European Champions on top form

Swede shows potential of hat-trick European gold in Berlin 20 May 2018
Photo of Per Jonsson running on the track

Sweden's Per Jonsson finishes first in the 100m T13 race.

ⒸRieti Grand Prix LOC

European champions were in winning form on Saturday (19 May), the second day of competition at the Rieti Grand Prix in Italy.

Sweden’s two-time European gold medallist Per Jonsson (12.07) notched up his second win in two days, adding to his long jump victory a day earlier with a win in the men’s 100m T13.

Jonsson has won long jump gold at the last two European Championships and if his current form is anything to go by, could make it a hat trick at Berlin 2018.

Fellow Swede Jeffrey Ige will be hoping to reclaim the European title he lost in 2016, and he made a promising step towards that as he finished nearly two metres clear of the field in the men’s shot put F20 – his best of 14.53m coming in the sixth and final round.

Irish duo Orla Barry and Noelle Lenihan both won gold at the Grosseto European Championships in 2016 and both put on winning performances in Rieti’s Stadio Raul Guidobaldi, with the focus on defending their titles in Berlin, Germany, in three months’ time.

Barry (27.98m) won the women’s discus F53-57 convincingly, while Lenihan (30.75m) won the discus F35-38, despite only managing to register two marks.

Results went to form in the men’s discus F35-38 as Denmark’s European silver medallist Ronni Jensen (44.75m) took the win, while in the women’s shot put F34 victory went to Qatar’s Paralympic and world silver medallist Sara Masoud (5.28m).

Colombian duo Dixon Hooker Velasquez and Mauricio Valencia made it two out of two in Rieti. World silver medallist Velasquez won the 100m T38 to add to his victory over 400m on Friday (18 May), while his teammate, Paralympic and world champion Valencia (10.62m) finished top in the men’s shot put F34 after winning the discus the day before.

Romania’s Petre Prundaru (9.46m) won the men’s shot put F11-13 and Turkey’s Mihriban Kaya (12.22m) finished first in the women’s shot put F20.

Giuseppe Campoccio (11.31m) secured a win for the host nation in the men’s shot put F32-33, as did F64 Para athlete Abdou Sowe (29.06m) in the javelin F40-47/61-64.

Brazil’s Wellington dos Santos hopped, skipped and jumped his way to victory in the men’s triple jump T20 with a best of 12.25m; Ukraine’s Olha Zazuliak reached 10.04m in the women’s event.

Out on the track it was the day for the 100m sprints.

Qatar’s Asian Para Games bronze medallist Mohammed Al Kubaisi (16.88) got the better of Finland’s reigning European champion Henry Manni (17.27) in the men’s 100m T34; Malaysia’s Paralympic champion Mohamad Puzi (12.02) won the men’s 100m T35/36 and South Africa’s Mpumelelo Mhlongo (11.27) won the men’s T44/46/47.

In the women’s sprints, Ireland’s Orla Comerford (12.75) won the 100m T13 while Hungary’s T38 Para athlete Luca Ekler (13.01) took the win in her class, having earlier won the women’s long jump T13/37/38/64 with a best of 5.18m, just 4cm short of the world record set by Russian Margarita Goncharova three years ago.

Home favourite and former 100m T35 world champion Oxana Corso made a welcome return from injury as she clocked 16.79.

The Rieti Grand Prix concludes on Sunday (20 May) and full results can be found here.