World Para Athletics Grand Prix 2018 dates announced

Nine events will take place over 15 weeks from March-July 21 Dec 2017
An athlete competes at the 2016 IPC Athletics Grand Prix in Nottwil, Switzerland.

An athlete competes at the 2016 IPC Athletics Grand Prix in Nottwil, Switzerland.

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The sixth year of the World Para Athletics Grand Prix series will take in nine towns and cities across four continents during 2018, starting in Dubai, UAE, in mid-March and finishing in Berlin, Germany, in early July.

For the second successive year, Dubai will host the season opening event with around 450 athletes set to compete between 13-16 March. At last year’s Dubai Grand Prix athletes smashed seven world records and with warm weather practically guaranteed, more records could fall once again at the Dubai Club for the Disabled track.

From the Middle East, athletes will head to South America with the Brazilian Paralympic Committee’s Paralympic Training Centre in Sao Paulo staging the season’s second Grand Prix between 26-28 April.

The Grand Prix series then takes in a third continent as track and field action returns to Beijing, China from 11-13 May. The event, which takes place at one of the training venues used for the Beijing 2008 Games, is likely to attract many of the athletes that led China to the top of the medals table at the London 2017 World Para Athletics Championships.

Rieti, Italy, was a new addition to the calendar in 2017 and the Stadio Raul Guidobaldi track will host the fourth Grand Prix of the year from 18-20 May.

One week later, Nottwil in Switzerland plays host to the 2018 Grand Prix series with three days of world-class Para athletics set to take place from 25-27 May. In 2017, 11 world records were broken at the Swiss track in what has become one of the most highly regarded wheelchair meetings in the world.

The month of June sees four Grand Prix taking place around the world.

After a hugely successful inaugural Paris Grand Prix in 2017, the Stade Charléty in the French capital will once again open its doors to many of the world’s best Para athletes for two days of competition on 14 and 15 June, while the Arizona Grand Prix in the USA takes place from 15-17 June.

The penultimate Grand Prix of 2018 takes place from 22-24 June in Tunis, Tunisia – a country that boasts plenty of home-grown talent and finished sixth on the medals table at the 2017 World Championships.

The year’s final Grand Prix will take place in the German capital on 30 June - 1 July and will act as a curtain raiser to the World Para Athletics European Championships which take place in the same venue - the city’s Friedrich Ludwig Jahn Sportpark – just eight weeks later.

First held in Assen, the Netherlands, in 2003, the European Championships have taken place every two years since 2012.

The 2018 Championships in Berlin will be the sixth edition - following on from Grosseto, Italy in 2016 - and take place from 20-26 August.