The marquee men’s 100m T64 lived up to its hype, with everyone inside the Olympic Stadium anxiously waiting for the scoreboard to announce Felix Streng as Paralympic champion on Monday (30 August) at the Tokyo 2020 Games.
There was much more to celebrate as athletes from Chile, India and Sri Lanka put their countries on the map after historic performances in athletics and shooting.
Powerlifting concluded with Nigeria’s Folashade Oluwafemiayo breaking her world record twice for gold, and a new champion crowned in the category that once belonged to the late Siamand Rahman – known as the strongest Paralympian in the world.
Paralympic champions were also decided in archery, equestrian, table tennis and swimming; as another action-packed day wrapped up. Here are some of the highlights:
A star-studded field in the men’s 100m T64 saw German’s emerge victorious in a race that looked too close to call, so much so that the bronze medal was shared.
For the 26-year-old, it was his first individual Paralympic title (he shared gold in the men’s 4x100m relay in Rio 2016). His tie of 10.76secs was only 0.02 faster than Costa Rica’s Sherman Guity – a surprise medallist and the country’s first Paralympic medal – followed by Germany’s Johannes Floors and Great Britain’s Jonnie Peacock sharing bronze (10.79).
EARLY AND FAST START
Before most sports got underway in Tokyo, the history books were already being written with performances in athletics and shooting.
Dinesh Priyantha Herath Mudiyanselage made it a treble to remember at the Olympic Stadium when he took the title, broke the world record and won Sri Lanka's first-ever Paralympic gold medal.
The 35-year-old stormed to victory when he threw 67.79m in his third attempt which broke a previous world record set by India's Devendra.
Francisca Mardones Sepulveda became the first Chilean woman to win a Paralympic medal in any sport as she struck shot put F54 gold. The 43-year-old, broke her own world record with a throw of 8.33m.
Never before had India won a Paralympic medal in shooting – until teenager Avani Lekhara surprised the field after winning the R2 women’s 10m air rifle standing SH1. Her rivals included China’s reigning Paralympic champion and Tokyo 2020 silver medallist Zhang Cuiping and rising star Iryna Shchetnik of Ukraine, who claimed bronze on her Paralympic debut.
CLOSING IN STYLE
A dramatic Games for powerlifting saw Nigeria’s Folashade Oluwafemiayo finish off by breaking the world record twice in one day. The 36-year-old won her first Paralympic title, taking the women’s up to 86kg with a winning lift of 151kg. Pushing to see how far she could go, the Nigerian attempted a fourth lift – and it was worth it, to reset the world record 1kg more.
It was also time for a new era and a new champion in the men’s over 107kg after Islamic Republic of Iran's Rahman passed away last year, leaving his outstanding world record lift of 310kg untouched. Jordan’s Jamil Elshebli became the new face of the category, winning gold with 241kg.
TURNING THE TABLES
Paralympic champions prevailed in table tennis, including the Netherlands’ Kelly van Zon (women’s class 7) and Turkey’s Abdullah Ozturk (men’s class 4), while Australia’s Yang Qian became the new face of the women’s class 10 following her shock win against Poland’s Natalia Partyka in the semi-finals.
In archery, a tight result saw Czech Republic’s David Drahoninsky edge Turkey’s Nihat Turkmenoglu 142-141 in the men’s individual W1. Great Britain’s Phoebe Pine shot the last arrow that she needed, an eight, to beat Maria Zuniga of Chile, 134-133, and take compound women’s gold.
The final day of equestrian wrapped up with the freestyle test, seeing the Netherlands’ Sanne Voets (Grade IV), Belgium’s Michele George (Grade V), Great Britain’s Lee Pearson (Grade II), the USA’s Roxanne Trunnell (Grade I) and Denmark’s Tobias Jorgensen concluding Tokyo 2020 with a pair of individual gold medals.
The Aquatics Centre also concluded another busy day with a thrilling men's 4x100m relay that saw Australia capture the title ahead of favourites Italy followed by Ukraine. Belarus' Ihar Boki brought his gold medal count to six after winning the 200m IM S13, and Chinese swimmers topped the podium nine times.