Athletics New Zealand has named a team of four young athletes to compete at this year’s inaugural World Para Athletics Junior Championships in Nottwil, Switzerland.
Sprinter Libby Leikis, who competes in the T37 class, and her teammate Anna Stevens, a T44 Para athlete, will line up in their first-ever World Championship event between 3 and 6 August.
Leikis, who comes from Wellington, will contest the 100m and 200m T35-38 while Auckland-based Stevens will race in the 100m and 200m T42-47.
Guy Harrison (T35) has been selected to race over 800m, subject to obtaining international classification prior to the Championships.
Jack Lewer will compete in the shot put F20 in Switzerland. The 18-year-old set multiple national records during the New Zealand domestic season and competed in both the Para shot put and the able-bodied events at the New Zealand Championships.
The Championships take place at Nottwil’s Sport Arena, a venue that already plays host to the World Para Athletics Grand Prix series.
Two age groups will compete – youth athletes aged between 14 and 17 years and junior athletes aged between 18 and 19 years. The event serves as a pathway for talented young athletes towards regional and World Championships, as well as the Paralympic Games.
Last year’s Paralympic Games in Rio, Brazil, saw New Zealand Para athletes excel, winning nine medals in total – including golds for Liam Malone in the men’s 200m and 400m T44 and Anna Grimaldi in the women’s long jump T47.
Further information about the event can be found at www.paralympic.org/nottwil-2017