Para-Athletics stars shine bright at World Championships

Ten VIS athletes were in full force at the 2023 Para-Athletic World Championships in Paris, bringing home an impressive 6 medals out of Australia's 14 total medals.

Australian colours were seen all over the podium at the recent 2023 Para-Athletic World Championships in Paris which finished on Monday. The Australian team brought home a sensational 3 gold medals, 8 silvers and 3 bronzes.

Maria (Maz) Strong paved the way for the team becoming the first 100m T72 World Champion on day one, before backing up the podium success with a silver medal in the Shot Put F33.

“It was incredibly exciting to see Maz make history, not only winning the inaugural 100m T72 at a World Championships, but doing so in World Record time!” – Ben King, VIS Athletics Performance Pathways Coordinator. 

“Claiming silver in the Shot Put F33 was equally as impressive and demonstrates Maz's versatility, preparation and competitive nature.”

Three-time Paralympic medallist, Jaryd Clifford, was named one of four captains to lead the Australian World Championship team, earning the support of his teammates votes. 

Clifford went on to bring home a silver medal in the 5000m T13 on the second day after a resilient and inspirational run.

Reece Langdon debuted his first World Championships by racing to a silver medal alongside Australian teammate, Angus Hinckman (SA), coming in bronze. 

Hard work continued to pay off for seasoned medallist, Guy Henley, securing silver at his fifth World Para-Athletics Championships in the Discus F37 event with a result of 52.45m. 

The Czech-born javelin star, Michal Burian, made his adoptive country proud by throwing 65.21m in the F64 event, winning him a piece of silver hardware. 

Powerful throws from new VIS athlete, Dayna Crees, broke Australian and Oceania records in Javelin F34 in her World Championship debut, placing fourth.

A special mention to Sam McIntosh, Daniel Milone and Samuel Rizzo for their results throughout the competition.

Seasoned Paralympian McIntosh secured fourth place in the 100m T42, Milone came up against the world’s best 1500m T20 in his first international debut, placing 15th, and Rizzo had a huge run competing in all 800m, 1500m and 5000m T54 events.

Nick Hum was selected to compete in the long jump T20 but unfortunately was a late withdraw.

The results of these championships offer a glimpse into the future for what could be achieved at the next World Para-Athletics Championships and into the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games.

“We couldn't be prouder of how the VIS athletes performed and look forward with excitement as we build towards 2024,” – said King.

Several VIS experts including physical preparation coach, Cory Innes, has played an important part in these athletes path to the world top and will continue to work with them as they return from overseas.  

“I’m immensely proud of them. I work with Michal and Guy and I’m happy for them both to achieve outstanding performances after the work they have put in. The results have taken a lot of dedication, discipline, trust in the process and patience,” – said Innes.

Innes work is preparing the athletes physically by building on their strengths and capabilities in the VIS gym. Watch how Innes worked with silver medallist, Burian, on his running strength and technique prior to the World Championships. 

Read more on Athletics Australia.

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