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Year in review: 2017

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on 31-12-2017 08:00

It’s been quite a year.

A record-breaking home World Para Athletics Championships, Grand Slam wheelchair tennis champions, boundary breaking athletes and more world champions than you could dream of.

You’d be a fool to try and trim all that down to a 2017 highlights package – so that’s exactly what we’ve done!

 

January

Downhill daredevil Millie Knight takes World Gold

British Parasnowsport athlete Millie Knight and her guide Brett Wild took visually impaired downhill gold at the Para-Alpine World Championships in Tarvisio, Italy. 

In a first for Great Britain, Knight secured a stunning victory with a time of 1.13.42 - more than a full second ahead of nearest competitor Slovakia’s Henrieta Farkasova, on her way to four medals in the competition

Gordon Reid makes it a Grand Slam of men’s doubles titles

Gordon Reid completed a career Grand Slam of men’s doubles wheelchair tennis titles after partnering Joachim Gerard of Belgium to win the Australian Open crown 6-3 3-6 (10-3) against fellow Brit Alfie Hewett and Argentina’s Gustavo Fernandez.

 

February

Paralympic legend Sascha Kindred calls time on medal-laden career

Sascha Kindred, one of the most successful Paralympic athletes of all time, retired after two decades at the top of his sport. 

Kindred is one of just a few athletes to have competed at six Paralympic Games – where he won a total of 13 medals, including seven gold – and competed at every World Championships since they began in 1994.

Pick and Moore ride to medal success at World Para Snowboard Championships

Owen Pick and Ben Moore picked up silver and bronze respectively on the final day of competition at the IPC Snowboard World Championships in Big White, Canada.

Pick won silver in the SB-LL2 banked slalom, while Moore picked up bronze in the SB-UL category of the same event.

 

March

Neilson guides Scotland to World Curling bronze

Aileen Neilson led Scotland to wheelchair curling bronze at the World Championships in South Korea.

Joined on the ice by Rob McPherson, Gregor Ewan and Hugh Nibloe, Neilson’s Scotland trailed China 5-4 going into the final two ends but hit back to win 9-5.

Anne Dunham brings curtain down on glittering para-equestrian career

Nineteen-time equestrian gold medallist, Wiltshire’s Anne Dunham OBE, announced her retirement from the sport. With a career spanning more than 23 years, Dunham first represented Great Britain at the World Championships in 1994, and since went on to amass a staggering 32 championship medals for her country. 

 

April

Weir claims magnificent seventh London win

David Weir made history at the 37th Virgin Money London Marathon as he surpassed Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson’s record number of wins in the capital, taking a magnificent seventh victory. 

The six-time Paralympic champion described the win as one of his best as he outsprinted Marcel Hug to take the victory.

Tai and Firth storm to new world records

On the penultimate day of action at the British Para-Swimming International Meet in Sheffield, Alice Tai lowered the S9 100m Backstroke world record.

Tai stopped the clock in 1:07.66, while Firth lowered the S14 100m butterfly world record to a time of 1:04.62.

 

May

Fifth World Team Cup title for Great Britain quad as GB men claim silver

Great Britain’s quad wheelchair tennis team won their fifth BNP Paribas World Team Cup title in Sardinia, defeating Israel 2-1.

The achievement of Andy Lapthorne, Antony Cotterill and James Shaw was supplemented by a silver for the GB men of Alfie Hewett, Gordon Reid and Dermot Bailey.

Gold and bronze for British Weight Lifting at Para Powerlifting World Cup

There was success for GB lifters at the 2017 Para Powerlifting World Cup in Eger, Hungary, as Nathaniel Wilding and Oliver Brown won gold and bronze, respectively, to boost their chances of qualification for the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.

 

June

Alfie Hewett makes history at Roland Garros with maiden Grand Slam singles title

Teenager Alfie Hewett made sporting history as he became the first Brit to win the men’s singles wheelchair tennis title at Roland Garros after a remarkable 0-6 7-6(9) 6-2 victory over defending champion Gustavo Fernandez of Argentina.

British players supported by the Tennis Foundation had won at least one singles titles at each of the four Grand Slam tournaments.

Paratriathletes win six European gold medals in Kitzbuhel

Great Britain’s paratriathlon team won a stunning six gold medals at the ETU Paratriathlon European Championships in Kitzbuhel, including a win for Paralympic champion Andy Lewis.

Lauren Steadman, Jade Jones, Dave Ellis, Melissa Reid and Cassie Cava also struck gold.

 

July

Brits continue doubles success at Wimbledon

Gordon Reid and Alfie Hewett made it two men’s doubles titles in a row at Wimbledon as they gained revenge over Stephane Houdet and Nicolas Peifer for their Paralympic final loss in Rio.

And there was more remarkable success in the women’s doubles as Jordanne Whiley won her fourth successive women’s doubles title, a tenth Grand Slam title overall, and all of which while 11 weeks pregnant.

Great Britain win remarkable 39 medals at home World Para Athletics Championships

New stars were born and existing stars shone even brighter than ever at the London Stadium as Great Britain won a staggering 39 medals in front of their home crowd.

Hannah Cockroft was the most successful of the Brits with a hat-trick of gold medals, while Sammi Kinghorn picked up two and there were also wins for Jonnie Peacock, Richard Whitehead, Stef Reid and Kadeena Cox, among others.

 

August

Golden hat-trick sees Britain paddle to second in World

Six medals, three gold and second in the medal table – the Paracanoe Sprint World Championships were a great success for Great Britain.

Jeanette Chippington, Jonathan Young and Emma Wiggs all left Racice with a gold medal in their luggage.

Brits continue to lead the way in para-dressage

Great Britain’s dominance of para-dressage continued at the European Championships as they topped the medal table with eight medals – six of which were gold.

Following two golds, a silver and a bronze in the individual tests, Suzanna Hext, Julie Payne and Sophie Wells all signed off with individual freestyle titles.

 

September

Stretton takes aim at the top step of the podium

Paralympic champion Jess Stretton led the way for Great Britain and the World Para-Archery Championships with golds in the individual compound and mixed team event – alongside John Cavanagh.

Stretton beat fellow Brit Jo Frith in her individual final, leaving her compatriot to pick up the silver medal, while Victoria Rumary, John Walker and Phoebe Pine also claimed bronze medals.

Great Britain claim eight medals at ITU Triathlon Grand Final

Great Britain’s paratriathletes produced an astounding effort at the ITU Grand Final in Rotterdam, winning eight medals in total.

Leading the way for Britain were Andy Lewis and Dave Ellis, who claimed golds in the PTS2 and PTVI races, respectively. 

 

October

Britain row to gold in Sarasota

Another Para-rowing World Championship, another gold medal for Great Britain as Anna Corderoy coxed the PR3Mix4 to gold in Florida.

The quartet of Grace Clough, Giedre Rakauskaite, Oliver Stanhope and James Fox eased to victory ahead of America and Italy.

Truesdale wins gold at World Para Taekwondo Championships

A home World Championships is always a special occasion but Amy Truesdale ensured it would be one to remember as she won gold at London's Copper Box Arena.

The Chester-based world number one triumphed 17-3 in the gold medal bout against Rajae Akermach having earlier fought her way to two stunning victories to reach the final.

 

November

Coutya has dream day in Rome

Dimitri Coutya could not have asked for a better 24 hours at the IWAS Wheelchair Fencing World Championships as he picked up foil and epee titles in successive days.

The British medals did not stop there, though, as Paralympic silver medallist Piers Gilliver went home with sabre bronze and epee silver in his suitcase.

Three the magic number for Great Britain as trio crowned European boccia champions

David Smith’s remarkable comeback from 4-0 down paved the way for a hat-trick of European titles for GB's boccia stars with gold medals following from Stephen McGuire and then Jamie McCowan on a stunning day for the Brits in Portugal.

GB end the year with two world number ones with Smith retaining his position and McGuire climbing to the top of the rankings on the back of another impressive year.

Jonnie Peacock wows Strictly

After wowing the judges, breaking down barriers and earning an army of fans for ‘Team Glitterblade’, Paralympic and world champion Jonnie Peacock’s time on Strictly Come Dancing came to an end in week nine.

Peacock and Oti Mabuse’s performance in the famed Blackpool Tower ballroom was to be their last, as the judges opted to keep Debbie McGee in the competition.

Jack Shephard wins battle of the Brits at Para-Badminton World Championships

It was an all-British final in the SS6 category as Jack Shephard beat Krysten Coombs to be crown para badminton world champion in Ulsan, Korea.

The duo then combined to take SS6 men’s doubles silver, while Rachel Choong won a hat-trick of SS6 titles – including mixed doubles alongside Andrew Martin and women’s doubles with Rebecca Bedford.

 

December

Cockroft and Peacock recognised at prestigious awards

After standout out years both on and off the track, Hannah Cockroft and Jonnie Peacock continued to break down barriers in awards season.

Hat-trick hero Cockroft became the first para athlete to be named Sportswoman of the Year by the Sports Journalist Association, before Peacock finished third in the BBC Sports Personality of the Year voting.

Fitzpatrick wins quartet of World Cup medals in Stubai

With the Winter Paralympic Games just around the corner, Menna Fitzpatrick warmed up in perfect style by winning a quartet of medals at the first Para Alpine World Cup of the season.

Skiing with guide Jennifer Kehoe, Fitzpatrick excelled at the slalom and giant slalom events in Stubai as world downhill champion Millie Knight picked also up slalom bronze.

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