The ninth and final Grand Prix of the 2018 World Para Athletics season takes place in Berlin, Germany from 30 June – 1 July at the same venue – the Friedrich Ludwig Jahn Sportpark– that will host the European Championships in just two months’ time.
Here are some of the key contenders:
Great Britain’s Maria Lyle (T35) won a hat-trick of gold medals at the 2016 European Championships and the 18-year-old Scot will be out to make her mark in Berlin ahead of the defence of her titles in August. She lines up against Czechs Lenka Kadetova and Anna Luxova.
Home hopes will rest with Germany’s world bronze medallist Lindy Ave in the T38 class.
The pressure is on for Dutch double-leg amputee Fleur Jong (T62), who races over 100m in a last-chance effort to secure qualification for the European Championships.
Brazil’s top sprinters competed at the Paris Grand Prix two weeks ago, with track stars such as Petrucio Ferreira (T47), Felipe Gomes (T11), Daniel Martins (T20) and Vinicius Goncalves Rodrigues (T63) all making a big impression – expect some top performances once again.
Paralympic and world champion Ferreira smashed his own 100m T47 world record in Paris, clocking 10.50, and the in-form 21-year-old has already stated his desire to become the fastest Paralympian of all time – a position currently held by vision impaired sprinter Jason Smyth, who clocked 10.46 at London 2012.
USA’s world champion David Brown and Namibia’s world silver medallist Ananias Shikongo will provide stiff competition for Gomes and teammate Lucas Prado in both the 100m and 200m T11.
Morocco’s Mahdi Afri, Portugal’s Luis Goncalves and Turkey’s Oguz Akbulut won 400m T12 gold, silver and bronze respectively at London 2017 and all three line up in Berlin; Goncalves currently sits second in the world rankings with Akbulut in fourth.
Finland’s Henry Manni continues his preparations for Berlin 2018 as he takes on a number of distances, including the 800m where he faces fellow T34 racer Isaac Towers.
Briton Towers thwarted Manni’s chances of a clean sweep of four golds at the Grosseto 2016 European Championships when he won the 800m T34; this weekend’s race will provide a thrilling indication of what to expect back in Berlin in two months’ time.
Vision impaired distance runner Hasan Kacar is one of a number of top Turkish Para athletes racing in the German capital. The 29-year-old won 5,000m T11 gold and 1,500m T11 silver at Grosseto 2016 – he races in the 800m and 1,500m in Berlin.
The women’s 1,500m T11 features Poland’s world champion Joanna Mazur, the current world number one in her class over 800m.
Mazur is not the only formidable Polish Para athlete competing in Berlin this weekend.
Twelve months ago, Paralympic, world and European high jump T44 champion Maciej Lepiato attempted to break his own world record (2.19m) at the Berlin Grand Prix, with the bar set at 2.20m. He failed on that occasion but don’t rule out the 29-year-old going for it once again.
Paralympic champion Maciej Sochal competes in the shot put and club throw F32 while his teammates Tomasz Paulinski, Pawel Piotrowski and Janusz Rokicki line up in the shot put F35, F36 and F37 respectively.
European bronze medallist Piotrowski faces home favourite and Paralympic champion Sebastian Dietz – who finished one place above him on the Grosseto 2016 podium.
The United States is well represented in Berlin, with reigning world champions Sam Grewe (high jump T63), Lex Gillette (long jump T11) and Jeremy Campbell (discus F64) all starting.
Sweden’s two-time European long jump T11 champion Viktoria Karlsson faces a tough test against Rio 2016 gold medallist Silvania Costa de Oliveira – but a strong performance this weekend will give Karlsson plenty of confidence ahead of the European Championships.
Tunisians Rima Abdelli (shot put F40), Hania Aidi (shot put and javelin F54) and Maroua Ibrahmi (shot put and club throw F32) are back in action after topping the podium one week ago (22-24 June) at the Tunis Grand Prix.
The competition will be live streamed on the World Para Athletics website and results will be available here.