Tokyo Paralympics: Para athletics day 5 preview

From high jump stars and wheelchair racing idols to the fastest female sprinters,31 August will crown 24 Paralympic champions 18 Aug 2021
A man competing in the high jump
Mariyappan Thangavelu became India's second ever Paralympic champion in Para athletics at Rio 2016
ⒸSimon Bruty for OIS for OIS/IOC
By World Para Athletics

The National Olympic Stadium will see 24 Paralympic champions being crowned on 31 August, day five of the Para athletics programme at Tokyo 2020.

Eleven medal events will take place in the morning session with the women’s javelin F56 first on the list. 
Latvia’s Diana Daditze will be targeting back-to-back Paralympic golds. She is also the world champion from London 2017 and Dubai 2019.

Germany’s Martina Willing is the world record holder and travelled to Tokyo with a confidence boost following her gold at the Bydgoszcz 2021 Euros.

Another throw event will come next with Italy’s world champion Assunta Legnante in search of Paralympic gold in the women’s discuss throw F11.

But in order to do that, the Italian will have to repeat Dubai 2019 and beat China’s Liangmin Zhang, the world record holder and two-time Paralympic champion (London 2012 and Rio 2016).

The first two track events of the day will see other Dubai 2019 gold medallist champions aiming for Paralympic glory. 

Brazil’s Julio Cesar Agripino is the current world champion in the men’s 1500m T11 but only managed a 12th place in his first Paralympic final five years ago in Rio.

Peru’s Rosbill Guillen is another South American medal hopeful as the Lima 2019 Parapan American champion. 
Kenya’s Wilson Bii was the bronze medallist at Rio 2016 and is another name who can join Agripino on the podium. 

The men’s 1500m T13 will find Australia’s Jaryd Clifford keen to add the Paralympic title to his world title from two years ago.

Algeria’s Abdellatif Baka will be defending his Rio 2016 gold from one of the most memorable races in Paralympic history when the top four finishers clocked a time faster than the Rio 2016 Olympic champion.

Other three male events will follow on day five. USA’s Roderick Townsend-Roberts and China’s Hao Wang will be battling for gold one more time in the men’s high jump T47.

Townsend-Roberts beat Wang to top the podium at Rio 2016 but the Chinese has since then taken the World Championships title at London 2017 and Dubai 2019.

Belgian wheelchair racer Peter Genyn will be the man to beat in the men’s 200m T51 as the world record holder, world champion from Dubai 2019 and double-European champion (Berlin 2018 and Bydgoszcz 2021).

The Para Athletics Euros in June in Poland was a preview of the men’s shot put F36 final in Tokyo. Defending Paralympic champion Sebastian Dietz from Germany finished in third place behind RPC’s Alan Kokoity (gold) and Vladimir Sviridov (silver). Sviridov is also the world record holder and world champion from Dubai 2019.

The next field event in the morning session will be the women’s shot put F34. China’s Lijuan Zou has won Paralympic gold and two world titles in the last five years.

It will be hard to beat the world record holder, but Poland's European champion Lucyna Kornobys is up for the challenge. She had to settle for silver behind Zou at the last Paralympics.

The men’s 400m T36 also has a clear favourite in Australia’s James Turner. He is the two-time world champion from London 2017 and Dubai 2019.

Ukraine’s Roman Pavlyk will be targeting the gold that eluded him five years ago in Rio while RPC’s Evgenii Shvetsov is the silver medallist from Dubai 2019 and wone the European title in June.

Next on the track will be Omara Durand against her own limits in the women’s 400m T12. The Cuban Paralympic legend is the world record hold, a three-time world champion and will be defending her Paralympic gold from Rio 2016.

Ukraine’s Oksana Boturchuk is the silver medallist from Rio 2016 and the last World Championships at Dubai 2019.

The last final in the morning session will be the men’s 1500m T54 in which Switzerland’s Marcel Hug and Thailand’s Prawat Wahoram lead the pack as favourites to gold.

Wahoram is the current world champion and will be defending his Rio 2016 gold. Hug is the silver medallist from the last Games and the London 2017 world champion. Thailand’s Saichon Konjen, Tunisia’s Yassine Gharbi and Canada’s Brent Lakatos are other ones to watch.

Evening session

The second session of the day will see 13 finals starting at 7:00 PM (Tokyo time).

The women’s long jump T38 will kick off the programme with Hungary’s Luca Ekler going for gold in her Games debut in her main event.

She is the current world champion, the world record holder and won her second European title in June at Bydgoszcz 2021.

Malaysia’s Muhammad Ziyad Zolkefli will be targeting a second consecutive Paralympic gold in the men’s shot put F20. The world record holder and a two-time world champion he was beaten by Ukraine’s Maksym Koval in the last World Championships in Dubai two years ago.

Greece will have three strong throwers in the event, with Rio 2016 silver medallist Dimitrios Senikidis and Dubai 2019 bronze medallist Efstratios Nikolaidis. 

Newcomer Leontios Stefanidis is the only athlete in Para athletics whose father is also competing at the Games. Lazaros Stefanidis will take part in the men’s shot put F33.

The world record holder and three-time world champion Daniel Martins from Brazil will be defending his Paralympic title in the men’s 400m T20 final. 

The last World Championships in Dubai saw a South American podium with Ecuador’s Anderson Mina finishing second and Venezuela’s Luis Felipe Bolivar third.

The men’s shot put F32 will be the next event in the programme and one likely to see a new Paralympic champion. China’s Li Liu will make his Paralympic debut as the world record holder and reigning world champion.

Algeria’s Lahouari Bahlaz finished second behind Liu at Dubai 2019 and is also a Rio 2016 Paralympic silver medallist. Rio 2016 champion Athanasios Konstantinidis will also be in action.

Day five evening session will also see one of the most popular events in Para athletics, the men’s high jump T63. 
India’s Mariyappan Thangavelu will be defending his Rio 2016 gold against USA’s Sam Grewe, the Rio 2016 silver who beat Thangavelu in at the Dubai 2019 World Championships.

India has other two strong competitors with Dubai 2019 silver medallist Sharad Kumar and Rio 2016 bronze Varun Singh Bhati.

Colombia’s Dixon Hooker and South Africa’s Dyan Buis will be battling next for the men’s 400m T38 gold. Buis is the reigning Paralympic champion and the world champion from London 2017.

The Colombian who finished sixth in Rio has since then taken silver at the London 2017 Worlds and gold at the Dubai 2019 Worlds.

The women’s 200m T64 will see Germany’s Irmgard Bensusan in her quest for Paralympic gold. The sprinter made her Games debut at Rio 2016 taking three silver medals. 

But Dubai 2019 saw her bag two World Championships gold, one of them in the 200m. Her rivals then and now will be two Dutch sprinters, European champion Marlene van Gansewinkel and Dubai 2019 silver medallist Kimberly Alkemade.

The women’s 100m T11 will crown the world’s fastest female vision-impaired sprinter. Brazil’s Jerusa Geber is the world record holder and Dubai 2019 world champion targeting her first Paralympic gold.

She will be facing Brazilian rivals Thalita Simplicio and Lorena Spoladore, as well as China’s Liu Cuiqing.

Fast vision-impaired runners will also be in action in the women’s 100m T13 final. Ukraine’s Leilia Adzhametova is a two-time world champion and reigning Paralympic champion but she an emerging Spanish star beat her for European gold in June in Poland. Watch out for Adiaratou Iglesias.

Speaking of fast female sprinters, the next final in the programme will see plenty of them in the women’s 100m T47. 
USA’s Deja Young and Brittni Mason are the stars in the event. Young took gold at Rio 2016, followed by more victories at the London 2017 Worlds. But she finished second behind Mason at the Dubai 2019 Worlds and saw her rival break the world record. 

Three more track finals will conclude the programme on 31 August. Another USA sprinter is the name to beat in the women’s 400m T20. Breanna Clark is the world record holder and the defending Paralympic champion. Her impressive CV also includes the London 2017 and the Dubai 2019 World Championships titles. 

The last event on day five will be packed with wheelchair racing stars. USA’s Para athletics legend Tatyana McFadden will be targeting her third Paralympic gold in a row in the women’s 1500m T54. 

But to defend her title she will have to beat the likes of China’s Zou Lihong, Australia’s Madison de Rozario, Switzerland’s Manuela Schaer, USA’s Susannah Scaroni and Germany’s Merle Menje.

Complete Para athletics schedule and results from Tokyo 2020 will be available on