Doha 2015: Preview of Thursday’s action

The first day of competition at the 2015 IPC Athletics World Championships will see athletes compete in 24 medal events 22 Oct 2015
Graphic with two female athletes

Russia’s Paralympic champion Margarita Goncharova and Great Britain’s world champion Sophie Hahn will go head-to-head at the 2015 IPC Athletics World Championships.


Action at the biggest ever IPC Athletics World Championships in Doha, Qatar, gets underway on Thursday (22 October) morning with athletes competing in the first 24 medal events.

Over the next 10 days, around 1,300 athletes from nearly 100 countries will not just compete for 212 world titles but also for Rio 2016 Paralympic Games qualification.

The race of the day will arguably be the women’s 100m T38. Great Britain’s defending champion Sophie Hahn will go up against Russia’s European champion Margarita Goncharova in a race that could see Hahn’s three-month-old world record of 13.00 seconds smashed. Both athletes are in superb form this season but will be wary of Australia’s Ella Pardy, who is ranked third in the world this year with a best time of 13.16.

Hahn’s teammate Hannah Cockroft will also be confident that she can land her third successive 100m T34 world title. The 23-year-old two-time Paralympic champion appears unstoppable over the shorter sprint and her world record of 17.31 could be threatened.

Another event that could produce a world record is the women’s long jump T42 with Italy’s Martina Caironi and Germany’s Vanessa Low – the two athletes who currently share the record of 4.60m - both in action.

Caironi is the current Paralympic and world champion, but the 26-year-old had to settle for European silver behind her great rival Low last year in Swansea, Great Britain.

France, hosts of the last World Championships in Lyon in 2013, will be optimistic of landing at least two gold medals on Thursday through Marie-Amelie le Fur and Mandy Francois-Elie.

World record holder Le Fur will go for gold in the women’s long jump T44, but will face stiff competition from the Netherlands’ defending champion Iris Pruysen. Le Fur’s teammate Francois-Elie won 100m and 200m T37 gold in Lyon two years ago, and she will begin the defence of her two world titles in the shorter sprint. With conditions perfect for sprinters, the 26-year-old may also lower her world record of 13.68, but first she should be wary of the threat posed by Namibia’s Johanna Benson.

Canada’s Brent Lakatos won four world titles at Lyon 2013 and the popular 35-year-old will start his quest to win five Doha 2015 golds on Thursday when he lines-up in the men’s 100m T53. Lakatos is the world record holder in the event and will fancy his chances of lowering his best time of 14.17.

On a fast track, the men’s 200m T54 could also be an absolute thriller. The Netherlands’ Kenny van Weeghel, the world and European champion, will start as strong favourite but he will have to hold off his great rivals Marc Schuh of Germany and Mohammad Vahdani of the United Arab Emirates.

In addition to aiming to win two golds on the track, Great Britain will be hopeful of landing at least one world title in the field with both Aled Davies and Dan Greaves competing in their respective throwing events.

During the morning session, world record holder Davies will aim to retain his world title when he competes in the men’s shot put F42.

Teammate Greaves, a three-time world champion, will face possibly a sterner challenge as he lines up against the USA’s defending champion Jeremy Campbell and newcomer Akeem Stewart of Trinidad and Tobago in the men’s discus F44. After setting a new F43 world record at the Toronto 2015 Parapan American Games with a distance of 63.03m, Stewart will start as favourite for gold and to win his country’s first ever medal at a World Championships.