Ten rising stars for Rio 201606.01.2016
With September’s Paralympic Games fast approaching, here are 10 young athletes who could make a big name for themselves on the world’s biggest stage.
The Rio 2016 Paralympic Games will get underway on 7 September and her are 10 young athletes who could grab the headlines.
Isis Holt (Australia)
Not many 14-year-olds hold two world titles and two world records, but T35 sprinter Holt is one of them. She was in outstanding form at Doha 2015 and could be one of the youngest Paralympic champions should she win gold in Rio.
Maria Lyle (Great Britain)
Should Holt not win gold, then it is likely her great rival Maria Lyle will top the podium. Before Holt broke onto the scene it was Lyle who held the world records. At Doha 2015 she won two silver medals and a relay gold to add to the two European titles she won in 2014.
Noelle Lenihan (Ireland)
The 16-year-old broke the discus F38 world record which had stood since September 2006 by 1cm at Doha 2015 to win silver in a combined class event. She could challenge for the Paralympic title in Rio should she continue to balance her studies with her athletics.
Hunter Woodhall (USA)
In his first major Championships, 16-year-old T43 sprinter Woodhall excelled at Doha 2015 winning 200m T44 bronze and 400m T44 silver, setting numerous personal bests along the way. The experience will stand him in good stead for Rio 2016.
Kare Adenegan (Great Britain)
Aged just 14, Adenegan made a name for herself in 2015 by becoming the first athlete in over 300 races to beat T34 rival and compatriot Hannah Cockroft. At Doha 2015 she won 400m and 800m T34 bronze and could challenge for gold or silver at her first Paralympics.
Petruccio Ferreira (Brazil)
Injury ruled the 19-year-old out of last October’s World Championships but on home soil he could be the star of Rio 2016. Last April he smashed the 200m T46/47 world record with a time of 21.49 seconds and at Toronto 2015 won 100m and 200m T47 gold.
Nyoshia Cain (Trinidad and Tobago)
The 21-year-old only made her senior international debut in 2014 but at Doha 2015 came out of nowhere to win 100m T44 bronze with a stunning personal best. The question now is can she improve further ahead of September’s big one?
Mingyu Chen (China)
The 20-year-old T12 athlete set a new Asian record of 7.07m to win long jump silver at Doha 2015. He missed out on gold by just 6cm and with another season under his belt could challenge for the top spot on the podium at Rio 2016.
Sam Grewe (USA)
Pongsakorn Paeyo (Thailand)
Thailand has a long history of producing top class wheelchair racers and 19-year-old Paeyo is the latest off a prolific production line. At Doha 2015 he won 200m T53 and 4x400m T53/54 silver and bronze in the 400m T53. Could threat Brent Lakatos’ dominance.