Looking at Lyon: Women’s 100m T3711.07.2013
The women’s 100m T37 sprint will be a quick battle to the finish between France’s Mandy Francois-Elie and Namibia’s Johanna Benson.
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They both have the potential to be global superstars by the time Rio 2016 comes along – at which point they should both be in the prime of their careers.
What happened last time: At the 2011 IPC Athletics World Championships in Christchurch, New Zealand, Ukraine’s Viktoriya Kravchenko won gold, Maria Seifert took silver and Great Britain’s Katrina Hart claimed bronze.
World-record holder: France’s Mandy Francois-Elie set a new world-record time of 13.68 just over a month ago on 8 June on the track in Saint Cyr-sur-Loire, France set the current world record with a time of 9:53.05 on 24 June 2010 at a meet in Arbon, Switzerland.
Who to watch: Francois-Elie has everything going for her in this event as the host nation favourite, Paralympic Champion and world-record holder, but Namibia’s Johanna Benson is one of the fastest rising stars in para-sport after becoming her country’s first female to win a Paralympic gold last summer. And those are just the top two names to watch. The stacked field also includes Germany’s Maria Seifert, Tunisia’s Neda Bahi, Egypt’s Amal Youssef and Great Britain’s Hart.
Why you should watch: The future of this class is very bright with Francois-Elie and Benson just 23 years old heading into Lyon. Both have attracted major fan bases in their hometowns and their impacts have gone beyond the track, changing perceptions of people with an impairment in their country. They both have the potential to be global superstars by the time Rio 2016 comes along – at which point they should both be in the prime of their careers.