city.

As for the Guttmann Games, IWAS insists it is committed to staging the event when the pandemic allows.

"The IWAS Guttmann Games also remain firmly in our plans," Van Den Abbeele said.

"There is a gap for non-Paralympic sports that we can help to fill. 

"We have been fortunate enough to showcase them in the past, and assist them on their road to applying to be included at the Paralympics. 

"Watch this space for more news about how we will move forward with these plans."