The Berlin 2018 European Championships in August will include many dominant performances - but when it comes to the men’s T34 races it’s harder to predict the outcome.
At the last European Championships in 2016, Finland’s Henry Manni won three gold medals – one short of the quadruple gold he claimed two years previously in Swansea, Great Britain.
The 26-year-old missed out on a clean sweep of four in Grosseto after losing out to Great Britain’s Isaac Towers in the 800m T34.
Manni had lined up in Italy off the back of a rewarding World Championships in 2015 where he finished the top European in his class, clinching 400m T34 silver and 200m and 800m T34 bronze.
While Tunisia’s Walid Ktila dominated and UAE’s Mohamed Hammadi followed close behind, it was Manni who led the way ahead of fellow Europeans such as Ben Rowlings and Stefan Rusch.
Rowlings meanwhile is the fastest on paper over two laps, with a personal best of 1:39.12, set in Arbon, Switzerland last year.
Towers isn’t far behind either. His personal best is just 0.06 seconds slower than his British teammate; he’s a proven performer on the big stage, with five European medals to his name as well as a superb 800m T34 bronze at the London 2017 World Championships.
All that and he’s only 19 years old.
This season only 0.04 seconds separates Manni and Rowlings in the 800m; throw defending champion Towers in to the mix in Berlin and you are guaranteed another nail-biting race.
What is not certain is who will come out on top.
Did you know...
Henry Manni is a former Para canoe sprint world bronze medallist. He took up Para canoe aged 10 before switching to athletics after being inspired by countryman Leo-Pekka Tahti, who won 100m and 200m T54 gold at the Athens 2004 Paralympic Games.