First world record on the track at Grosseto 2016

Poland’s Arleta Meloch smashed the 800m T20 world record on the second morning (Sunday 12 June) of the 2016 IPC Athletics European Championships, taking the world record tally in Grosseto, Italy, to five so far. 12 Jun 2016
Podium with 3 women holding flowers

Poland's Barbara Niewiedzial won her first gold medal at the 2016 IPC Athletics European Championships in the 1500m T20 with her team mate Arleta Merloch winning bronze.

ⒸAgenzia Fotografica BF

Poland’s Arleta Meloch smashed the 800m T20 world record on the second morning (Sunday 12 June) of the 2016 IPC Athletics European Championships, taking the world record tally in Grosseto, Italy, to five so far.

The two-time Paralympic silver medallist knocked nearly four seconds off the previous mark set by her teammate Barbara Niewiedzial at last year’s World Championships as she crossed the line in 2:18.10.

Meloch, who won 1,500m silver at Doha 2015, looked strong from the start as Hungary’s Bernadett Biacsi pushed hard round the final lap, with the Pole tucked in behind waiting to pounce. Sure enough, with 200m to go Meloch sped past, pulling clear as she sprinted to the line.

Russia’s Veronika Doronina won the 100m T34 on Saturday, and the 20-year-old notched up her second win of the Championships winning the 400m T34 in a tight finish with Great Britain’s Carly Tait.

Doronina led round the final bend but Tait pushed hard down the home straight and was closing in fast, but the finish line came too soon for the Briton who finished just 0.04 seconds behind as Doronina took gold in 1:08.70.

“I feel super, I set my new personal record, three seconds less than the previous one so I am really satisfied with this,” said Doronina, who will go for a hat trick in Grosseto with the 800m still to come.

“I saw the English racer [Tait] very close to me towards the finish line and to beat her I gave my best with all my strength right at the end of the race.”

Finnish racer Henry Manni is chasing four gold medals in Grosseto – the same four he won at Swansea 2014 – and he started his campaign well with a clear win and a new championship record in the men’s 400m T34.

“It was a very good start of the competition. I have four competitions here and I want to win every one of them. I won in Swansea and I want to win here,” said Manni, who finished in 52.46.

“Now I have really good feelings about Rio. This was the first big competition of the summer, Rio will be the second one. It was great to start with this medal, I feel I have the chance to do well there,” he added.

There was a new championship record for Russia’s Egor Sharov who led from the front in the men’s 800m T13.

The world champion’s long graceful stride ate up the track as he dominated the race, finishing more than 30m clear of his rivals in 1:55.26.

World silver medallist Louis Radius left nothing to chance as he sped off at the gun in the men’s 1,500m T38. The Frenchman continued to stretch the field and proved too good for his rivals as he too clocked a new championship record on the track – finishing in 4:20.01.

“I have a lot of respect for my opponents, I came here knowing that I have won [silver at] the World championships and that I have the European record, but in the 1,500m we are all levelled at the start,” he said.

“For Rio, I hope to break the European record and I will try to break the world record too. I would like to leave with a medal.”

The 100m T52 went to form as Swiss defending champion Beat Boesch powered home to secure his second consecutive European title in 18.72, although he was not entirely satisfied with his performance.

“To get another gold again after two years is very good for me, of course to win is always nice but I’m not that happy with my performance because the time I set is too slow,” said Boesch.

“I was too slow at the start and then I tried to be faster especially in the last part which was OK, but the wind was just too strong to recover all that time lost at the start. But it’s OK, this was another good step in my preparation which is focussed on the Rio Paralympics.

“There’s still some time, three months, before Rio so I hope I won’t crash and won’t get injured again like I did when I broke my leg before the Paralympics in London.”

Out in the field Frenchman Alexandre Dipoko-Ewane set a new championship record in the men’s high jump T47, clearing 1.88m.

Poland’s world silver medallist Robert Jachimowicz dominated the men’s discus F52, throwing 19.42m as he finished nearly one metre clear of his rivals.

The women’s shot put F32/33 also went to form as Russia’s world champion Svetlana Krivenok (F33) threw 5.75m (875 points) to take the win.

The morning session concluded with a win for Great Britain’s Dan Greaves (F44) who safely defended his European title in the men’s discus F44-46 with a best of 58.15m.

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