Paralympic Games
24 August - 5 September 2021

Tokyo 2020 Day 11: Ones to Watch

Many athletics and para badminton stars will try to confirm their status as favourites 03 Sep 2021
A female wheelchair racer crossing the line on a blue track
Great Britain's Hannah Cockroft aims for her second medal in the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games
ⒸBritish Athletics via Getty Images

There is still plenty of great athletes to watch as the Tokyo 2020 Games reach day 11. In athletics, British wheelchair racer Hannah Cockroft won back-to-back gold medals in the women's 100m T54 event and will run aiming to do the same in the 800m T54 final.

It will be time to see again Cuba's sprinter Omara Durand try to win her third gold medal in Tokyo, now in the women's 200 T12. She already won the 100m and 400m distances, defending the title obtained in Rio.

In Para badminton, India's Krishna Nagar wants to keep himself undefeated and confirm he a favourite to win the SH6. He will play the semifinal. 

Amy Truesdale (GBR) - para taekwondo

Truesdale (portrayed kicking below) picked up Para taekwondo at age 7 and grew to become one of the sport’s pioneers. Until a stunning golden point quarter final loss at the 2019 World Championships, the veteran fighter had medalled at every Worlds since the sport started – none sweeter than winning her first gold on home soil in 2017.  The three-time European champion has fallen to some of the division’s top fighters, including three-time world champion Aynur Mammadova of Azerbaijan, Morocco’s three-time African champion Rajae Akermach and, at the last Worlds, two-sport phenom Shoko Ota from Japan. Still, the No. 1-ranked Truesdale remains the favourite for gold in the women’s +58 kg K44 in Tokyo. 

Omara Durand (CUB) - athletics

With five Paralympic and 11 world titles to her name, Durand has dominated the tracks since her international debut over a decade ago. The Cuban currently holds the world records in the 100m (11.40), 200m (23.03) and 400m (51.77) T12, which makes her the world's fastest Paralympian. Her last loss came at the Beijing 2008 Games and is a heavy favourite again to extend her winning streak in Tokyo.

Hannah Cockroft (GBR) - athletics

Hurricane Hannah became a national star after taking two gold medals at her first Paralympic Games in London in 2012. Since then, she has added other three Paralympic golds to her tally in Rio. The class T34 wheelchair racer has tough competition at home with new-comer Kare Adenegan, but showed she is hungry for more following her two gold medals at the Dubai 2019 Worlds – and a new world record in the 100m T34. 

Tatyana McFadden (USA) - athletics

One of the best female wheelchair racers of all time, McFadden has 17 Paralympic medals to her name, including seven golds, since her debut at Athens 2004. She seeks to win at least five more in Tokyo to overtake Canadian legend Chantal Petitclerc as the female track & field athlete with more medals ever. She also holds 23 marathon titles and was one of the Para athletes featured in Netflix's ground-breaking Paralympic documentary Rising Phoenix.

Curtis McGrath (AUS) - canoe

Having lost both his legs to an improvised explosive device (IED) while serving in the Australian army in Afghanistan in 2004, McGrath told his fellow soldiers he would be at the Paralympics one day. Fast forward to Rio 2016 and not only did he compete, he won gold in the men’s KL2. He has also been undefeated at the event at the World Championship stage since 2016 with four titles. And with Tokyo in his sights, he will be looking to defend his KL2 title and win gold in the newly added VL3, which he has proven himself by winning with five world titles.

Krishna Nagar (IND) - para badminton

Nagar had a strong start to the Paralympic qualification year in 2019. The SH6 athlete won the 2nd Fazza Dubai Para Badminton International, which he cited his gold medal win as the biggest of his career because he took down then-world No. 1 Jack Shephard and then-world No. 2 Krysten Coombs – both of Great Britain – en route to victory. He then partnered India’s Raja Magotra to win the men’s doubles. Though he struggled to take that energy into the Worlds later in the year, when he finished third in the singles, the world No. 1  has much more to prove at the Paralympics.