London 2017: Raoua Tlili claims third straight world title

Tunisian wins discus F41 event for third successive World Championships. 15 Jul 2017
Imagen
A woman in white vest and black bottoms pulls a face as she gets ready to throw a discus.

Tunisia's Raoua Tlili in action in the women's discus F41 at Rio 2016.

ⒸGetty Images
By IPC

"I have been in this sport since 2006 and it's now 2017 that I am in the middle of the podium... It feels amazing. It has been a long journey. "

Tunisia’s multiple world and Paralympic champion Raoua Tlili notched up her third consecutive world discus F41 title on day two (Saturday 14 July) of the World Para Athletics Championships in London, Great Britain, comfortably maintaining her stranglehold out in the field.

The 27-year-old managed a championship record 32.29m as she finished over six metres clear of her rivals - although she had hoped for more.

“In one way, I'm happy to win the gold but, in another way, I'm not entirely happy because I wanted to throw 33m or 34m and I could only manage 32m,” said Tlili, who set the world record of 33.38m when she won Paralympic gold last year.

The Tunisian, who won double gold at Rio 2016, also takes on the shot put F41 on Wednesday (19 July) and on current form she looks hard to beat.

Ireland’s Niamh McCarthy (26.17m) finished in second place while bronze went to Tunisian Samar Ben Koelleb (25.83m) with a new personal best.

Uzbekistan’s Khusniddin Norbekov also safely defended his world title, winning gold in the men’s discus F37 to add to the Paralympic title he won last year.

Norbekov’s opening throw of 54.73m proved enough to seal the win ahead of Australia’s Guy Henly (53.59m), who moved up to the silver medal position with his final throw of the competition. Bronze went to Mohsen Majidijamalabadi (52.75m) of Iran.

Great Britain’s Paralympic silver medallist Stef Reid secured the host nation’s second gold of the World Championships – Hannah Cockroft won 100m T34 gold on day one - as she took the win in the long jump T44.

In the absence of France’s defending champion Marie-Amelie le Fur, the Brit had started as favourite – and she lived up to expectations, leaping 5.40m in the third round to claim her first world title ahead of the Netherlands’ Marlene van Gansewinkel (5.29m) while bronze went to Japan’s Maya Nakanishi (5.00m).

"I felt nervous coming in this morning but once I came out, I thought ‘I am at home,’” said Reid. “I didn't want to be the silver girl for ever. Of course, you have voices in your head but you have got to be tough.

"I have been in this sport since 2006 and it's now 2017 that I am in the middle of the podium... It feels amazing. It has been a long journey. "

Latvia’s Diana Dadzite also clinched her first world title with a win in the women’s shot put F55. The 31-year-old threw 8.01m in the fifth round and was joined on the podium by Columbia’s Erica Maria Castano Salazar (7.77m), who set a new Americas record, and Mexico’s Rosa Maria Guerrero Cazares (7.45m).

Milos Zaric went one better than his silver medal from two years ago as he won gold in the javelin F55 with a season’s best of 30.83m. Brazil’s Jonas Licurgo (29.05m) won silver and Egypt’s Yaser Abdelaziz Elsayed (28.63m) won bronze.

There were a number of heats also out on the track in the day’s morning session. Brazil’s Petrucio Ferreira made it safely through to the final of the men’s 100m T47 later today alongside Poland’s defending champion Michal Derus and world silver medallist Yohansson Nascimento, also from Brazil.

The return to London was particularly memorable for Nascimento, who won 200m T46 gold at the 2012 Games before holding up a sign to the television cameras, proposing to his girlfriend. Days later he lined up as favourite in the 100m T46 but he injured his hamstring during the race and limped to the finish line as the crowd rose to their feet and cheered him on.

“I felt shivers when I walked out here,” explained Nascimento. “There are so many memories for me here, of winning my gold medal, of course, but also when I proposed to my wife. It is really a special place. Also in the 100m when I got injured, I made sure I got to the finish line and the whole stadium was cheering me on. So it is a really remarkable place for me.”

In the men’s 100m T11 heats the USA’s world and Paralympic champion David Brown qualified fastest for this afternoon’s final – Namibia’s Ananias Shikongo and the USA’s Lex Gillette also won their heats.

Defending champion Walid Ktila and world record holder Rheed McCracken have set up a thrilling final in this evening’s 100m T34 race. Australian McCracken (15.60) set a championship record in his heat before the Tunisian knocked a further 0.45 seconds off in the second heat.

Cuba’s Doha 2015 champion Leinier Savon Pineda also cruised through to the final of the men’s 100m T12 later today.

 

The World Para Athletics Championships will run through to 23 July. More than 1,150 athletes from 90 countries are competing in 202 medal events.

 

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