The International Federation for Athletes with Intellectual Impairments (INAS) has announced that table tennis competitions at the 2019 INAS Global Games in Brisbane will be recognised by the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) for the first time.
The move means that all class 11 players competing between October 12 and 19 will be able to achieve ranking points for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, according to the ITTF's factor 20 status.
The INAS Global Games are the world’s biggest high-performance sports event for athletes with intellectual impairments.
The 2019 edition will feature 11 sports, with table tennis the latest to be recognised by the relevant International Federation.
"We are absolutely delighted to achieve this historic milestone thanks to a great partnership with the ITTF," INAS President Marc Truffaut said.
"We want the Global Games to be an important stop on the calendar, especially as they always take place in the year before the Paralympics.
"Brisbane 2019 is aiming to be the biggest edition yet with 1,000 athletes from 80 countries competing across all sports.
"This news will go a long way to attracting the absolute best table tennis players as they reach for Global Games titles and Tokyo 2020 qualification."
Australia is preparing to host Oceania's first INAS Global Games in Brisbane with high-quality venues, transport and accommodation.
It is expected to set the standard for future editions.
"The ITTF is very happy to establish a long-term cooperation with INAS and this approval of the Global Games is an awesome first step," Steve Dainton, chief executive of the ITTF, said.
"Intellectually impaired athletes is the biggest population in numbers inside Para-sport and their progressive integration is totally consistent with our 'table tennis for all' values.
"I am sure that Brisbane will witness a great competition next October and athletes will enjoy the quality they deserve."
Robyn Smith, chief executive of the Global Games Sports Company which is organising the event, added: "The recognition by the ITTF to award the table tennis competition with a factor 20 status is monumental to not only the Global Games 2019 and the world’s best players with an intellectual impairment, but to the relationship between INAS and ITTF into the future.
"Both federations are working in partnership to ensure that table tennis is developed at all levels across the globe for these talented athletes."
As well as table tennis, the other Paralympic sports on the INAS Global Games programme - swimming and athletics - will be recognised by World Para Swimming and World Para Athletics respectively.
Taekwondo, a growing sport for athletes with intellectual impairments and which is led by World Taekwondo, will also be sanctioned.
Basketball, cricket, cycling, futsal, hockey, rowing and tennis competitions will act as the World Championships for each sport, with INAS serving as the current International Federation.