Belfast Telegraph

London eager to stage championships again in two years

By Nick Mashiter

London is ready to launch a bid to see the World Para Athletics Championships return in two years. The capital has hosted a record-breaking championships this month after selling 300,000 tickets at the London Stadium.

The IPC is yet to sign a deal with any host nation with Kuala Lumpur expected to be in the running to be a host in 2019.

Applications need to be in by the start of September and London 2017 co-chairman Ed Warner is eager to make a move.

He said: "The British Paralympic Association and UKA are both very keen to bid. They will be making that clear in the next 24 hours.

"I got enthusiastic responses from a number of the parties we will need to get on board.

"I think you get 50 of these for one Commonwealth Games. If we all step back and look at the benefits of doing it for London, for Newham, for the Paralympic movement, for UK Athletics, you would have to have a heart of ice not to want to do it.

"It isn't just about cheering British medal winners or heroic British athletes but they have engaged with every athlete from all the countries around the world that have been competing."

Great Britain had their most successful championships this century, winning 39 medals, and Paralympic head coach Paula Dunn would welcome a return in two years.

She added: "The public have seen our guys shining. We know what our goals are - we know some of our athletes are going to the Commonwealth Games and the Europeans next year and if the Worlds are here in 2019 it'll be a bonus.

"If it's Kuala Lumpur - whatever they decide - we'll go and roll into Tokyo. I think there's a potential bid in from them (Kuala Lumpur) but hopefully we get it."

Meanwhile, Sammi Kinghorn won gold on the final day of the World Para Athletics Championships as Britain finished with their best medals tally for 19 years. T53 wheelchair racer Kinghorn completed a golden double with victory in the 100m, having already won the 200m.

There was also a trio of British silver medals for Polly Maton in the T47 long jump, Jordan Howe in the T35 100m and Mickey Bushell in the T53 100m.

GB have collected 39 medals, eight more than they did in Doha in 2015. The tally, which includes 18 golds, is GB's best since the Birmingham championships in 1998, where they collected 68 but at a time when there were many more events.

This is the sixth World Championships since the number of events was reduced, with Britain's next best medal haul the 38 they took in Christchurch in 2011.

They finished third in the medal table, one place higher than two years ago, mainly because Russia, who came second in 2015, are currently banned.

Britain's 11-time Paralympic champion Baroness Grey-Thompson said: "Britain have done fantastically well. I don't think there's been too many surprises from the British team in terms of where medals have come from.

"It's all about the Tokyo 2020 cycle and this is a stepping stone to the next Paralympics."

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