Paralympic Archery Explained

Only 80 men and 60 women from 42 countries will compete at the Tokyo Paralympic Games, making it one of the most competitive para-archery events in the world.

Competition Details: Tuesday 24 August to Sunday 5 September, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan

Bow Type: Compound or Recurve Bow (depending on the division)


  • Individual Men’s W1
  • Individual Women’s W1
  • Individual Men’s Compound Open
  • Individual Women’s Compound Open
  • Individual Men’s Recurve Open
  • Individual Women’s Recurve Open
  • Mixed Pairs W1
  • Mixed Pairs Compound Open
  • Mixed Pair Recurve Open

Who Gets To Compete? 

After a series of competitions over the last few years, countries were awarded quota spots based on their archer’s performance at these tournaments.

From there, each country has selected the archer/s who would represent them at the Tokyo Paralympic Games – it’s not always the archer who wins the quota spot who is selected for the Paralympics.

The Paralympics is open to a range of people with physical impairments such as loss of limbs, muscle weakness, co-ordination impairments or restricted joint movement. Athletes can compete in para-archery from a standing or sitting position (stool or wheelchair).

Divisions In Para-Archery 


Athletes who are in this division have the most significant impairment who are usually affected in their arms, legs and torso. Athletes compete in a seated position and may shoot using their arms or legs. Archers can choose to shoot a recurve or compound bow.

Diagram of the W1 para archery classification

Credit: World Archery

Recurve and Compound Open

Athletes classified with a W2 or ST impairment compete together in this division. W2 class is for athletes with good arm control but whose impairments in their legs mean they need to compete in a seated position while the ST class is for athletes with an impairment in at least one arm or one leg who are able to compete standing.

Archers in these divisions are further divided by bow type, either compound or recurve.

Diagram of the open para archery classification.

Credit: World Archery

Competition Format 

In Tokyo, archers will shoot a ranking round of 72 arrows at a target 70m or 50m away, depending on the division. The maximum score for each individual archer in the ranking round is 720 points. After this archers and teams will be ranked from first to last in order to prepare for the matchplay component of the tournament.


After completing the ranking round, archers will be ranked. From here archers will go head to head in matchplay where the winner will progress onwards and the loser of the match will be eliminated from the competition. This process will continue until a Paralympic Champion is crowned.

Para-Archery Schedule 

Friday 27 Aug 2021: Ranking Round

Saturday 28 August 2021
9:00am: Men’s Individual Compound Open 1/24 & 1/16 Elimination Matches
5:30pm: Mixed Team W1 (to medal matches)

Sunday 29 August 2021
9:00am: Women’s Individual Compound Open 1/16 & 1/8 Elimination Matches
5:30pm: Mixed Team Compound Open (to medal matches)

Sunday 30 August 2021
9:00am: Women’s Individual Compound Open (to medal matches)
5:30pm: Men’s Individual W1 (to medal matches)

Tuesday 31 August 2021
9:00am: Men’s Individual Compound Open (to medal matches)
5:30pm: Women’s Individual W1 (to medal matches)

Thursday 2 September 2021
10:00am: Women’s Individual Recurve Open 1/16 & 1/8
5:30pm: Women’s Individual Recurve Open (to medal matches)

Friday 3 September 2021
10:00am: Men’s Individual Recurve Open 1/16
5:30pm: Men’s Individual Recurve Open (to medal matches)

Saturday 4 September 2021
10:00am: Mixed Team Recurve Open 1/8 Elimination Matches
5:30pm: Mixed Team Recurve Open (to medal matches)


  • All times are Tokyo local time
  • Each match at the Tokyo Paralympic Games will be shot separately
  • Schedule can change at any time so follow be sure to check the official schedule here.

Follow The Results

With just a small time difference between Australia and Japan, it’s even easier to tune in and cheer on our Australian athletes at the Paralympic Games.

For the Paralympic Games, we have broken down the time difference for Australia:

  • AEST is 1 hour in front of Tokyo
  • ACST Time is 30 minutes in front of Tokyo
  • AWST is 1 hour behind Tokyo

Channel 7 is the only place to watch the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games in Australia – it’s live, it’s free and it’s available on TV, on your phone and on demand. Visit the 7plus – Paralympic hub here.

You can also follow the scores from the World Archery website here.

Follow the Archery Australia and Paralympic Australia’s social media for updates.