Floors sets 100m T43 European record in Paris

Germany’s Johannes Floors goes under 11 seconds for the first time at an international competition in the 100m T43. 31 May 2017
Germany's Johannes Floors celebrates winning the men's 4x100m T42-47 final during Doha 2015.

Germany's Johannes Floors celebrates winning the men's 4x100m T42-47 final during Doha 2015.

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Germany’s Johannes Floors, South African Charl du Toit and Ireland’s Noelle Lenihan were amongst a host of global stars in terrific form on the second day of competition (Wednesday 31st May) at the Paris World Para Athletics Grand Prix in France.

Floors raced home to win the 100m T43/44 at the city’s Charléty stadium in a European record 10.98 seconds, adding to his impressive win over 200m 24 hours earlier.

A double gold medallist at last year’s European Championships, the 23-year-old was part of Germany’s gold medal-winning 4x100m relay quartet at Rio 2016.

Now, with a change of coach and a change to his training regime, the German is excited about what he can achieve at July’s World Para Athletics Championships.

“I’ve trained a lot and increased my training from five to 10 times a week, so I’m improving a lot and I’m happy to see what will happen in London. I’m much better than a year ago; I gained a lot of experience in Rio so we are improving a lot and we’ll have good results.

“Everyone wants a gold medal; I want gold. It will be between David Behre, Hunter Woodhall and me, but this time I claim gold,” said Floors, who won world bronze in 2015.

Charl du Toit’s (11.65) first 100m race of the year left the South African feeling – and looking - overjoyed as he showed no ill-effects of recent injury problems, crossing the line just 0.23 seconds outside his own 100m T37 world record.

“I’m very thankful, I didn’t expect that time and I’m very, very happy. These last couple of months haven’t been easy but my amazing team has stuck with me. To open up with 11.65 that’s just amazing – I’m very thankful for that and I’ll take it any day,” said du Toit, who won 100m and 400m T37 gold at Rio 2016.

Italy’s star Para athlete Martina Caironi (15.12) made a welcome return to the track as she finished first of the T42 sprinters in the heats of the women’s T42/43/44.

“I’m happy with the first one. The start wasn’t so good as usual but it’s okay, I’m back on the track and that’s always nice for me.

“For me it’s just about beginning, but it’s okay, I’ve been competing for many years so I’m not worried. Of course, I have lots of time for London. I’m not perfectly fit yet, but I have more competitions and plenty of time.”

French sprinters Nantenin Keita (13.11) and Mandy Francois-Elie (13.67) continued their winning ways on home soil – Keita took the win in the women’s 100m T13 while former Paralympic champion Francois-Elie clocked a new 100m T37 French record. Keita went on to lower her 100m time in the evening’s final, clocking 12.91.

There was a national record in the morning too for French European champion Timothee Adolphe (11.28) who was pleased to lay down such a strong performance as part of his preparations for London 2017.

“It was encouraging for me, I’m not hurt and even my guide is going well so we have good possibilities and good opportunities for London,” added the 27-year-old, who suffered a shoulder injury during the 100m T11 final at Rio 2016.

Brazil’s former Paralympic champion Terezinha Guilhermina (12.38) finished well clear of the field in her race for visually impaired sprinters.

The T11 Para athlete, who finished out of the medals at Rio 2016, is working hard on a return to form this year and is also set to compete in Nottwil, Switzerland later this week.

Mohamad Puzi (12.36) got the better of Ukraine’s Roman Pavlyk (12.87) as he stormed home to win his 100m T36/37 heat – he went on to clock 12.15 in the men’s 100m final; South African Hilton Langenhoven (11.40) was the fastest over 100m in the men’s T12; Poland’s Mateusz Michalski (11.27) took the win in the T13 class and Turkey’s T53 racer Kurt Hamide (17.84) was the clear winner in the women’s 100m T33/53 – she went on to win the 400m in 59.59.

There was no surprise as Algeria’s Abdellatif Baka (3:49.55) led the way in the men’s 1,500m T13. The reigning Paralympic champion had hoped to lower his own world record but just missed out – the World Championships are his next target.

“This was an easy race for me today. I handled the race quite well. I must now prepare myself for London because I really want the gold medal and the world record. I will be training hard in the next days for that and we will see,” he said.

There were a number of 400m races out on the Paris track - South Africa’s Paralympic silver medallist Anrune Liebenberg (57.27) was amongst the winners - the 24-year-old’s impressive performance sends her to the top of the world rankings in the women’s T47 class.

Morocco’s Paralympic champion and world record holder Mohamed Amguoun (48.24) continued his stranglehold over the men’s 400m T13.

Out in the field, Malaysia’s Paralympic champion Muhammad Zolkefli took the top spot in the men’s shot put– the F20 thrower managed 16.36m, just 48cm shy of the world record mark he set at Rio 2016.

Denmark’s Daniel Wagner (6.37m) took the win in the men’s long jump T42 – and he can’t wait now to line up in London.

“I’m looking forward to the World Championships – this was my last international competition before London, now I have some local events in Denmark. I can’t show off too much to my competitors so it will be a surprise for them in the World Championships,” said the Paralympic bronze medallist, who was one of three Para athletes to break the world record last year.

Ireland’s teenage sensation Noelle Lenihan (F38) took on three events in Paris – the Paralympic bronze medallist managed 30.31m in the discus, 10.65m in the shot put and 28.17m in the javelin.

Iceland’s Helgi Sveinsson (F42) won the men’s javelin (56.07m) with South Africa’s Paralympic F38 champion Reinhardt Hamman second on points – he was pleased with his best of 50.21m after suffering an elbow injury and undergoing knee surgery after the Rio Games.

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