IPC Athletics expands Grand Prix series with inaugural Oceania event

The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) will next year expand its IPC Athletics Grand Prix series to Oceania for the first time after it confirmed an event will be staged in Brisbane, Australia.

Due to take place from March 6-8, the Queensland State Championships will be the second event of the 2015 series. The Australian meeting will mark the first occasion that an IPC Athletics Grand Prix series meet will have been staged on the continent.

The 2015 series will commence with a meet in Dubai, United Arab Emirates from February 22-25 before moving on to Brisbane the following week. The Tunisian capital city of Tunis will stage the third event of the series at the end of March.

April will see the 2015 series move on to the Chinese city of Beijing before a stop-off in Sao Paulo, Brazil later that month. The series will then travel to North America with the Desert Challenge Games in Mesa, US in mid-May, another first-time event, before crossing the Atlantic Ocean to make land in Europe with a meeting in Nottwil, Switzerland later that month.

The series will then stop off in Grosetto, Italy at the start of June before moving on to Berlin, Germany. The 2015 series will conclude with the Grand Prix Final, the venue and date of which is yet to be confirmed by the IPC.

Ryan Montgomery, head of IPC Athletics, said: “Following the success of the Grand Prix series since it was launched in 2013, we are delighted that in 2015 we will have more events than ever before giving para-athletes in all five continents the chance to compete at the highest level.

“Ten Grand Prix events will act as the perfect curtain raiser for October’s World Championships in Doha and we believe by giving leading para-athletes most opportunities to compete against each other, the net result will be much improved performances and great rivalries.

“Many of the Grand Prix are now firmly established on the para-athletics calendar but in 2015 we will have an event in Australia for the first time.”

Alongside the Grand Prix series, IPC Athletics will also stage its 2015 Marathon World Championships in London on April 26 to coincide with the London Marathon. In addition, the 2015 IPC Athletics World Championships will take place in Doha, Qatar from October 22-31.