Ten reigning European champions are among the 47 athletes selected to compete for Great Britain and Northern Ireland at the World Para Athletics European Championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland between 1-5 June.
Aled Davies (coach: Ryan Spencer-Jones; club: Cardiff), Sophie Hahn (Leon Baptiste; Charnwood), Maria Lyle (Jamie Bowie; Team East Lothian) and Richard Whitehead (Keith Antoine; Southwell) are among those set to compete at the Zdzisław Krzyszkowiak Stadium.
Six-time European champion Aled Davies will be seeking his fourth consecutive F63 shot-put title as the 2016 Paralympic gold medallist prepares for his title defence in Tokyo this summer.
Double world champion Maria Lyle will compete in the T35 100m and 200m in Poland. The 21-year-old has won six European titles during her career to date and will be seeking to add further silverware to her collection at the 2021 edition.
Grand-slam champion in the T38 100m Sophie Hahn will defend her title in Bydgoszcz, while Thomas Young (Joe McDonnell; Charnwood) will look to match that achievement in the men’s equivalent.
Reigning individual European champions Dan Greaves (Zane Duquemin; Charnwood) [F64 discus], Harri Jenkins (Nathan Stephens; DSW Para Academy) [T33 100m], Vanessa Wallace (Alison O’Riordan; Enfield and Haringey) [F34 shot put] and Richard Whitehead [T61 200m] are selected, whilst 2018 universal 4x100m relay gold medallists Nathan Maguire (Ste Hoskins; Kirkby) and Zac Shaw (Leon Baptiste; Cleethorpes) have also been called up.
Four-time European champion Georgie Hermitage (Rod Finch; Basingstoke and Mid Hants) returns to the British team having retired from the sport in early 2020. However, following the birth of her second child last year, the Paralympic and world champion returned to training, running her first race since 2018 last weekend and has been selected for the T37 400m in Poland.
Three British athletes will compete 100m RaceRunning events including world champion Kayleigh Haggo (John Owens; Ayr Seaforth), who broke the RR2 400m world record at the weekend. World silver medallist Ellie Simpson (Jessica Davidson; Sheffield and Dearne) has also been selected for the women’s RR3 100m. In the men’s equivalent, Dubai 2019 world silver medallist Rafi Solaiman (Philip Fleetwood; Sheffield & Dearne) leads the entries.
Eight athletes on the British Athletics Paralympic Futures Academy and two Paralympic Development Academy athletes have been selected including T54 athletes Daniel Sidbury (Christine Parsloe; Sutton & District) and Mel Woods (Rodger Harkins; Red Star). The British Athletics Paralympic Performance Pathway aims to identify, develop, prepare and support potential Paralympians towards World Class level. These ten athletes on the 2021 cohort join a number of graduates of the programme on the team for Bydgoszcz, including European medallists Thomas Young and Ali Smith (Benke Blomkvist; Guildford & Godalming).
Paula Dunn MBE, the Para Athletics Head Coach said: “The World Para Athletics European Championships provide a great opportunity for our athletes to compete at a high level in a very important year. It is a fantastic competition opportunity for those athletes who are building up to Tokyo, as well as providing a platform for our Paralympic Futures Academy and Development Academy athletes who are on the pathway for Paris and Los Angeles.
“Due to challenging circumstances at this current time, and consistent with British Athletics’ approach this season, all athletes were given the option to opt-in or opt-out of the Championships. The Paralympic Games is ultimately the main focus this year, so while many athletes have targeted Bydgoszcz as a key event in their plan for the year, others have decided to focus on other competitions as part of their preparation for Tokyo. We are supporting all athletes and coaches to achieve what they feel is the best preparation possible for the Paralympic Games later this summer.”
The British team for the World Para Athletics European Championships, Bydgoszcz, Poland on 1-5 June:
Fabienne André (Jenny Archer; Weir Archer Academy) – T34 100m and 800m
Olivia Breen (Aston Moore; City of Portsmouth) – T38 Long Jump and 100m
Lydia Church (Jim Edwards; Peterborough and Nene Valley) – F12 Shot Put
Libby Clegg (Joe McDonnell; Charnwood) [Guide runner – Chris Clarke] – T11 200m and 4x100m Universal Relay
Kayleigh Haggo (John Owens; Ayr Seaforth) – RR3 100m
Sophie Hahn (Leon Baptiste; Charnwood) – T38 100m and 4x100m Universal Relay
Georgie Hermitage (Rod Finch; Basingstoke and Mid Hants) – T37 400m
Sophie Kamlish (Rob Ellchuk; Bristol & West) – T64 100m and 4x100m Universal Relay
Maria Lyle (Jamie Bowie; Team East Lothian) – T35 100m and 200m
Polly Maton (Colin Baross; Team Devizes) – T47 Long Jump and 100m
Anna Nicholson (Richard Kaufman; Gateshead) – F35 Shot Put
Ellie Simpson (Jessica Davidson; Sheffield & Dearne) – RR3 100m
Ali Smith (Benke Blomkvist; Guildford & Godalming) – T38 100m, 400m and 4x100m Universal Relay
Stef Reid (Aston Moore; Charnwood) – T64 Long Jump
Emily Stewart (Janice Kaufman; Gateshead) – F38 Discus
Hannah Taunton (Charlotte Fisher; Taunton) – T20 1500m
Vanessa Wallace (Alison O’Riordan; Enfield and Haringey) – F34 Shot Put
Mel Woods (Rodger Harkins; Red Star) – T54 100m, 400m, 800m and 1500m
Ola Abidogun (Steve Thomas; Horwich) – T47 100m and 4x100m Universal Relay
Jonathan Adams (Margaret Nicholls; Ipswich) – F35 Shot Put
Columba Blango (Chris Zah; Shaftesbury Barnet) – T20 400m
John Bridge (Darrell Maynard; Cardiff) – T47 400m
Jonathan Broom-Edwards (Graham Ravenscroft; Newham & Essex Beagles) – T64 High Jump
Shaun Burrows (Joe McDonnell; Charnwood) – T38 400m
Richard Chiassaro (Jenni Banks; Harlow) – T54 400m and 800m
Barney Corrall (Chris Sinclair; Charnwood) – T38 Long Jump
Aled Davies (Ryan Spencer-Jones; Cardiff) – F63 Shot Put
Kyron Duke (Ryan Spencer-Jones; DSW Para Academy) – F41 Shot Put
James Freeman (Jenny Archer; Weir Archer Academy) – T33 100m
Dan Greaves (Zane Duquemin; Charnwood) – F64 Discus
Harri Jenkins (Nathan Stephens; DSW Para Academy) – T33 100m
Rhys Jones (Kevin Williams; DSW Para Academy) – T37 100m and 200m
Nathan Maguire (Ste Hoskins; Kirkby) – T54 100m, 400m, 800m and 4x100m Universal Relay
Stephen Miller (Ros Miller; Gateshead) – F32 Club Throw
Luke Nuttall (Alison Wyeth; Charnwood) – T46 1500m
Javaughn Parkes (Michelle Nicholas; Birchfield) – T36 100m
Ross Paterson (John Kinder; Red Star) – T38 100m and 400m
Dan Pembroke (David Turner; Windsor Slough Eton and Hounslow) – F13 Javelin
Zac Shaw (Leon Baptiste; Cleethorpes) – T12 100m and 4x100m Universal Relay
Daniel Sidbury (Christine Parsloe; Sutton & District) – T54 400m, 800m, 1500m and 5000m
Luke Sinnott (Roger Keller; Bournemouth) – T63 Long Jump
Zak Skinner (Aston Moore; Loughborough Students) – T13 Long Jump and 100m
Rafi Solaiman (Philip Fleetwood; Sheffield & Dearne) – RR3 100m
Alexander Thomson (Chris Baillie; Victoria Park City of Glasgow) – T38 100m and 400m
Harrison Walsh (Nathan Stephens; Swansea) – F64 Discus Throw
Richard Whitehead (Keith Antoine; Southwell) – T61 200m
Thomas Young (Joe McDonnell; Charnwood) – T38 100m and 4x100m Universal Relay