Canoe and triathlon will both make their Paralympic debuts at Rio 2016 and on Saturday (9 January), the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) announced the Ones to Watch athletes for both sports.
The Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, which run from 7-18 September, will see up to 4,350 athletes from around 170 countries compete in 528 medal events across 22 different sports.
In an effort to make it easier for the public and media to understand which athletes to look out for at Rio 2016, the IPC between 4-15 January is announcing Ones to Watch in all 22 sports, revealing athletes in two sports each day.
The Ones to Watch athletes for canoe and triathlon are as follows:
Markus Swoboda (AUT)
Swoboda made his international debut in 2010 and has dominated his category since. At the 2015 World Championships he lost his first race in six years, but recovered to win his sixth world title in a close race against Australia’s Curtis McGrath. He has also won five European golds.
Jeanette Chippington (GBR)
As a S6 swimmer Chippington competed in five Paralympic Games winning 12 medals. In 2011 she took up canoe and has since won six world and four European titles.
Edina Müller (GER)
A London 2012 gold medallist in wheelchair basketball, Müller is the rising star of canoe. In 2015 she won silver at the World Championships and European Championships in the K1 200m KL1 and will be hoping to win gold for the first time in her new sport at Rio 2016.
Amanda Reynolds (AUS)
Reynolds took up the sport in 2013 and a year later claimed the bronze medal in the K1 200m KL3 at the 2014 World Championships. At the 2015 World Championships, she recovered from a bad start to win gold by 0.02 seconds from Great Britain’s Anne Dickins.
Curtis McGarth (Australia)
War veteran McGrath took up the sport in December 2013 and originally competed in V1 TA class. In 2014, almost two years after losing his legs, he won the V1 200m TA world title in a world record time. In 2015 he switched to kayak events in time for Rio 2016 and won silver in the K1 200m KL2 event as well as gold in the V1 200m VL2.
Emma Wiggs (Great Britain)
A London 2012 Paralympian in sitting volleyball, Wiggs is the 2015 world champion in the women’s K1 200m KL2. She paddles in both kayak and Va’a boats, winning gold medals in both K1 200m KL2 and V1 200m VL2 at the 2014 World Championships.
Martin Schulz (GER)
Germany’s Martin Schulz has dominated the PT4 class for the past two years, winning every single triathlon race he competed in between June 2013 and September 2015. Having won world titles in 2013 and 2014, the four-time European champion, lost out on gold at the 2015 World Championships to Canada’s Stefan Daniel.
Stefan Daniel (CAN)
The Canadian teenager turned the triathlon world upside down at the 2015 World Championships becoming the first athlete since June 2013 to beat Germany’s Martin Schulz. The 30 second margin of victory over Schulz makes him a strong medal contender for Rio 2016.
Lauren Steadman (GBR)
Steadman competed as a swimmer at Beijing 2008 and London 2012 and has since become one of the world’s most successful triathletes. She is unbeaten since May 2014 and has won nearly every title there is apart from Paralympic gold which she will be aiming to win in Rio.
Hailey Danisewicz (USA)
In a class dominated by US athletes, PT2 athlete Danisewicz has won many world paratriathlon events in recent years. The athlete, who took up the sport in 2011, had to settle for silver however at the 2015 World Championships losing out to Allysa Seely.
On Sunday (10 January), the IPC will name the Ones to Watch athletes in football 7-a-side and wheelchair basketball.