The Netherlands' sprint trio, all coached by Guido Bonsen, vaulted the country toward the top of the Championship standings with six gold and 16 overall medals, as the host nation still trails Russia’s 17 gold and 42 overall medals and Ukraine’s 10 gold and 29 total medals.
On the third day of the IPC Athletics European Championships in Stadskanaal, the Netherlands, the sun came out for the first time at the event and the host nation starred with a sweep in the women’s 100m T43/44 race led by Marlou van Rhijn.
Van Rhijn, who is the world-record holder in the event and has been referred to as “Blade Babe” and the women’s version of Oscar Pistorius, won the race with a season-best time of 13.62, as her teammates, Suzan Verduijn and Iris Pruysen took silver and bronze, respectively.
The trio, all coached by Guido Bonsen, vaulted the Netherlands toward the top of the Championship standings with six gold and 16 overall medals, as the host nation still trails Russia’s 17 gold and 42 overall medals and Ukraine’s 10 gold and 29 total medals.
Greece also has 16 total medals, and one more gold than the Dutch.
In other track events, Italy’s Martina Caironi broke her own world record in the 100m T42 race that she set at the BT Paralympic World Cup just one month ago, winning the event in a new top time of 15.89. The Netherlands’ Annette Roozen grabbed silver in a time of 16.67 and Ewa Zielinska won bronze with time of 17.25.
Germany received top performances from Markus Rehm on the men’s side in the 100m T44 sprint and Maria Seifert in the women’s 200m T37 event. Rehm, the continent’s best in the event, won his race in 11.70 and Seifert claimed gold in hers in 29.94, a new European record.
The host nation’s three-time Paralympic medallist Kenny van Weeghel blasted to a 48.84 finish in the much-anticipated men’s 400m T54 final, defeating his arch rival Leo Pekka Tahti, who beat him the day prior in the 100m distance.
Evgenii Shvetcov kept things going for Russia on the track, finishing the 800m T36 distance in a world-record time of 2:05.05.
Cyprus’ Antonis Aresti won a surprise gold in the men’s 400m T46 race with a top time of 50.55 and Turkey’s Hamide Kurt won the women’s 200m T34/52/53 sprint in 34.96.
Later in the day, with the sun starting to beat down, Denmark’s Mikael Andersen cruised to gold in 19.05 in the 1,500m T11 and Switzerland’s Patricia Keller raced to first in 2:07.67 in the 800m T54 event.
In the field events, Ukraine’s Inna Stryzhak broke the world record of Lithuania’s Ramune Adomaitiene in the Long Jump F38 by more than three hundredths of a metre with a distance of 4.96m. Russia’s Margarita Goncharova took silver with a jump of 4.72m and Adomaitiene claimed bronze with a distance of 4.63m.
The Ukranians kept the beat going with another world record and top finish by Mariia Pomazan in the Discus F35/36, as she threw 28.88m to outpace the pack by a landslide.
Greece’s Alexandros Konstantinidis led his country to the top of the podium in the Discus F40/44 (36.08m/897 points), as fellow countryman Paschalis Stathelakos (35.89m/891 points) claimed silver and Slovakia’s Adrian Matusik claimed bronze (51.52m/849 points).
Bulgarian standout Dechko Ovcharov threw 40.08m in the Discus F42 to claim gold, and was followed to the podium by Greece’s Marinos Flyachtos (39.77m) and Sweden’s Mohammad Al-Joburi (38.83m).
In the men’s Long Jump F46 Florin Marius Cojoc won Romania’s first medal at the Championships, as a jump of 6.18m proved good enough for to defeat Spain’s David Bravo (6.13m) and Belarus’ Allaksandr Subota (6.09) for gold.
Russia fulfilled all of its expectations on the field, with Alexey Kuznetsov and Alexander El’min leading the pack. Kuznetsov won the Javelin F54 with a mark of 28.29m and El’min was victorious in the Shot Put F32/33/34 after throwing a distance of 10.87m.
Elsewhere on the field, Sweden’s Rickard Straht set a season-best mark of 5.97m in the Long Jump F11, as did Ukraine’s Svitlana with a 12.60 throw in the Shot Put F20.
The IPC Athletics European Championships, featuring around 520 athletes from 38 countries, will run through Thursday and are the last major international Athletics event ahead of the London 2012 Paralympic Games.
For more information on the event and complete results from the third day of competition, please visit www.ipcathleticseurochamps.com. To follow live results from the competition the rest of the week, please click on the event schedule/results.