IPC Athletics World Championships
19-29 July

Lyon 2013 - Day three morning session review

British T36 sprinter Paul Blake shined at the IPC Athletics World Championships, taking gold across 800m. 22 Jul 2013
Paul Blake winning the 800m T36

Great Britain's Paul Blake took gold in the 800m T36 sprint with a Championship-record time of 2:06.10.

ⒸLuc Percival

“As the team captain I want to lead from the front. I walked the last 30m and think tomorrow I can go all out and break the world record,” said Whitehead.

Great Britain’s Paul Blake gave it everything to win his first global 800m T36 title on day three of competition at the IPC Athletics World Championships in Lyon, winning with a gutsy sprint down the home straight.

The 23-year-old went off strongly at the gun, with only Artem Arefyev of Russia able to keep up with his blistering pace. After one lap Blake still led, but he was never quite able to shake off the Russian who pulled alongside with 100m to go.

But the Briton dug deep and battled his way to the line, taking gold with a championship record of 2:06.10.

Blake, who clinched silver in 2011, said: “I’m not really used to running in these hot conditions. I was taken towards the end but I thought, ‘just keep your cool and I think I can take him,’ and I managed to hold off to get the win.

“I run quite well off a quick pace myself so I decided to take it out and try and hold on which I did. I put a lot more work in the gym this season just for strength and to help me with my finishing, and it’s paid off here. It is the hardest I’ve ever raced, and I got a pb which is great.”

The first gold of the day went to Algeria’s Paralympic champion Abdellatif Baka in the 800m T13, running a hard last lap to secure victory, whilst Poland’s 2011 champion Lukasz Wietecki had to make do with silver. Morocco’s Abdelillah Mame clinched bronze, just as he did in London.

“It was such a tiring race, but I was here to win,” said Baka. “I gave everything at half distance and it paid off. Now it is all about the 1,500m in which I’ll go for another gold.”

It was a closely run contest in the men’s 100m T37 but Andrey Vdovin’s determined dip over the line was enough to secure gold – and a new world record of 11.48 – ahead of fellow Russian Roman Kapranov.

“I was not the favourite but I am very happy. It was a very tough race because the other athletes were really fast. I feel very proud as well,” said Vdovin.

In the men’s 800m T46, Hermas Muvunyi of Rwanda took gold, whilst Algeria’s Samir Nouioua added silver to the 5,000m gold medal he won on Saturday (20 July).

Switzerland’s Marcel Hug has already picked up two golds so far in Lyon, and his quest for multiple titles continues with a win in his 800m T54 semi-final. Home favourite Julien Casoli will be hoping to upset the 27-year-old after the Frenchman won his semi with a championship record.

There were no surprises in the semi-finals of the 800m T53 as Australia’s defending champion and world record holder Richard Colman, US Paralympic bronze medallist Joshua George, and Canada’s Brent Lakatos – 400m winner here on Sunday (21 July) - all made it through to tomorrow’s final.

Australia’s Scott Reardon looked in great form as he won his semi-final in the 200m T42 with a championship record, ahead of Paralympic silver medallist Shaquille Vance of the USA and 2011 bronze medallist Atushi Yamamoto of Japan.

But they will find it hard to beat the reigning world and Paralympic champion Richard Whitehead. The Briton streaked ahead in the second qualifier to comfortably seal his place in the final - setting a new championship record of 24.49 seconds in the process. Germany’s Paralympic bronze medallist Heinrich Popow also goes through.

“As the team captain I want to lead from the front. I walked the last 30m and think tomorrow I can go all out and break the world record,” said Whitehead.

In the 100m T35 qualifiers, South Africa’s Teboho Mokgalagadi and the Ukraine’s Iurii Tsaruk each won their semi-final to secure places in the final on Tuesday (23 July).

In the field events, Germany picked up their second gold medal of Lyon 2013 as Paralympic champion Sebastian Dietz threw 42.18m in the discus F35/36 to break the world record by over two metres.

And Malaysia’s Muhammad Zolkefli earned his country’s first medal of the World Championships with victory in the shot put F20.

The morning session was rounded off in style by Algeria’s Mohamed Berrahal who set a new world record of 13.16m (1163 points) to secure gold in the discus F51/52/53.

The 2013 IPC Athletics World Championships, featuring over 1,000 athletes from nearly 100 countries, runs through until Sunday 28 July. It is the biggest gathering of international athletes since London 2012 and is being streamed each day live via www.ParalympicSport.TV.

Live results can be found at the Lyon 2013 IPC Athletics World Championships website whilst updates and behind the scenes pictures can be found at twitter.com/IPCAthletics and facebook.com/IPCAthletics.