London – An international grand prix series for disabled athletes will get underway in March, the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) said on Monday.
The meetings, which will take place in Dubai, Beijing, Sao Paulo, Grosseto in Italy, Arizona and Berlin, have been described as a Paralympic version of the Diamond League.
“Should the trial be successful then we will look at how we can expand these events in 2014 and beyond,” Ed Warner, chair of the IPC technical committee, said on the governing body's website (www.paralympic.org).
“These are great developments for the sport and we expect to make further announcements during the year.”
The aim of the series is to build on the success of London 2012, where the profile of Paralympic sport was raised considerably.
“The announcement that athletes are going to be getting more world-class events in the coming years is a very welcome one,” said Hannah Cockcroft, Britain's 100m and 200m Paralympic and world champion.
“I think the fear after London 2012 for the athletes was that there was going to be a limited amount of motivation over the next four years.
“However, the Grand Prix events and the world championships will give us plenty of chances to become the best in the world and keep the public interested in our training and achievements, allowing us to retain an elite status.” – Reuters