Athletics action kicked off at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games with Tunisia’s Raoua Tlili showing why she is the throwing queen; a young judoka in Shahana Hajiyeva led Azerbaijan’s dominance on the tatami; and a shock upset on the powerlifting bench were among the highlights on Day 3 (27 August).
On a steamy Friday that saw seven sports hand out medals, Tlili lived up to her billing by landing a fourth shot put gold in the F41 category. She was never in danger of seeing her 13-year domination end after she broke her world record with a mighty effort of 10.55m in the second round.
It was one of 14 athletics finals of the day, with Petrucio Ferreira blasting to victory in the men’s 100m T47 to successfully defend his title in a Paralympic record of 10.53 seconds.
To the host’s joy, Sato Tomoki gave Japan their first gold in the Olympic Stadium in the men’s 400m T52, the first wheelchair title to be decided.
AZERBAIJAN ACE IN JUDO
Azerbaijan claimed two golds, while Algeria and Uzbekistani judoka also enjoyed the top step of the podium. A brutal clash between women’s up to 52kg Paralympic champion Sandrine Martinet of France and Azerbaijan’s Shahana Hajiyeva saw an emotional end as Hajiyeva emerged the victor.
Both women came very close to landing the decisive blow but neither could find the definitive edge. Eventually the 23-year-old Paralympic debutant survived the Golden Score, celebrating with her flag wrapped around her while five-time Paralympian Martinet appeared heartbroken.
Azerbaijan secured a second gold courtesy of Vugar Shirinli in the men’s up to 60kg.
Shahana Hajiyeva ©OIS
SHERIF OSMAN STUNNED
Sherif Osman had won Paralympic gold at every Games since his debut at Beijing 2008 – until Friday. But the Egyptian Para powerlifting legend suffered a shock defeat. He lost the men's up to 59kg throne to Chinese 22-year-old star Qi Yongkai. Both lifted 187kg, but the latter took top honours due to a lower body weight.
In the same category, Herbert Aceituno gave El Salvador their first medal in Paralympic or Olympic Games with a bronze for 184kg, just 1kg ahead of fourth-placed Juan Carlos Garrido from Chile.
Sherif Osman (left), Qi Yongkai and Herbert Aceituno ©Hiroki Nishioka
MORE TO COME
A world record capped a "near-perfect" race for Great Britain’s Kadeena Cox as she retained her title in the women's cycling track C4-5 500m time trial to kick-start another Paralympic multi-sport campaign.
Cox, who aims to defend her athletics and cycling titles from Rio 2016, beat silver medallist and Canadian Kate O’Brien’s world-leading mark from January 2020 by 0.79 of a second to win gold in 34.433 seconds and kick back from a difficult past year.
Five total champions were named in the Velodrome, with Amanda Reid breaking the world record to win a gold medal in the women's C1-3 500m time trial. The world champion broke her own world record, crossing the line in 35.581 to become Australia's seventh gold medallist so far.
Amanda Reid ©Getty
TRUNNELL DOES NOT DISAPPOINT
Gold medal were also won in equestrian, swimming and wheelchair fencing.
On the second day of equestrian, USA's Roxanne Trunnell claimed gold in the individual test Grade I, after scoring a total of 81.464 with her horse Dolton and beating Latvia's Rihards Snikus and Italy's Sara Morganti. The US athlete, who also scored a new world record earlier this year, is also the world No. 1 in five Para equestrian grades.
Ihar Boki continued to be perfect in the pool which saw 14 medal events. The Belarusian is three-for-three in Tokyo after winning the men’s 400m freestyle S13.
Team events were held in wheelchair fencing. China won in the women's team epee, while the men's team took silver with RPC taking home the gold after scoring 45-39.