More boccia places will be available at Tokyo 2020 ©Getty Images

Boccia International Sports Federation (BISFed) President David Hadfield hailed the boost to the sport after confirmation that more athletes will compete at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.

The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) announced this month that 50 additional athlete slots will be available in the Japanese capital, when compared to Rio 2016.

Eight of these have been allocated to boccia, meaning 116 athletes will compete in the sport in Tokyo.

Hadfield, who was present in Abu Dhabi for the IPC General Assembly where the decision was announced, welcomed the news.

"I am delighted with this outcome which follows partly as a result of our efforts to grow boccia around the world," the Briton said.

"One of our main objectives is to give more opportunities to more athletes, and I am already looking forward to seeing new athletes competing in Tokyo. 

Thailand topped the medals table at Rio 2016 ©Getty Images
Thailand topped the medals table at Rio 2016 ©Getty Images

"We will now work with the IPC to finalise the qualifying criteria for Tokyo as soon as possible."

Seven boccia gold medals were contested at Rio 2016.

Mixed individual competitions were held in the BC1, BC2, BC3 and BC4 categories.

In addition, a mixed team BC1-2 competition was held as well as mixed pairs events at BC3 and BC4.

Thailand topped the medal table with a haul of five, including two golds.

Five other countries also won gold medals - Britain, hosts Brazil, South Korea, Hong Kong and Slovakia.