There was a new track relay world record for the host nation on the third and final day (Monday 20 April) of competition at the IPC Athletics Grand Prix in Beijing, China, the fourth in a series of nine Grand Prix scheduled to take place around the world this year.
China’s women’s 4x100m T11/13 quartet of Guohua Zhou, Juntingxian Jia, Yuqin Wang and Cuiqing Liu clocked 48.49 – knocking 0.3 seconds off the mark set by Spain in 1997.
Just six months ago Zhou and Liu were part of China’s winning 4x100m T11/12/13 quartet at the Asian Para Games in Incheon, South Korea, and they were clearly on form again.
That success marked the second world record to fall at the meeting in Beijing after China’s Jianwen Hu set a new world best in the men’s long jump T38 on day one – kick starting a series of impressive performances by many of China’s top stars all looking to lay down a marker in the build up to October’s IPC Athletics World Championships in Doha, Qatar.
A further five Asian records also fell, with a number of impressive middle distance performances at the city’s Outdoor Athletics Track – part of the China Administration of Sports for Persons with Disabilities sports complex.
In the men’s 1,500m T36/37, China’s Lei Zhu (T37) finished well clear of his rivals as he crossed the line in 4:46.41, smashing the previous Asian record of 5:03.80 set by South Korea’s Sungkook Kang back in 2004.
Next out on track was the women’s 1,500m T53/54 and China’s Jing Ma (T54) made sure she delivered another outstanding performance for the host nation, winning in 3:30.84. That mark took more than two seconds of Wakako Tsuchida’s Asian record set in Nottwil, Switzerland, two years ago and meant a second place finish for 1,500m T53/54 world finalist Wenjun Liu.
Not to be outdone, China’s Jialong Wu stormed home to win the men’s 400m T37 with a new Asian record of 53.81.
Out in the field there were Asian records too for China’s Guoshan Wu (F57) in the men’s shot put F34/54/55/56/57, and his compatriot Enlong Wei in the discus F46. A Paralympic Games finalist in 2012, Wu threw 13.48m – a score of 956 – to seal his victory and break the Asian record which Syria’s Mohamad Mohamad set at the IPC Athletics Grand Prix in Dubai just two months ago.
Wei managed a best of 50.56m with his second attempt in the discus throw to finish more than 10 metres clear of the field – adding 1.24m on to the Asian record in the process.
Thailand’s Pagjiraporn Gagun (T46) won the women’s 100m T46/47 in 13.90 to add to her victory in the 200m T46 earlier in the competition, and there was double victory too for China’s Asian Para Games champion Lin Zhu, who clocked 13.52 in the women’s 100m T13 to add to her 200m win the day before.
Denmark notched up two sprint victories courtesy of Daniel Jorgensen (13.32) in the men’s 100m T42 and Kasper Filsoe (11.97) in the men’s 100m T46.
China’s multiple world and Paralympic medallist Mian Che held off his younger compatriot Dianwei Wang to take the win in the men’s 400m T36, clocking 59.85, while 22-year-old Jialong Wu won the men’s 400m T37 in 53.81.
The Chinese women’s 4x100m T53/54 relay quartet meanwhile clocked 1:00.37 – over two seconds outside the time China recorded when they set the current world record in front of home crowds at the Beijing Paralympics in 2008.
Paralympic silver medallist Qiuping Xu (F37) won the shot put F35/36/37 with a best of 10.07m (786 points), and her compatriot Danyang Wang (F40) won the discus F40/44 with a penultimate throw of 18.05m (994 points).
Denmark’s shot put Paralympic and world champion Jackie Christiansen (F44) dominated the discus F42/44m, sealing his second win of the competition with a 47.59m throw (814 points) having won the shot put F42/44/46 on the opening day of competition.
The 2015 IPC Athletics Grand Prix series now heads to Sao Paulo in Brazil for the fifth meeting of the year, with further events to follow in the USA, Switzerland, Italy and Germany before the Grand Prix Final in London, Great Britain in July.