Sports Gazette

by sports journalism students at St Mary's University, London

Great Britain targets gold rush as World Para Athletics Championships begin in Dubai today

Posted on 6 November 2019 by Kiran Tom Sajan
Great Britain’s Gavin Drysdale is excited as he will be competing at his first World Championships in Dubai. Photo credit: David Urquhart

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.

Embed from Getty Images

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

Athlete Event(s) Coach
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