There was a new world record out in the field on the opening day of competition at the IPC Athletics Grand Prix in Tunis, Tunisia, on Monday (23 March) as Algeria’s world champion Safia Djelal clinched victory in the javelin F55/56/57.
The 31-year-old, who won silver at the London 2012 Paralympic Games, threw a best of 25.71m with her third attempt to seal a convincing victory ahead of Kenya’s Cecilia Wangechi Mwangi (F57), who finished second with 791 points and a best of 18.86m.
There was joy for the home crowds too as Tunisia’s own track star Walid Ktila (T34) kicked off his competition with two victories in one day, winning both the 100m and 800m T33/34 at the three-day event which doubles up as the 9th Tunis International Meeting.
The world and Paralympic multiple gold medallist clocked 16.15 in the sprint with Kuwait’s Ahmad Almutairi (T33) second in 19.93, whilst over two laps Ktila managed 1:59.05, with Great Britain’s Daniel Bramall (T33) second in 2:38.34.
Tunisia’s Yassine Gharbi (T54) meanwhile marked his 25th birthday in fine style, winning the 400m T51/52/53/54 at the Rades Athletics Stadium to add to his victory at the IPC Athletics Grand Prix in Dubai, UAE, last month. Gharbi stopped the clock at 49.49, nearly a second clear of Algeria’s Maamar Harachif (T54). Later in the day he also took the win in the 800m T54, crossing the line in 1:44.25 to finish ahead of his countryman Fethi Zouinkhi (1:45.34).
In a highly competitive men’s 800m T13 it was Algeria’s Abdellatif Baka - winner in Dubai last month - who came out on top, clocking 1:54.46. Morocco’s Abdelillah Mame (1:57.05) clinched second with Tunisia’s Achraf Lahouel (1:58.90) third.
Victory went to form in the men’s 800m T36/37/38 as Tunisia’s Abbes Saidi notched up another IPC Athletics Grand Prix victory this year after winning at the season opener in Dubai. The world-ranked number two stopped the clock at 2:06.53. Algeria’s Madjid Djemai (T37) finished second in 2:07.79 with Morocco’s Hafid Aharak third in 2:09.91.
In the women’s 400m T13/37/38 Tunisia’s Somaya Bousaid (T13) crossed the line in first place in 58.96, with her compatriots Sonia Mansour (T38) second in 1:05.47 and Neda Bahi (T37) third in 1:08.42.
Back in the field and Algeria’s double world champion Lahouari Bahlaz enjoyed a straightforward victory in the men’s shot put F32. The 36-year-old saved his best until last with a sixth and final throw of 9.35m to finish ahead of his compatriot Karim Betina, while Kuwait’s Mohammed Nasser took third. Paralympic and world bronze medallist Mounir Bakiri finished fourth.
Tunisia’s world discus (F41) champion Raoua Tlili underlined why she is world ranked number one out in the field with a win in the shot put F40/41. The 25-year-old threw 9.68m (965 points) in her second attempt to secure the win ahead of Nigeria’s Lauritta Onye (F40) who scored 945 points.
There were no surprises either in the women’s javelin F53/54 as home favourite and world champion Hania Aidi (F54) took the win with a best of 16.83m (977 points), more than two metres clear of Fadhila Nafati (F54) who scored 811 points.
A throw of 9.73m (727 points) was good enough for Tunisia’s world ranked number one Mohamed Zemzemi (F51) to win the men’s discus F51/53/54. Algeria’s Mohamed Berrahal (F51) finished second with 669 points and a best throw of 9.30m, with Saudi Arabia’s Radhi Salharti in third.
Tunisia also came out on top in the women’s shot put F32/33/34 as Maroua Ibrahmi (F32) sealed victory with a score of 794 points and a best throw of 5.62m. The Algerian duo, world silver medallist Mounia Gasmi (F32) and Asmahan Boudjadar (F33), took second and third respectively.
There was victory for Algeria in the men’s shot put F33/34 as world and Paralympic champion Kamel Kardjena (F33) threw 9.55m in his final attempt, scoring 743 points. Hani Alnakhli (F33) of Saudi Arabia registered 9.21m (688 points) to finish in second place.
The IPC Athletics Grand Prix in Tunis continues through to Wednesday 25 March.