Preview: Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games para-athletics events

Some of the world’s best athletes including David Weir and Kurt Fearnley will compete in six medal events at the Commonwealth Games. 20 Jul 2014
A picture of a men on a podium with medals around their neck

Silver medalist Marcel Hug of Switzerland, Gold medalist David Weir of Great Britain and bronze medalist Saichon Konjen of Thailand pose on the during the medal ceremony for Men's 800m - T54 Final at the London 2012 Paralympic Games

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The final night of para-athletics on Thursday (31 July) evening will see the men’s and women’s 1,500m T54 take place and both have the potential to be great races.

Amongst a packed athletics programme at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games there will be six medal events in para-athletics at Hampden Park with a number of Paralympic and world champions set to take part.

Taking place between Sunday 27 July and Thursday 31 July, many of the European athletes set to compete will be using Glasgow 2014 as a final warm-up for the IPC Athletics European Championships in Swansea, Great Britain, which start on 18 August.

The first para-athletics event of the Games is the women’s F37/38 long jump which takes place on Sunday (27 July) evening and is set to be a very open and extremely close contest.

On current form, Australia’s Jodi Elkington (4.22m) will start as slight favourite having jumped the furthest this year. Just 34cm separates her from the other likely medal contenders. Elkington’s teammate Ella Pardy has recorded 4.12m this year, whilst South Africa’s Juanelie Meijer has posted 4.06m. England’s Bethany Woodward has jumped 3.92m and Wales’s Bev Jones 3.88m.

Monday (28 July) morning’s men’s discus F42/44 competition is likely to be straight duel between England’s Dan Greaves and Welsh captain Aled Davies.

Greaves, an F44 thrower, is a three-time Paralympic champion and, having recently broken the 60m barrier for the first time, will be optimistic of landing gold. As the world champion and world record holder in the F42 class, Davies will take some beating however, and has been in sensational form this season.

Scotland’s Libby Clegg and South Africa’s Fanie van der Merwe are likely to be the athletes to beat on Monday evening when they line-up in the women’s 100m T12 and men’s 100m T37 finals respectively.

European record holder Clegg won silver over the 100m at last year’s World Championships whilst van der Merwe is a two-time Paralympic champion over the distance.

The final night of para-athletics on Thursday (31 July) evening will see the men’s and women’s 1,500m T54 take place and both have the potential to be great races.

London 2012 hero David Weir, a winner of six Paralympic and six world titles during a glittering career, will represent England for the first time when he lines up in the men’s race. As the man to beat he knows that to secure gold he will have to finish ahead of Australia’s Kurt Fearnley and Canada’s Josh Cassidy, two of the best and most widely respected wheelchair racers in the world.

The women’s T54 race will see five of the six fastest women over the distance this year go head-to-head in what should be a thrilling race.

Australia’s two-time Paralympian Madison de Rozario is the fastest in the world in 2014 and will start as favourite. She will face stiff competition however from teammate Christie Dawes, Canada’s Diane Roy and the English duo of Jade Jones and Shelly Woods.

In addition to the six para-athletics event, Ireland’s T13 sprinter Jason Smyth, the world’s fastest Paralympian, will compete over 100m.

Full para-athletics programme

Sunday 27 July – women’s long jump F37/38

Monday 28 July – men’s discus F42/44, men’s 100m T37 and women’s 100m T12

Thursday 31 July – men’s 1,500m T54 and women’s 1,500m T54

For further information, please visit the Glasgow 2014 website.