Hangzhou 2022 APG Para Athletics Preview: Paralympic & world stars aim to stamp dominance with home stars in focus

Para athletics will be the largest sport contested at the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Para Games with almost all the 44 NPCs sending at least one athlete to the regional event and a total of 656 athletes heading to the Huanglong Sports Centre Stadium for six days of competition.

China topped the medal table at the recent World Championships held in Paris, winning a total of 45 medals including 16 gold medals, and five other Asian nations featured in the top 20 places on the overall medal table, so the competition is sure to be fierce with a high level of competition.

While Uzbekistan finished in the eighth place with six gold – only other nation than China in top -10 – others included Thailand (5G), Iran (4G), Japan (4G) and India (3G).

At the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, China finished on top of the athletics medal table with 51 medals including 27 gold as they did in the last Asian Para Games, where the East Asian nation were on the top with 104 medals including 56 gold.

In Hangzhou, China’s all top athletes are going to participate in a squad of 439 – double the size from the Indonesia 2018 Asian Para Games. And this time as well, China will be hoping to maintain their top rank displaying an incredible show in front of their home fans.

Among their top stars are Zho Lijuan (women’s discus, shot out and javelin throw F24), Zhou Zhaoqian (women’s 100m T54), Liu Cuiqing (women’s 200m & 400m T11), Mi Na (women’s discus F38), Liu Li (men’s shot put, club throw F32) among others. 

Thailand will rely on their wheelchair racers for the top honours with their Tokyo 2020 heroes Pongsakorn Paeyo and Athiwat Paeng-nuea competing in T53 and T54 100m, 400m and 800m races.

Meanwhile, Uzbekistan would be hoping to win some medals through their long jumpers including Doniyor Saliev (men’s long jump T12) and Asila Mirzayorova (women’s long jump T11), who broke world and championships record en route their gold medals at the Paris 2023 World Championships in July.

Sumit Antil in action at Paris 2023 Worlds.

In javelin events, India will rest their hopes on Paralympic champion Sumit Antil to take the gold in men’s F64 event as well as defending champion in the F44 event, Sandeep Chaudhary, and world champion Ajeet Singh and Sunder Singh Gurjar (men’s javelin F46).

In women’s sprints, China should dominate the races with their multiple Paralympic medallist Xia Zhou (T35), Yiting Shi (T36), Xiaoyan Wen (T37) set to scorch the tracks in Hangzhou.

Para Athletics events will be played for played over six days from October 23 at the Huanglong Sports Centre Stadium in Hangzhou.

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