International stars light up field in Arizona

Big-name throwers dominate at Arizona Grand Prix 26 May 2019
Akeem Stewart about to throw the shot while wearing a Trinidad & Tobago shirt

Akeem Stewart took the top spot in both the discus and javelin events at the Arizona Grand Prix

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By World Para Athletics

International stars lit up the field on Saturday, the final day of action at the Arizona Grand Prix in the USA.

Trinidad and Tobago’s double world champion Akeem Stewart took the top spot in both the discus and javelin events – a repeat of his winning form at the same meeting twelve months ago.

The F43 thrower managed a best of 62.12m in the discus F64 to finish ahead of USA’s Jeremy Campbell (60.21m), while in the javelin F64 he sealed the win with a throw of 52.79m. The 27-year-old currently sits top of the world rankings in each of his events.

Australia’s Guy Henly, who clinched discus F37 silver at London 2017 behind Uzbekistan’s Khusniddin Norbekov, also made a winning return to Arizona, throwing 46.56m to finish in first place in his event.

Brazil’s top throwers also made their mark on the second day of competition in Arizona.

Paralympic champion Claudiney Batista dos Santos (43.45m) took the win in the discus F56 to cement his place at the top of the world rankings.

Teammate and double world champion Thiago Paulino (14.50m) is the current world number one in his event too – the shot put F57. He showed just why with a convincing win on US soil.

Caio da Silva (16.35m) dominated his event, the shot put F12, adding to Brazil’s success.

However, it wasn’t all about the international names as US Para athletes also made their mark.

One day after winning the 100m T11 with guide Jerome Avery, David Brown stepped out in the long jump competition – a new domain for the 26-year-old sprinter who only began training for the event this year.

Brown leapt 4.98m in the men’s long jump T11 – his first and best attempt of the day on his competitive debut. Fellow American Jaleen Roberts leapt 4.64m to win the women’s long jump T37.

London 2017 finalist Josh Cinnamo (15.63m) won the men’s shot put F46; Cody Jones (46.27m) the javelin F38 and two-time world champion Cassie Mitchell (17.30m) the women’s club throw F51.

Back to the track and a day after competing in the long jump, former sprint world champion Richard Browne returned for the men’s 200m T64.

The 28-year-old finished in a time of 23.55, over one second clear of his rivals.

Double world and Paralympic champion Deja Young (12.74) finished first in the women’s 100m T47; then was back out again in the 400m, where she clocked 58.91 – having run 57.89 in the heats. The US athlete only started racing over one lap this year.

Scot Sammi Kinghorn also enjoyed a second day’s action on the track, this time in the 400m T53 and 1,500m T54 where once again she displayed her class.

The 23-year-old clocked 55.69 seconds over one lap - five seconds clear of the field – while in the 1,500m she took the win in 3:47.58.

There were victories too for Alexa Halko (19.78) in the women’s 100m T34; Cheri Madsen (54.28) in the women’s 400m T54; Mexico’s Velasco Maldonado (1:02.05) in the women’s 400m T12 and Kym Crosby (59.09) in the women’s 400m T13.

Regas Woods (27.69) was the fastest in the men’s 200m T61; Canada’s Thomas Normandeau (51.05) came first in the 400m T45/46/47 and Nicholas Rogers (51.17) won the 400m T62.

Full results are available online.