Brazil’s Petrucio Ferreira stormed home to complete his sprint double with a new 200m T47 world record on Saturday (22 July), the ninth day of competition at the World Para Athletics Championships in London, Great Britain.
Coming off the bend, teammate Yohannson Nascimento and Poland’s Michal Derus were still in contention but Ferreira’s phenomenal acceleration down the home straight proved too much for his rivals as he lowered his own world record to 21.21 seconds.
"I was always focused and motivated for the 200m and what happened in the last two days only motivated me even more for my best effort,” explained the 20-year-old, who was disqualified after a false start in the 400m.
“I knew I was in good form but I didn't know I could go that fast. Thanks to London for helping to fuel me a lot."
Gold for Hahn, Davies, Hermitage
Great Britain’s Sophie Hahn (12.44) also clocked a new world record as she held on to her 100m T38 title, knocking 0.16 seconds off the time she set at the 2015 World Championships.
Quick out the blocks, Hahn’s victory looked never in doubt as the real battle took place behind her – teammate Kadeena Cox (13.07) coming through for silver with Germany’s Lindy Ave (13.16) preventing Olivia Breen from securing a British clean sweep.
“I am so happy to win this title. To do the double of 100m and 200m is just phenomenal. I think this is the biggest run I’ve ever performed, it felt amazing and the crowd here really moved me along,” said Hahn, who won the 200m title seven days earlier.
Reigning Paralympic and world champion Aled Davies was also in record-breaking form for the British team as he completed a ‘treble double’ – shot put and discus F42 gold at three World Championships.
The Welshman came in to the competition as the clear favourite in the shot put F42 and he showed just why, throwing a massive 17.52m in the second round – nearly 1.5m further than his previous best and over three metres clear of his rivals.
“It was phenomenal. This crowd; they got me on another level tonight. I thank every single person out here. What I wanted to do was be at the forefront of this event and take that world record. The aim is 20m and I believe I can do it,” said Davies, who looked visibly moved as he soaked up the cheers of the crowds after his final throw.
Fellow Brit Georgie Hermitage (13.36) also claimed her second gold of London 2017 with a hard-fought win in the women’s 100m T37. The double Paralympic champion shook off her rivals with less than 40m to go, pulling clear to set a new championship record.
As well as world records, it was an evening jam-packed full of middle-distance racing, which lived up to expectations.
Middle distance magic
The Baka brothers were back on track and sealed another one-two for Algeria – and for their family. The identical twins finished first and second in the 800m T13 to add to their success over 1,500m – but this time it was Fouad (1:51.60) who took the gold ahead of Abdellatif (1:51.69), setting a new championship record as his brother eased up over the line behind him.
US middle-distance star Mikey Brannigan (1:54.24) notched up an impressive second gold medal as he sprinted home to win the men’s 800m T20. Tucked in behind Great Britain’s front-runner Steve Morris, the 20-year-old made his move with 200m to go and never looked back.
"I ran that race at my pace and stayed calm and relaxed. My plan was to go out fast and then make my move and I managed then to keep my form. My coach told me that, when I made my move, I had to change through the gears and go and shoot for it,” explained Brannigan, who is chasing a third title in the 5,000m T20 on Sunday (23 July).
Michael McKillop (4:36.38) won a pedestrian-paced 1,500m T37, reluctantly leading the pack – who were equally unwilling to take the race on until the bell indicated one lap to go.
The pace finally stepped up with McKillop out in front joined by Canadian Liam Stanley, who stuck to the Irishman’s side until 200m to go. Then it was all about the experienced McKillop, who shook off his pursuer to claim his second London 2017 gold and his ninth world gold overall.
Deon Kenzie (4:06.68) arrived in London as the world number one in the men’s 1,500m T38, having broken the world record earlier this year.
The 21-year-old quickly made his intentions clear, stretching the field out early on and sprinting home alone at the front to set a new championship record.
“To come away with a gold medal, I am absolutely stoked. This year training has gone really well in the lead-up so I knew I could win it from the front, and it paid off,” said Kenzie.
Diana Laura Coraza Castaneda (2:21.86) charged down the home straight passing all three of her rivals to take gold in the 800m T11 – denying Poland’s 1,500m champion Joanna Mazur the middle-distance double. The Mexican then proudly set off on her victory lap sporting a sombrero.
The women’s 5,000m T54 was a tactical race with Australian Madison de Rozario (12:33.48) and US duo Amanda McGrory (12:33.64) and Chelsea McClammer (12:34.17) always near the front. It was de Rozario, 23, who timed her finish to perfection however, leading round the final lap and holding off McGrory to take the win.
Sprint golds were also decided on the penultimate day of action.
Germany’s 400m T43 champion Johannes Floors (21.50) claimed his second gold of the championships with a terrific win in the 200m T43, sprinting clear of the USA’s Hunter Woodhall (21.72) with 50m remaining and crossing the line with a new championship record.
US sprinter Jarryd Wallace (22.37) reclaimed the 200m T44 title he last won in 2013, speeding round the bend in to the lead before holding off a late charge by Greek 400m T44 champion Michail Seitis (22.53) to take the win.
“I had a lot of confidence coming in to this. I knew if I could stay relaxed coming off the bend I would win. My plan was to stay strong for 120m and keep my hands up high and that’s what I did. There were a lot of talented athletes out there and we were all hurting by the end, so it was just a matter of holding on,” said Wallace.
“I was missing in 2015 so I felt I had something to prove. I had to win my title back and show what I can do.”
South Africa’s Arnu Fourie (22.53) is set to retire from Para athletics after London 2017 and he capped off a memorable career with a bronze medal.
“I said when I left the hotel that I was going to leave it all out there on the track, and I guess I did that,” said Fourie, who lunged over the line, landing spread-eagled on the track.
“I’m so thankful I’m standing here after all this time. Fourteen years ago I lost my leg in a motorcycle accident and I was a guy struggling to find a purpose. Regardless of gold medals, athletics has been my life and given me a purpose. Through this sport, I’ve grown, not just as an athlete, but as a person.”
The USA notched up a second gold medal out on the track courtesy of Ray Martin (16.83), who raced to a new championship record in the men’s 100m T52.
China’s Paralympic silver medallist Yifei Yang (11.93) stormed out the blocks and charged all the way to the line to get the better of Malaysia’s Paralympic champion Mohamad Puzi in the men’s 100m T36. The 25-year-old set a new Asian record and was just 0.03 seconds shy of the world record set in 2013.
Out in the field, US high jumper Sam Grewe leapt to his second consecutive world high jump T42 title, clearing 1.86m on his third attempt in damp conditions.
“A lot of excitement is going on right now,” said Grewe, who was beaten to gold at last year’s Paralympic Games. “After taking silver last year, you know, silver is great but I was a little bit disappointed. I would like to be on top so to regain my title is so special to me right now.”
China’s defending champion Qing Wu (9.69m) threw a season’s best to win the shot put F36 while just one centimetre separated first and second in the women’s shot put F53, with Bahrain’s Paralympic champion Fatema Nedham (4.73m) taking gold ahead of Ukrainian Iana Lebiedieva (4.72m). The men’s discus F57 was won by Brazil’s world record holder Thiago Paulino (46.58m) – a second world title for the 31-year-old who has already claimed the shot put title here in London.
The World Para Athletics Championships will close on Sunday (23 July). More than 1,150 athletes from 90 countries are competing in 202 medal events.
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