Stockport Wheelchair Racing have returned home in excellent spirits from competitions in the UAE.

Andy Small, the club’s Paralympic bronze-medal holder, was particularly successful. At the Sharjah International Open Athletics Meeting and Dubai IPC Grand Prix he bagged six medals in the men’s T33 events.

These included a gold medal and two silver medals in Dubai, where he recommenced his battle with Kuwait’s World Champion, Ahmad Almutairi, in the 100m. Almutairi took the gold ahead of Small but only by 0.17 seconds and the Briton’s coach was pleased with the progress his charge has made.

“Andy has done exceptionally well,” Rick Hoskins told us. “His times have come down quite a bit from last year. He’s getting closer.”

The club will return to action on the IPC Grand Prix circuit in Nottwil, Switzerland in May when Rick is hoping that his athletes will be able to set some good times.

“Dubai is early in the season so we can see how winter training has gone. Then hopefully they’ll go to Switzerland and their times will have improved. They’ve got to get good times in Switzerland.”

Following success in the UAE, Rick is optimistic about the future.

“We’re very pleased with how the winter training has gone and we’re looking forward to the season ahead!”

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