All eyes on Jesolo with Paris 2023 Worlds lurking

Paralympic stars, including local star Sabatini, will be among the favourites as they lead a field of 496 athletes from 65 nations in the three-day Grand Prix 11 May 2023
Italy's Monica Contrafatto (left), Ambra Sabatini (centre) and Martina Caironi celebrate their triple podium at Tokyo 2020.
Italy's Monica Contrafatto (left), Ambra Sabatini (centre) and Martina Caironi celebrate their triple podium at Tokyo 2020.
ⒸAlex Pantling / Getty Images
By Ryan Hills I For World Para Athletics

The dust may have barely settled from Xalapa, but we do not have to wait any longer for the next Grand Prix of 2023 as all attention moves to the beauty of Jesolo this weekend.

What do we know going into Jesolo?

We know that this is one of the final stops on the way to the Paris 23 World Championships in July, and that makes this very important. Only Nottwil remains after Jesolo, and this provides a huge opportunity to put plans into place against some of the top stars who will come up against in Paris.

Who to watch out for from the hosts?

Remember when Italy were in terrific form to sweep up the medals at Tokyo 2020? How would you feel about watching them do their thing again, this time on home soil?

Jesolo has an absolute treat for you, as the home field is superbly packed with medallists aplenty. All three of the holy trinity of women’s T63 podium makers in Tokyo will be vying for the top prizes once again. Ambra Sabatini, the woman who topped the 100m podium at the last Paralympic Games, will only compete in the 200m this time around. But she is competing on a track where she broke the world record and could do the same again.

Her podium partners on that September 2021 day though will be eyeing the gold in the 100m. World record holder Martina Caironi will go head-to-head with Monica Contrafatto across the distance. 

There will be a first outing of 2023 for another Paralympic and world great too; Assunta Legnante. With two golds at the Paralympic Games and four world titles to her name, Legante heads to Jesolo with ambitions of success in both shot put and discus events.

Ndiaga Dieng, bronze medallist in T20 400m in Tokyo, is also scheduled to compete in 1500m race, a distance where he has a European bronze to his name.

And not to forget about the incredibly talented Maxcel Amo Manu. He has already beat Germany’s Felix Streng and has dreams of improving on his personal best of 10.75 at some point this year – perhaps at a Grand Prix, or even a World Championships?

Who else are competing?

Sixty-five nations will be represented in Jesolo, with a huge contingent from across Europe as the Para athletics action moves to the region for the next few months. The energetic Sara Andres Barrio will be competing for Spain, 2018 European champion Angelina Lanza for France. 

Germany’s team is abundant with stars. Markus Rehm, Johannes Floors and Leon Schaefer are just three of their standout names…we could list a lot of names, but the best way is by following the action as it happens!

Outside of Europe, there are top selections from the likes of Japan, Mexico, and Morocco too. Omara Durand will also be returning to the Grand Prix circuit in Europe off the back of her Xalapa success.

What happened last time?

The Xalapa Grand Prix only took place last month, but it threw us some moments that we’ll remember for a long time to come. Mexico served up a superb showing, claiming a wealth of medals across names new and old, including golds for Jose Rodolfo Chessani Garcia and Jorge Benjamin Gonzalez Sauceda.

Durand was at her very best too, as was the United States’ Jaleen Roberts. With a largely North and South American feel in the start lists, it was a very different line-up to what Jesolo offers.

How can I follow?

Every second of Jesolo will be available to view across both the World Para Athletics Facebook page and the Italian Paralympic Federation’s page! 

Keep an eye on our channels too for the very best moments appearing across your feeds.

What’s next?

It is to the familiar setting of Nottwil we go for our final Grand Prix! Taking place in late May, it will bring the curtain down on GP’s for the 2022/2023 season.

But don’t worry though, we still have something big to come this year: Paris 2023 Para Athletics World Championships.