London 2017: Day 8 Preview

Turner, Genyn and Hug lead race for today's medals at World Para Athletics Championships. 21 Jul 2017
five para athletes compete in their sports
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Seventeen medals will be decided on day eight (Friday 21 July) at the World Para Athletics Championships in London, Great Britain, and one man not to miss is Australian James Turner.

There seems to be no stopping the 21-year-old who has already set two world records at the London Stadium in the heats and final of the 200m T36. Now he takes on the 400m.

A former Para football player, Turner only turned to track and field last year but he quickly made a name for himself, tearing round the track in the 800m T36 final at Rio 2016 in world record time.

The Wollongong man currently tops the 400m T36 world rankings; don’t be surprised if he claims another world record on Friday.

The men’s 400m T13 features a number of top African track stars – Moroccans Mohamed Amguoun and Nabil Rahhali Omari are first and third in the world rankings; sandwiched in between the pair is Algeria’s Mohamed Hamouou. Watch out too for Fouad Baka, who won 1,500m T13 silver behind his twin brother Abdellatif, and Namibia’s Lyon 2013 champion Johannes Nambala.

The 100m T51 promises a thrilling head-to-head between Finland’s London 2012 Paralympic champion Toni Piispanen and Belgium’s reigning Paralympic and world champion Peter Genyn.

The pair raced earlier this year in Arbon, Switzerland, and finished in a dead heat; expect a close competition once again from the former wheelchair rugby players who have been lining up against each other since their days on the court in the mid-1990s.

The USA’s David Brown – winner over 100m on the second day of competition here at the London Stadium – progressed through to the final of the men’s 200m T11 along with France’s double European champion Timothée Adolphe, China’s Zetan Fan and his teammate Dongdong Di. Namibia’s Paralympic champion Ananias Shikongo failed to make it through.

The men’s 200m T12 final will be without Cuba’s defending champion Leinier Savon Pineda after he was disqualified in the heats; Morocco’s Mahdi Afri, bronze medallist at Rio 2016, was the fastest of the qualifiers from the semi-finals 24 hours earlier.

Tunisia’s Walid Ktila won four world titles at Doha 2015, topping the individual medals table. The 31-year-old remains on track to repeat that remarkable performance – victory in the 200m on Friday would complete the set.

The men’s 800m T54 will be re-run on Friday evening following the crash in the event on Monday (17 July). Great Britain’s Richard Chiassaro does not feature after being disqualified; Swiss star Marcel Hug will be hoping he can cross the line in first place once again.

Chinese Para athletes are out in force in the day’s field events.

Liwan Yang will be hoping to complete a hat trick of titles in London having already triumphed in the shot put and javelin F54 here – the same two events she won back at London 2012. The 39-year-old lines up in the discus F55 and gold is by no means guaranteed – Latvia’s F55 thrower Diana Dadzite could also pick up her third world title having won the shot put F55 and javelin F56 events.

Just one centimetre separates the top two in the world in the women’s shot put F44 – and both Para athletes line up on Friday. Germany’s Frederike Koleiski has thrown 11.15m this year while Juan Yao, the defending champion, has a season’s best of 11.14m. Yao, who won the discus earlier in the week, is capable of much more though – her world record is exactly two metres further.

China could well add another gold to their top-of-the-table tally if results go to form in the women’s discus F12. Yuping Zhao tops the world rankings this year; she has already won the javelin F13 and it would be no surprise if the 23-year-old added a second gold medal – and she still has the shot put to come on Sunday (23 July), the final day of action at London 2017.