Preview: IPC Athletics Grand Prix in Berlin, Germany

Around 570 athletes from 34 countries will be compete in Berlin over three days of thrilling competition. 19 Jun 2014
Markus Rehm, single leg amputee extends his legs over the long jump pit

Markus Rehm is pushing the boundaries of amputee long jump

ⒸLuc Percival

With only eight weeks to go before the IPC Athletics European Championships in Swansea, the Grand Prix series heads to Berlin, Germany, this weekend.

With only eight weeks to go before the IPC Athletics European Championships in Swansea, the Grand Prix series heads to Berlin, Germany, this weekend, in the last of the major IPC track and field events before August.

Over 570 athletes from 34 countries are set to line up at the Berlin Open, which takes place on 20-22 June. Here are just some of the key battles set to unfold over the three days of action at the city’s Friedrich Ludwig Jahn Sports Park.

Men’s 100m T11

The Brazilian trio of Lucas Prado, Daniel Silva and Felipe Gomes go head-to-head with 29-year-old world champion and world record holder Prado - winner here last year - lining up as favourite having already triumphed at April’s Caixa Loterias Athletics Open Championships in Sao Paulo. The three athletes also go over 200m – watch out there for Silva, who clinched bronze in Lyon but turned the tables on Prado with a win in Brazil two months ago.

Men’s 100m T42

Australia’s Scott Reardon had hoped for a first rematch with Germany’s Heinrich Popow after the two tied for gold in last year’s World Championships in Lyon, France. However, Popow has been ruled out through injury so Reardon instead is likely to race the clock with the aim of setting a new world record.

Men’s 400m T54

Finland’s world and Paralympic champion Leo Pekka-Tahti continues his preparations for the European Championships with another IPC Athletics Grand Prix outing, having already raced in Nottwil, Grosseto and Tunis this season. Germany’s Marc Schuh won world silver over one lap in Lyon last summer and crossed the line ahead of the Finn in Nottwil – expect another exciting race this weekend.

Men’s Shot put F42

Great Britain’s world and Paralympic champion Aled Davies set a new discus F42 world record on his way to victory in Grosseto last month, throwing a remarkable 48.69m. The 23-year-old competes in the discus this weekend as well as the shot put, having triumphed in both events in Lyon. The Welshman, who set a new shot put world record of 14.71m last year, will provide tough competition for the likes of Germany’s world silver medallist Frank Tinnemeier and South Africa’s Tryone Pillay as he fine tunes his preparations ahead of next month’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

Women’s 100m T43/44

This time last year Marlou van Rhijn sped in to the history books, clocking 12.96 over 100m – the fastest time ever recorded by a female leg amputee. The Dutch sprinter, double world champion in Lyon last year, is targeting another fast time in Berlin as she prepares for the defence of her European crown. Hoping to upset the form book is Great Britain's Stef Reid, as well as van Rhijn’s two compatriots Marlene van Gansewinkel and Iris Pruysen. Van Rhijn also takes on the 200m and 400m in Berlin.

Women’s 100m T11

The Brazilians are out in force in the women’s T11 sprints too, with the multiple world and Paralympic champion Terezinha Guilhermina hoping for a repeat of her winning performance here 12 months ago. As with last year, the 35-year-old lines up against Jerusa Santos and Jhulia Santos, silver and bronze medallists behind Guilhermina at both the 2013 IPC Athletics World Championships and 2012 Paralympic Games.

Women’s 200m T38

Great Britain’s Sophie Hahn and Brazil’s Veronica Hipolito come face-to-face once again, having done battle in the sprints in Lyon last summer. Then, it was the Briton who won the 100m, setting a new world record of 13.10 in the process. However, Hipolito got her revenge in the 200m, clocking 27.49 to take gold. The pair have not met yet this season although Hipolito has already won at the Brazil Grand Prix this season, and a thrilling race is sure to be on the cards.

Women’s discus throw

There’s plenty of talent in the women’s discus, both from home and abroad, with Germany’s world gold and silver medallists in the F54/55/56 throw - Marianne Buggenhagen and Martina Willing - in action along with Great Britain’s gold medallist (F51/52/53) Josie Pearson. Canada’s Becky Richter, silver medallist behind the Briton last summer, will be hoping to get her own way this time around.

The event in Berlin is supported by Allianz, IPC Athletics’ international partner and will be streamed live.

For all the latest information on the event please visit the event homepage.