Close to 270 young athletes from 40 countries, all aged under 20, competed at the first World Para Athletics Junior Championships in Nottwil, Switzerland, from 3-6 August, many of whom showed great potential ahead of the next major competitions.
Here five of the best moments from the Junior Worlds.
1. South Africa’s Ntando Mahlangu was the main star, sweeping all his four events. The 15-year-old won the men’s long jump F42-F47, 400m, 200m and 100m T42/47 Youth (U18), even setting a world record of 12.01 in the latter.
2. Home crowd had to wait until the last day to celebrate their first world junior champion, when Licia Mussinelli (329 points) sprang a surprise and defeated USA’s three-time Nottwil 2017 gold medallist Hannah Dederick (315) in the women’s 1,500m T51-T54 youth (U18).
3. Iranian athletes shone on Swiss soil, claiming 12 golds, five silvers and five bronze to finish in a historical second place on the medals table behind the USA. Great Britain, Mexico and Colombia completed the top five.
4. Ecuador may have never won a Paralympic medal but rising star Damian Carcelen has shown he is capable of putting an end to the medal-drought at Tokyo 2020. After winning silver at London 2017, the 19-year-old secured the country’s two golds in the men’s 400m and long jump T20 junior (U20) at Nottwil 2017.
5. Switzerland’s Rio 2016 champion and wheelchair racing legend Marcel Hug attended the event to share some time with the athletes and give them advice. “It is great to cheer for the young athletes. They are the future generation. Maybe some of them will even be competing against me,” he said.