Germany’s Vanessa Low smashed her own long jump T42 world record on Sunday (24 August), to round off a great season at the 2014 IPC Athletics Grand Prix Finals in Birmingham, Great Britain.
Low, who won European long jump gold on Thursday (21 August), jumped 4.60m to add 13cm to her previous record set at May’s Grand Prix in Mesa, Arizona, USA, with a 4.47m jump.
Italy’s world champion Martina Caironi (4.37m) set a personal best to finish second.
On the track, despite a poor start, Dutch ‘Blade Babe’ Marlou van Rhijn (13.13) pulled out a season’s best to beat German newcomer Irmgard Bensusan (13.14) in the women’s 100m T43/T44.
“That was not my plan,” the European and world 100m champion said. “I slipped at the start, but I love these kind of races where you have to dip at the finish.”
Great Britain’s Laura Sugar continued to improve her times with a 13.55 national record.
Hannah Cockroft (19.04), fresh from 100m and 800m T34 European wins, eased to victory in the women’s 100m, and was joined on the podium by the Netherlands’ Amy Siemons (20.25) and teammate Melissa Nicholls (20.94).
The men’s 100m T43/44 was won by the USA’s world record holder Richard Browne (11.01), a fast time considering he slowed up after 60m due to a recurring back injury. He beat teammate Jarryd Wallace (11.32) and Germany’s Felix Streng (11.41).
“I am in a lot of pain, it’s been off and on for a couple of weeks,” Browne said. “I wanted to put on a show when my friend Jonnie’s not here.”
Brazilian Veronica Hipolito (1:04.90) put in a gritty performance in the women’s 400m T37/38 to overtake Tunisia’s Sonia Mansour (1:06.46). Hipolito’s teammate Terezinha Guilhermina (12.33) sealed a double win for the Brazilians in the women’s 100m T11/12.
Tunisia’s world and Paralympic champion Walid Ktila (15.63) powered to first place in the men’s 100m T34, as did Portugal’s Cristiano Pereira (3:57.03) in the men’s 1,500m T20.
In the absence of his British rival David Weir, Swiss silver bullet Marcel Hug (3:10.59) eased to victory in the men’s 1,500m T53/54 as did his teammate Manuela Schaer (3:43.72) in the women’s equivalent.
The men’s 200m T42 was won by Japan’s Atsushi Yamamoto (26.43) and second placed American Regas Woods (26.69) issued a challenge to absent British world and Paralympic champion Richard Whitehead.
“There’s gonna be a friendly showdown come 2016, even at the World Championships. I’m gonna set a new world record,” Woods said.
In the field Dan Greaves (60.01m, 1033 points) won the British showdown in the F42/44 discus against Aled Davies (46.93m, 1014 points).
Davies, fresh from his F42 victory at the Euros less than 24 hours before, was magnanimous in defeat but pleased with his meeting record to beat third placed Guofeng Kang (40.73m, 991 points) of China.
“It was a consistent series but at this part of the season I’m feeling so tired,” he said. “It was hard with the F44 guys and Dan’s in incredible form. I threw further than I did last night at the Euros so I can’t complain.”
New European record holder Joanna Butterfield (17.52m, 1,106 points) also won the women’s club throw F32/51.
The 2014 IPC Athletics Grand Prix Finals concluded a series of para-athletics Grand Prix around the world aimed at developing competition standards and consolidating the para-athletics calendar.