New event added to World Para Athletics calendar

The first Throwing Challenge is set to attract 150 athletes this October in Italy 15 Mar 2018
Assunta Legnante conmpeting in the shot put at the London 2017 World Para Athletics Championships
Assunta Legnante conmpeting in the shot put at the London 2017 World Para Athletics Championships

World Para Athletics has announced a new addition to the sporting calendar with a first ever international competition exclusively for throws events set to take place in Italy this October.

The World Para Athletics Throwing Challenge will include shot put, javelin, discus and club throw events across a multitude of classes.

The unique event is the first dedicated throws competition organised by World Para Athletics and the first opportunity on European soil for Para athletes to achieve the necessary qualification standards for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.

Ancona in Italy will stage the event which extends the 2018 competition season beyond the current Grand Prix series and regional competitions.

The Challenge has been set up in conjunction with FISPES, the Italian Federation of Paralympic and Experimental Sports, who, as the local organising committee, have signed a two-year agreement to stage the competition.

Around 150 Para athletes are expected to take part from 26-28 October at Ancona’s Palaindoor Sport Complex. The schedule includes 57 events - all of which feature on the Tokyo 2020 programme.

Haozhe Gao, World Para Athletics Senior Manager, said: “World Para Athletics is always looking for ways to enhance and develop our sport and I’m delighted we are able to provide new competition for Para athletes.

“It was clear, after the Rio 2016 Games, that there was an opportunity to bridge the gap between the end of the Para athletics outdoor season and the start of the following year. Hopefully we can build on this in future years.”

Sandrino Porru, FISPES President, said: “After the success of the European Championships in Grosseto two years ago, we are extremely happy to embark on this new exciting project together with World Para Athletics. Adding this new event to the international calendar is a great opportunity for Para Athletics, which can hopefully be developed in other continents as well.

“Top throwers from around the world will have another chance to compete at a high level and Ancona is a fantastic location to host the event. The city offers excellent facilities to practise sports in wintertime, with an indoor track that could offer superb potential to expand indoor events in the future too.

“We look forward to working closely with World Para Athletics to further develop the competition worldwide".

Amongst those hoping to take part at the event is Italy’s reigning Paralympic and world shot put F12 champion, Assunta Legnante, who said: “I am proud to see that Italy is playing a key role in organising a major international throwing event.

“Hosting such an event in our country for the first time is a fantastic achievement for the international and national development of the sport and shows how Para Athletics and the Paralympic movement is currently spreading around the world.

“I am a thrower and competing against the world's best athletes after the summer season is a new and exciting challenge. I am sure the typical thrower's spirit of strength, determination and joy will inspire all athletes to make the event a big success.”