Sport week: 10 athletes to look out for at Rio 2016

Here are 10 athletes you cannot miss in action at this September’s Paralympic Games. 21 May 2016
A sprinter overtakes another runner on the 100m straight.

Marlou van Rhijn competing at the IPC Athletics Grand Prix in the Netherlands.

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Felipe Gomes (Brazil)

Every Paralympic Games needs a home-grown hero and Gomes could fill that mantle this September. The 200m T11 world champion will be looking to land the sprint double in Rio but will face stiff competition from teammate Lucas Prado and the USA’s David Brown.

Evan O’Hanlon (Australia)

Having missed last year’s World Championships with a back injury, the Australian T38 sprinter will be desperate to excel once again on the world stage. Rio 2016 will be his third Paralympics and, having never lost a Paralympic race, the 28-year-old will be confident of adding to his tally of five Paralympic titles.

Brent Lakatos (Canada)

Since winning three silver medals at London 2012, Lakatos has won seven world titles in the T53 class. Rio 2016 will be his fourth Paralympics and despite strong Chinese rivals, the Canadian has never stood a better chance of winning his first Paralympic gold.

Marcel Hug (Switzerland)

Like Lakatos, Hug is another athlete hoping to win his first Paralympic gold in Rio. During a glittering career, the “Swiss Silver Bullet” has won multiple world and European titles, but has only four podium finishes to his name at the Paralympics. In 2016 he has shown great form in the T54 class wining the Boston and London marathon titles.

Aled Davies (Great Britain)

Having won discus gold at London 2012, F42 thrower Davies will aim to top the podium in the shot put in Rio. Already this season he has improved his world record and looks a strong favourite to improve on his bronze medal performance in this event four years’ ago.

Cuiqing Liu (China)

The Chinese T11 sprinter upset the form book in 2015 winning the 100m, 200m and 400m world titles ahead of Brazil’s out-of-form defending champion Terezinha Guilhermina. Although Guilhermina has a new guide for 2016, the Chinese athlete will be optimistic of not just winning her first Paralympic titles in Rio, but taking some of the Brazilian’s world records too.

Marlou van Rhijn (Netherlands)

The Dutch blade runner arrived at London 2012 a relative unknown but will depart for Rio 2016 as one of the biggest names in Para athletics. Since winning 100m silver and 200m gold four years’ ago, the T43 sprinter has added four world and two European titles to her name, not to mention the multiple times she has lowered the 100m and 200m world records.

Ilse Hayes (South Africa)

For a short period in 2015, Hayes was the world’s fastest female Paralympian after setting a stunning 100m T13 world record with a time of 11.89 seconds. Rio 2016 will be the 30-year-old’s fourth Paralympic Games, and she will be hoping to add to the two long jump gold medals she won at Beijing 2008 and London 2012.

Barbara Niewiedzial (Poland)

Niewiedzial headed to London 2012 contemplating retirement however a win over 1,500m changed her mind and the rest they say is history. Last year the Polish T20 athlete won world titles over the 400m, 800m and 1,500m in Doha, Qatar, and will take some beating in Rio.

Raoua Tlili (Tunisia)

The 26-year-old may be short in stature, but has an amazing throwing ability. She heads to Rio 2016 as a two-time world champion in shot put and discus F40 events and will be hoping to land her third successive shot put F40 Paralympic title.


Sport fans from around the world can now buy their Paralympic tickets for Rio 2016 from authorised ticket resellers (ATRs).

The IPC’s Global ATR is Jet Set Sports, and Rio 2016 tickets and packages can be purchased on the CoSport website.

Residents of Brazil can buy 2016 Paralympics tickets directly from the Rio 2016 website.