More golds for Great Britain and Russia at Grosetto 2016

Great Britain and Russia continued their race to the top of the podium on the penultimate day of the IPC Athletics European Championships winning six gold medals each 15 Jun 2016
Man doing shot put

Bulgaria’s Ruzhdi Ruzhdi wins the men's shot put F55 with a new world record at the 2016 IPC Athletics European Championships.

ⒸAgenzia Fotografica BF

Great Britain and Russia continued their race to the top of the podium on the penultimate day of the IPC Athletics European Championships winning six gold medals each, but the stars out in the field were Bulgaria’s Ruzhdi Ruzhdi and Russia’s Sofia Oksem who both set new world records.

Oksem stepped up in the last field event of the day, the women’s discus F11/12, and promptly bettered the F12 world record mark she set when winning European silver two years ago.

The 22-year-old threw 47.40m in the second round, adding 1.43m on to her previous mark as she picked up her second gold medal of the Championships.

“I am happy to win the gold, but I did not expect to set a new world record - even twice. I am amazed I was able to do that,” she said.

“In Rio of course I hope to win the gold medal, it is my first and only goal. I always give everything, all the time. It does not matter if it is discus throw or shot put either. I always try to do my best.”

Ruzhdi, who won gold at last year’s World Championships, added 19 centimetres on to the previous world mark which had stood since 2006.

The 25-year-old threw 12.04m in the fourth round to add the shot put title to the discus gold he won on Saturday.

Paralympic champion Peacock got the better of German sprinter Felix Streng in the hotly anticipated men’s 100m T44 final – the first of Great Britain’s six gold medals out on the track on day five.

Peacock and Streng quickly pulled clear of the field and ran shoulder to shoulder, but it was the Briton who had the edge, crossing the line in 11.18, just 0.02 ahead of Streng.

Peacock, who had earlier clocked 10.88 in the heats, said:

“It’s a final and it’s all about winning medals. I was happy with my time in the heats this morning and it’s good to see I can do it when it matters.

“I want to be even faster but it's a great feeling to be European champion again. It was close and Felix certainly pushed me hard and I just had to dig deep to get passed him. I have been working a lot on my top speed this year and in that race I have shown it works.

Streng meanwhile remains upbeat about his prospects at the 2016 Paralympic Games.

“I think it was a really close race, I’m in good shape so I was looking forward to racing, and I think it should be a close race now – so I’m happy,” said the German.

Georgina Hermitage continued to outclass the field in the T37 sprints as she secured her third gold in Grosseto with a convincing win in the 100m, setting a championship record 13.85 to add to the world records over 200m and 400m she has already broken this week.

Fellow Briton Maria Lyle secured her second European title with a standout performance in the 200m T35, clocking a championship record 29.91 to finish well clear of her rivals.

Richard Whitehead was next out on the track and the Paralympic champion also made it double gold in Grosseto as he won the men’s 200m T42 in 25.09 despite losing his footing as the gun went off.

A terrific start by Paralympic champion Mickey Bushell in the men’s 100m T53 gave the Briton a strong lead as he powered home to take gold in 15.53, a new championship record, and Sophie Hahn rounded off a successful day for the British team as she saw off Russia’s Margarita Goncharova to win the 100m T38 in 12.87 - another championship record.

Italy’s golden girl Martina Caironi secured the host nation’s second gold of Grosseto 2016, pulling away from her rivals in the 100m T42 to take the win in 15.80 – into a -4.0m/s headwind.

“Today I just could not let anybody down. The time I set was not my best, I wanted to run in less than 15 seconds, but I always demand too much from myself, considering it has been my first race of this season,” said the world champion.

Finland’s Paralympic champion Leo Pekka Tahti was delighted – and relieved – to cross the line first in the men’s 100m T54. The Flying Finn had considered withdrawing from the final after suffering an elbow injury in training the previous day, but he powered through to the line nonetheless, clocking 14.43.

“I am very very happy now because I wasn’t sure if I would participate,” explained Pekka Tahti.

“I didn’t take any risks out there, and there is still quite a big margin between me and silver medallist, so I’m very happy. I just need to thank my physio who did a great job on my elbow for me to race. Now I just need to take some rest and it will be okay after one week.”

Poland’s world champion Michal Derus won the men’s 100m T47 by a clear margin but the 25-year-old wasn’t satisfied with his performance.

“It’s not good, my time was worse than last year,” said Derus. “But I think I will be better for Rio. I think I can run about 10.70.”

Portugal’s Carolina Duarte won the women’s 100m T13 with a championship record of 12.87, while victory in the 100m T12 went to Germany’s recently crowned 200m champion Katrin Mueller-Rottgardt, who sprinted well clear of the field to finish in 12.20. Turkey’s Hamide Kurt secured her second gold in Grosseto, winning the 100m T53 (18.20).

Russia’s Natalia Kocherova missed out on her fifth gold medal at Grosseto 2016 as she finished second in the 100m T54 behind Turkey’s world ranked number three, Zubeyde Supurgeci (18.02), but Kocherova’s teammates Evgenii Shvetsov, Vitalii Gritsenko, Elena Pautova, Yan Shkulka and Nikita Oblepov did reach the top of the podium.

Paralympic champion Shvetsov won the men’s 800m T36 in 2:08.14, Gritsenko won the 800m T53 in a championship record 1:40.56, world silver medallist Pautova clocked 4:41.14 in the 1,500m T13, Shkulka set a new F40 European record of 31.31m (897 points) to win the javelin F40/41 and Oblepov threw a championship record 9.21m in the fourth round to win the men’s shot put F34.

Triple world champion Barbara Niewiewdzial started strongly in the women’s 400m T20 and proved too strong for her rivals as she tore round the track in a championship record 57.98 – just 0.2 seconds off the world record mark she set at Doha 2015. The men’s event was won by Frenchman Rodrigue Massianga, who held off his rivals down the home straight to take gold with a European record of 48.65.

There was a Spanish one-two in the men’s 400m T12 as Joan Munar Martinez clocked a championship record 50.11 to take the win ahead of Jose Luis Fernandez Taular (50.87), and their compatriot Ivan Cano Blanco equalled the championship record in the long jump T13 with a leap of 7.09m.

Elsewhere in the field, Iceland’s defending champion and F42 world record holder Helgi Sveinsson threw a championship record 55.42m to win his country’s first gold medal. The women’s long jump T11 also went to form as Sweden’s world bronze medallist Viktoria Karlsson leapt a championship best 4.59m, and Poland’s Renata Sliwinska won the discus F40/41 (16.86m).

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