A 49-strong British team has been named for the IPC Athletics European Championships in Italy
Eight current world champions are among the 49 British athletes selected for the IPC Athletics European Championships in Grosseto, Italy, from June 10-16.
Six-time Paralympic gold medallist David Weir will compete over five events in Grosseto as he prepares for the Rio Paralympic Games, while reigning T44 100m Paralympic and European champion Jonnie Peacock and T44 long jump Paralympic silver medallist Stef Reid return to the fold after injuries saw them miss out on the IPC Athletics World Championships in Doha in October.
Richard Whitehead and Sophie Hahn are among the eight athletes who won gold medals in Doha and will lead the British squad taking on Europe’s best at the Carlo Zecchini Olympic Stadium. Whitehead goes in the T42 100m and 200m after setting a 200m world record of 24.10 in Doha last year. Hahn was also in world record-breaking form in 2015, dipping to 12.60 in the T38 100m. She will look to go better once again in a busy schedule that also includes the 200m and 4x100m relay.
Aled Davies extended his own shot put world record in Arizona last week with a throw of 16.13m, a mark which is still to be ratified by the IPC. The Welshman will look to retain his double European gold in the F42 shot put and discus which he achieved on home soil in Swansea 2014.
After a successful international debut in Swansea two years ago, Jo Butterfield will have her sights set on retaining her European title in the F32/51 club throw, but will face stiff competition from teammates Gemma Prescott and Abbie Hunnisett, who were third and fourth at the previous edition.
World champions Georgie Hermitage and Kadeena Cox both extended their world records last weekend in Barcelona in the T37 400m and 200m respectively and form part of the team for Italy where they will also be part of the T35-38 4x100m relay which includes Maria Lyle, Olivia Breen and Hahn, who were part of the gold-medal winning team in Qatar.
Fresh from winning the Invictus Games and setting a huge lifetime best in Arizona, David Henson will have his sights set on a podium finish after a 24.71 clocking at the IPC Grand Prix in Tempe, which ranks him third in the world T42 200m standings for 2015.
There is a return to the GB team for David Devine, who up until March had only competed once since his double bronze medal triumph at the 2012 Paralympic Games. Despite an injury-hit four years, the 24-year-old has shown he is getting back to his best after clocking 3:56.36 over 1500m on the weekend. Also on the comeback trail is T53 100m Paralympic gold medallist Mickey Bushell.
Among those missing from the team is five-time world T12 sprint medallist Libby Clegg, who was unable to defend her 2012 European 100m and 200m titles in 2014 through illness.
British Athletics advises that world medallists Kare Adenegan, Paul Blake, Hannah Cockroft, Sammi Kinghorn and Mel Nicholls are to miss the European Championships as they focus on their preparations for Rio.
“We have picked a team consisting of vast experience with the likes of Dave (Weir) and Richard (Whitehead) combined with plenty of potential as we look ahead over the next few years including the 2017 World Championships in London and 2020 Paralympics,” said head coach Paula Dunn.
“Grosseto will give a number of athletes a chance to leave their mark in the build-up to Rio with others using it as a fantastic opportunity to learn and perform on a major stage.”
British team for the IPC Athletics European Championships
James Arnott – T47m 100m
Joshua Bain – F37 Discus
Graeme Ballard – T36 100m
Daniel Bramall – T33 100m
Olivia Breen – T38 100m, 200m, Long Jump and 4x100m relay
Jonathan Broom-Edwards – T44 High Jump
Mickey Bushell – T53 100m and 400m
Jo Butterfield – F51 Club Throw and Discus
Richard Chiassaro – T54 100m, 200m, 400m and 4x400m relay
Kadeena Cox – T37 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay
Vanessa Daobry – F34 Shot Put
Aled Davies – F42 shot and discus
David Devine – T12 1500m
Kyron Duke – F41 Javelin and Shot Put
Mitchell Dutton – F38 Javelin
Sabrina Fortune – F20 Shot Put
Toby Gold – T33 100m
Dan Greaves – F44 Discus
Kylie Grimes – F51 Club Throw
Dylan Harris – T36 100m and 200m
Sophie Hahn – T38 100m, 200m, 4x100m relay
James Hamilton – T20 1500m
David Henson – T42 100 and 200m
Georgie Hermitage – T37 100m, 200m, 400m and 4x100m relay
Josh Howard – T38 Long Jump
Jordan Howe – T35 100m and 200m
Abbie Hunnisett – F32 Club Throw
Mo Jomni – T53 100m, 200, 400m, 800m and 4x400m relay
Jade Jones – T54 400m and 800m
Maria Lyle – T35 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay
Nathan Maguire – T54 200m, 400m, 800m and 4x400m relay
Erin McBride – T13 100m and 400m
Stephen Miller – F32 Club Throw
Stephen Morris – T20 1500m
Holly Neill – F41 Discus
Stephen Osborne – T51 100m and 400m
Jonnie Peacock – T44 100m
Gemma Prescott – F32 Club Throw
Stef Reid – F44 Long Jump
Ben Rowlings – T34 100m, 400m and 800m
Sam Ruddock – F35 Shot Put
Zac Shaw – T13 100m and 200m
Andrew Small – T33 100m
Laura Sugar – T44 100m and 200m
Carly Tait – T34 100m, 400m and 800m
Isaac Towers – T34 100m, 200m, 400m and 800m
Amy Wareing – F38 Discus
David Weir – T54 400m, 800m, 1500m, 5000m, 4x400m relay
Richard Whitehead – T42 100m and 200m