WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: Chan picked for the big event in Switzerland

Karim Chan in action at last year's National Disability Championships at which he won four gold medals.
Karim Chan in action at last year's National Disability Championships at which he won four gold medals.
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City athlete Karim Chan has been selected to represent Great Britain at the inaugural World Para Athletics Junior Championships in Switzerland.

The 16 year-old Peterborough Athletic Club member is in a 14-strong GB squad and will compete in the long jump at the event, which takes place in Nottwil from August 3-6.

Karim Chan is congratulated after winning another gold medal.

Karim Chan is congratulated after winning another gold medal.

GB para athletics head coach Paula Dunn said: “The World Para Athletics Junior Championships provide a valuable opportunity for our talented young athletes to gain experience in the major games environment. I have no doubt that the 14 athletes selected will use the championships wisely and hopefully learn plenty from it.

“This is an important part in the development pathway for these athletes as we build towards the Tokyo Paralympic Games in 2020. For many, this will be their first appearance in a British vest, and it will be crucial as we progress over the next few years.”

Chan, who suffers from Autism Spectrum Disorder, is coached by former Peterborough Athletic Club triple jump star Femi Akinsanya, who won umpteen international vests. He is now based at Loughborough University.

It will be Chan’s second appearance on foreign soil. In March he flew to Dubai to compete in the 2017 World Para Athletics Grand Prix and finished fifth in the F20 long jump with a leap of 5.68m.

His personal best for the event is 6.14m set a year ago.

Chan has come a long way in a short space of time since first taking up athletics in September 2013. He joined the Nene Valley Harriers Special Needs Club, run by coach Ian Nolan, and within months was winning regional gold medals for 100m, 200m and long jump.

In 2015, he won through to the National Disability Championship finals in Warwick and won three gold medals (100m, 200m and long jump) and picked up the Best Performance of the Day shield.

A year later he did even better, striking gold in four events - the 4x100m relay as well as the 100m, 200m and long jump - at the Typhoo National Disabilty Championships in Coventry

He also won the long jump at the Sainsbury’s National School Games and was chosen to attend British Athletics Talent Development squad sessions for a two-year period.

He has a 100m best time of 11.8 and a 200m best of 25.2.