The 2018 World Para Athletics Grands Prix series began last week in Dubai, United Arab Emirates with more than 400 Para athletes - many competing for the first time this season - lining up at the Dubai Club for the Disabled track.
The four-day event was the first of nine Grand Prix set to take place around the world this year. Here are five talking points following all the action.
• Five world records were broken* – Saudi Arabia’s Nour Alsana (800m T44), Kazakhstan’s Irina Tychshenko (discus and javelin F45), Algeria’s Nadia Medjmedj (discus F56) and Mexico’s Angeles Ortiz Hernandez (shot put F57) all made their mark in the Middle East.
• 22 regional records also fell – including five African, one American, 13 Asian and three European records.
• Tunisia’s star Para athletes were in superb form both on the track and out in the field – reigning world champions Walid Ktila (T34), Yassine Gharbi (T54) and Raoua Tlili (F41) and Rio 2016 gold medallist Abbes Saidi (T38) all secured multiple wins.
• In the field events, numerous Indian Para athletes shone – world champion Sundar Gurjar (javelin/discus F46), Paralympic silver medallist Deepa Malik (javelin F53), Neeraj Yadav (shot put/discus F55) and Monu Ghangas (javelin F11) all excelled.
• Watch out for the host nation come the Berlin 2018 European Championships in August – Germany’s Paralympic gold medallists Daniel Scheil (shot put/ javelin F33) and Sebastian Dietz (shot put/discus F36) as well as 19-year-old world medallist Lindy Ave (100m/long jump T38) and IWAS Under 23 champion Hanna Wichmann (discus/club throw F32) all impressed in Dubai.
*subject to ratification by the IPC