Grand Prix series comes to an end with huge results in Paris

Top stars including Jong, Debrunner, Haddaoui and Bayekula impress with world records in the final meet before Paralympics 15 Jun 2024
Athletes compete in a sprint
Netherlands' Fleur Jong (second from right) emerged on top with a season best of 12.64 for the 100m T44/63/64 gold ahead of compatriot Kimberley Alkemade in Paris.
ⒸFlorent Pervill l Fédération Française Handisport
By Ryan Hills l For World Para Athletics

We promised you a major Grand Prix meet, and it didn’t let us down. With internationally acclaimed athletes across all disciplines and every event, it was always guaranteed to bring us a wealth of intriguing results and unmissable finals. Mission accomplished.

Fleur Jong came into Paris off the back of a successful double world title defence at last month’s Kobe 2024 World Para Athletics Championships. Somehow in Paris, she surpassed even her own huge expectations. Jong emerged on top in a nail-biting finale for the 100m T44/63/64, crossing in a best for the year of 12.64. And to add to that on the final day, Jong made it a double gold celebration in the T62 long jump with a distance of 6.09.

But that wasn’t all for the Netherlands athletes. Kimberley Alkemade has had a wonderful few weeks and added to her own incredible showing in Nottwil last week with a record-breaking time in the T44/63/64 200m. Alkemade – who had claimed a silver a day before in the 100m – finished this one in a remarkable 25.29 world record* time. 

There was plenty to celebrate too for the hosts. Dimitri Pavade lit up the stadium on Friday afternoon with a seasonal best of 7.02 in the T64 long jump final for victory, whilst Marie N’Goussou did the same for the win in the T46/47 200m.

Elsewhere, highlights included Thomas Young’s almighty battle with Dimitri Jozwicki in the T38 100m. Just 0.01 separated the two in what was ultimately a photo finish, with Young’s time of 10.98 squeezing him into the top spot. Tokyo 2020 silver medallist Martina Caironi made no mistake in the T61/63 long jump, reaching the top of the podium with a 5.08. 

Records falling

We mentioned Alkemade but there were plenty more this weekend. Leading with the iconic figure of Catherine Debrunner. She went into the T53 400m race with the record already by her name, but few saw the dominant performance that she brought to the French city. 49.85 has become 49.43 overnight!

Perhaps most notably for Morocco came a world record 400m from Aymane El Haddaoui. Competing in the T45/46/47 final, El Haddaoui left the tracks with a 46.67 to set his stall out in style for the coming weeks.

For Belgium, Lea Bayekula took one of the many records away from the legend that is Tatyana McFadden. In a huge performance, Bayekula of Belgium saw McFadden’s T54 400m record, frowned and made it into her own. Overcoming the previous record of 51.72, a barely believable finish of 50.91 had both athlete and coaches in disbelief.

And now for the main event…

Paris, you have prepared us perfectly. Because with the results, with the noise, with the attendances and with the performance, we know even more what is in store come August and September.

We don’t need to introduce what is coming your way, but we will. The Paris 2024 Paralympic Games will take place this summer from 28 August to 8 September. In what is sure to be one of the biggest and best we have ever seen, the finest on the planet will make Paris their home for more than two weeks in the search for the ultimate sporting prizes.

You will of course be able to follow every single moment as it happens (please see your listings for information on how to watch). And keep track on our World Para Athletics website and social media channels to be at the forefront of everything that takes place inside Stade de France.

Relive Paris

The action may be over, but you can relive all the afternoon sessions if you want to! Just head here and enjoy the biggest moments from Paris. We will see you there again very soon!