Beijing Grand Prix: China make strong start

World-leading performances for home athletes on day one 11 May 2018
a female vision impaired athlete and her male guide on the podium

Guohua Zhou (R) is now making her mark in long jump after conquering the T11 sprints

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China’s Guohua Zhou impressed in the long jump on the first day (Friday 11 May) of competition at the Beijing Grand Prix – one of a number of track and field stars to go top of the 2018 world rankings.

Zhou has already made a name for herself on the track, winning the 100m and 200m T11 sprint double at last year’s World Championships, and now she could well be a force to be reckoned with in the long jump too.

The 27-year-old leapt a best of 4.99m to take the win in the long jump T11/12 in the Chinese capital – a distance which propelled her straight to the top of the world rankings.

Zhou’s mark is 5cm ahead of Brazil’s Paralympic champion Silvania Costa de Oliveira, who returned to international competition in April following the birth of her child last year, and 1cm further than 20-year-old Spaniard Meritxell Playa Faus, who now sits second in world rankings.

In the men’s high jump T46/47, Paralympic silver medallist Hongjie Chen cleared 2.00m to take the win and the current world number one spot.

International Para athletes also made their mark - in the men’s long jump T11, Chinese Taipei’s Chuan Hui Yang leapt 6.60m for gold and the world lead, while Malaysia’s Wong Kar Gee also went top of the world rankings in the T12 event with a third-round leap of 7.22m.

Japan’s Sawada Uran tops the women’s long jump T12 rankings after a consistent five jumps, the best of which measured in at 5.70m.

Guoshan Wu’s throw of 42.79m in the fourth round – which followed two no-throws – was enough for the world bronze medallist to secure a clear victory in the men’s discus F57. In the women’s event, teammate Yuxin Tian also finished more than one metre clear of the field with a best of 25.97m.

China’s world shot put F37 silver medallist Cuiqing Li (36.70m) claimed gold in the men’s javelin F37 ahead of Kazakhstan’s Zholaman Yelaman (34.65m).

Na Mi managed 22.71m in the women’s javelin F37 – over three metres shy of her winning effort at last year’s World Championships.

World leads on the track

On the track, China’s multiple Paralympic and world champion Hongzhuan Zhou went top of the women’s world rankings after clocking 16.99 in the 100m T53, as did teammate Zhaoqian Zhou, who clocked 16.22 in the T54 class.

Paralympic and world silver medallist Yang Liu (14.38) clocked the second fastest time in the world this year in the men’s 100m T54 as he took gold in Beijing – Liu sits behind Australia’s Samuel Carter, who clocked 14.33 earlier this year.

There were wins for Japan’s Tanaka Teruyo (23.47) in the women’s 100m T52 and the USA’s Rigo Isaiah (18.24) in the men’s equivalent.

Paralympic 100m T36 champion Yifei Yang (1:01.86) took gold in the 400m T36, while there were strong performances too from Hunghao Zhong (56.72) in the T38 class and Japan’s Suzuki Yudai (50.72), who clocked the fastest time in the world this year in the men’s 400m T46/47.

Hua Jin (3:05.90) took the win in the men’s 1,500m T54.

The Beijing Grand Prix continues with the second of three days’ track and field action on 12 May.

Full results can be found here.