Paris 23 World Championships to crown 11 world champions on Sunday

Tunisia’s Raoua Tlili is among the reigning Paralympic champions taking part on the first day of competition at the World Championships 08 Jul 2023
Male runners on the startline at Paris 23 Para Athletics World Championships
The Paris 23 Para Athletics World Championships serve as the serve as an important stop on the road to the Games.
ⒸMarta Gorczyńska
By World Para Athletics

Eleven world champions will be crowned on the opening day of competition at the Paris 23 Para Athletics World Championships on Sunday (9 July) at the Charlety Stadium.

The French capital will host the first edition of the World Championships in four years and the third to take place in France – after Lyon 2013 and Lille 2002.

Over 1,300 athletes from 107 nations will compete across 168 medal events. Many of them will be returning to Paris next year for the Paralympics, making it the first World Championships to be held in the Paralympic host city one year before the Games.

Competition starts in Paris

The women’s discus F55 will open the medal programme at 9:00 a.m. (Central European Summer Time) with back-to-back Paralympic champion Feixia Dong of China facing defending world champion Erica Castano from Colombia. 

Latvia’s Diana Krumina is also a one to watch as the Tokyo 2020 silver medallist and London 2017 world champion. 

The women’s long jump T11 is the next final in the programme. Brazil’s Silvania Costa will be returning to her first World Championships in eight years as the name to beat. She is the double-Paralympic champion and world record holder (5.46m). 

Dubai 2019 world champion, China’s Guohua Zhou has the best mark of year (5.02m) followed by Uzbekistan’s Asila Mirzayorova, the Tokyo 2020 silver medallist.

All eyes will be on Tunisia’s Raoua Tlili in the women’s shot put F41 final. She has six Paralympic and eight World Championships gold medal to her name, and will receive additional support from the large Tunisian community in the French capital.

“A lot of people came to watch me when I won the gold medal in the World Championships in France before, in Lyon 2013. Now I am looking forward to having many people coming to support me and hopefully winning again,” said Tlili, also the world record holder in the event (10.55m at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games).

Colombia’s Mayerli Buitrago Ariza and Argentina’s Antonella Ruiz Diaz will be Tlili’s main challenge. Ariza is the Tokyo 2020 silver medallist while Diaz took bronze in the last Paralympic Games and silver at the Dubai 2019 Worlds.

The men’s javelin F38 is the last medal event of Sunday’s morning session. Colombia’s Jose Gregorio Lemos is the Paralympic champion and world record holder who is making his World Championships debut in Paris.

Ukraine’s Vladyslav Bilyi finished second behind Lemos in Tokyo and is the current European champion. Colombia will be aiming a one-two podium with Luis Fernando Lucumi, Tokyo 2020 bronze and Rio 2016 silver medallist.

Action-packed evening

Sunday’s action resumes at 6:30 p.m. with the women’s club throw F32 final. 

Poland’s Roza Kozakowska aims to book a ticket to Paris next year as the defending Paralympic champion. Tunisia’s Maroua Ibrahmi did not compete in Tokyo but is a two-time Paralympic gold medallist and the defending world champion from Dubai 2019 (also gold at Doha 2015 and Lyon 2013).

Ibrahmi also has the best mark of the year so far with 25.75m, two centimetres ahead of Brazil’s Wanna Brito.

Brazil will be chasing more gold in the men’s shot put 55 final with Paralympic champion Wallace Santos. Bulgaria’s Ruzhdi Ruzhdi topped the podium in the last three editions of the World Championships but finished behind Santos in Tokyo.

Next will be the men’s shot put F37. Tunisian fans will be hoping for more glory with Ben Moslah, who is the Tokyo 2020 and Dubai 2019 silver medallist. Brazil’s Joao Victor Teixeira will be keen to change the colour of his medal after finishing with the bronze at Tokyo 2020.

The men’s long jump T11 is set to be one of Sunday’s highlights in Paris. China’s Di Dongdong beat USA’S world record holder Lex Gillette for gold at the last Paralympic Games. 

But Gillette has won all World Championships finals since Lyon 2013 and has four gold medals to his name. 

Home fans will be hoping for Tokyo 2020 bronze medallist Ronan Pallier, also the current European champion, to capture his long-awaited gold medal.

The new class in the World Championships programme will see history being made in France as the men’s and women’s 100m T72 will crown the framerunning world champions. 

Watch for Great Britain’s Gavin Drysdale in the men’s race as the fastest this year in his class (16.95). Poland’s Magdalena Andruszkiewicz has the best time of 2023 in the women’s 100m (17.42) followed by Australia’s Maria Strong (17.78).

The final event of the day will be the men’s 1500m T52 wheelchair race. Japan’s Tomoki Sato is one of the stars of the World Championships as the back-to-back world champion and reigning Paralympic champion. 

Will he manage to beat his own five-year-old world record (3:25.08)?

Japan may finish the day with a one-two finish as Tokyo 2020 bronze medallist Hirokazu Ueyonabaru is likely to be among the leading pack. But Team USA’s Raymond Martin will certainly have other plans as the Rio 2016 champion and Tokyo 2020 silver medallist. 

Complete schedule and results can be found here.

The Paris 23 Para Athletics World Championships will be streamed live on World Para Athletics Facebook page with geo-blocking restrictions in certain territories.

More information is available here.