Athletics picks up pace in Olympic Stadium

On the eighth day of Athletics competition, Pistorius will defend the T44 men's 400m crown and wheelchair racer Tatyana McFadden goes after her third T54 gold medal in the women's 1500m. 07 Sep 2012
Tatyana McFadden - London 2012

Tatyana McFadden celebrates the gold in the women's 800m T54 at the London 2012 Paralympic Games.

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In the men’s javelin throw F40, world record holder Ahmed Naas of Iraq is defending his title against rivals Mathias Mester of Germany and Chengcheng Fan of China.

The intensity continues to build on the athletics track as the high-profile Paralympic stars reunite to race for their place in the men’s 400m T44 final. The “Blade Runner” Oscar Pistorius faces the Brazilian, Alan Fonteles Cardoso Oliviera, who beat him to the line in the 200m T44 final and forced him to collect this first silver medal.

USA sprinters Blake Leeper, Jim Bob Bizzell, Jarryd Wallace and David Prince are also in the mix and aiming for the final.

Leo Pekka Tahti of Finland returns to the Olympic Stadium after winning gold in the 100m T54 to target his next medal in the men’s 400m T54. Also at the starting line will be the Dutchman Kenny van Weeghal, who beat the Finnish track star to the top spot at the IPC Athletics European Championships in the Netherlands earlier this summer.

There are two women’s track events on Friday, both taking place in the evening session. In the women’s 100m T35 the world champion and current world record holder Liu Ping faces the top three in the world this year, Oxana Corso, Virginia McLachlan and Sophia Warner. Liu clinched gold in the 200m T35 on 31 August ahead of Corso and McLachlan who picked up silver and bronze respectively – can the Chinese athlete make it double gold here in London?

And in the women’s 1,500m T54, USA’s Tatyana McFadden has a chance to make it a golden hat trick, having already won the 400m and the 800m events here at the 2012 Games. The 23 year-old will have to watch out for the likes of 5,000m Paralympic champion Edith Wolf, world silver medallist Diane Roy, and China’s Zou Lihong, who was fastest in qualifying.

World record holder Tomoya Ito of Japan takes on USA’s Raymond Martin and Leonardo de Jesus Perez Juarez of Mexico in a 800m dash to the finish line for the men’s 800m T52 final. Ito hopes to go one better than his silver medal in the 400m T42 final earlier in the competition.

The morning session kicks off with the women’s discus F51/52/53 final, which is sure to provide plenty of excitement as it features a strong field including the F51 world record holder Catherine O’Neill, and Cassie Mitchell (F52) and Bochra Rzouga (F53), world ranked number one this year in their classifications.

In the men’s javelin throw F40, world record holder Ahmed Naas of Iraq is defending his title on Friday (7 September) morning against rivals Mathias Mester of Germany and Chengcheng Fan of China.

There’s a fantastic line up too in the final of the women’s long jump F13, where the top six in the world, headed up by the defending Paralympic champion and world ranked number one Ilse Hayes, do battle for gold in London. Anthi Karagianni from Greece will be hoping she can go one better than the silver she picked up behind Hayes in Beijing. Watch out too for world ranked number two, Johanna Pretorius, also from South Africa.