13th March 2018


The World Para Athletics Grand Prix series got underway at the Dubai Club for People of Determination on Tuesday with a plethora of British athletes starting their 2018 seasons.

Jordan Howe (coach: Christian Malcolm) took a significant chunk off his 200m personal best, lowering it to 27.00 (+0.9) from 27.31. After winning world silver over 100m last year, the Welshman has shown great confidence over the winter months, and that has reflected in his strong start in UAE.

T38 world champion Sophie Hahn (Joe McDonnell) ran her first 200m of the season, clocking a solid time of 26.96 (+1.8) to win the mixed category race.

Alongside Hahn, Georgie Hermitage (Paul MacGregor) opened her 2018 campaign over 200m, crossing the line in 28.41.

There was a very confident performance by Stephen Miller (Ros Miller) as he threw his best season opener since 2011 – with a 30.11m effort – to win the F32 club throw competition. The North-East-based athlete won bronze on the world stage last summer to roll back the years, but at 37-years-old, Miller is gunning for another few years at the top.

Taz Nicholls launched the shot put to a mark he had never previously passed, marking the ground at 13.10m, an improvement of nearly one metre. Relatively new to the event and under the tutelage of Alison O’Riordan at Lee Valley, the F44 athlete threw his best in round three with three further marks in the competition exceeded his previous best (12.86, 12.84 and 12.70m).

Competing in the javelin, Vanessa Wallace (O’Riordan) threw a best of 12.28m in the mixed competition. Usually a shot putter, the F34 athlete revised her previous best in this discipline, adding nearly a metre and a half to her previous best set last year.

Earlier, Commonwealth Games-bound James Ledger (Christian Malcolm) stopped the clock at 24.91 (-1.8) in the T11/12 contest. The visually-impaired athlete will compete for Wales next month.

Also Gold Coast-bound, Rhys Jones and Morgan Jones (both Christian Malcolm) recorded times of 25.19 (+1.6) and 24.43 (+0.4) respectively. Rhys – world finalist last year – was fourth overall in the T37 race whilst Morgan likewise was fourth in the T46/47 for athletes with an arm impairment.

In a mixed category 800m, T20 athlete Hannah Taunton (Charlotte Fisher) fared well, winning in 2:23.83, a personal best for the – quite aptly – Taunton athlete.

Elsewhere, Andrew Small (Rick Hoskins) went in the T33 200m in which he finished second in 32.59 (+0.1) before later competing over 800m, winning the race in a time of 2:15.09.

Full results from day one can be found here.