Athletics: Day two preview

All eyes will be on the Olympic Stadium for what could be one of the most compelling days of athletics action at the 2016 Paralympics. 09 Sep 2016
View on an empty stadium with a blue track

The Olympic Stadium in Rio de Janeiro will host the athletics competitions during the Rio 2016 Paralympics Games.

ⒸGetty Images

It promises to be a Fast Friday on the track as the sprinters dominate the second day (Friday 9 September) of Para athletics action in Rio.

A number of 100m finals will be decided out on the track at the city’s Olympic stadium.

The men’s 100m T13 final takes place and Ireland’s Jason Smyth, the fastest Paralympian on the planet, will be hoping to secure his third consecutive 100m T13 Paralympic title.

Cuban Omara Durand cruised through to the final of the women’s 100m T12 final looking like she will be hard to beat. The 24-year-old is the current world record holder and the fastest female Paralympian in the world, having clocked 11.48 on her way to the world title last year.

Meanwhile, the USA’s star wheelchair racer Tatyana McFadden goes in the women’s 100m T54 final, the first of a phenomenal seven gold medals she is contesting here in Rio.

But she will have to get past the likes of China’s world champion Wenjun Liu, who burst out of the blocks and powered home to the line ahead of McFadden in Thursday’s (8 September) heats.

Great Britain’s defending champion Jonnie Peacock qualified fastest in the heats of the men’s 100m T44 on Thursday but there’s a new kid on the block to watch out for in Friday’s final.

New Zealander Liam Malone qualified second fastest, beating the USA’s Jarryd Wallace to the line in the second heat on Thursday evening.

All three medallists from the men’s 100m T53 at London 2012 are back in action at Rio 2016.

Great Britain’s Mickey Bushell is the reigning Paralympic champion, while China’s Yufei Zhao and Shiran Yu won silver and bronze respectively four years ago.

Also in the line-up is Canada’s Brent Lakatos, the reigning world champion and world record holder. Lakatos is chasing his first Paralympic title in Rio and, as the current world number one, many would regard him as the man to beat.

The women’s 100m T37 final features Great Britain’s Georgie Hermitage going for gold in her first Paralympic Games. The Brit has been in terrific form this season, winning three individual sprint titles at the European Championships in June less than one month after breaking the 100m T37 world record. She equalled that mark (13.39) in Thursday’s qualifying rounds.

Another Brit hoping to clinch her first Paralympic title is 19-year-old Sophie Hahn.

The teenager is already a two-time world champion, having won gold on her senior international debut at the 2013 World Championships in Lyon, France. She set a world record of 12.60 on her way to winning gold at Doha 2015, but will have to watch out for her compatriot Kadeena Cox as well as local favourite Veronica Hipolito and China’s Junfei Chen.

Eight finals also take place out in the field, and one event not to be missed is the women’s long jump T44, featuring France’s Marie-Amelie Le Fur and Great Britain’s Stef Reid.

Le Fur smashed the world record on her way to the world title last year, adding an impressive 26 centimetres on to her previous world record mark before sealing gold with a wind-assisted leap of 5.84m in Doha, Qatar.

Reid, who is married to T53 wheelchair racer Lakatos, missed the World Championships through injury, but the 31-year-old Paralympic silver medallist bounced back this year with a personal best of 5.78m. There could be two gold medals returning to the Reid-Lakatos household by the end of the day.

The men’s javelin F54 is also set to provide plenty of excitement as the gold and silver medallists from Doha 2015 both start.

Only 12cms separated Manolis Stefanoudakis of Greece from his nearest rival, Brazil’s Jose Rodrigues, at last year’s World Championships – Stefanoudakis took the title with a throw of 28.45m. Belarussian Aliaksandr Tryputs sits third in the world rankings with a season’s best of 27.00m and he could impress here too.