Markus Rehm, Hannah Cockroft and Tatyana McFadden are among the potential stars in the coming days in Tokyo
The track and field athletics programme at the Tokyo Paralympics starts on Friday (Aug 27) and here are some of the top athletes to keep an eye out for.
Markus Rehm (Germany)
Event: T64 long jump
The 2012 and 2016 champion Paralympic champion is looking for another gold medal to add to his collection and has been in remarkable form this year, smashing his world record for the T64 long jump by 14cm with 8.62m on the opening day of the European Para Championships in Bydgoszcz at the beginning of June. The world champion also has 4x100m relay Paralympic gold to his name.
Daniel Romanchuk (USA)
Events: T54 400m, 800m, 1500m
The reigning T54 800m world champion is the current world number one at that distance, as well as the 400m and 1500m. His incredible range also saw him become the youngest ever winner of the Boston Marathon in 2019, the same year in which he also won in London.
Hannah Cockroft (GBR)
Events: T34 100m, 800m
The five-time Paralympic champion tops the world rankings in both of her events and has rediscovered her enjoyment of the sport, as well as finding top form. Won the British title over 400m in Manchester earlier this summer.
Ntando Mahlangu (RSA)
Event: T61 200m
The teenager finished second to Britain’s Richard Whitehead at his first Paralympics in Rio and the gold will be hotly contested between the two this time around in Japan.
Holly Robinson (NZL)
Event: F46 javelin
Has finished second to Britain’s Hollie Arnold at the Paralympics, World Championships and Commonwealth Games in the past, but goes into this Games as the top-ranked athlete.
Jonathan Broom Edwards (GBR)
Event: T64 high jump
The reigning world champion from 2019 is now looking to upgrade the silver medal he won in Rio.
Isis Holt (AUS)
Events: T35 100m, 200m
Already a two-time world champion, this lightning quick Aussie who broke the T35 200m world record with a time of 27.33 last month is looking for her first Paralympic gold. Has two silvers and a bronze to her name from the Rio Paralympics.
Merle Menje (GER)
Events: T54 100m, 400m, 800m, 5000m
The German may be young but she is already winning titles in style, taking T54 400m and 5000m gold – not to mention 100m and 800m silver – at the European Championships earlier this summer. She is already in the top five in the world rankings for 400m and 800m.
Fleur Jong (NED)
Events: T64 100m and long jump
The Dutchwoman who is the reigning world champion was another athlete to create history record at this year’s European Championships. First she lowered the 100m world record to 12.64 before then breaking her own long jump world record with a leap of 6.04m and breaking it again with a distance of 6.06m for her next jump.
Tatyana McFadden (USA)
Events: T54 400m, 800m, 1500m, 5000m, Marathon and 4x100m Universal Relay
The American will be competing at her fifth Summer Paralympics and the seven-time champion, who also won silver for her country in cross-country skiing at the 2014 Winter Games, will take part in six events.
Given that the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee have promised $37,500 for each gold medal-winning performance from their Olympians and Paralympians, she could return home a considerably wealthier athlete!
The athletics programme at the Paralympic Games takes place from August 27 to September 5. You can watch all of the action on Channel Four, plus keep up to date with the latest news from Tokyo via athleticsweekly.com and our social media channels.
For results and timetable info, CLICK HERE