More than 15 medallists from the 2013 World Championships are among the United States’ team for the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Athletics Grand Prix in Arizona, due to start tomorrow.
The two-day meeting, which doubles as the Desert Challenge Games, is the sixth in a series of nine Grand Prix taking place around the world this year and features more than 220 athletes from 13 countries.
The American trio of Jarryd Wallace, David Prince and Jerome Singleton, first, second and third respectively in the men’s 200 metres T44 event at the World Championships in Lyon, will battle it out on home soil.
In the men’s 800m T52, Raymond Martin will strive to fend off the challenge of Mexico’s Leonardo Perez, who finished just over half-a-second behind him at the World Championships.
Meanwhile, Paralympic and world champion Jeremy Campbell will be hoping to return to the top of the global rankings in the men’s discus F44 having finished in second place behind Great Britain’s Dan Greaves in 2014.
The 27-year-old threw the world record mark of 63.46 metres nearly three years ago and will be aiming to improve on the 58.40m that earned him a convincing victory at last year’s equivalent event.
Double world silver medallist David Brown will be pushing for gold in the men’s 400m T11 event, while Lex Gillette, world champion in the men’s long jump T11, has the opportunity to record a third world record mark at this meeting, having done so in 2011 and again last year.
On the women’s side, one of the most highly anticipated events will be the 800m T54 with the US trio of Hannah McFadden, Susannah Scaroni and Cheri Madsen all vying for the gold medal.
The 19-year-old McFadden, younger sister of the world-renowned Tatyana McFadden, winner of the race 12 months ago, however Scaroni has been in strong form this year, while Madsen is highly experienced having medalled at the Paralympic Games at Atlanta 1996 and Sydney 2000 before taking a 12-year break from competition.
A thrilling head to head is also on the cards in the 100m T52 as Cassie Mitchell lines up against Canada’s Michelle Stilwell.
The pair finished first and second respectively over the distance at the World Championships and Stilwell currently tops the 2015 world rankings having clocked 19.61sec in Sydney earlier this year.
Rachael Morrison, world record holder in the club throw T51 having recorded a massive 21.90m last July in only her third competition, makes her Grand Prix debut, while 14-year-old Alexa Halko, ranked fourth in the world last year in the women’s 800m T34, could prove a thorn in the side of Great Britain’s Hannah Cockroft.
In the long jump T42, Scout Bassett and Lacey Henderson will be hoping to upset Germany's Vanessa Low, who returns to the US Grand Prix a year on from setting a world record mark of 4.47m, which she bettered with a leap of 4.60m at last year’s Grand Prix Final in Birmingham.
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