Places in the table tennis competition at next year's Paralympic Games are on offer at the Virtus Global Games, due to open in Vichy tomorrow ©ITTF

The first table tennis qualification event for next year's Paralympic Games in Paris is set to begin with the Virtus Global Games in Vichy in France.

The winning athletes in the men's and women's singles tournaments will secure their place directly into the Paralympics next year. 

The Virtus Global Games is the world's largest elite sports event for athletes with an intellectual impairment.

The Paris 2024 qualification was confirmed by the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF).

"We are so pleased that ITTF is recognising the Global Games programme in this way and it gives yet more incentive for the players in Vichy, in what is an already competitive and fiercely fought championship," said Virtus President Marc Truffaut.

"This will be a special moment for the players who step out into the final Games and we are looking forward to a fantastic competition with the world’s best players with an intellectual impairment."

The Games are due to last until June 10 in what is the sixth edition with more than 1,000 athletes set to compete from more than 40 nations.

A total of 13 sports feature on the programme with competition in intellectual disability (II1), intellectual disability and addition impairment (II2), and autism eligibility group (II3) categories.

In addition to table tennis, taekwondo, karate judo, handball, futsal, equestrian, cycling, basketball, rowing, swimming, athletics, and tennis are all due to be contested.

Organisers are aiming for the 2023 edition to be the first sustainable year which is hoped to set a precedent for future Virtus sporting events.

To help achieve this, five "eco-friendly action highlights" have been devised.

These are the planting of the first Virtus forest, appointment of eco-ambassadors, the use of water bottles instead of disposable cups, encouraging participants to drink tap water, and environmentally friendly medals.

The medals will feature a wooden frame with a metal centre which is designed to "embody eco-friendly and sustainable concepts".