Paralympic Games
24 August - 5 September 2021

Day 5: Paralympic Games preview

Super Sunday has 63 finals on the schedule with the focus on athletics and swimming 29 Aug 2021
Jessica Stretton wearing glasses and a cap while competing
Watch out for Jessica Stretton
ⒸGetty Images

It will be another action-packed day at Tokyo Paralympic Games with 63 finals on the schedule on the first Super Sunday.

Competition will start in Football 5-a-side with preliminary round matches while group stage matches will continue in boccia and sitting volleyball. Second-round action will continue in wheelchair tennis.

But the focus will remain on major sports like athletics and swimming, both of which will have big days on Sunday.


Timing: 9:00 - 19:56 JST

Archery competitions  include elimination rounds in the Women’s Individual Compound Open section and from the pre-quarterfinals to the final in Mixed Team Compound Open section.

China, the Russian Paralympic Committee (RPC), Turkey, and Iran are among the top contenders going by their performance in the ranking round. In the 16 arrow competition, Italy hold the world record of 158 while China set the Paralympic Games Record of 155 at Rio.

In the Women’s Individual Compound Open, keep an eye on Great Britain’s Jessica Stretton, the world record holder with 148 points. In 2016 she  stunned everyone by winning gold in Women’s Individual Compound W1 at the age of 16. Now 21, the British archer with cerebral palsy topped the ranking round with a score of 694.


Timing: 9:30 - 13:02 JST and 19:02 - 22:02 JST

Sunday will be the busiest day at the Olympic stadium with 20 finals scheduled besides heats for some events. Six finals are on the roster in the morning session with the women’s long jump T12 opening the programme. 

Ukraine’s Oksana Zubkovska will be aiming for her fourth consecutive Paralympic title. The vision-impaired jumper has already bagged the European Championships title this season in Bydgoszcz, Poland.

Algeria’s Lynda Hamri has been on the podium in all major Para-athletics events since the London 2012 Paralympics while Spain’s Sara Martinez is another podium contender. 

The first field event of the day will be the men’s shot put F53 with Greece’s Che Jon Fernandes, the defending Paralympic champion, as the top contender. He is likely to face a tough challenge from American Scot Severn, who is eyeing his first gold in a major event after finishing second in all World Championships and Games since Lyon 2013. 

Czech Republic’s Ales Kisy is the current world champion from Dubai 2019 although he could only manage a bronze at this year’s European Championships (Azerbaijan’s Elvin Astanov took the title). Iran’s Alireza Hemami is the London 2017 world champion and Dubai 2019 bronze medallist.

 The women’s discus throw F64 is likely to be a close contest between China’s Juan Yao (Rio 2016 Paralympic champion and Dubai 2019 world champion) and Poland’s world record holder Faustyna Kotlowska, who took European gold at home in Bydgoszcz in June.

 In the women’s 200m T36, the first track event of the day, China’s Shi Yiting is the dominant figure as the world record holder, defending Paralympic champion, and two-time World Championships gold medallist (London 2017 and Dubai 2019). 

Shi Yiting is the clear favourite in the women's 200m T36

New Zealand’s Danielle Aitchison will be making her Games debut but has already impressed with a silver in her first major international event in Dubai 2019.

 Speaking of dominance, Great Britain’s Hannah Cockroft will be looking at another gold medal in the women’s 100m T34. She is five-time world champion, two-time Paralympic champion, and world record holder in that event.

Kare Adenegan is a silver medallist from Rio 2016, London 2017, and Dubai 2019 while Fabienne Andre will make her Paralympic debut as the current European champion in the race. 

 In the men’s shot put F40, the last event of the morning session, Portugal’s Miguel Monteiro is in top form as the world record holder and European champion. RPC’s Denis Gnezdilov and Croatia’s Matija Sloup are likely to be his main rivals. 

The afternoon session is quite packed with 14 medal events. It will start with another shot put competition, this time in the women’s F20 class. 

Great Britain’s Sabrina Fortune is the Dubai 2019 world champion who denied Ukraine’s Anastasiia Mysnyk her first major championships gold in UAE. Mysnyk also took silver at the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. 

The first on the track will be the women’s 800m T53 finalists. China’s Hongzhuan Zhou has been the face of the race in the Paralympic Games since her home gold in Beijing in 2008. She followed it up with more victories at London 2012 and Rio 2016. But then lost her first World Championships gold medal in eight years at Dubai 2019 finishing third behind Australia’s Madison de Rozario and Switzerland’s Catherine Debrunner. 

De Rozario is also the world record holder while Debrunner took European gold in June. 

Another women’s event right at the beginning of the session will be the long jump T37. Eight competitors will be trying to beat China’s world record holder Xiaoyan Wen, who is defending her Rio 2016 title with a CV that also includes double-World Championships gold (London 2017 and Dubai 2019).

The women’s 800m T54 will be up next with USA’s Tatyana McFadden targeting another gold medal. She is the defending champion from London 2012 and Rio 2016. McFadden did not compete at the Dubai 2019 Worlds and saw China’s Lihong Zou take her title. Amanda McGrory finished second in Dubai and can give the USA another medal in the race. 

The men’s discus throw F52 has been dominated by Latvia’s Aigars Apinis, who has three Paralympic medals to his name (gold at Athens 2004, Beijing 2008, and Rio 2016, silver at London 2012).

Poland’s Piotr Kosewicz and Robert Jachimowicz shared the podium with Apinis at the Dubai 2019 Worlds finishing behind the Latvian with silver and bronze, respectively. They are likely to do the same in Tokyo 2020 unless Apinis falters.

 In the men’s high jump T47, USA’s Roderick Townsend-Roberts is the world record holder who has won all major titles since the Doha 2015 Worlds. He will be defending his Rio 2016 Paralympic gold against China’s Hongjie Chen who took silver at Rio 2016 and the Dubai 2019 World Championships.

American Roderick Townsend-Roberts is the current Paralympic champion and world record holder 

The men’s 400m T11 has four athletes as favourites to make it to the finals but the race is likely to be a very close call. Brazil’s Daniel Mendes is the world record holder and Dubai 2019 silver medallist, while his compatriot Felipe Gomes finished second at Rio 2016 and third in Dubai. Spain’s Gerard Descarrega is the defending Paralympic champion but finished second at this year’s European Championships losing the title to France’s Timothee Adolphe – also the Dubai 2019 world champion.

 Another race set to be a very close contest is the women’s 200m T35. China’s Xia Zhou is the reigning Paralympic champion but Rio 2016 silver medallist Isis Holt of Australia has two World Championships gold in her collection (Doha 2015 and London 2017). Another gold medal candidate is Great Britain’s Maria Lyle, Dubai 2019 world champion, and Rio 2016 bronze medallist.

 In the women’s javelin F34 China’s Zou Lijuan has not seen any rivals in recent years. The world record holder took gold at the last Paralympics in Rio and also topped the podium at the Worlds in London and Dubai since then. Finland’s Marjaana Heikkinen finished second to Lijuan in all three events. 

 The highlight of the day’s schedule is the 100m T13 in which Ireland’s Jason Smyth, a three-time Paralympic and five-time world champion and who has not been beaten in more than a decade, will be defending his stature as the fastest man ever in the Paralympic Games with his 10.46 from London 2012. 

 Namibia’s Johannes Nambala and Australia’s Chad Perris finished second and third behind Smyth at Rio 2016.

The men’s 400m T53 will see world record holder Brent Lakatos of Canada going head-to-head with defending champion Pongsakorn Paeyo from Thailand. Lakatos beat Paeyo for gold at the London 2017 Worlds but the Thai wheelchair racer came back at Dubai 2019 finishing first with the Canadian in second. 

Another world record holder looking for his first 400m gold medal is Tunisia’s Yassine Gharbi in the T54 class. He won gold in the last two World Championships but finished with the bronze at Rio 2016. 

Defending champion Kenny van Weeghel from the Netherlands will be aiming for his third Paralympic gold. China’s Liu Yang finished between the two in the final in Rio five years ago.

Hosts Japan will have high expectations from the penultimate race of the day with Tomoki Sato among the favorites in the men’s 1500m T52. He is the double-world champion from London 2017 and Dubai 2019 but lost Paralympic gold in Rio to the USA’s Raymond Martin. Hirokazu Ueyonabaru took silver at Dubai 2019 and is another Japanese medal hope.

The final race of Super Sunday will mark the Paralympic debut of another candidate to the throne of the world’s fastest Paralympian. Norway’s Salum Kashafali is unbeaten in major events in the men’s 100m T12 taking gold at the Dubai 2019 Worlds and Bydgoszcz 2021 Euros. His world record is 10.45 from a national event in Oslo in 2019. 

Brazil’s Fabricio Junior took silver at Dubai 2019 and beat Rio 2016 Paralympic champion Leinier Savon Pineda of Cuba to take gold at the Lima 2019 Parapan American Games in Peru.


Timing: 18:00 - 19:32 JST

Two events -- the Dressage Team Test in Music - Grade V and Dressage Team Test to Music -- Grade 1V, will be held on Sunday. 

The Dressage Team Test to Music - Grade IV will have Sanne Voets of the Netherlands continuing her quest for triple-triple having won the World and European team, individual and freestyle events. She has already won the dressage individual gold in Tokyo.

Sanne Voets aims for her second gold in Tokyo

Also, watch out for World No 1 Roxanne Trunnell in the American team as she leads their challenge. 


Timing: 10:30 - 14:00 JST and 16:30 - 19:50 JST

Gold medals will be decided in five weight categories -- Men’s 90kg, Women’s 70kg, Men's 100kg, Women's +70kg, and Men’s +100kg.

Watch out for Kazusa Ogawa of Japan who will be going for a title in home condition. Lenia Fabiola Ruvalcaba Alvarez will be defending the gold she won in Rio 2016 with Alana Maldonado, the Rio silver medallist, also in the fray.

Italy’s Carolina Costa starts as favourite in the women’s +70 -- having bagged a silver in 2018 Worlds and has since gone on to claim European gold.

The big guy to watch out for in the Men’s +100kg will be Brazil’s Wilians Araujo, who won silver at home in Rio and will be hoping to make amends this time. Local star Kento Masaki, bronze at Rio 2016, will be hoping to elevate his medal to gold at home.

Brazil's Willians Araujo (+100kg)


Timing: 11:00 - 13:00 JST and 15:30 - 18:30 JST

It will be another day of power-packed performances at the Tokyo International Forum as finals in four weight categories will be held.

The men’s up to 88kg final will be opening day four action, the penultimate day of the Para powerlifting competition programme at the Tokyo Paralympics.

Jordan’s Abdelkareem Mohammed Khattab, the current world record holder, will be the man to beat in the category. Khattab, who is also a Nur-Sultan 2019 bronze medallist, has been in terrific form recently having broken the world record at the Dubai 2021 World Para Powerlifting World Cup in June.  

He should be challenged by China’s reigning world champion Jixiong Ye and United Arab Emirates’ Rio Paralympic gold medallist Mohammed Khamis Khalaf, the 52-year-old who would be hoping to end his glittering career on a high.

The women’s up to 73kg finals should produce a thrilling contest with France’s Souhad Ghazouani, Egyptian Amal Mahmoud, and China’s Xu Lili among the top names in contention.

Ghazouani, the London 2012 gold medallist and Mexico City 2017 world champion, would be eager to turn her Rio 2016 silver to gold, while Mahmoud would be ready to stop her and make Tokyo 2020 her most successful Paralympics after her two bronze medals in the past editions.  

Others to watch out for in the event would be Egyptian Gehan Hassan, who is a Dubai 2014 Worlds silver medallist and Mexico City 2017 Worlds bronze medallist; and Russia’s Vera Muratova, who could put up a surprise show after her world record-breaking performance at the Dubai 2021 World Cup.The evening session starts with the women's up to 79kg event, with Nigeria’s Rio 2016 gold medallist Bose Omolayo starting favourite for the title. She is also a silver medallist from the Mexico City 2017 World Championships.

Muratova was also the winner of the first season of the Online World Cup in 2020. The competition was created by World Para Powerlifting during the COVID-19 pandemic giving athletes the chance to compete from their home towns. 

In the last event of the day, the men’s up to 97kg final, Iran’s reigning world champion Solhipouravanji Seyedhamed will be aiming for a repeat of his Nu-Sultan 2019 performance and bring home the Paralympic gold. 

However, Seyedhamed’s road to glory will not be an easy one with China’s Yan Panpan and Colombia Fabio Torres, both World Championships medallists, in the fray for top honors.

Besides, Egyptian Moahmed Ahmed, who is competing in a lower category than his Rio 2016 silver medal-winning effort in men’s up to 107kg, will be keen to put up a powerful show in Tokyo.


Timing: 9:30 - 11:50 JST

The day will see four finals being conducted -- the PR1 Women’s Single Scull PR1W1x Final A, the men’s Single Scull PR1M1x, PR2 Mixed Double Scull PR2Mix2x, and PR3 Mixed Coxed Four PR3Mix4+ at the Sea Forest Waterway.

Watch out for Birgit Skarstein of Norway, the dual Paralympian, who is the current world champion in the women’s single sculls (PR1W1x) and continues to hold the World Best Times with a blistering 10:13.63, which she set at the 2018 World Championships. She has not lost a regatta since finishing fourth at the 2016 Paralympic Games.

Skarstein is also a world-class cross-country skier, serving as Norway’s flagbearer at the 2018 Paralympic Games. A vocal advocate on disability rights, Skarstein showed she is a triple threat by wowing audiences during her turn on Norway’s version of ‘Dancing With the Stars’ (Skal Vi Danse).

Birgit Skarstein of Norway is the current world champion in the women's single sculls (PR1W1x)

The one to beat in Men’s Single Scull will be Australia’s Erik Horrie, the five-time world champion. After finishing second at both the 2012 and 2016 Paralympic Games, Horrie sure is racing with a chip on his shoulder. He will have to get by nemesis Roman Polianskyi, who upset him in Rio. But he beat the Paralympic champion at the 2017 and 2018 Worlds and hopes to repeat that on the Paralympic stage in the men’s single sculls (PR1M1x). 


Timing: 9:00 - 10:44 JST and 17:00 - 19:32 JST

It will be another busy day with heats and 13 finals scheduled on Sunday.

The first set of medallists on Sunday will be decided in the men’s 400m freestyle S7. Israel’s Mark Malyar is the world record holder and the reigning world champion in the event. He is the fastest man in 2021, but only managed to win a bronze medal at the Madeira 2020 European Championships in May.

Andrii Trusov from Ukraine snatched the gold medal in Madeira but fell short at the London 2019 World Championships where he had to settle for a silver medal behind Malyar. The 21-year-old is the fourth-fastest this year in the event.

McKenzie Coan from the USA is the favourite to win a gold medal in the women’s 400m freestyle S7. She is the reigning Paralympic champion from Rio 2016 and back-to-back world champion from Mexico City 2017 and London 2019. The 25-year-old from Clarkesville set the fastest time of the year at the US National Trials in Minneapolis. Italy’s Giulia Terzi is the second-fastest woman in the event with a time set in Naples in July.

Germany’s Denise Grahl is also coming to Tokyo in fine form in recent years. She enjoyed success in May becoming the European champion in Madeira.

Japan will be hoping for a gold medal in the men’s 100m breaststroke SB14. Naohide Yamaguchi is the world record holder, the fastest man in 2021, and the world champion from London two years ago. His closest rival in Tokyo will be Australia’s Jake Michel, the second-fastest Para swimmer in 2021 setting his season-best in Adelaide in June.

Great Britain’s Scott Quin is the third fastest this year and certainly the one with the most international success to his name. Quin is the silver medallist from Rio 2016 Paralympics, two-time silver medallist at the World Championships, and two-time European champion.

The 30-year-old Dutch Para swimmer Marc Evers won two bronze medals at the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Games. He has two world and two European titles to his collection. Although he is the seventh-fastest man in 2021, Evers’ experience can make a difference at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre.

Brazil’s Gabriel Bandeira is the last, but not the least Para swimmer to be highlighted in the men’s 100m breaststroke SB14. He is the Americas record holder, fourth-fastest man this year, and gold medallist from the European Open Championships in Madeira.

Spain’s Michelle Alonso Morales is undoubtedly the favourite for gold in the women’s 100m breaststroke SB14. The 27-year-old born in Tenerife is the world record holder and the fastest woman in the event in 2021. She won two Paralympic gold, four World Championships medals (including two golds), as well as four European Championships medals.

Spain's Michelle Alonso Morales

Great Britain’s Louise Fiddes will be Alonso’s main rival in Tokyo. She is the reigning world champion and Dublin 2018 European champion. The 21-year-old Australian Paige Leonhardt is the second-fastest Para swimmer in the event this year. She set her best time on Gold Coast in April.

In Men’s 100m breaststroke SB4, Colombia’s Moises Fuentes is the fastest man in 2021 setting his best time at the Lignano Sabbiadoro World Series in April.

The 47-year-old veteran enjoyed lots of international success in recent years. He won one silver and two bronze Paralympic medals in the event, became world champion in Montreal 2013, and added three more Worlds medals along the way.

Antonios Tsapatakis from Greece follows Fuentes in the rankings as the second-fastest Para swimmer this year. He set his time at the Berlin World Series in June.

London 2019 world champion Dmitrii Cherniaev of RPC has had a successful 2021 in the men’s 100m breaststroke SB4 following his gold at the Europeans in Madeira in May.

Hungary’s Fanni Illes is the main favourite for gold in the women’s 100m breaststroke SB4. She finished first in the race at the London 2019 Worlds, Dublin 2018, and Madeira 2020 Euros. She also set the fastest time in 2021.

Illes is followed by Italy’s Giulia Ghiretti in the rankings. She is the Paralympic silver medallist from Rio 2016 and Mexico City 2017 world champion. Her compatriot Monica Boggioni is another candidate to win a medal in Tokyo. The 23-year-old from Pavia won a bronze at the Dublin 2018 and Madeira 2020 Euros. She set the fourth-fastest time in the world this year at the Euros in May.

The last individual event of the day will be the men’s 200m freestyle S2. Chile’s Alberto Abarza leads the way as the reigning Parapan American Games champion and the silver medallist from the London 2019 Worlds. He won bronze at the Mexico City 2017 World Championships and enjoyed recent success at the European Open Championships in Madeira winning a gold medal.

His main threats on the way to a first Paralympics gold will be two Brazilian swimmers, Gabriel dos Santos Araujo, and Bruno Becker da Silva. They have both set great times at the National Trials in Sao Paulo in June. Araujo is the fastest Para swimmer this year, while Becker holds third place behind Abarza.


Timing: 9:00am - 14:00 JST

Asian and world table-tennis powerhouse China features in six of the eight finals scheduled on Sunday. The women’s singles Class 8 final is an all-Chinese affair while in Men’s Singles Class 5, China’s Chao Ningning starts the favourite. Great Britain’s William Bayley, the Rio 2016 gold medallist, will be hoping to defend his title in Men’s Singles Class 7 and stopping Chinese Yan Shuo, who took bronze in Rio.

Watch out for India’s Bhavinaben Patel in Women’s Class 4 as she takes on China’s World No. 1 Zhou Ying. Patel has beaten the Rio 2016 gold and silver medallist on her way to the final.

In Men’s Class 11, Hungary’s Peter Palos will be grading his Rio 2016 bronze at Tokyo -- he will be hoping that the upgrade is to gold by beating Samuel Philip von Einem of Australia in one of the few finals that do not involve a single Chinese.

The Men's Class 10 and Class 11 are the only finals without any Chinese presence. In Men's Class 11, Hungary's Peter Palos will take on Australia's Samuel Philip von Einem while the Class 10 final will be contested between Poland's Patryk Chojnowski and France's Mateo Boheas.


Timing: Races start at 6:30, 6:31, 8:30, 8:31

Four finals -- Men’s and Women’s PTWC and Men’s and Women’s PTS5 -- are on the schedule on Sunday.


Lauren Parker (AUS): Former Ironman competitor Parker will make her Paralympic debut in Tokyo. She was involved in a serious cycle accident in 2017, but that did not stop her from returning to sport as she discovered Para triathlon. Just months later, she won a bronze medal at the 2018 Commonwealth Games. She has since gone on to become the world No. 1 in the PTWC, and is the current world champion. The Maori phrase of indigenous Polynesian people 'Kia Kaha' is tattooed on her forearm, meaning 'Forever Strong.’

Australian Lauren Parker is making her Paralympic Games debut in Tokyo

Stefan Daniel of Canada will be a top contender in the PTS5 class. Daniel won his first World Championships medal in 2013 at 16 years old and has only gotten stronger. In 2014, he took silver and then won his first World title in 2015 over German rival Martin Schulz to set up a thrilling showdown at the sport’s Paralympic debut the following year.

But it was not meant to be, as Schultz took the tape and gold medal. However, the Canadian went on to win the next three World Championships titles to put him in a strong position for redemption in the PTS5 class at Tokyo 2020. Daniel comes from a family of athletes. His father competed in Ironman competitions, his mother ran marathons, and his brother Christian swam for the Canadian Paralympic team.


Timing: 8:30 - 19:30 JST

Competitions will be held in two categories, the men’s and women’s foil team -- starting with the preliminary rounds in the morning to bronze medal matches and finals in the evening. 

China, France, Italy will be among the top contenders in both sections. China is the defending champion in both sections.


Australia, the USA, Japan, and Great Britain are the top four countries in the International Wheelchair Rugby rankings.

They will contest the medals in the Paralympics here on Sunday but the order has been reversed with No 2 seeds USA locking horns with Great Britain in the final while World No 1 Australia play Japan for bronze.

Britain caused a big upset by beating Japan, the 2018 World Champions, 55-49 in the semifinal. Australia, the 2016 Rio gold medallist went down to USA 49-42.