Ones to watch for athletics announced for Rio 2016

IPC selects 45 track and field stars who are likely to make a big impact at September’s Paralympic Games. 15 Jan 2016
Woman and man sprinting on a track side by side

Omara Durand of Cuba broke the women's 100m T12 world record at the 2015 IPC Athletics World Championships in Doha, Qatar.

ⒸLOC Doha 2015 | Getty Images

The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) announced the names of 45 track and field athletes as Ones to Watch for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games on Friday (15 January).

The athletes named have won multiple Paralympic and world titles and are set for further success later this year when Rio stages the Paralympic Games between 7-18 September.

Around 4,350 athletes in total from 170 countries will compete in 528 medal events at Rio 2016.

In an effort to make is easier for the public and media to understand which athletes to look out for at the Games, the IPC since 4 January has been announcing Ones to Watch in all 22 sports, finishing with athletics.

Five Brazilians – Petruccio Ferreira, Felipe Gomes, Yohansson Nascimento, Terezinha Guilhermina and Veronica Hipolito – all feature in the 2016 list. Great Britain and the USA have the most athletes with six each from the respective track and field powerhouses.

Ten new additions for 2016, following excellent performances last year, include:

Angie Ballard (AUS)

The Australian excelled in 2015 by winning two world titles and setting new world records over the 400m and 800m T53. Rio 2016 will be her fifth Paralympic Games.

Petruccio Ferreira (BRA)

Although he missed last October’s World Championships, the youngster made a huge impression in 2015 breaking the 200m T47 world record and winning 100m and 200m gold at Toronto 2015. He only took up para-athletics in 2014.

Felipe Gomes (BRA)

The Brazilian took gold in the 200m T11 at the 2015 World Championships, edging out US rival and world holder David Brown. He also won silver over 200m. In Rio he will be looking to defend his 200m Paralympic title.

Leinier Savon Pineda (CUB)

In 2015, Savon clinched the sprint double at both the World Championships and Toronto 2015 Parapan American Games competing in the T12 class.

Rawat Tana (THA)

Tana really came of age in 2015 when he topped the podium at the IPC Athletics World Championships winning the 1,500m and 5,000m as well as silver for Thailand alongside his teammates in the 4x400m T53/54. He is aiming to win his first Paralympic gold at Rio 2016.

Omara Durand (CUB)

The Cuban had a remarkable 2015 winning three world titles and three Parapan American Games gold medals. She is now firmly established as the world’s fastest female para-athlete.

Isis Holt (AUS)

The teenager only took up athletics in 2014 and is already the world champion over 100m and 200m T35 and the world record holder over both sprints.

Amanda Kotaja (FIN)

Since taking up the sport in 2011, the T54 racer has won three European titles and won her first world title in 2015 with victory over the 200m. She is the 100m T54 world record holder and Rio 2016 will be her second Paralympics.

Barbara Niewiedzial (POL)

Niewiedzial proved invincible at the 2015 IPC Athletics World Championships winning all three of the events she raced in – the 400m, 800m and 1,500m T20. She won 1,500m T20 gold at London 2012.

Raoua Tlili (TUN)

Tlili is one of an elite group of para-athletes aiming for her third consecutive Paralympic gold medal come Rio 2016. The F41 thrower has been at the top of her sport for a number of years and in 2015 she won world titles in shot put and discus.

The full list of 45 athletes is as follows:


Name, Country, Class

David Brown, USA, T11

Richard Browne, USA, T44

El Amin Chentouf, Morocco, T12

Aled Davies, Great Britain, F42

Michal Mateusz Derus, Poland, T46

Petruccio Ferreira, Brazil, T46

Felipe Gomes, Brazil, T11

Marcel Hug, Switzerland, T54

Walid Ktila, Tunisia, T34

Brent Lakatos, Canada, T53

Evan O’Hanlon, Australia, T38

Raymond Martin, USA, T52

Michael McKillop, Ireland, T37

Yohansson Nascimento, Brazil, T46

Jonnie Peacock , Great Britain, T44

Leinier Savon Pineda, Cuba, T12

Scott Reardon, Australia, T42

Markus Rehm, Germany, T44

Evgenii Shvetcov, Russia, T36

Jason Smyth, Ireland, T13

Rawat Tana, Thailand, T54

Jarryd Wallace USA T44

David Weir, Great Britain, T54


Angie Ballard, Australia, T53

Yunidis Castillo, Cuba, T47

Martina Caironi , Italy, T42

Hannah Cockroft, Great Britain , T34

Omara Durand, Cuba, T13

Marie Amelie le Fur, France, T43

Margarita Goncharova, Russia, T38

Terezinha Guilhermina, Brazil, T11

Sophie Hahn, Great Britain, T38

Ilse Hayes, South Africa, T13

Veronica Hipolito, Brazil, T38

Isis Holt, Australia, T35

Amanda Kotaja , Finland, T54

Cuiqing Liu, China, T11

Vanessa Low, Germany, T42

Maria Lyle, Great Britain, T35

Tatyana McFadden, USA, T54

Na Mi, China, F37

Rachael Morrison, USA, F51

Barbara Niewiedzial, Poland, T20

Marlou van Rhijn, Netherlands, T43

Raoua Tlili, Tunisia, F40