Martina Caironi chases down a new 200m world record

In a race against below-knee amputees, Martina Caironi pushed her self to the edge of her limits, to break the 200m T42 world record. 01 Jun 2014
Martina Caironi, winces,

Martina Caironi

ⒸLuc Percival

Italy’s Martina Caironi knocked half a second off the 200m T42 world record she set on the same track last year, to establish a new time of 32.64 at the IPC Athletics Grand Prix in Grosseto, Italy on Sunday (1 June).

In a mixed race of T42-44 racers, Caironi chased her below-knee amputee teammates to the finish line, where she collapsed, having clearly pushed herself to the limit.

“In the second part, I overcame myself. In fact, when I arrived at the finish line, I died. I couldn’t breathe," said the 100m T42 Paralympic and world champion.

“I can understand my race, seeing how far ahead the T43 and T44 are. If they are too far away from me, I think, ‘No, it’s not OK, I have to run faster, faster, faster.’

“In Italy we say, there are the carrots that you have to catch, so each time I see the other athletes, I really wanted to reach them.

“I prefer to have someone to catch."

Caironi changed her foot at the last minute from a strength 4 (which she had used in the 100m race on Saturday) to a strength 3 blade, after breaking it in the morning. Although the strength 4 blade gives her more power, it is harder to control.

“If you have a stronger foot, you have to have a stronger leg,” she explained.

“With this one [strength 3], I really feel good. With the other one, it was a bit of an experiment.”

In the men’s 100m T44, South Africa’s Arnu Fourie (11.22) showed that he still has what it takes at the age of 29, to finish first. USA’s 24-year-old Jarryd Wallace (11.30) came second, whilst Germany’s Felix Streng (11.37), 10 years Fourie’s junior, came in third, having won the 200m the previous day.

“I felt very excited after yesterday when me and Jarryd and Felix won a proper two hundred, and finished within 0.1 seconds” said Fourie, who took a confidence boost from his performance.

“I know that I’m still capable of running faster times, for sure.”

As one of the older athletes in his class, he looks on Streng’s performances with admiration, but is not prepared to give up the fight just yet.

“I’ve been around for a while, so you’re not going to take my place so easily. You’re going to have to fight for it,” he said, laying down the gauntlet to Streng.

The Paralympic bronze medallist is feeling 100 per cent healthy again, after battling with an infected stump in 2013, and suffering a setback, competing at the 2013 World Championships before he had fully recovered.

Pulling out of the blocks in the 100m, Fourie sensed that Wallace had had the faster start.

“I knew that in the last 50 I was going to have somebody who I needed to chase down. And that’s the thing that I’m normally relying on - my maximum speed. And I’m just very happy to look up at 50 and see someone ahead of me, then cross the finish line and be ahead of him.”

Fourie heads to the Berlin Grand Prix next from 20-22 June, and will be focusing on improving the drive phase of his race between 10 and 40m.

“I’ll be working on staying down and keeping driving. Normally I come up too quickly when I see in the first 20m that someone’s ahead of me – you just get up and start running as quickly as possible,” he laughed.

“But at least I felt today that I could drive through that and get up at 50 and pick up maximum speed.”

In the men’s 100m T43, USA’s Josh Kennison (11.66) had the fastest time, whilst Finland’s Toni Piispanen (21.34) added to his 400m win from Saturday, by also claiming the men’s 100m T51/52.

Finland’s Leo-Pekka Tahti (25.16) completed a perfect weekend with a win in the men’s 200m T53/54. In other men’s 200m races, Russia dominated the visually impaired classes with Andrey Koptev (23.63) winning the T11, Artem Loginov (22.14) the T12 and Alexander Zverev (22.50) the T13. Italy’s Matteo Gizzi (26.69) was first in the T20/35/36/42, South Africa’s Fanie van der Merwe (23.39) in T37-38, Turkey’s Mehmet Atmaca (24.69) in T45-47 and Switzerland’s Mitic Bojan (28.29) in T34.

In the women’s 200m events Italy’s Arjola Dedaj (28.66) won the T11, Russia’s Anna Sorokina (26.70) the T12, Belgium’s Leen Lambert (28.68) in T13/35/37/38 and Switzerland’s Alexandra Helbling (31.18) in T53/54.

In the 5,000m races Denmark’s Ebbe Blichfeldt (11:06.19) won the men’s T54, Switzerland’s Patricia Keller (13:12.91) the women’s T54 and Russia’s Alexey Akhtyamov (15:52.54) the men’s T11/13/36/38.

The men’s 800m races went to UAE’s Rashed Aldhaheri (1:43.55) in T52-54, Serbia’s Zarko Cujo (2:08.60) in T11-13, Vietnam’s Van Duc Tran (2:08.01) in T46, and Italy’s Spartak Doci (2:22.56) in T37/38. In the women’s events Italy’s Annalisa Minetti (2:24.19) was victorious in the T11 event, and Switzerland’s Alexandra Helbling (1:55.59) in the T53/54.

The javelin wins went to Qatar’s Abdulraham Abdulrahaman (27.08m) in F33-34, Iceland’s Helgi Sveinsson (49.77m) in F40-46, Greece’s Manolis Stefanoukadis (26.89m) in F52-54, UAE’s Jumah Saeed Tenaijy (16.59m) in F56, Italy’s Youssoupha Diouf (37.30m) in F57, and Serbia’s Milos Zari (27.62m) in F55.

In the women’s javelin, UAE’s Aisham Sale Bani Khaled (10.43m) won the F33-34, Tunisia’s Hania Aidi (16.67m) in F52/54/55, Great Britain’s Hollie Arnold (40.01m) in F40-46 and USA’s Cece Mazyck (14.02m) in the F57 event.

Serbia’s Milos Mitic (21.09) won the men’s club F32/51, whilst Italy’s Carmela Marino (7.84m) took gold in the women’s club throw F31/32/51.

Russia’s Igor Baskakov (35.65m) won the men’s discus F11-13/20, whilst Great Britain’s Joshua Bain (43.97m) won in the F35-38 event.

Russia’s Sofia Oksem (43.88m) had the best throw in the women’s discus F11-13/20, and Latvia’s Taiga Kantane took the win in the women’s discus F37-38.

Turkey’s Karim Elyaz (10.75m) won the men’s triple jump T47.

The IPC Athletics Grand Prix continues in Tunisia from 16-18 June, before heading on to Berlin, Germany, for the penultimate event in the series on 20-22 June. The Grand Prix Finals will be held in Birmingham, Great Britain, on 25 August. For further information, please visit

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