Papaconstantinou hopes to end ‘’crazy’’ year strong at worlds

Canadian Paralympic Committee

November 11, 2019

“This is ultimately a preparation for Tokyo [2020 Paralympic Games].''


DUBAI – Marissa Papaconstantinou has lived the highs and lows of competitive sport this year and she hopes to head into the 2020 Paralympic Games season with a positive outlook after this week’s World Para Athletics Championships in Dubai.  


The Toronto blade runner sprinter will compete in the women’s T64 100m race on Tuesday November 12. She races in the second of three heats in the preliminaries in the morning, with the final later in that evening.

Her personal best and Canadian record of 13.15 seconds, set earlier this spring at the Swiss Grand Prix, puts her as the third seed behind Marlene van Gansewinkel of the Netherlands (12.66) and Irmgard Bensusan of Germany (12.72).

‘’My goal here at the worlds is just to compete my very best and stay focused,’’ said Papaconstantinou, already at her third worlds appearance at age 20. “This is ultimately a preparation for Tokyo [2020 Paralympic Games]. 

“I want to go out there and run as fast as I can and hopefully, I’ll get a personal best out of it.’’

After her big performance in Switzerland, Papaconstantinou’s season was derailed when she suffered a tendon tear in her hamstring. That kept her out of action for 10 weeks and forced her to miss the nationals in July and the Parapan American Games in August.

‘’This has definitely been a crazy year,’’ said the 2016 Paralympian. ‘’I started at a crazy high with a big PB in the 100 then I came home and injured myself. Ultimately after that I was focusing on being healthy for worlds.

‘’I’m still not 110 percent at this point. I’m just working through everything right now and trying to stay as positive as I can.’’

When the Paralympic flame is lit next August, Papaconstantinou wants to be considered a solid medal contender.

‘’Of course, the podium is always the goal, I have been so close so many times,’’ she said. ‘’There are some challenges that have prevented me from that goal. I just need to stay relaxed, rely on my training, and hopefully that takes me where I want to be.’’

The World Para Athletics Championships are the largest Para sport event to be held before the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games and run from November 7 to 15 in Dubai. More than 1,400 athletes from almost 120 nations are competing. 

Viewers will be able to follow the action via the free CBC Gem streaming service,, the CBC Sports app for iOS and Android devices, and CPC Facebook page, as well as the Radio-Canada Sports app and

For the broadcast schedule, please visit

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