A lunging dive at the line by American Jerome Singleton was enough to give him the narrowest of victories over Oscar Pistorious in the T44 100m final at the 2011 International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Athletics World Championships in Christchurch.
Both recorded the relatively slow time of 11.34secs, but after a long deliberation, the nod went to Singleton.
“There’s a lot of me that won’t be leaving New Zealand,” Singleton said in reference to the amount of skin he lost in diving for the line. “But it was all worth it.”
Not as quick away as he would have liked, Singleton was all out to hold the barn-storming finish of the South African, who was gracious in defeat.
“He (Singleton) was the better man on the day. He has been improving all the time and he is a champion in the making,” Pistorius said after the event. The men’s 4 X 100m relay on Saturday will be a beauty.
There were six world records today and China led the way in the medal tally with four golds.
Daniel Greaves (Great Britain), Michael McKillop (Ireland), Algeria’s Sofiance Hamdi, Yohansson Nascimento of Brazil, Russia’s Alexey Ashapatov and Cuba’s Omara Durand all set new world records.
Greaves was the dominant performance of the day. He smashed his own world record by more than three metres in the F44 discus. His throw of 58.98m eclipsed his previous mark of 55.53m set in Manchester six years ago. Jeremy Campbell (United States) took silver with a throw of 53.40m with the bronze going to Farzad Sepahvand, of Iran.
Yohansson Nascimento of Brazil was responsible for the most enthusiastic victory performance with a triple cartwheel to celebrate his gold medal and world record in the men’s 100m T46 in 11.01sec. He beat the old record by 0.04secs. Second was China’s Ni Guo and Arnaud Assoumani of France was third.
McKillop, with only two in the 1500m T35 field, led from the gun, easily defeating runner-up Khaled Hannani, of Algeria.
Durand was extremely impressive in the women’s 200m T13 event, winning by over a second in 24.24secs. Second was Sanae Benhama (Morocco) and Ilse Hayes was third.
South African Fanie Van Der Merwe had the mortification of not only getting nosed out of the gold medal but also having his world record taken away by Algeria’s Hamdi in the men’s 200m T37 final. Both went under the old time with the Algerian winning by 0.03secs in 23.64secs. Mostafa Fathalla Mohamed (Egypt) was third.
Ashapatov was leading going into the last round of the men’s F57/58 discus, but put it beyond doubt with a world record 57.64m, 0.03m better than the old mark. Egypt’s Metawa Abo Elkhir was second and the bronze went to Ali Ghardooni.
Brazil’s Terezinha Guilhermina won her third gold with an easy victory in the T11 400m. Her time of 57.16secs was a championship record. Tracey Hinton (Great Britain) took the silver medal and Adrian Rocha Santos (Brazil) was third.
It was a good morning for China. Duan Li (China) waited until his final leap to snatch gold in the men’s F11 triple jump. The world record holder was trailing Russian Andrey Koptev by 0.35m before his final effort of 12.93m to win by 0.28m. American Elexis Gillette was third.
Xuelong Zhang continued China’s domination with a win in the men’s javelin F37/38 with a throw of 53/04m, a new championships record. Iran’s Javad Hardani took the silver from Petr Vratil of the Czech Republic.
China set another championship record in the women’s F11 shot put with Liangmin Zhang easily defeating the field with a throw of 9.61m, nearly two metres ahead of Venezuela’s Yuclesy Pinto and Colombia’s YM Restrepo Munoz.
And not to be outdone, countryman Huzhao Li won the men’s 200m T53 final in another new championship record of 26.64secs. Canada’s Brent Lakatos took silver with Great Britain’s Michael Bushell winning bronze.
Australia’s Evan O’Hanlon could not match his world record, but he set a new championship time of 22.31secs in winning the T38 200m event from Tunisia’s Mohamed Farhat Chida and China’s Wenjun Zhou.
In one of the tightest finishes of the morning Thailand’s Supachai Koysub just pipped Finland’s Leo Pekka Tahti by 0.02secs in the men’s 200m T54 event in a time of 25.23secs. China’s Yanfeng Cui was third.
Abderrahim Zhiou (Tunisia) almost broke the four-minute barrier in winning the men’s 1500 T12 in a time of 4:00.87. He was two seconds clear of Kenya’s Henry Kirwa with Spain’s Ignacio Avila taking bronze.
Karol Wojciech Kozun (Poland) was too strong in the men’s shot put F54/55/56. His throw of 11.58m (985pts) was just ahead of Serbia’s Drazenko Mitrovic, who set a championship record for his F54 class with a throw of 9.96m (979pts). Third was Ulrich Iser, of Germany.
France’s Maria Amelie Lefur won her second gold medal in two days with victory in the women’s 100m T44, from Katrin Green (Germany) and April Holmes (USA) in a time of 13.19secs.
Russia was first and third in the women’s T36 100m with Elena Ivanovea holding out Great Britain’s Hazel Robson in a time of 14.39secs. Aygyul Sakhibzadaeva took the bonze medal.
Viktoriya Kravchenko (Ukraine) led the way in the women’s 100m T37 in a time of 14.21secs. The silver medal went to Maria Seifert (Germany) and Great Britain’s Katrina Hart was third.
Ukraine had further success in the women’s 100m T38 with Inna Dyachenko setting a championship record of 13.49secs from Margarita Koptilova (Russia) and Sonia Mansour of Tunisia.
Germany’s Heinrich Popow set a championship record in winning the men’s 100m T42 in 12.56secs. France’s Clavel Kayitare was second and Atsushi Yamamoto of Japan won the bronze.
Another to set a championship record was Michelle Stilwell (Canada) in the women’s T52 400m in a time of 1:12.71secs. Kerry Morgan (United States) was second and Teruyo Tanaka (Japan) took the bronze.
The jumping pit was also the scene of another championship record with Spain’s JA Exposito leaping 7.19m in the men’s F20 long jump. Silver medallist was Portugal’s Lenine Cunha with Poland’s Jacek Kolodzie third.
Samir Nouioua (Algeria) was also in championship record mood with his win in the T46 800m in 1:53.14secs. Silver went to Poland’s Marcin Awizen and Guenther Matzinger (Austria) was third.
Mateusz Michalski (Poland) comfortably won the men’s 100m T12 event in 11.05secs, defeating Azerbaijan’s Elchin Muradov and Josiah Jamison of the United States.
Shirlene Coelho capped a very good day for Brazil with victory in the women’s F38 javelin from China’s Qianqian Jia and Lithuniana’s Ramune Adomaitiene.
The final event of the night, the men’s T54 1500m, was a cliffhanger. England’s David Weir was a decisive winner in 3:10.93secs with Switzerland’s Marcel Hug and Thailand’s Saichon Konjen both recording 3:11.13secs. After close study Hug was awarded the silver medal.
In total 35 World records and 103 Championship records have been set over the five days.