6th March 2023
LOOKING BACK ON THE FIRST 2023 WORLD PARA ATHLETICS GP IN DUBAI
The first World Para Athletics Grand Prix of the season took place in Dubai last week (26 February to the 1 March) with a number of athletes setting PBs and British and European records.
After setting four world records in Sharjah a week prior (200m – 29.22, 400m – 52.80, 800m – 1:44.43 and 1500m – 3:21.06), Hannah Cockroft (Paul Mosely, Leeds) was back on the track with a solid set of results on the track.
Ben Sandilands (Steve Doig, Fife) set a European record in the T20 1500m, while Nathan Maguire (Ste Hoskins, Kirkby) set a British record in the men’s T54 1500m with Daniel Sidbury also posting some of the fastest times ever by Brits in the classification alongside Maguire.
Cockroft clocked 1:51.46 in the T34 800m to seal the victory at the opening fixture of the WPA GP. Kare Adenegan (Job King, Coventry) – who set a PB in the T34 400m last week (58.60) – was second in the 800m in 2:01.62. In the 100m, Cockroft pushed to a time of 17.14 (0.3) ahead of Adenegan in 17.63. European champion Fabienne Andre (Jenny Archer, Weir Archer Academy), who also improved her 400m PB to 63.71 in Sharjah, recorded times of 19.26 in the 100m and 2:14.07 in the 800m.
Also in the wheelchair events, Nathan Maguire enjoyed the meet of his career as he recorded one of the fastest times in history with 2:46.06 in the T54 1500m. He was third in a race which saw Marcel Hug set the world record with a time of 2:43.37. The time sliced 10 seconds off his previous best which he set in Sharjah a week before; 2:56.28. In the same race, Danny Sidbury (Christine Parsloe, Sutton & District) was very close behind with a PB of 2:46.45.
Maguire also posted one of his quickest ever times in the 800m as he clocked 1:31.76 for second behind Marcel Hug (SUI), with Sidbury posting 1:32.37 behind. Maguire also set times of 46.37, just 0.10 outside his PB, in the 400m, and 14.37 (1.6) in the 100m.
In the T20 1500m, Ben Sandilands broke the European record with a time of 3:54.19 ahead of Paralympic champion Owen Miller (Steve Doig, Fife) who clocked 4:00.24 for second.
Meanwhile, in the T20 400m, Paralympic medallist Columba Blango (Chris Zah, Shaftesbury Barnet) was second in a 49.72 with WPA Junior medallist Ethan Kirby (Joe McDonnell, Newton Abbot) fifth in 51.29.
After PBs in Sharjah over 800m [1:46.96], 1500m [3:20.00] and 5000m [11:41.07], the 800m mark a British record, Eden Rainbow-Cooper (Jenny Archer, Weir Archer Academy) continued her good form in the middle east; she was second in the 800m in Dubai in 1:54.02 and third in the 5000m in 11:58.04.
Also in the wheelchair races, after setting a rapid 800m PB of 1:44.55 in Sharjah the week prior, Sammi Kinghorn (Rodger Harkins, Red Star) raced to another quick time in Dubai, crossing the line in 1:46.75 behind world record holder, Catherine Debrunner (SUI). Impressive times were also set in the 400m and 1500m, narrowly outside her PB in both with times of 52.60 and 1:46.75. In the 100m, Kinghorn beat Debrunner with a time of 16.38 (-1.8).
In the throws, Dan Greaves (Zane Duquemin, Charnwood) opened his 2023 campaign with a win in the F44 discus. The best mark of his series coming in the final round with 55.14m.