Rio 2016 Para Athletics Prediction Panel – part three

The Games have arrived – athletics action starts today (Thursday 8 September) at the Olympic Stadium. It’s time for one last chat with our experts. 08 Sep 2016
The Netherlands' Marlou van Rhijn on her way to breaking the 100m T43 world record at the 2016 Nottwil Grand Prix.

The Netherlands' Marlou van Rhijn on her way to breaking the 100m T43 world record at the 2016 Nottwil Grand Prix.

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Ed Harry (EH) – BBC World Service athletics commentator

Guido Bonsen (GB) – Head coach of the Dutch Para athletics team

Danny Crates (DC) – Former Paralympic, world and European 800m T46 champion and now part of British television’s Channel 4 team covering the Paralympic Games.

Iryna Dvoskina (ID) – Australian Institute of Sport Para athletics coach to multiple world champions

Peter Eriksson (PE) – Chief Technical Officer and Head Coach at Athletics Canada

Which three London 2012 gold medallists do you expect to top the podium once again?

EH: Tatyana McFadden and her US team-mate Ray Martin have a fantastic chance of gold medal sweeps. So, too, does Tunisia's Walid Ktila. I also think, and I know this is a fourth one, that David Weir has at least one more gold left in him.

GB: Hannah Cockroft, Marlou van Rhijn and David Weir.

DC: Marlou van Rhijn, Markus Rehm and Jason Smyth.

ID: Evan O'Hanlon of course :), Jason Smyth and Markus Rehm.

PE: Hannah Cockroft, Jonnie Peacock and Aled Davies.

Who do you think will be the star for the home nation?

EH: I think these Games have come too late for Terezinha Guilhermina, and I’m not convinced that Alan Oliveira is the same athlete he was in 2012 and 2013. I think the Brazil sprint relay team will be the best chance for gold – both individually and collectively in that relay. Their win in London, in complete silence until the final changeover, sent shivers down the spine. I hope it does the same in Rio.

GB: I hope Terezinha Guilhermina will be the star of this Games. She is such a great athlete for so many years and a wonderful lady.

DC: I don’t think we can talk about Rio 2016 without mentioning Terezinha Guilhemina. I don’t think we will see her capture the gold she would dream of at a home Games, but I am sure the reception she will receive will be remarkable. A truly inspirational athlete, and one still more than capable of winning medals – just what colour?

ID: I think it will be Petrucio Ferreira dos Santos. I am hoping he will break the 100m T47 world record.

PE: Alan Oliveira, the T43 sprinter.

What Para athletics headline would you most like to read, write or broadcast?

EH: ‘Brazil have their most successful Paralympic Games ever’. I want to see the host nation, a very accomplished Para sport nation, have their best ever Games in terms of medals and placings. That, I think, will have a knock-on effect in terms of how people with disabilities are perceived in Brazil and, more widely, in South America. The Games are an opportunity to really show what’s possible.

GB: I hope the writing and coverage will be about the beauty of our sports; about the great competitions and the true spirit of the sport.

ID: Chad Perris – ‘The White Tiger hunts down gold in Rio’.

Scott Reardon – ‘Scott Reardon goes be-LOW 12 seconds’. (Reardon’s girlfriend is German long jumper Vanessa Low).

Evan O'Hanlon – ‘Opponents explain; he just evanished’.

PE: ‘The Queen of Wheelchair Racing is still Hannah Cockroft’.