"I was not expecting to beat the world record. It's a fine run and I think I can win the gold medal beating Johanna Benson."
Namibia’s first ever Paralympic or Olympic gold medallist Johanna Benson will face an extremely stiff challenge on the third day of the IPC Athletics World Championships in Lyon, France if she is to win the 200m T37 world title.
The 23-year-old came into the Championships confident of winning world gold, however all that changed during Sunday’s (21 July) heats when her French rival Mandy Francois-Elie ran 28.35 seconds to smash Lisa McIntosh of Australia’s 13-year-old world record by 0.07 seconds.
"I was not expecting to beat the world record. It's a fine run and I think I can win the gold medal beating Johanna Benson," said Francois-Elie. The two will go head-to-head at 18:01 on Monday (22 July) in one of 27 medal events that will be live streamed via www.ParalympicSport.TV.
Evan O’Hanlon will be hoping to raise spirits back home with success in the 100m T38. O’Hanlon, 25, is the world-record holder at the distance and has won the Beijing 2008 and London 2012 Paralympic titles, as well as the 2011 world title.
Monday will be a busy day for the "Swiss Silver Bullet’" Marcel Hug who will compete in the heats and final of the 800m T54, an event he won silver in at London 2012. Hug is competing in six events in Lyon and has so far won two gold medals from two events.
Another athlete with a busy schedule is USA’s Tatyana McFadden who, like Hug, is taking part in six events. On Sunday she won two gold medals in the 200m and 5,000m T54 and on Monday will compete in the 800m heats.
Elsewhere Brazil’s Yohansson Nascimento will be aiming to add 200m T46 world gold to his Paralympic title, Great Britain’s Hannah Cockcroft will be looking to complete the sprint double with a 100m T34 win whilst Russia’s Margarita Gonchorova will be looking to improve on her London 2012 silver medal in the women’s 200m T38 Final.
Two of the world’s fastest female Paralympians will be in action on Monday. Cuba’s Yundis Castillo will aim to win the first of three possible golds in the 400m T46 whilst Brazil's Terezinha Guilhermina will go in the 100m T11 heats.
In the field China’s Mi Na, the world and Paralympic champion, will go for gold in the women’s shot put F37 and Italy’s Martina Caironi will be hoping to top the podium in the women’s long jump T42.
In non-medal events highlights will include the semi-finals of the men’s 100m T44 which will feature Paralympic champion Jonnie Peacock and his big rival Richard Browne of the USA who won silver behind the British athlete at London 2012. Defending champion Jerome Singleton, who won 200m bronze on Sunday, will also line-up together with South Africa’s Arnu Fourie.
The men’s 200m T42 semi-finals are also likely to be a big attraction with Great Britain’s Paralympic champion Richard Whitehead looking to defend his world title against Germany’s Heinrich Popow and Australia’s Scott Reardon, two athletes who will most likely favour Friday’s 100m final.
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.
Medals table after two days of competition:
Gold Silver Bronze Total
USA 6 4 6 16
UKR 6 0 1 7
BRA 4 3 1 8
GBR 3 3 1 7
POL 3 1 2 6