With the IPC Athletics Grand Prix having gotten underway last Thursday and officially concluding this Thursday, Latvians Aigars Apinis and Dmitrijs Silovs have managed to win gold despite a number of issues for the Latvian delegation in getting to Dubai for the competition. Apinis’s gold medal came in the men’s F32/51/52 discuss. Silovs’s gold came in the men’s javelin F35-38 event.
The three athlete strong, nine total member Latvian delegation had issues with their flights. Originally, all competitors were supposed to leave on the same date. Originally, they were to fly to Dubai via Istanbul, but there were issues. Apinis and Silovs made it on the scheduled arrival date. The third athlete, Ingrīda Priede, and the other half of the delegation had issues with their flights and arrived a day later. Their Turkish Airlines flight lost their sporting equipment, including sport wheelchairs, uniforms, medical supplies and every day wheelchairs.
Because of these issues, Apinis had to compete using another wheelchair. Despite these issues with not having his best chair, the 41-year-old managed a 18.36 meter throw and easily beating the other seven competitors in his event. His wheelchair is still missing somewhere between Istanbul and Dubai.
25-year-old Silovs managed to overcome these issues, and claim gold while bettering his personal best throw set at last year’s IPC European Championships with a 49.57 meter throw.
Priede finished so far has had a best finish of fifth in the the women’s F36-38 shot put. The F38 competitor had a best of five throw of 7.52 meters. She was the only participant in her class, with the event being won by Germany’s F37 athlete Franziska Liebhardt who threw 11.83 meters. Trained by Maija Ukstiņa, there are higher expectations for her in the discus event, where she is the reigning European champion.