Third IPC Athletics Grand Prix of 2014 starts Thursday

The third stage of the IPC Athletics Grand Prix series gets underway on Thursday (April 24) with the II Caixa Loterias Athletics Open Championships in Sao Paulo, Brazil. 24 Apr 2014
A picture of a blind woman running with her guide during an athletics race.

Brazil's Terezinha Guilhermina and her guide running in the womens T11/12 60m race at the 2013 British Athletics Series.

ⒸGetty Images
By Lewis Wood-Thompson | for the IPC

Over the three days, a number of top athletes will grace the eight-lane track in Brazil across a number of classifications.

Over the three days, a number of top athletes will grace the eight-lane track in Brazil across a number of classifications.

One of the biggest names competing is sprinter Terezinha Guilhermina, who had a superb 2013 - which included three gold medals at the IPC Athletics World Championships in Lyon, France. She will be looking to continue her dominance of the T11 sprints on home soil.

Arguably the biggest rival to her crown is teammate Jeruse Santos, who achieved silver in Lyon, and will be looking to put pressure on the 35-year-old once more.

In the men’s T11 sprints, 28-year-old Lucas Prado, who was introduced to the sport by Guilhermina, will be looking to start the season in the same manner that saw him win two golds last summer. Just like in Lyon, however, he will face stiff competition from countryman Filipe Gomes.

Another star making the trip to Brazil is 100m T44 sprinter and world record holder Richard Browne, who will be looking to build on the success of last season. The American put in some superb performances last year, and will be aiming to express his dominance over the short distance.

Browne will also be pushing his abilities further in the 200m T44, a distance he set an unofficial world record in last weekend, but will face competition from his countryman David Prince.

Australian athletes are also making the near 9,000 mile trip to Sao Paulo, including Scott Reardon. The 23-year-old memorably tied for world gold with German Heinrich Popow in an enthralling 100m T42 last summer, and will be looking to build on that success this time around.

The 100m T38 should be a mouth-watering race. Without Australian world champion and world record holder Evan O’Hanlon in attendance; South Africa’s Dyan Buis - a triple silver medallist behind O’Hanlon in Lyon last summer – and 100m T38 world bronze medallist Brazilian Edson Pinheiro will lock horns once more.

In the field, Lorena Spoladore will be hoping she can recreate last year’s gold medal-winning form and put in another impressive performance in the long jump F11.

Meanwhile, the South African pairing of Hilton Langenhoven (long jump F12) and Reinhardt Hamman (javelin and shot put F38) will be aiming to impress after picking up World Championship gold last year.