13th May 2024

ALI SMITH AND ZAC SHAW VOTED AS CO-CAPTAINS FOR WORLD PARA ATHLETICS CHAMPIONSHIPS 2024

Ali Smith (coach: Benke Blomkvist, club: Guildford & Godalming) and Zac Shaw (Leon Baptiste, Cleethorpes) have been chosen by their teammates as captains for the Great Britain and Northern Ireland team at the World Para Athletics Championships Kobe24 which takes place between 17-25 May 2024.

After a vote conducted by the selected team, Smith and Shaw came out on top overall. The pair will lead the squad competing at the Championships in Japan starting on Friday [17].

Smith was a key member of the silver-medal winning 4x100m Universal Relay team at the Paralympic Games in Tokyo, and the European medallist will be targeting her first world medal in Kobe as she competes in the T38 100m, 400m and relay.

Meanwhile, Shaw, who has been racing in British teams since 2015, won his maiden world medals in the T12 100m and relay last summer, and the Cleethorpes athletes is targeting another strong world championships performance in Kobe.

On receiving the co-captaincy, Smith said, ““I’m really excited and can’t quite believe it. It’s voted by our teammates, so to be trusted to lead the team at a World Championships in such an important year from a very experienced and successful group of athletes is an honour.

“It’s hard to guide a team who have all been there and achieve it, so my message was from personal experience. I was hospitalised at the last World Championships and unable to achieve what I set out to do and I asked the team to live in the moment and don’t rush these times. It’s easy to be swept away rushing and focusing on the Paralympics. These moments are precious and not promised, so enjoy it.”

After hearing the news that he would also captain the GB & NI team in Kobe, Shaw added, “This is one of proudest moments of my career, to captain GB&NI at a World Championships is honestly something I never thought would happen. Especially to be voted on by my teammates, it’s a real privilege.

“My message to the team was that we’ve all had to overcome some big hurdles and challenges just to be here. The most difficult part is getting yourself to the start line, so we should go and enjoy it as you never know what can happen in sport. To be captain alongside Ali is really special. Katie [Jones] was my talent development manager nine years ago, it’s crazy that it’s come full circle to be voted captain under her lead.”

The World Para Athletics Championships Kobe24 get underway on Friday 17 May and runs through to Saturday 25 May.

Owen Miller sustained an injury before travel, so he has withdrawn from the T20 1500m at the Championships.

The Great Britain and Northern Ireland team for the World Para Athletics Championships in Kobe, Japan, 17-25 May 2024:

Women

Fabienne André (Richard Chiassaro, Harlow AC) – T34 100m and 800m

Hollie Arnold (Scott Knighton, Blackheath & Bromley) – F46 Javelin

Hannah Cockroft (Paul Moseley, Leeds) – T34 100m, 800m and Universal Relay

Sabrina Fortune (Ryan Spencer-Jones, Deeside) – F20 Shot Put

Ali Smith (Benke Blomkvist, Guildford & Godalming) – T38 100m, 400m and Universal Relay

Mel Woods (Rodger Harkins, Red Star) – T54 400m, 800m and 1500m

 

Men

Columba Blango (Chris Zah, Shaftesbury Barnet) – T20 400m

Jonathan Broom-Edwards (Bethan Partridge, Newham and Essex Beagles) – T64 High Jump

Aled Davies (Ryan Spencer-Jones, Cardiff) – F63 Shot Put

Mo Jomni (Jenny Archer, Weir Archer Academy) – T53 400m and 800m

Nathan Maguire (Ste Hoskins, Kirkby AC) – T54 400m, 800m and 1500m

Dan Pembroke (John Trower, Windsor Slough Eton Hounslow) – F13 Javelin

Marcus Perrineau-Daley (Jenny Archer, Weir Archer Academy) – T52 100m

Kevin Santos (Mike Utting, City of Norwich) – T47 100m and Universal Relay

Zac Shaw (Leon Baptiste, Cleethorpes) – T12 100m and Universal Relay

Harrison Walsh (Ryan Spencer-Jones, Swansea) – F64 Discus

Thomas Young (Joe McDonnell, Charnwood) – T38 100m

 

Team Staff:

Team Leader: Katie Jones

Team coaches: Ste Hoskins, Roger Keller, Paul Moseley, Coral Nourrice, Bethan Partridge and Ryan Spencer-Jones

Medical and Sport Science: Deepa Bala [Holding Camp only], Hollie Calver, Donna Halfteck, Sam Heathcote [Holding Camp only], Jill Neale and Adam Rattenberry

Team Management: Jess Flint and Ethan Walker

 

*Photo credit: Roger Keller