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Leverkusen / Dubai, October 29, 2019 – From November 7-15 , the 2019 World Para Athletics Championships will be hosted by Dubai, United Arab Emirates. More than 1,300 athletes from over 100 countries are expected to take part. At the 2019 World Para Athletics Championships, a large number of Bayer club members once again competed against the world's best disabled athletes. The World Championships are not only the pinnacle of this year’s para athletics season, but will also be the last major opportunity for athletes to book their slots for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics. TSV Bayer 04 Leverkuen is well-represented in the German team with 10 Bayer athletes in the 34-strong national team. Founded in 1950 and now with 300 members, the disabled sports section of TSV Bayer 04 Leverkusen is one of the most successful clubs in Germany for disabled athletes.
Leading in sports sponsorship
Bayer is one of Germany’s leading sports sponsors, an engagement with a long tradition. For more than a century the company has been endorsing its employees’ desire for healthy leisure activities and supporting a variety of sports in the vicinity of its production sites – at both professional and grassroots level. Although this support is provided in equal measure to top athletes, promising talents, and everyday sportsmen and -women, Bayer is particularly committed to disabled sports and responsibly supporting young talents.
Strong support for disabled sports
Nowadays, Bayer lends its name to 23 sports clubs with some 45,000 members and 50 different sports. In the professional sporting field, Bayer’s athletes have been extremely successful – as indicated by, for example, 68 Olympic and 82 Paralympic medals. Bayer has traditionally been a strong supporter of disabled sports and has been sponsoring the German National Paralympic Committee since 2000. Besides this sponsorship, Bayer’s engagement in disabled sports includes support for members of TSV Bayer 04 Leverkusen’s Disabled Sports Section at all levels of performance. The Herbert Grünewald Foundation specifically promotes sporting opportunities for the disabled and Bayer’s own initiative Einfach Fußball (Simply Football) also encourages participation in the world’s most popular sport. The intention behind Bayer’s engagement is to increase awareness and acceptance of disabled sports in Germany and abroad. “Top-performing para athletes as role models can help young disabled people to live their lives more self-confidently,” says Hendrik Wulff, Senior Bayer Representative. “This also helps them to master the inevitable challenges they face with a sportingly positive attitude.”
Medal prospects among Bayer competitors
The past achievements of Bayer competitors – gold medals at IPC World or European Championships and various world records – put them among the medal prospects in Dubai: world record holder Markus Rehm in the long jump; 100 and 400 m world record holder Johannes Floors in those events and the 4x100 m relay; world record holder Irmgard Bensusan in the 100 m and 200 m events; world record holder Léon Schäfer in the long jump competition and with Felix Streng a medal prospect in the 100 m; David Behre in the 100 m and possibly in the 4x100 m relay, where he won gold in Rio; and Tom Malutedi, who won a relay gold in the 2017 World Championships and will be competing in the 200 m and high jump. With best performances in national or youth championships and competing in world championships for the first time, the other three Bayer para athletes in the German team are also in with a medal chance: Maria Tietze in the 100 m, 200 m and long jump, Johannes Bessel in the 1,500 m, and Nele Moos, the team’s youngest competitor at just 17, in the 100 m, 200 m, long jump and relay events.
Experienced supporting crew
No top athlete can compete successfully without professional support from a highly qualified team. The Bayer athletes competing in Dubai will be accompanied by three Bayer coaches (Karl-Heinz Düe, Steffi Nerius and Matthias Esser), team manager Jörg Frischmann (TSV Bayer 04 Leverkusen’s Director of Sport), team doctor Dr. Helmut Hoffmann, head physiotherapist Ulrich Niepoth, personal assistant Constanze Wedell, press officer Nico Feißt, and biomechanic Ralf Müller. In addition, the former Bayer Paralympic champion Heinrich Popow will be attending as technical adviser to Team Japan and providing technical support to most of the Bayer athletes as well.
Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the life science fields of health care and nutrition. Its products and services are designed to benefit people by supporting efforts to overcome the major challenges presented by a growing and aging global population. At the same time, the Group aims to increase its earning power and create value through innovation and growth. Bayer is committed to the principles of sustainable development, and the Bayer brand stands for trust, reliability and quality throughout the world. In fiscal 2018, the Group employed around 117,000 people and had sales of 39.6 billion euros. Capital expenditures amounted to 2.6 billion euros, R&D expenses to 5.2 billion euros. For more information, go to www.bayer.com.
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This release may contain forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by Bayer management. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. These factors include those discussed in Bayer’s public reports which are available on the Bayer website at www.bayer.com. The company assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.
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