Athletes from the GAPS programme have claimed eight medals at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, showcasing the impact of this ground-breaking programme to support the development of emerging para athletes and coaches from across the Commonwealth.
Created by the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) in partnership with Griffith University, UK Sport, PacificAus Sports, Stellenbosch University and the University of Birmingham, the programme provided training for over 100 athletes and coaches in the build-up to Birmingham 2022.
33 athletes from para table tennis, athletics and powerlifting from 15 nations ultimately qualified for the Games and took part in a pre-Games preparation camp at the University of Birmingham. Over the past two weeks, those athletes have delivered some incredible performances including one gold medal, four silver medals and three bronze medals.
- At the Athletics stadium, Nigeria’s Goodness Nwachukwu set a world record in the women’s F42-44/F61-64 discus, winning a gold medal alongside a bronze from another GAPS athlete, Fiji’s Naibili Vatunisolo.
- Cameroon’s Arlette Mawe Fokoa won silver in the women’s F57 shot put.
- Sri Lanka’s Palitha Halgahawelga Gedarain brought home a silver in the men’s F42-44/F61-64 discus.
- South Africa’s Charl Du Toit won silver in the men’s F38 100m, achieving a T37 class Commonwealth Games record.
- At the Weightlifting arena, Kenya’s Hellen Wawira Kariuki, won bronze in the women’s lightweight powerlifting.
- And in the Table Tennis, Nigeria brought home another two medals in the seated table tennis, with a silver for Ifechukwude Christiana Ikpeoyi in the women’s singles and a bronze for Isau Ogunkunle in the men’s singles.
Dame Katherine Grainger, Chair of UK Sport, said: “I want to congratulate every athlete that took part in the GAPS programme in the build up to Birmingham 2022. It has been an absolute pleasure to watch such remarkable performances from talented athletes representing 15 nations from across the Commonwealth.
“The programme has offered these athletes a platform to transform attitudes about disability in their communities and use their success to help advocate for change. This is a prime example of the power of sport to inspire positive change – another reason why UK Sport has been so keen to support programmes like GAPS, which can deliver a lasting impact well beyond the Games.”