Beijing 2022 will feature a record 138 female athletes at the Winter Paralympics ©Getty Images

A record 138 female athletes are set to compete at the Beijing 2022 Winter Paralympics, the International Paralympic Committee has announced.

The figure represents a slight increase from Pyeongchang 2018, where 133 women competed in South Korea.

The number of male athletes competing at the Games remains considerable higher, with 426 set to participate over the next 10 days.

The IPC said the overall total of 564 athletes equals the record figure set at Pyeongchang 2018.

"It is a fantastic achievement to equal the record number of Para athletes to compete at a Paralympic Winter Games bearing in mind the challenges faced during the last two years," said Andrew Parsons, IPC President.

"This is testament to the outstanding efforts of National Paralympic Committees and International Federations.

"With International Women’s Day on the horizon I am delighted to see that the number of female Para athletes has grown tremendously, reaching record levels.

"Much work still needs to be done to achieve gender parity but having increased female participation significantly at the Winter Games in the last 20 years, shows we are heading in the right direction."

A total of 46 National Paralympic Committees will compete at the Games, three less than the record of 49 from Pyeongchang 2018.

The Russian Paralympic Committee and Belarus were yesterday excluded from the Games, following the invasion of Ukraine.

Three nations will make their Winter Paralympics debuts.

Hosts China will have the largest delegation competing at the Games ©Getty Images
Hosts China will have the largest delegation competing at the Games ©Getty Images

Israel and Puerto Rico will be represented by Sheyne Vaspi and Orlando Perez respectively in alpine skiing, while Mehman Ramazanzade will compete in Para cross-country skiing for Azerbaijan.

A total of 78 medal events will be contested across six sports at the Games, with 39 for men and 35 for women.

Four mixed events will also be held.

Hosts China will have the largest delegation at the Games, with 96 athletes set to represent the host nation.

Their delegation includes Haitao Wang, who skipped their wheelchair curling team to China's first Winter Paralympics gold medal at Pyeongchang 2018.

China are set to compete in all six sports for the first time at the Winter Paralympics.

The United States have the second latest delegation with 65 athletes competing, while 2026 Winter Paralympics hosts Italy will be represented by a 29-member team.

The Games will begin with the Opening Ceremony today at the Bird’s Nest Stadium in Beijing.

The Winter Paralympics will take place until March 13.