23 June 2021

ParalympicsGB announces first track and field stars bound for Tokyo 2020

Six reigning Paralympic champions are among the first group of 12 athletes selected to represent ParalympicsGB at the rescheduled Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games this summer.

Hollie Arnold, Jo Butterfield, Hannah Cockroft, Aled Davies, Sophie Hahn and Richard Whitehead all won gold at Rio 2016 and are part of a stellar group of athletes who are announced today in the first wave of Para athletics selections.

Five-time Paralympic champion Cockroft, who lowered her own world records in the women’s T34 100m, 200m, 400m and 800m in Switzerland last month, is joined by fellow T34 wheelchair racer and Rio 2016 silver and bronze medallist, Karé Adenegan in the women’s T34 100m and 800m.

Karé Adenegan at Rio 2016

For Whitehead and Davies, Tokyo 2020 will be their third summer Games - both claimed gold at London 2012 and Rio 2016. Whitehead has been selected to race in the T61 200m, while Welshman Davies will compete in the F63 shot put.

Hollie Arnold will be looking to defend the title she won five years ago in the women’s F46 javelin, while reigning world champion Jonathan Broom-Edwards – a silver medallist at Rio 2016 – is selected in the T64 high jump. Sabrina Fortune, who won her first world title in 2019 to add to the Paralympic bronze she won in Rio, will line up in the women’s F20 shot put.

Reigning Paralympic, world, European and Commonwealth champion, Sophie Hahn will head to Japan aiming for her second consecutive T38 100m Paralympic title, while Rio 2016 bronze medallist Andrew Small has sealed his place in the men’s T33 100m.

Aled Davies in action in 2016

Scottish sprinter Maria Lyle, who won three Paralympic medals in Brazil five years ago, was in terrific form at the recent European Championships, claiming two golds to take her tally of European titles to eight since making her debut in 2014. The 21-year-old will compete in the T35 100m and 200m in Tokyo.

Lyle’s compatriot and defending Paralympic F51 club throw champion, Jo Butterfield completes the duo of Tokyo-bound Scots in this first wave of selected athletes.

20-year-old Thomas Young makes his Paralympic debut after impressive performances on the European and world stage in recent years, including T38 100m gold the European Para Athletics Championships earlier this month.

Great Britain and Northern Ireland finished third in the Para athletics medals table at Rio 2016, behind China and USA.

"It's been a long wait"

British Athletics’ Paralympic Head Coach Paula Dunn said:

“I am very pleased to confirm our first wave of athletes for this summer’s Paralympic Games. It has been a long wait for these athletes, but this is a significant milestone in their career, so I hope they savour this moment and reflect on their achievement so far and use it to fuel them in the final few weeks of preparation for the Games.

“I am proud of how these athletes have conducted themselves over the last year or so under very challenging circumstances. They have kept their focus on their goals in a year like no other, and I wish them all the best over these final few weeks of preparation prior to the Games. I am looking forward to seeing how they all perform out in Tokyo.”

ParalympicsGB Chef de Mission Penny Briscoe said:

“It’s a great pleasure to welcome such talented athletes to the ParalympicsGB team with just over 60 days to go before the Games get underway in Tokyo.

“This tremendous group of athletes from both track and field has already shown great ability on the global stage, including gold and silver medal-winning performances at the last World Championships. I am in no doubt that their talent and experience will stand them in great stead at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games and I look forward to joining them on that journey.”

The remaining members of the Para athletics team will be announced on Wednesday 21 July 2021.

Athletes selected for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games

Karé Adenegan – Women’s T34 100m and 800m

Hollie Arnold – Women’s F46 Javelin

Jonathan Broom-Edwards – Men’s T64 High Jump

Jo Butterfield – Women’s F51 Club Throw

Hannah Cockroft – Women’s T34 100m and 800m

Aled Davies – Men’s F63 Shot Put

Sabrina Fortune – Women’s F20 Shot Put

Sophie Hahn – Women’s T38 100m

Maria Lyle – Women’s T35 100m and 200m

Andrew Small – Men’s T33 100m

Richard Whitehead – Men’s T61 200m

Thomas Young – Men’s T38 100m

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