Great Britain’s Kare Adenegan showed she is the new face of women’s T34 sprinting with an emphatic 100m win at the Berlin 2018 European Championships on Wednesday (22 August).
Quickly out of the blocks, the 17-year-old world record holder held on strongly to take the win in 17.38 seconds, ending Hannah Cockroft’s unbeaten run at major Championships.
“It is very crazy. It is such a dream. I can’t believe I have got a gold medal. It was so tough [following the world record last month]. The first week after it I was just so excited, I couldn’t contain that excitement, I was so happy. I just had to remind myself that the Europeans is where it is at and it is about getting medals at championships,” said Adenegan, who was inspired to take up Para athletics after watching Cockroft at London 2012.
“I am just so happy that I have been able to deliver a great performance. I am so, so pleased, I just want to keep going and stay consistent.”
On a thrilling third evening of competition Poland’s Renata Sliwinska and Italy’s Oney Tapia both re-wrote the record books.
Sliwinska added 10cm on to the shot put F40 world record with a massive 8.50m in the fifth round of competition.
“This was exactly the plan – I was planning it with my coach since the beginning of the year and it turned out that it was possible during this event. The plan was first to improve the technique and the next step was the world record,” said Sliwinska, who won silver at London 2017.
Defending champion Tapia has been in world record-breaking form this year and in third round of the men’s discus F11 he threw 46.07m to add nearly half a metre on to his previous best.
World and Paralympic champion Martina Caironi added to Italian celebrations as she leapt a superb 4.91m in the long jump T63.
“I’m very happy with the result because it was a personal best for me and a new world lead. I’m really close to five metres and that is the big goal I want to reach before Tokyo 2020,” said Caironi.
Germany’s Johannes Floors (21.37) tore up the track to win the men’s 200m T62 well ahead of his rivals.
“It’s an amazing opportunity for every German Para athlete to show to the home crowd what we are capable of,” said Floors. “It means a lot to me to win gold for Germany.”
Teammate Felix Streng (21.88) missed last year’s World Championships with injury but he stormed home to a new championship record in the men’s 200m T64, with the 100m still to come on Sunday.
Two more golds went the host nation’s way - Nicole Nicoleitzik (31.87) won the women’s 200m T36 and Mathias Schulze (14.94m) topped the podium in the shot put F46.
Portugal’s young talent, 19-year-old Carina Paim (57.29), smashed the European record as she sprinted home to gold in the women’s 400m T20, beating a strong field including the experienced Polish duo of Barbara Niewiedzial and Sabina Stenka-Szymanska, gold and silver medallists from Grosseto 2016.
Teenage talents from Portugal
Teammate Sandro Correia Baessa (49.60) – also 19-years-old – added another Portugal gold as he won the men’s 400m T20; Mario Trindade (18.53) rounded off the session with a championship record in the 100m 52 to land Portugal’s third gold of the night.
Just 0.01 seconds separated first and second in the women’s 200m T11 - Spain’s Lia Beel Quintana (28.56) dipped across the line to claim her first major title ahead of Poland’s defending champion Joanna Mazur (28.57).
Spain’s success continued as Lorenzo Albaladejo Martinez clocked a season’s best in the men’s 400m T38.
Frenchman Timothee Adolphe (11.17) won the 100m T11 – the fourth European title in his career; his countryman Pierre Fairbank (50.47) took gold in the men’s 400m T53.
Poland’s Michal Derus (10.77) also collected his fourth European gold since Swansea 2014 as he won the 100m T47.
“That was a very good race for me, I won with a good time and I’m very happy. I hope that next year I will improve this time,” said Derus, the former 100m T47 world champion.
Three Ukrainian golds
Ukraine’s Leilia Adzhametova (24.78) added European gold to her world and Paralympic titles with a classy performance in the women’s 200m T13, clocking a new championship record in the process.
Teammate Nataliia Kobzar (1:05.24) also set a championship record as she finished well clear of her rivals in the women’s 400m T37. Ihor Tsvietov (12.77) made it three golds for Ukraine, chasing down Briton Jordan Howe in the final 30 metres of the men’s 100m T35.
Dutch sprinter Marlene van Gansewinkel (26.12) is now a double European champion – she saw off Germany’s Irmgard Bensusan to win the 200m T64 with a new world lead time.
“I knew I was fast and I knew what to do - and it just worked out,” said van Gansewinkel. “I didn’t expect it to be this fast. I’ve won my second title – my first tournament where I’ve won a title – and I broke the world record on Monday, of course I’m happy.”
Leo Pekka Tahti notched up his second Berlin 2018 gold with a massive win in the men’s 400m T54 – and he still has his speciality, the 100m, to come.
“This is really a huge surprise for me, it’s my first big win in the 400m,” said the Flying Finn, who won Tuesday’s 200m T54. “It’s awesome, I won the race and I beat the legend Kenny van Weeghel for the first time in my career at this distance, so I’m really happy.”
Swiss wheelchair racer Manuela Schaer (3:33.42) made it two golds out of two – she won Monday’s 5,000m T54 – with another championship record, this time finishing 100m ahead in the women’s 1,500m T54.
Poland’s Michal Kotkowski (24.10) secured his second gold of the championships with a win in the 200m T37.
In-form Dutch wheelchair racer Stefan Rusch (16.14) powered to his first major title in the men’s 100m T34 ahead of Finland’s defending champion Henry Manni.
“You’re never sure of the win, I was fastest all season, so I hoped, - and I knew if I did a proper race I could win,” said Rusch who broke the Championship record. “The crowd helped me, it was a really good race, I really enjoyed it.”
Denmark’s Nikolaj Overgaard Christensen (26.98) made history by winning 100m RR1 gold, the first major title since RaceRunning was included in the World Para Athletics programmes earlier this year.
“I’m so happy to be the first to win a gold medal in this sport,” said the 21-year-old world record holder.
Sweden’s Marika Vaihinger (31.26) won the women’s 100m RR1.
Briton Vanessa Wallace (7.45m) won the women’s shot put F34 – the only competitor over the seven-metre mark; Frenchman Thierry Cibone (25.20m) took gold in the javelin F34; Serbia’s Zeljko Dimitrijevic (32.23m) won the club throw F51 and Hungary’s Luca Ekler (5.39m) leapt a championship record 5.39m to win the women’s long jump T38.
Every minute of the Berlin 2018 European Championships is being streamed live on the World Para Athletics website. Visit the Berlin 2018 website for live results, full schedule, highlights and latest news.