Young Para athletes were in sensational form at the World Para Athletics Championships – smashing world records, claiming gold medals - and showing their more experienced counterparts just how it’s done. But who were they? Here is our pick of the best young female stars of London 2017:
Isis Holt – 16yrs (AUS, 100m, 200m T35)
Holt smashed the 100m T35 world record in London – she also set a new championship record over 200m. The Australian is now a two-time double world champion, having also struck gold twice at Doha 2015 - and she’s done it all before the age of 17. At Rio 2016 Holt lost out on gold to China’s Zhou Xia but this year she had bounced back like a seasoned professional.
Sophie Kamlish – 20yrs (GBR, 100m T44)
Kamlish set a new world record in the 100m T44 heats at Rio 2016, but then she failed to perform in the final, finishing fourth. She certainly didn’t make the same mistake at London 2017; the 20-year-old looked in sensational form in the heats of the 100m T44, lowering the world record this time to 12.90, then in the final she held off held off defending champion Marlou van Rhijn to earn her first ever major title.
Shi Yiting – 19yrs (CHN, 100m, 200m T36)
The Chinese sprinter won double gold at London 2017 with two terrific performances. In the 200m T36 Shi took the tape nearly two seconds clear of the field; it was no surprise when she went on to strike gold in the 100m T36 in world record time. Shi knocked 0.14 seconds off the mark set by her compatriot Wang Fang back in 2008.
Deja Young – 21yrs (USA, 100m, 200m T47)
Young also tore home to double sprint gold in London, winning the 100m and 200m T47 – just as she did at the Paralympic Games in Rio last year. The 21-year-old only made her senior international debut two years ago, winning gold in the 100m T47 in Doha, Qatar, but she seems to have already cemented her place as the one to beat.
Samantha Kinghorn – 21yrs (GBR, 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m T53)
This year has been a standout year for Kinghorn, who set a new world record in the 200m T53 at the Arizona Grand Prix in May before going on to lower that mark even further at London 2017. The Scot’s first ever world title was swiftly followed by another – she added 100m T53 gold as well as bronze in the 400m T53 and is now without doubt a major player in women’s T53 wheelchair racing.
Nataliia Kobzar – 17yrs (UKR, 100m, 200m, 400m T37)
Kobzar’s impressive performances at London 2017 means she surely will be one to watch in the future. Winner of the 200m T37 in championship record time, Kobzar finished second behind Great Britain’s Paralympic champion Georgie Hermitage in the 100m and 400m T37. But at only 17-years-old there’s no denying the Ukrainian has the potential to make it to the top.