Leverkusen puts world’s best to test ahead of Tokyo 2020 Paralympics

German city hosts traditional competition with local stars as Markus Rehm and Irmgard Bensusan, and Bydgoszcz 2021 gold medallists like Fleur Jong 24 Jun 2021
A female athlete celebrating after finishing a race ahead of two other women with prosthetic legs
Dubai 2019 world champion Irmgard Bensusan is one of the local athletes from Bayer Leverkusen competing in the traditional German meeting
ⒸLuc Percival for World Para Athletics
By World Para Athletics

Leverkusen, Germany will again see many of the Para athletics stars likely to shine at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games at the 11th edition of the International Para Athletics Meeting on Friday (25 June) in the Fritz-Jacobi Athletics Park. 

Nineteen track and throw multi-class events will be in dispute with athletes from six countries making their final preparations for the Games in Japan. 

One of the most traditional competitions in the circuit, the one-day event was also one of the first meetings to return during the COVID-19 pandemic in August last year.

Famous for the football club, Bayer Leverkusen is also one of the strongest Para athletics teams in the world with Paralympic and world champions such as Markus Rehm, Irmgard Bensusan and Johannes Floors in their ranks.

The trio will be in action in their home track in their last international competition before the Paralympics in August. 

Rehm has shown his top form this season after breaking the men’s long jump T64 world record at the Bydgoszcz 2021 European Championships 24 days ago with a 8.62m-mark.

The long jump events will be among the highlights in the German city as some of the best blade jumpers on the planet will put themselves to test. Another Bayer Leverkusen athlete, Germany’s Leon Schaefer broke the men’s T63 world record (7.24m) in last year’s meeting. 

Among the international guests, Fleur Jong of the Netherlands will be back to action following her gold medal performances at Bydgoszcz 2021 in the women’s 100m and long jump T64 – breaking the world records in both.

She will be accompanied by the other Dutch European champions in Bydgoszcz (Cheyenne Bouthoorn, Levi Vloet, Marlene van Gansewinkel, Noelle Rorda and Oliver Hendriks).

Denmark, Greece, Luxembourg and Switzerland are the other countries with Para athletes competing in the meeting.

For the German team, Leverkusen will also serve as preparation for the 4x100m mixed universal relay as the event will be part of the Paralympic Games for the first time in Tokyo. 

Schedule and results from the Leverkusen International Para Athletics Meeting can be found here

More information, behind the scenes and athletes interviews will be on World Para Athletics Instagram and Twitter channels.