Sri Lanka’s first-ever Paralympic gold medal, a first gold for a Chilean female athlete and Mexico’s 100th gold marked Monday (30 August) morning session at the National Olympic Stadium on Para athletics day four at Tokyo 2020.
Francisca Mardones became the first Chilean woman to win a Paralympic Games medal in any sport as she struck shot put F54 gold. The 43-year-old broke her own world record with a throw of 8.33 metres.
“I am full of pride for being the first Chilean woman ever to win a medal," she said. "I want to be an inspiration for other girls that will start approaching the sport to become enthusiastic for it.
"I will tell them to believe in their dreams and in themselves, thinking that whatever goal they have, they can achieve it.”
Gloria Zarra took silver for Mexico and Nurkhon Kurbanova bronze for Uzbekistan.
Until Monday morning, Sri Lanka had two Paralympic bronze medals in seven Games. That changed after the men’s javelin F46 when Dinesh Priyantha Herath shattered the world record by almost four metres, throwing 67.79m to put his country on the top of the podium for first time.
More about Sri Lanka’s golden morning can be found here.
India took silver and bronze with Devendra Jhajharia and Sundar Singh Gurjar, respectively.
Another world record fell in the women's 1500m T11, with Monica Olivia Rodriguez Saavedra clocking 4:37.40 to seal Mexico’s first triumph in track and field at Tokyo 2020 and the 100th gold in Paralympic history.
“I feel so great. This is an unbelievable emotion that I have never experienced. I am missing out on words to express what I feel,” Saavedra said.
Hat-trick for Ktila
Tunisia’s Walid Ktila powered to a hat-trick of Paralympic Games golds in the 100m T34.
Tunisia’s four-time world champion and world record holder again proved too strong for his rivals as he triumphed in 15.01s to break his own Paralympic record and add Tokyo 2020 to his successes at the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Games.
“There are no secrets. It’s about work,” Ktila, who will also go for gold in the 800m, said of his success. "Now I am the star but there are many athletes who are working to beat me."
Elsewhere, there were gold medals for Brazil, taking their athletics tally to five with Claudiney Baptista retaining his Paralympic title in the men’s shot put F56; Great Britain, Uzbekistan and Iran.
Amir Khosravani collected Iran’s first Para athletics in the men’s long jump T12 (7.21m). Bobirjon Omonov put Uzbekistan on top of the podium in the men’s shot put F41 (14.06). Andrew Small won the men’s 100m T33 for Great Britain.
Complete results and medallists from the morning session can be found on Paralympic.org.