Gold medal glory for Whitehead on Day 301.09.2012
A morning of broken records marked the third day of Athletics competition.
A new world record was set four times in each of the latter heats for the women’s 100m T12 event.
Encouraged by the roar of the home crowd, Richard Whitehead secured a British gold medal and new world record time of 24.38 in the men’s 200m T42 final.
The British star has broken the record twice this year already across the 200m distance, one of them taking place at the London 2012 test event in May at the Olympic Stadium.
Commenting after the race, Whitehead said: "This is the second time I've set a world record. The first time was in front of 2000 people. This time it was in front of a stadium of 80,000 people."
"I worked my arse off to be the best athlete I can be. You have to push through barriers and go even further."
The silver medal was taken by Paralympic Games debutant Shayuille Vance of USA and bronze went to the Athens 2004 bronze medallist Heinrich Popow of Germany.
Medals for host nation didn’t stop there, as British athletes won three more bronze medals in field events. Gemma Prescott was the first when received bronze in the women’s club throw at her first Paralympic Games. Gold went to Maroua Ibrahmi of Tunisia with a world record distance of 23.43 and silver to Algeria’s Mounia Gasmi.
Great Britain’s Claire Williams won bronze in the women’s discus throw while China took the top spots with Liangmin Zhang taking gold and Hongxia Tang in silver position.
There was another bronze for the Great Britain team in the men’s shot put with Robin Womack’s personal best performance. Iran’s Jalil Bagheri Jeddi won gold and silver was awarded to Karol Kozun of Poland.
However, the athlete that got the most applause and every member of the crowd on their feet was Houssein Omar Hassan in the first heat of the men’s 1500m T46. The epitome of determination and perseverance, Omar Hassan continued his final two laps of the track following race completion by his competitors.
Qualifying the quickest for the 1500m T46 final was Samir Nouioua of Algeria closely followed by current world record holder Abraham Tarbei.
In the men’s long jump F13, Cuba took first and second place with world record holder Luis Felipe’s 7.54m distance to claim the gold medal and new Paralympic record. Followed by Angel Jimenez Cabeza and Bulgaria’s Radoslav Zlatanov winning bronze.
Speaking about his performance, Felipe said: "I feel very confident in myself. I have got both the Paralympic and world records (7.76m). I feel a happier sportsman. The Paralympic Games are the major event for any athlete and I'm really happy with the way the country has welcomed us with everything right across the country."
Three-time Paralympic champion in the 100m T54 sprint, Leo Pekka Tahti of Finland has broken his own world record set in the 2008 Beijing Paralympic Games to secure his place in the final with a time of 13.63.
A new world record was set four times in each of the latter heats for the women’s 100m T12 event. Oxana Boturchuk of Ukraine was the first to record a quick time, followed by Great Britain’s Libby Clegg who completed the 100m in 12.17 to roaring approval from the stands.
Next Daqing Zhu of China shaved 0.04 seconds off time, only for Guohua Zhou of China to take to the track and become the first women’s 100m Paralympian to run sub 12 seconds with a new world record time of 11.91 heading into the final.
After an initial false start in the second heat of the women’s 100m T38, the world record holder Inna Stryzhak of Ukraine came back to place in the fastest time ahead of the final.
In the women’s 200m T11 event, Brazil’s Terezinha Guilhermina qualified the quickest from the heats and Elena Ivanova of Russia qualified in the top position ahead of the women’s 200m T36 final.