Dubai Grand Prix: What we learned01.03.2019
New and familiar faces made early statements ahead of the 2019 Worlds
With the Dubai Grand Prix - the first of the 2019 World Para Athletics year - done and dusted, let us look back at the highlights from the United Arab Emirates:
World records kick start 2019
Five new world records fell, with Tunisia’s top Para athletes Walid Ktila and Raoua Tlili claiming one apiece. Ktila clocked 14.62 seconds in the 100m T34 and Tlili threw 34.68m in the women’s discus F41.
Look who is back…
World champion Evan O’Hanlon had retired from the track after winning Commonwealth Games gold last year. But the Australian changed his mind and now wants to defend his 100m T38 world title in November.
Paralympic champions put injuries behind them
Australia’s Vanessa Low leapt over five metres – a new T61 world record - on her return to action after more than two years away from major competition recovering from a back injury. Great Britain’s Paul Blake also made a successful return to the track after missing the European Championships last year.
New faces on the up
Two years ago he won a silver medal at the World Junior Championships. Now 18-year-old Belarusian Ivan Lukashevich has stepped up to the senior ranks, and he has already claimed a major scalp, beating world and Paralympic champion Abdellatif Baka in the 1,500m T13.
World champions lay down early markers
With the 2019 World Championships back in the Emirati city in eight months’ time, the season-opening Grand Prix gave many global stars a chance to test out the facilities and the track. Kuwait’s Ahmed Almutairi, Briton Sophie Hahn, Swiss Marcel Hug, Algeria’s Lahouari Bahlaz and Australia’s Madison de Rozario were all in winning form.