Paralympics: Ukrainian athletes expected to reach Beijing in time for Winter Games

A full contingent of 20 athletes and nine guides is travelling to Beijing for the Winter Paralympics. PHOTO: AFP

BEIJING (Reuters) - Ukrainian athletes are expected to reach Beijing in time for the Winter Paralympics, the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) confirmed on Tuesday (March 1), putting to rest concerns about their participation following an invasion by Russia.

IPC president Andrew Parsons last week said that the Ukrainian delegation faced a huge challenge to get to the Chinese capital before the start of Games, which run from March 4-13.

An IPC spokesman told Reuters that a full contingent of 20 athletes and nine guides would be travelling to Beijing, but declined to share their whereabouts due to safety concerns.

The athletes may arrive as early as Wednesday.

Various sports federations, including world football governing body Fifa, have banned teams and athletes from Russia and Belarus following a recommendation made by the executive board of the International Olympic Committee on Monday.

Belarus has been a key staging area for the invasion.

The IPC will decide the fate of athletes from the two countries in a board meeting in Beijing on Wednesday.

Ukraine won 22 medals at the Pyeongchang Games four years ago, with all their seven gold medals coming in cross-country skiing and the biathlon.

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