Para athletics: 2017 sprints season review

What were the highlights of the 2017 track season? Here are seven sprints headlines from the year 27 Dec 2017
By IPC

The year of the Brits

Jonnie Peacock, Richard Whitehead, Hannah Cockroft, Sammi Kinghorn, Sophie Hahn, Georgie Hermitage, Kadeena Cox and Sophie Kamlish all struck gold at their home World Championships. There were world records during the year too for Cockroft, Kinghorn, Hahn, Whitehead, Kamlish and Hermitage.

Peacock’s reign continues - but Floors makes his mark

When it comes to the men’s 100m T44, Jonnie Peacock is still the man to beat. But Germany’s Johannes Floors made his presence known this year too, with new 100m and 200m T43 European records in Paris in May, then 200m and 400m T43 gold and 100m T44 silver at London 2017.

New Kids on the Blocks

Australia’s James Turner showed just what he was capable of over two laps at Rio 2016, smashing the 800m T36 world record on his way to Paralympic gold. This year the 21-year-old made his mark in the sprints too, twice breaking the 200m T36 world record on his way to global gold. China’s 19-year-old sprinter Shi Yiting dominated the women’s T36 class with double sprint gold in London. South Africa’s Ilse Hayes bowed out of the sport after an incredible career, which included two Paralympic and six world titles; Ukraine’s Leilia Adzhametova is clearly ready to fill Hayes’ shoes - the 23-year-old won 100m, 200m and 400m T13 gold in London.

Experience pays off

It wasn’t all about the young stars – Ireland’s visually impaired sprinter Jason Smyth, the world’s fastest Paralympian, notched up his seventh world title having clinched his first back in 2006; Finland’s Leo Pekka Tahti won his third 100m T54 title and Canadian Brent Lakatos was the man to beat in the T53 class. The 37-year-old won a remarkable four gold medals at London 2017 – including 100m and 200m T53 titles. Earlier in the season he set five world records in 10 days at the Swiss series in Arbon and Nottwil.

Reardon wins the battle of the T42 sprinters while Mahlangu dominates junior ranks

Australia’s Paralympic champion Scott Reardon won the hotly contested men’s 100m T42 at London 2017, seeing off Denmark’s Daniel Wagner and Briton Richard Whitehead to claim his third consecutive title.

South Africa’s new young star Ntando Mahlangu added to his Rio 2016 Paralympic silver medal with 200m T42 silver at London 2017 before going on to win four golds at the World Junior Championships in August, breaking the 100m and 400m T42 world records in the process – and he’s only 15-years-old.

Ferreira keeps impressing

Brazilian sprinter Petrucio Ferreira clinched his first world titles in London, winning the 100m and 200m T47 with new world record times in both events. The 20-year-old also won the sprint double at the Sao Paulo Grand Prix in April, getting the better of his teammate, the former world and Paralympic champion Yohansson Nascimento in the process.

Comebacks can happen

Aussie Evan O’Hanlon returned to the track after losing out to China’s Jianwen Hu at Rio 2016 to reclaim the 100m T38 world title he previously won in 2013. O’Hanlon, who missed the 2015 World Championships due to injury, had retired from competitive athletics after his shock defeat in Brazil, but there was no denying him victory this year.