The world’s fastest female Paralympian delivered the first gold of her promised triple by winning the women’s 200m T12. She crossed the finished line in 23.67 together with guide Yuniol Vargas. Now, Durand is hoping to repeat such success in the 100m and 400m.
“I have two more events and two more golds to win. I have to continue to prepare well,” she said.
“I know I can win them but all the athletes here will be well prepared so we will see the results on the track.”
Silver sensation for hosts
There was high drama in the men’s 5,000m T11, as Peruvian fans celebrated what they thought was their first gold through Rosbil Guillen and guide Carlos Guevara. However, the home pair were then disqualified after it was found they broke loose just before crossing the finish line.
It was Ecuador, therefore, who took gold through Darwin Castro and guide Sebastian Rosero, but there was still reason for the home fans to go wild, as Peru’s Luis Sandoval was awarded silver to the delight not just of those in the stadium, but also watching on TV and following on Twitter. The reaction was so overwhelming Sandoval even became the number one trending topic in Peru.
"It was possible to reach the podium, that was my main goal. I'm happy, it was a tough competition. All the competitors are very strong,” he said.
Bermuda top podium
Repeating her gold medal performance from Toronto 2015, Jessica Lewis again gave Bermuda gold after winning the women’s 400m T53. USA’s Yen Hoang and Kelsey Le Fevour ended second and third, respectively.
Paralympic champions Mauricio Valencia of Colombia and Leinier Savon Pineda of Cuba also took gold in the first day of athletics.
The USA and Argentina (three golds), Canada (two), Mexico and Venezuela (one) enjoyed the sweet taste of victory as well.