What to watch: June 2015

Here is a rundown of the top para-sporting events to keep an eye on this month. 01 Jun 2015
Woman in wheelchair on a tennis court returning a shot.

Japan's Yui Kamiji returns a shot during her women's wheelchair singles final match against Aniek Vanuatu Koot of Netherlands at Roland Garros in Paris, France

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Roland Garros wheelchair tennis (3-5 June)

The top names in the sport will commence on the clay courts in Paris, France, for the Grand Slam event. Japan boasts both the world’s No. 1 players in Shingo Kunieda and Yui Kamiji in the men and women’s singles, respectively, and return from last year’s wins as the favourites.

UCI Para-cycling Road World Cup (5-7 June in Maniago, Italy; 13-16 in Yverdon-les-Bains, Switzerland)

Two of four events in this year’s World Cup circuit take place this month, with the first kicking off in Maniago and then moving to Yverdon-les-Bains. Rio 2016 Paralympic qualifying points are up for grabs, as well as selection to the World Championships (28 July – 2 August).

IPC Wheelchair Dance Sport Serbian Open Championships (6-7 June)

About 50 athletes from nine different countries will gather in Belgrade, Serbia, for the third IPC sanctioned event of 2015. Russia’s Galina Ryzhkova, the 2014 European Champion in the single conventional and freestyle, is one to watch. But she will have to battle Austria’s world No. 1 ranked Sanja Vukasinovic for the podium in the singles event.

Besancon ITU World Para-triathlon Event (7 June)

The para-triathlon season continues in Besancon, France. It is the sixth stop for athletes trying to rack up points toward the World Championships in Chicago, Illinois, USA, in September. For many, the event is also the last before the start of the period for athletes to attain performances toward Rio 2016. Italy’s Michele Ferrarin leads the men’s PT2 after coming off a win in London, Great Britain, which was his World Para-Triathlon Event (WPE) win of the year. Home favourite Yannick Bourseaux will try to grab his first WPE gold in 2015 in the men’s PT4.

Boccia Asia/Oceania Team & Pairs Championships (10-14 June)

Held in Hong King, China, the event will serve as a good indicator of who will represent the region at Rio 2016. Defending world champions Thailand lead the way in the team category, ranking No. 3 in the world. South Korea and Singapore, ranked No. 2 and 5 respectively, are expected to duel in the BC3 pair category. No. 3 Hong Kong is the favourite in the BC4.

IPC Athletics Grand Prix (12-14 June in Grosseto, Italy; 19-21 June in Berlin, Germany)

These are the last two of the grand prix series before the finals in July in London, Great Britain. A slew of world records in Nottwil, Switzerland, capped off May, with Italy’s Martina Caironi (women’s T42) setting records in the 100m and 200m, and Dutch standout Marlou van Rhijn (T43) also setting the bar high in the 200m.

CPISRA Football World Championships, Football 7-a-side (13-29 June)

Sixteen teams will compete for the World Championship in St. George Park in Great Britain, serving as the main qualifier for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. Russia return to defend their title, but Ukraine is expected to contend for the gold.