World’s best set to line up at L’Hospitalet meeting

Paralympic champions among stars heading to Spain 25 May 2019
A man with a prosthetic leg competing in long jump

German long jumper Markus Rehm returns to L'Hospitalet meeting after his victory in 2018

ⒸRalf Kuckuck
By World Para Athletics

World champions Markus Rehm, Aled Davies and Martina Caironi are among an elite field set to line up at the 14th International Meeting of L'Hospitalet in Spain on Sunday.

Around 250 athletes from up to 12 countries are confirmed for the World Para Athletics ratified event, which takes place at the Athletic Track of ISS L´Hospitalet del Llobregat near Barcelona.

German long jumper Rehm, the world, Paralympic and European champion, makes a welcome return to the annual competition, having broken his own world record there in 2015 with a leap of 8.29m.

“It’s a great place to compete and it means a lot to me as it was there I broke the world record with 8.29m” Rehm said.

“People will see great athletes, amazing performances and, if we are lucky, also some world records. I am still chasing mine [new world record],” added the German athlete.

The 30-year-old’s personal best now stands at 8.48m, a mark he achieved at the 2018 European Championships.

Italy’s golden girl Caironi also has great history at the L’Hospitalet meeting – in 2015 she equalled what was then Vanessa Low’s women’s long jump T42 world record, leaping 4.60m.

“It is going to be my first outdoor competition this season, I’m really looking forward to it,” Caironi said.

The 29-year-old is joined by fellow Italians and major championship medallists Oney Tapia, Paralympic silver medalist in the discus F11, and T35 sprinter Oxana Corso, who races in the 400m.

Great Britain’s Paralympic, world and European champion Aled Davies (F42) takes on the shot put, while Paralympic champion and fellow Briton Paul Blake (T36), back on track after time out from competition last year, races in the 400m.

French vision impaired sprinter Timothée Adolphe (T11) also goes over one lap, as does South African T12 Para athlete Hilton Langenhoven. The 35-year-old, who won Paralympic long jump T12 gold at Rio 2016, jumps on Sunday too.

Spain’s national team - including Paralympic champions Kim Lopez (shot put F12), Gerard Descarrega (400m T11) and world bronze medallist Sara Andres - will be out in force, with several key athletes looking to secure their place in the Spanish team ahead of the World Para Athletics World Championships in Dubai in November.