Pedro Pablo de Vinatea is determined to qualify for this year's Paralympic Games ©Getty Images

Peruvian Para badminton player Pedro Pablo de Vinatea has put his wedding plans on hold in a bid to secure his place at this year’s rescheduled Paralympic Games.

The reigning Parapan American Games champion was due to get married in September but with his big day now clashing with the postponed Games he has decided to focus his attention on qualifying for the Paralympics.

Para badminton is due to make its Paralympic debut at Tokyo 2020, scheduled to run from August 24 to September 5.

"My situation is a little bit special," said De Vinatea, who won gold in the men’s singles SL3 at Lima 2019.

"I have a good ranking, but I still do not have the necessary points to secure a place for the Paralympic Games.

"I know that there are special invitations and there is still a competition left.

"I could qualify, but it is also likely that I will not make it."

De Vinatea could have gained points for the world rankings if he had played at the 2019 World Championships in Basel in Switzerland.

However, he decided to focus entirely on Lima 2019, which, although not a qualifier for Tokyo 2020, provided him with a "unique opportunity".

"I chose to play in my homeland Peru because it represented so much for me and my country," said De Vinatea.

"That's how I achieved the greatest thing I'm going to achieve in my career.

"My dream as a sportsman was to win the gold medal at Lima 2019.

"I quit my job, I postponed professional and personal decisions all because of this goal."

De Vinatea began to play the sport at the age of nine before his sporting career was interrupted five years later when he was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, an aggressive type of cancer that affects the bones.

After trying chemotherapy treatments without the expected results, De Vinatea travelled with his mother to Italy to undergo other more effective methods, which involved the amputation of his right leg.

Pedro Pablo de Vinatea was due to get married in September but postponed his wedding following the rescheduling of the Paralympic Games ©Getty Images
Pedro Pablo de Vinatea was due to get married in September but postponed his wedding following the rescheduling of the Paralympic Games ©Getty Images

De Vinatea recovered and quickly devised a plan to return to badminton, obtaining an international certification as a referee before rediscovering his place was on the court.

"In 2010, I learned that the Pan American Para Badminton Championships were going to take place in Brazil," he said.

"I didn't think twice and I gave up everything.

"I postponed my thesis to graduate from college, gave up my professional internships and started training.

"I had only a month and a half. 

"I wanted to recover my dreams, those I had lost years ago."

De Vinatea was fundamental in convincing the public and sports leaders of the region that Lima was the best candidate to organise the Pan American and Parapan American Games in 2019.

He is also considered a driving force behind Para badminton's inclusion in the programme.

"I started 10 years ago with this sport and today we are very strong," said De Vinatea on the growth of the sport in Peru.

"We have one world champion, world medals and are the second strongest country in South America.

"There are more than 40 players among the world rankings across all categories, and it was Peru's most successful sport at Lima 2019 in my opinion.

"Para badminton has changed our lives.

"We are well-known, we send a strong message to everyone and people listen to us.

"This visibility is important, the results are not only sporty, but we have had an even bigger impact."