Host success and record moments in Xalapa

The latest Grand Prix saw a strong central and south American contingent's contest with Tokyo 2020 champions including Cuba’s Sol Cervantes smashing the world record in T47 long jump while Rosolfo Chessani impresses at home 09 Apr 2024
A runner in action
Mexico's Jose Rosolfo Chessani put up a dominant performance at home for the T35-38 400m gold medal.
By Ryan Hills I For World Para Athletics

Another week, another end to a thrilling Grand Prix. And this time it was the turn of Mexican city Xalapa to welcome some of the most exciting talents in Para Athletics.

Home Glory the story

With 342 Mexican athletes within the overall field of 495 participants, it was always set to be a mammoth weekend for the hosts and that is exactly how it proved.

Across all three days, home players found themselves perfectly perched atop the podium, with some of the star names living up to the hype. With 298 medals collected (91 of which were gold) here are a couple of those highlights.

Home star Jose Rosolfo Chessani put on a performance that many expected him to in advance for a dominant T35-38 400m victory. The reigning Paralympic gold medallist in the T38 category crossed the line in an impressive 51.87, two and a half seconds quicker than the chasing pack in a statement-making showing. 

But there were shocks, not least in the women’s 1500m T11. The Tokyo 2020 gold medallist Monica Olivia Rodriguez Saavedra found herself pipped to victory by just over a second to Peruvian Neri Mamami Quispe in one of the results of the weekend.

There was more success too for the legendary Isabelle Foerder, who impressed with 100m and 200m victories in the T35 category.

Record smashed

Anyone for some history? Cuba’s Robiel Yankiel Sol Cervantes seems destined to make it whenever he competes internationally, and this was really no exception. 

Having added a World Championship title in Paris to his Paralympic title from Tokyo, Cervantes came to Xalapa as a standout name in a few months. And if he wanted to put out a message to all those looking to dethrone him, he did so in emphatic style.

The T47 long jump athlete smashed the world record by 10cm, launching himself 7.84m to solidify his position at the very top of our sport. And doing so this early in the season only bodes well for what we could see from the man in Kobe and Paris.

What will be next?

We have got just one more international meet until the Kobe 2024 World Para Athletics Championships, but there’s the always exciting Marrakech which is on the way! 

Taking place from 26-28 April, Marrakech will be the final stop en route to Kobe as a summer of scintillating sport begins across the world of Para sports. Because less than a month after the conclusion of Marrakech, Kobe will begin (17-25 May) before the Paralympic Games in August and September.