Algerian Para athletes dominated day two (Tuesday 21 March) of the Dubai Grand Prix in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as records continued to fall.
Just 24 hours after fellow Algerian Asmahan Boudjadar set a new javelin F33 world record, three-time world champion Safia Djelal added to that tally – underlining the growing strength of Algeria’s Para athletes on the world stage.
Djelal, 34, added 24 cm on to her own previous javelin F57 world record mark with her third throw of 25.95m at the Dubai Club for the Disabled stadium.
Finishing over five metres clear of the field in the women’s javelin F56/57, Djelal’s win was one of a number of Algerian successes at the season-opening World Para Athletics Grand Prix.
Her compatriot Nadia Medjmedj – double Rio 2017 Paralympic bronze medallist - threw a new F56 African record of 20.71m to finish in second place.
Boudjadar continued her winning ways with victory and a new F33 African record in the shot put F32/33. The 36-year-old managed a best of 5.88m (917 points), while teammate and F32 world silver medallist Mounia Gasmi finished second with 4.86m (589 points).
There was an African record too for Algeria’s former world champion Lahouari Bahlaz in the men’s discus F32. The 38-year-old’s second attempt of 16.84m was the best of the day and 5cm further than he threw here two years ago.
India’s Gurjar Sundar Singh (F46) notched up his second Grand Prix victory in 24 hours as he added a win in the discus F44-46 to his javelin victory on the opening day of competition.
The 21-year-old, who lost his left hand in an accident two years ago, threw a best of 44.56m (867 points) - over five metres clear of the rest of the field.
Another victory went India’s way as Narender Ranbir (F44) threw 47.75m in the men’s javelin F40-44 (787 points).
Germany’s Paralympic shot put F33 champion Daniel Scheil turned the tables on the man who beat him to first place in the discus on Monday, winning the javelin F33 with a best of 22.60m. Saudi Arabia’s Hani Alnakhli, who set a new discus world record a day earlier, had to settle for second place this time (19.32m).
Slovakia’s Marian Kureja won his country’s only track and field medal at Rio 2016 – bronze in the club throw F51 – and he was the best in the field in Dubai, winning the event with a throw of 28.66m, just 1.30m shy of the world record.
Latvia’s European silver medallist Dmitrijs Silvos managed 13.17m with his fourth attempt in the men’s shot put F37 to finish more than one metre clear of the field, while the F35/36/38 event was won by Azerbaijan’s Rufat Rafiyev (F36) with a best of 13.66m (930 points). His compatriot Samir Nabiyev (F57) came out top in the F34/57 shot put, throwing 13.30m (932 points).
Fatema Nedham made history at Rio 2016 as Bahrain’s first-ever female Paralympic Games medallist when she won the shot put F53; she was in winning form once again, throwing 10.14m (708 points) in the discus F34/53/54.
Norway’s F44 thrower Ida Nesse won the women’s javelin F37/38/44/46 with a best of 32.62m (810 points) while in the men’s long jump T20/36/37 it was Singapore’s Suhairi Bin Suhani (T20) who leapt furthest with 6.54m (834 points).
Track action on day two was dominated by the 400m.
There was a world-class field in the men’s 400m T36/37 which was won by Algeria’s Paralympic bronze medallist Sofiane Hamdi (T37) in 53.73. Great Britain’s T36 Paralympic champion Paul Blake was second (56.19) and Egypt’s Mostafa Mohamed (T37) third (56.77).
Namibian Paralympic silver medallist Johannes Nambala (T13) added to this 200m victory on day one with a win over one lap, clocking 49.01 in the T11/12/13 race.
Swiss racer Marcel Hug was fastest in the men’s 400m T54, crossing the line in 48.21.
There was a win for Japan’s Paralympic 400m T52 silver medallist Tomoki Sato (59.80) in the men’s 400m T51/52, as Algeria’s T51 racer Mohamed Berrahal notched up his second African record in two days, clocking 1:19.30.
The men’s 400m T42/44/46/47 was won by Saudi Arabia’s T44 Para athlete Nour Alsana (54.76) while in the T20/38 race it was Great Britain’s T38 Para athlete Shaun Burrows (55.24) who took the tape.
Kuwaiti Hamad Aladwani (52.42) was fastest in the men’s T33/34/53 but local favourite Mohamed Hammadi did not start.
In the women’s races, Nigeria’s Hannah Babalola continued her run of fine form, winning the 400m T34/53/54 to add to her victories over 200m and 800m the day previously. The T54 wheelchair racer clocked 59.86 to seal the win ahead of Turkey’s Hamide Kurt (T53) (1:01.04).
Great Britain’s Martina Barber (T20) won the 400m T12/13/20/38/47 in 1:02.22.
The third of four days of competition in the UAE continues on Wednesday 22 March. Full results can be found at http://www.team-thomas.org/