Grosseto 2016 - Day 2 preview

World and Paralympic champions will be in action on day 2 of the 2016 IPC Athletics European Championships. 12 Jun 2016
David Weir of Great Britain

David Weir of Great Britain competes in the 800m race at the ParAthletics Grand Prix in Nottwil, Switzerland.

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Thirty four medals will be decided on the second day of competition (Sunday 12 June) at the IPC Athletics European Championships in Grosseto, Italy, and one clear favourite for gold today is Germany’s Markus Rehm.

The 27-year-old is out to defend his European long jump T44 title to add to the Paralympic and world golds already in his trophy cabinet, and having leapt a world record mark of 8.40m at Doha 2015 last year it would be hard to be against him succeeding once again.

Great Britain’s F42 shot putter Aled Davies will also hope to retain the European title he won two years ago.

The Welshman kicked off his season in fine style with a 16.13m world record throw at the US Grand Prix in May; Germany’s Frank Tinnemeier and Croatia’s Mladen Tomic joined Davies on the podium in 2014 and throw again today.

All three discus F44 medallists from Swansea 2014 also line up in Grosseto for the men’s discus F43-46.

Great Britain’s Dan Greaves, Slovakia’s Adrian Matusik and Croatia’s Ivan Katanusic won gold, silver and bronze respectively and will battle it out once again. Matusik also takes on the shot put F44 later in the day – he won the world title in that event last year.

Ireland picked up their first medal of the Championships on Saturday thanks to shot putter Deirdre Mongan, and today their hopes rest with world silver medallist Noelle Lenihan in the discus F38, while the women’s long jump T37 features all three world medallists from Doha 2015 – Russia’s Zhanna Fekolina, Germany’s Franziska Liebhardt and Russian Anna Sapozhnikova.

Out on the track, 21 finals will take place.

Finland’s Henry Manni opens up his Grosseto 2016 campaign with the men’s 400m T34 – the first of four titles he will contest this week. Russia’s Veronika Doronina goes in the women’s event after winning the 100m T34 on Saturday.

Following Saturday’s heats, Russia’s world bronze medallist Aleksei Kotlov heads the field in the men’s 400m T47; Great Britain’s Richard Chiassaro, Finland’s Leo Pekka Tahti and Russia’s Aleksei Bychenok take on the men’s 200m T54 final.

The final of the men’s 100m T42 includes experienced Briton Richard Whitehead, who set a new Championship record in the semi-finals on Saturday.

Great Britain’s Sophie Hahn was the fastest qualifier in the women’s 200m T36/38 semi-final – she will have to get the better of reigning world champion Margarita Goncharova again today.

Italian hopes will rest with Paralympic silver medallist Oxana Corso in the women’s 100m T35 – the 20-year-old will have to get past Great Britain’s defending champion, 16-year-old Maria Lyle.

The men’s 100m T51 features the world’s top two racers - Belgium’s world champion Peter Genyn and Finland’s Paralympic champion Toni Piispanen, as well as Italy’s most successful Para athlete, Alvise de Vidi.

German sprinters David Behre and Johannes Floors won 400m T44 gold and bronze respectively at Doha 2015 and the pair can be expected to put on a formidable performance again today over one lap.

Russia have a number of strong contenders competing on Sunday - expect a head-to-head in the men’s 200m T37/38 as Andrei Vdovin and Chermen Kobesov go under starters orders, although Vdovin will undoubtedly start as favourite having won a hat trick of gold medals at Doha 2015 – setting a 200m world record in the process.

Egor Sharov is the top ranked European over 800m (T13) this year and will no doubt be tough competition for his fellow competitors, including compatriot Aleksandr Kostin, when he races over two laps.

Sharov, 27, won European 400m T13 gold two years ago before adding 800m world gold and 400m silver in Doha, Qatar, last year.

Watch out for Frenchman Louis Radius in the men’s 1,500m T38 - he won world silver with a new European record at Doha 2015 – while Turkey’s world bronze medallist Hasan Kacar takes on the men’s 1,500m T11 alongside the likes of teammate Semih Deniz and Portugal’s Nuno Alves.

Great Britain’s multiple Paralympic champion David Weir missed out on Swansea 2014 due to injury – the 37-year-old takes on four events in Grosseto, starting with the men’s 5,000m T54 today.

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