CWMBRAN shot putter Kyron Duke has received a timely boost less than seven months before Tokyo 2020 by being included on the British Athletics Paralympic World Class Programme (WCP).

The 27-year-old, who owns a host of silvers and bronzes from world and European championships, is chasing his first Paralympic Games medal in the Far East later this year.

Duke and 45 other British athletes, including the likes of Ystrad Mynach’s Hollie Arnold and Bridgend’s Aled Davies, feature on the WCP.

Duke broke the F41 world record last summer but had to settle for third at November’s world championships in the UAE – Uzbekistan’s Bobirjon Omonov was a surprise gold medallist.

The WCP is UK Sport’s National Lottery-funded initiative to support the delivery of success at the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Membership onto the WCP for 2020 is based on an athletes’ potential to win a medal at Tokyo 2020 or Paris 2024.

World medallists Harri Jenkins, Derek Rae, Vanessa Wallace and Thomas Young have been promoted to the Podium level of funding from Podium Potential after exceptional performances during 2019.

Rae won world silver at the London Marathon, which incorporated the world championship event in the T46 category, last April.

It was his first medal on the international stage, and he heads into the Paralympic Games in Tokyo as one of the highest ranked in the classification.

Young was agonisingly close to sealing men’s T38 100m gold in Dubai, missing out by just 0.001 seconds to China’s Dening Zhu.

Like Young, Wallace and Jenkins followed European gold in 2018 with a world medal in 2019. Wallace sealed bronze in the F34 shot put, throwing a personal best of 7.66 metres in the process. Meanwhile, Jenkins bagged the bronze behind compatriot Andrew Small in the T33 100m.

Five world finalists are added to the Podium Potential level.

Anna Nicholson, fourth in the F35 shot put and F12 shot putter Lydia Church, who was seventh, add to the growing list of throws athletes supported on the WCP.

Ola Abidogun, Owen Miller and Hannah Taunton were all finalists in Dubai, the former a Paralympic silver medallist from 2012.

Miller, who is currently supported by the British Athletics Futures Academy Programme, and Taunton, who has recently graduated from it, both join the WCP after making their senior international debuts in the T20 1500m in Dubai.

“As we are well into Paralympic year, it is great to announce the 2020 World Class Programme cohort following the late world championships last year,” said Paula Dunn, para-athletics head coach at British Athletics.

“Several athletes stepped up last season which has seen them move up to Podium level, which has been thoroughly deserved, while I’m delighted to welcome five athletes to the WCP at Podium Potential level.

“My thanks as ever go to the coaches, families and friends who are all part of the crucial support network for the athletes. Without them, it would not be possible.

“I would also like to extend my thanks to UK Sport and the National Lottery for funding and supporting our world-class programme – their support is incredibly important.”

There are two levels of membership on the WCP, Podium and Podium Potential.