Australia’s Angie Ballard and Canada’s Brent Lakatos were agonisingly denied their third Doha 2015 gold medals on Tuesday (27 October) night at the 2015 IPC Athletics World Championships in Doha, Qatar, as world records continued to fall.
In arguably the race of the night, Ballard – the 200m and 400m champion - led from the front but in the final 40 metres came under pressure from China’s Hongzhuan Zhou. As the pair jostled for the lead, Ballard’s teammate Madison de Rozario (1:53.86) came out of nowhere to power round the outside and claim the win. Zhou (1:53.95) sealed the silver, whilst Ballard (1:54.08) was pushed back into bronze.
“I was just trying to stay in a medal position and then I realised I had a little left in the tank and just went for it,” said a visibly stunned de Rozario. “This is not my strongest event so it’s a shock to be first. I can’t even express with words how I feel.”
Lakatos (49.45), who claimed 100m and 200m golds earlier this week, had started the 400m T53 as favourite but could only manage silver following a sensational push from China’s Huzhao Li (49.32) in the outside lane. Thailand’s Pongsakom Paeyo (50.42) was third.
“I knew the Chinese was really strong and that he was one to watch. I thought it was an exciting race, we came out quite even on that last bend, but I just couldn’t catch him. I’m still extremely pleased with two gold medals and this silver medal so far, but I hope to avenge this with a world title in the 800m,” said Lakatos who won four world titles two years ago.
The sixth day of the completion saw the world record counter reach 33, with five records coming in Tuesday’s evening session.
Russia’s Evgenii Torsunov (5.75m) added 11cm to his own world record with a fourth round leap to win the men’s long jump T36. The 2013 world champion Roman Pavlyk (5.54m) of Ukraine took silver with a personal best just ahead of Australia’s Brayden Davidson (5.44m) in bronze.
“Of course I’m so happy to be the world champion and break the world record. I had a really good jump and I’ll hopefully be able to represent my country in Rio as well,” said Torsunov.
Irada Aliyeva (44.18m) of Azerbaijan added more than one and a half metres to the javelin F12 world record as she secured gold with her first throw. Silver and bronze went to Russia’s pre-competition favourite Anna Sorokina (42.66m), who set a personal best, and China’s Yuping Zhao (41.26m) with an Asian record.
There was a first gold for Nigeria in the women’s shot put F40. Lauritta Onye’s opening round of 7.72m added 13cm to her previous world record. The Netherlands’ Lara Baars (6.80m), with a European record, and Tunisia’s Rima Abdelli (6.75m) claimed silver and bronze respectively.
The USA’s Rachael Morrison bounced back following disappointment in the club throw, with gold and a world record in the discus F52. The F51 thrower’s best of 12.86m placed her in front of Mexico’s Leticia Ochoa Delgado (10.66m) in silver. Bronze with a European record went to Great Britain’s Joanna Butterfield (8.96m).
The heats of the men’s 200m T42 saw eight of the 12 competing athletes set personal bests. Great Britain’s Richard Whitehead led the way taking 0.28 seconds off his own world record set at London 2012.
“It’s all about pushing the sport on and inspiring all the people watching all over the world. It was a great race and I’m thrilled to break my world record,” said Whitehead who will go for gold on Wednesday.
Away from records, a blistering start helped Poland’s Michal Derus (10.73) retain his men’s 100m T47 world title from two years ago. The 25-year-old never looked back and crossed the line fractionally outside of the world record which was set at the Barcelona 1992 Paralympic Games. Brazil’s Yohansson Nascimento (10.99) picked up the silver, whilst China’s Hao Wang (11.06) won bronze.
“It’s a great feeling. Obviously I won the 100m in the last World Championships in Lyon so I believed that I could do it. I tried to break the world record, and although I didn’t manage to do that I still got the championship record and a gold medal so I’m happy,” said Derus.
Elena Sviridova (14.13) secured the sprint double in the women’s 100m T36 with a championship record. A photo finish decided silver and bronze with Argentina’s Yanina Andrea Martinez (14.72) holding off a late burst from Germany’s Claudia Nicoleitzik (14.73).
Chinese athletes dominated the men’s and women’s 400m T54 races taking gold and silver in both races, whilst Dutch racers secured the bronze medals.
In the men’s race Yang Liu (46.46) took the win ahead of Chengming Liu (46.52). Kenny van Weeghel (47.05), the 200m champion, held off Switzerland’s 2013 gold medallist Marcel Hug for bronze.
Wenjun Liu (54.68) lowered the Asian record to top the podium in the women’s race and was joined by teammate Lihong Zou (55.73). Margriet van den Broek (56.69) completed the medallists.
Two Germans won medals in the men’s 400m T44. David Behre (48.42) broke the championship record to win his country’s first medal on the track. Teammate Johannes Floors (49.94) claimed bronze. Silver went to 16-year-old 200m T44 bronze medallist Hunter Woodhall (49.05) who set a stunning personal best.
“I’m so extremely happy to win my first gold medal, and so proud to be a part of this team. My coach told me to keep fighting and keep running and I got there and won the world title. It was a really strong final and we had great support tonight here in Doha!” said Behre.
South Africa’s Ilse Hayes (25.24), who this year briefly held the title of world’s fastest female para-athlete, won 200m T13 gold with a dominant run. The USA’s Kym Crosby (25.93) and Morocco’s Sanaa Benhama (26.35) were the silver and bronze medallists.
Peter Genyn (20.93) claimed Belgium’s third gold of Doha 2015 with a Championship record in the men’s 100m T51. Finland’s world record holder Tini Piispanen (21.43) took silver edging out Algeria’s Mohamed Berrahal (21.89) who set an African record.
In the final event of the day, the USA’s Raymond Martin (17.36) claimed his second gold as he retained his 100m T52. Behind him, a photo finish placed Mexico’s Salvador Hernandez Mondragon (17.83) second and Switzerland’s beat Boesch (17.84) third.
The men’s javelin F46 witnessed a tussle between China’s Chunilang Guo and India’s Devendra (59.06m) who opened with a championship record. Guo responded with 59.21m in the third round before he clinched gold with a 61.89m fifth round effort. Devendra took the silver ahead of Iran’s Abdolrasol Mirshekari (53.85m) in bronze.
Poland secured gold in the men’s shot put F57 through Janusz Rokicki (14.92m). He led throughout and was joined on the podium by Russia’s Alexey Ashapatov (14.56m) and China’s Guoshan Wu (14.53m) who set an Asian record.
Russia’s 400m T38 champion Margarita Goncharova (5.09m) claimed her second title with a championship record in the long jump. Lithuania’s Ramune Adomaitiene (4.55m) and Ukraine’s Inna Stryzhak (4.47m) also made the podium.
David Casinos Sierra’s throw of 39.51m in the men’s discus F11 delivered Spain their first gold medal of the Championships. Bil Markinkovic (37.06m) and Russia’s Vitalii Telesh (35.59m) picked up silver and bronze respectively.
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