"Lyon was amazing, but this is a whole different league. You’re back in the place that made you who you are in a way – your home crowd and everything."
Several top athletes made the trip from Lyon to London last weekend to take part in the Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games at the Olympic Stadium, where American and Brazilian sprinters Richard Browne and Alan Fonteles Oliveira put on quite the show.
Oliveira broke his own T43 record, taking victory in a time of 10.57, while Browne recorded a new T44 world record of 10.75 to finish second. Browne’s arch rival Jonnie Peacock of Great Britain, who just won gold in the T44 event at the IPC Athletics World Championships in Lyon, France, finished third in 10.84.
Great Britain’s Dan Greaves won the men’s discus F44 with a throw of 57.42, beating world champion and world-record holder Jeremy Campbell of the USA for the first time in two years.
Just last week, Campbell beat Greaves to gold in Lyon.
“It was great to be back in the stadium,” Greaves told British Athletics. “I knew I had a good throw in me, and was really frustrated with Lyon where a few things went amiss, but I am really pleased with 57. I would have liked to have put on a show for the crowd with 60, but I just tried a bit too hard, but I had to go for it.”
Aled Davies, meanwhile, won both shot put and discus gold in Lyon earlier this week, and he returned to Great Britain to take shot put gold this afternoon with a stadium record throw of 14.31m.
The women’s 100m T33/34 produced the result the London crowd was hoping for, as Hannah Cockroft easily cruised to victory with a winning time of 17.80.
Post-race, Cockroft told British Athletics: “We both felt a bit emotional out there. I was at the start line thinking ‘I can’t cry,’ but it’s so amazing to be back here. Lyon was amazing, but this is a whole different league. You’re back in the place that made you who you are in a way – your home crowd and everything. 60,000 people here compared to 6,000. Lyon was good, but this is incredible.”
Paralympic and world champion Richard Whitehead came storming down the home straight to overturn a big deficit and win the men’s 200m T42 over Germany’s Heinrich Popow and Australia’s Scott Reardon. Whitehead got a poor start and had to “really dig deep” to take victory in 24.86 and please the home crowd.
Great Britain’s Paralympic champion David Weir provided the perfect swansong, sending the crowd into raptures as he returned to form winning the men’s T54 mile in a new world record 3.16.40. That was the fourth world record at an event that drew 65,000 spectators.
In other events, Italy’s Oxana Corso won the women’s 100m T35, Ireland’s Michael McKillop stormed to victory in the men’s 800m T36/37, Great Britain’s Libby Clegg won the women’s 100m T12 and Australia’s Gabriel Cole won the men’s 100m T46.