21st February 2019
DUBAI MARKS THE FIRST STOP IN THE 2019 WORLD PARA ATHLETICS GP
The first World Para Athletics Grand Prix of the season gets underway on Sunday 24 February in Dubai, at the venue which will host the World Championships in November this year.
12 British athletes will be heading out to the United Arab Emirates to kick-start their 2019 season with a trio of reigning European champions heading the start lists.
Fresh from a 60m personal best last weekend in Glasgow, Maria Lyle (Jamie Bowie) competes in the T35 100m and 200m. Her mark of 9.09s over the shorter sprint will act as a confidence booster.
Last August, Lyle won T35 100m European gold and will be looking for an encouraging start to the year at the first meeting of the GP series.
Grand Slam champion Sophie Hahn (Leon Baptiste) contends the T38 100m while Vanessa Wallace (Alison O’Riordan) – F34 shot put European champion from 2018 – will compete in the shot and the javelin.
After taking a year away from competitive action, Paul Blake (Rob Ellchuk) makes a welcome return to the track. The reigning Paralympic 400m champion goes over the one-lap event and takes on the T36 800m during the four-day meeting.
After opening with a victory at the Sharjah meeting last week, Stephen Miller (Ros Miller) will look to continue his good start to 2019 in the F32 club throw. His 30.18 metres effort last week was a strong start – he only threw over that distance twice during 2018.
In the T33 wheelchair races, Andrew Small (Rick Hoskins) and Dan Bramall (Peter Wyman) will both go over 100m and 400m, while Small will push over the 800m distance. Eve Walsh-Dann (Roger Sexton) completes the track athletes, going in the T38 100m and 200m.
In the field, European finalist Taz Nicholls (Alison O’Riordan) is entered in the F44 discus and javelin competitions, while training partner Conor O’Hare (O’Riordan) competes in the F35 shot put.
Over in the F55 shot put and discus events, Mike Barker (Malcolm Wallace) will be the sole British representative, while over at the long jump pit, Amir Sarvestani contests the T11 event.
The World Para Athletics Grand Prix spans nine events from February to August with the Dubai edition welcoming 437 athletes from 48 countries.
Full results from the Dubai Grand Prix can be found on the Team Thomas website from Sunday 24 to Wednesday 27 February: http://www.team-thomas.org/