All-star American line-up in ArizonaSeventh Grand Prix of season doubles as US Nationals 15 Jun 2018
Arizona in the USA is the setting for the seventh World Para Athletics Grand Prix of the 2018 season.
This year the event, which takes place on the 15-16 June at the Arizona State University Joe Selleh Track, doubles as the US track and field Nationals.
Here are some of the key names to look out for:
Many of USA’s top sprinters will be in action – including world and Paralympic champion David Brown (T11), currently ranked third in the world; Jarryd Wallace (T64), who clocked 10.99 in Japan in May; double London 2017 bronze medallist Kym Crosby (T13) and double world and Paralympic champion Deja Young (T46).
World champion Ray Martin and Paralympic gold medallist Gianfranco Iannotta rekindle their rivalry in the men’s T52 class; Paralympic and world champion Breanna Clark lines up in the women’s 400m T20 and experienced world medallists Shirley Reilly and Chelsea McClammer are among those in action in the 400m T53.
USA’s Daniel Romanchuk has been making a name for himself around the world this year – he set two American records at the Summer Down Under Series in Canberra, Australia in January; finished third at the Boston marathon in April and third again in London (Great Britain) one week later; then broke the 5,000m T54 world record in Switzerland earlier this month. The 19-year-old will be the man to beat in the 400m, 800m, 1,500m and 5,000m T54.
Another hot favourite for gold is world and Paralympic champion Mikey Brannigan, who takes on the 1,500m T20. The 21-year-old is going for his fourth national title.
Teenage wheelchair racer Alexa Halko broke the 800m T34 world record at the US Trials two years ago and goes over two laps once again.
The women’s 800m T54 features USA’s in-form wheelchair racer Susannah Scaroni, a winner at last month’s Nottwil Grand Prix in Switzerland as well as over 10km in New York last weekend (9 June). In the 1,500m T54, Scaroni is joined by the likes of Amanda McGrory and McClammer.
Two of USA’s world champion high jumpers are in action - Roderick Townsend-Roberts in the T46 class and Sam Grewe in the T63 class. Multi-eventer Townsend-Roberts also competes in the long jump, having leapt a best of 7.15m so far this year to sit second in the world rankings.
USA’s Isaac Jean-Paul meanwhile sits top of the world rankings in the long jump T13, having leapt 7.17m this year. With a personal best of 7.62m, he will be no doubt be hoping for a big jump this week.
Lex Gillette has won the men’s long jump T11 since the Grand Prix series began in 2013 and will be hoping to top the podium yet again.
Watch out too for world champion Jeremy Campbell, who threw the discus a massive 65.47m at the Pomona-Pitzer Invitational in April. The result is a new world lead as world records in the new F64 class cannot be made official until 2019.
Shot putter Scot Severn (F53) was a major inspiration to Rachel Morrison when she began throwing four years ago. Paralympic and world silver medallist Severn saw Morrison in action at her first ever event and recommended her to coach Erica Wheeler. The pair are both in Arizona, with 31-year-old Morrison competing in the club throw F51.