Great Britain is eyeing another sporting masterclass as the World Para Athletics Championships begin in Dubai on Thursday.
The team is hoping to replicate its success at the 2017 World Para Athletics Championships in London where British athletes set eight new world records — the most by any country. The London event saw GB finish third in the table with 18 gold, eight silver and 13 bronze medals, behind the United States of America and China.
GB is sending a squad of 42 athletes to the Middle East this time. The team includes 10 defending world champions.
Six athletes are flying to Dubai with championship records to their names. They are Paul Blake (T36 400m, 800m), Aled Davies (F63 Shot Put), Hannah Cockroft (T34 100m, 800m), Kadeena Cox (T38 200m, 400m), Sophie Hahn (T38 100m, 200m, 4X100m) and Sophie Kamlish (T64 100m).
Hannah Cockroft and Richard Whitehead (T61 200m) hold a record four consecutive world titles. Aled Davies and Hollie Arnold (F46 javelin throw) can join that club if they win gold in Dubai.
Four athletes — Owen Miller (T20 1500m), Anna Nicholson (F35 shot put), Ellie Simpson (Race running RR3 100m) and Lydia Church (F12 shot put) — will be making their senior GB debuts in Dubai.
Gavin Drysdale, who is competing at his first World Championships, said he couldn’t quite believe that he was actually going to Dubai. “It’s the first time that my event Race Running has been included in the Worlds, so it will be a very special experience for me. I can’t quite believe I’m actually going, there has been lots of hard work to get to this point,” he told Sports Gazette.
“I went to European Championships in Berlin last year and it was just amazing. It was so much bigger than what I’m used to. I have heard the Worlds is even bigger. I can’t wait to get to Dubai and soak up the atmosphere,” he added.
The championships will conclude on November 15.
Great Britain roster
|Kare Adenegan||T34 100m, T34 800m||Job King|
|Hannah Cockroft||T34 100m, T34 800m||Jenni Banks|
|Maria Lyle||T35 100m, T35 200m||Jamie Bowie|
|Olivia Breen||T38 100m, T38 Long Jump||Aston Moore|
|Sophie Hahn||T38 100m, T38 200m, Universal 4X100m Relay||Leon Baptiste|
|Ali Smith||T38 100m, T38 400m, Universal 4X100m Relay||Chris Zah|
|Sammi Kinghorn||T53 100m, Universal 4X100m Relay||Ian Mirfin|
|Sophie Kamlish||T64 100m||Rob Ellchuk|
|Kayleigh Haggo||Race Running RR3 100m||Ian Mirfin|
|Ellie Simpson||Race Running RR3 100m||Jessica Davidson|
|Libby Clegg||T11 200m, Universal 4X100m Relay||Joe McDonnell|
|Guide: Tom Somers||Benke Blomkvist|
|Kadeena Cox||T38 200m, T38 400m||Matt Cullen|
|Hannah Taunton||T20 1500m||Charlotte Fisher|
|Martina Barber||T20 Long Jump||Paddy O’Shea|
|Lydia Church||F12 Shot Put||Jim Edwards|
|Sabrina Fortune||F20 Shot Put||Ian Robinson|
|Vanessa Wallace||F34 Shot Put||Alison O’Riordan|
|Anna Nicholson||F35 Shot Put||Richard Kaufman|
|Hollie Arnold||F46 Javelin Throw||David Turner|
|Jo Butterfield||F51 Club Throw||Phil Peat/Shona Malcolm|
|Harri Jenkins||T33 100m||Anthony Hughes|
|Andrew Small||T33 100m||Rick Hoskins|
|Ben Rowlings||T34 100m, T34 400m, T34 800m||Ian Mirfin|
|Jordan Howe||T35 100m||Kevin Williams|
|Thomas Young||T38 100m||Joe McDonnell|
|Ola Abidogun||T47 100m, Universal 4X100m Relay||Grant Barker|
|Mickey Bushell||T53 100m, Universal 4X100m Relay||Rick Hoskins|
|Richard Chiassaro||T54 100m, T54 400m, T54 800m, T54 1500m||Jenni Banks|
|Nathan Maguire||T54 100m, T54 400m, T54 800m, Universal 4X100m Relay||Ste Hoskins|
|Gavin Drysdale||Race Running RR3 100m||Ian Mirfin|
|Rafi Solaiman||Race Running RR3 100m||Philip Fleetwood|
|Luke Sinnott||T61 200m, T63 Long Jump||Roger Keller|
|Richard Whitehead||T61 200m||Keith Antoine|
|Isaac Towers||T34 400m, T34 800m||Peter Wyman|
|Paul Blake||T36 400m, T36 800m||Rob Ellchuk|
|Owen Miller||T20 1500m||Steven Doig|
|Zak Skinner||T13 Long Jump, Universal 4X100m Relay||Aston Moore|
|Jonathan Broom-Edwards||T64 High Jump||Graham Ravenscroft|
|Kyron Duke||F41 Shot Put||Anthony Hughes|
|Aled Davies||F63 Shot Put||Ryan Spencer-Jones|
*Source: British Athletics