Paralympic and world champion Liwan Yang continued her winning run of form at the Beijing World Para Athletics Grand Prix as she notched up two victories and two world leads in one day (Saturday 12 May).
The 40-year-old, who won double gold at last year’s World Championships, opened the second day of competition in the Chinese capital with the javelin F54, where she threw 17.44m, exactly one metre further than South Africa’s Paralympic and world bronze medallist Ntombizanele Situ managed in Bloemfontein last month.
Yang then followed up in the afternoon session with a best of 17.19m in the discus F54, more than four metres clear of her rivals.
In fact there were new world leads for a number of China’s top female throwers, including Paralympic and world champion Lijuan Zou (18.98m) in the javelin F34; world silver medallist Juan Yao (12.40m) in the shot put F44 and Sitong Lin (20.04m) in the javelin F55.
World champion Mi Na (11.61m) also secured her second victory of the competition with a win and a world best in the women’s shot put F37, having won the javelin on day one.
Discus F11 world champion Liangmin Zhang (11.37m) took gold in the women’s shot put F11, her sixth and final throw the best in the world so far this year.
International Para athletes also excelled - Japan’s Asian Para Games double gold medallist Saito Yukiko (11.69m) threw a world lead in the women’s shot put F46, while Uzbekistan’s double world silver medallist Safiya Burkhanova (13.63m) got the better of home talent Yuping Zhao (12.49m) to the win the women’s shot put F12 with a massive final round throw that puts her at the top of the rankings.
Fellow Uzbekistani Izzat Turgunov (5.31m) joins Kiwi William Stedman at the top of the 2018 rankings in the men’s long jump T36 after he leapt to gold in Beijing, while Dening Zhu takes the top spot in the T38 class after his final round jump of 6.78m.
Results went to form in the men’s shot put F57 as Paralympic champion Guoshan Wu (13.16m) took gold and reigning world champion Pengxiang Sun (41.45m) threw a world lead in the javelin F41.
Out on the track, China’s double world sprint champion Guohua Zhou (12.34) saw off her teammate and 400m T11 world champion Cuiqing Liu (12.40) to take the win in the women’s 100m T11 final, although it was Liu who had the fastest time in the heats, clocking a world lead 12.09.
World 200m T11 champion Zetan Fan (11.48) was fastest in the men’s 100m T11, China’s Hao Wang (11.08) finished fastest from the two heats of the men’s 100m T46/47 and Thailand’s Morapat Tawatchai (14.30) won the men’s T63 event.
The USA’s former world champion Richard Browne, who was entered in the 100m T64 – his first major international since injury last year ruled him out of the World Championships - did not start. The race was won by Japan’s Itani Shunsuke (12.91).
In the day’s 200m races, there were wins for world 100m T36 gold medallist Yifei Yang (25.15), Peng Zhou (25.67) in the T37 and Huanghao Zhong (24.04) in the T38.
Asian Para Games triple gold medallist Hao Wang (22.30) stormed home to win the 200m T46/47 in a time that puts him top of the world rankings – and ahead of Brazil’s Petrucio Ferreira.
Multiple Paralympic and world champion Hongzhuan Zhou went top of the T53 world rankings after clocking 30.52; teammate Zhaoqian Zhou (29.25) saw of Lihong Zou (30.09) to take the win and the current world number one spot in the women’s T54 class.
Paralympic gold medallist Xia Zhou (31.90) won the women’s 200m T35; Dan Wang (34.29) won the T36 race; teammate Fenfen Jiang (30.19) won the 200m T37 and Lu Li (26.76) took gold in the T46/47.
The men’s 200m T54 was won by Indonesia’s Aripin Jaenal (25.55) – the second fastest time in the world this year behind Tunisian Yassine Gharbi. Zhigang Zhou (30.35) came out on top in the 200m T34.
The third and final day of competition at the Beijing Grand Prix takes place on Sunday 13 May.
Full results can be found here.