China’s reigning Paralympic and world champion Cuiqing Liu smashed a world record that had stood for more than 10 years on Sunday (13 May), the final day of competition at the Beijing Grand Prix.
The 26-year-old clocked 56.00 in the 400m T11 to take 0.14 seconds off the previous mark set by Brazil’s former world champion Terezinha Guilhermina back in 2007.
Liu went on to qualify fastest in the 200m ahead of world champion and teammate Guohua Zhou in the afternoon session, but it was Zhou who took the win in the final, clocking 26.25.
Local sprinters underlined their world class credentials on day three in the Chinese capital with a number of star performances - Yifei Yang, another of China’s London 2017 world champions, clocked a world best 12.71 in the heats of the men’s 100m T36 before going on to lower that even further in the final, crossing the line in 12.57.
Double Paralympic champion Xia Zhou (15.95) took gold in the women’s 100m T35, teammate Fenfen Jiang (15.45) won the women’s 100m T37 and world champion Zetan Fan won both the men’s 200m (23.91) and 400m T11 (53.21) races.
International names also made their mark on the track - Malaysia’s Siti Noor Iasah Mohamad Ariffin (1:00.83) won the women’s 400m T20 while the men’s equivalent was won by Japan’s Yonezawa Ryo (52.97). His teammate Sasaki Mana (1:01.05) won the women’s 400m T13 and Vietnam’s Pham Nguyen Khanh Minh (52.18) took gold in the men’s 400m T12.
China’s home-grown talent continued to dominate out in the field too.
Paralympic and world champion Liwan Yang completed a hat trick of wins as she added shot put F54 gold to the javelin and discus titles she won 24 hours earlier.
The 40-year-old threw 7.33m, her third world lead in the space of two days and 57cm shy of her own world record mark.
Paralympic and world champion Juan Yao went top of the women’s discus F44 world rankings with a best of 37.66m, as did teammate and fellow London 2017 gold medallist Zhanbiao Hou (46.75m) in the men’s discus F46/47.
World leads went the way of a number of China’s top female throwers, including Lijuan Zou (7.80m) in the women’s shot put F34, Yuping Zhao (40.99m) in the discus F12, Liangmin Zhang (35.85m) in the discus F11, Na Mi (31.37m) in the discus F37 and Jun Wang (26.75m) in the discus F35.
Also moving to the top of the 2018 world rankings are Japan’s Saito Yukiko (33.41m) in the women’s discus F46, Vietnam’s Nguyen Thi Hai (20.62m) in the women’s javelin F57 and Kazakhstan’s Kleyev Dmitry (40.86m) in the men’s discus F13.
Greek world and Paralympic champion Stefanoudakis Manolis threw 27.74m in the javelin F54 and 8.09m in the shot put F54 to secure a double win in Beijing, while Uzbekistan’s Aleksandr Svechnikov secured the world number one spot for the second consecutive year with his throw of 66.96m – albeit more than four metres below his best.
There was gold for Mongolia courtesy of Erdenechimeg Unurmaa, who won the women’s F40 with a best of 14.00m.
Hao Wang (7.29m) leapt top of the world rankings in the men’s long jump T46/47, the only Para athlete to go beyond the seven-metre mark and Pengxiang Sun (29.36m) sits as the current world number one in the men’s discus F41 thanks to his winning throw.
Full results can be found here.
The World Para Athletics Grand Prix series moves on to Rieti in Italy next week, with three days of competition starting on 18 May.
*All world record marks are subject to ratification by the IPC