Although the para-athletics season does not get underway fully until February’s IPC Athletics Grand Prix in Dubai, UAE, here are 10 athletes who could make a name for themselves in 2015.
Felix Streng (Germany)
In 2014 Streng won the 200m T44 European title and won silver in the 100m. He set multiple personal bests over 100m and finished in the top six of the world rankings for both sprints.
Next season the 19-year-old will be looking to win a medal at Doha 2015 and lower his own 200m European record set in 2013.
Maria Lyle (Great Britain)
Aged just 14 years old, Lyle announced herself on to the world stage by setting new 100m and 200m T35 world records. She also beat Italian world champion Oxana Corso to land both sprint titles at August’s European Championships.
School work permitting, can she win gold in Doha?
Rheed McCracken (Australia)
This season McCracken set new Oceania records in the 100m, 200m, 400m and 800m T34 to finish second in the world rankings behind Tunisia’s multi Paralympic and world champion Walid Ktila.
By the time of Doha 2015, McCracken will be 18-years-old and may fancy his chances of beating the Tunisian.
Veronica Hipolito (Brazil)
After winning one gold and a silver as a 17-year-old at Lyon 2013, the Brazilian T38 sprinter will be determined to do even better at the 2015 World Championships. The three-way battle between her, Great Britain’s Sophie Hahn and Russia’s Margarita Goncharova could be a highlight of Doha 2015.
Austin Joseph Digby (USA)
The 17-year-old T43 sprinter finished ahead of his compatriot Blake Leeper in the 100m and 400m world rankings in 2014 and could be the surprise package next year. He may need to focus on one event however as this year Digby also topped the world rankings in the discus and shot put F43 events.
Ivan Jose Cano Blanco (Spain)
The Spanish teenager won long jump T13 silver at August’s IPC Athletics European Championships in Swansea, Great Britain, and also finished second in the world rankings behind his Swedish rival Per Jonsson.
Svetlana Krivenok (Russia)
Aged just 15, Krivenok finished a credible fifth in the shot put F36 at the Lyon 2013 IPC Athletics World Championships. In 2014 she topped the podium in the shot put F32/33 at her first European Championships in Swansea, Great Britain and also topped the world rankings.
Yan Chen (China)
In a class long dominated by Brazil’s Terezinha Guilhermina, Chen could emerge as a rival to the multi world and Paralympic champion after finishing 2014 ranked third in the world over 100m.
Amanda Kotaja (Finland)
Kotaja will turn 20 in January and has the potential to become a real contender in the T54 class alongside the USA’s Tatyana McFadden and Switzerland’s Manuela Schaer, especially after topping the 100m world rankings in 2014. She won 100m and 200m silver at Lyon 2013 and claimed her first European title over 100m in August.
Abdul Latif Romly (Malaysia)
The youngster finished second in the long jump F20 world rankings in 2014 with a leap of 7.01m, a jump that was good enough to win him gold at the Incheon 2014 Asian Para Games. Only Croatia’s Zoran Talic, who won the European title in Swansea, Great Britain, jumped further.