Paris 23: Sandilands pulls surprise, Sliwinska continues to impress on final day

British runner makes winning Worlds debut, Polish thrower adds world title to Paralympic win in morning of thrilling throwing and jump finals on Monday 17 Jul 2023
A male runner ahead of other runners in a competition
Ben Sandilands set a new championships record for the men's 1500m T20 in his first major international event in Paris
ⒸAlexander Hassenstein/Getty Images
By World Para Athletics

Great Britain’s Ben Sandilands beat the world record holder to put on an impressive World Championships debut in the men’s 1500m T20 at Paris 23 on Monday (17 July) at the Charlety Stadium.

The 19-year-old was one of the seven world champions crowned in the morning session, which also included a new world record from Poland’s Renata Sliwinska in the women’s shot put F41 and three championships records.

In his first appearance in a major international event, Sandilands produced an impressive sprint that saw him pick off leader and world record holder Michael Brannigan from USA. The British runner finished the race more than one second ahead of the Rio 2016 champion to clock a new championships record (3:52.42).

Brannigan took silver (3:53.50) and Sandro Baessa the bronze (3:54.04) in a personal best that gave Portugal its third medal at this year’s Para Athletics Worlds.

“It does feel amazing to win a gold. I think I sped up with 200m to go, but I know I have that speed in me, so it definitely helped,” Sandilands said. “I just feel exhausted now. I went into the race thinking I could win and I did, so it has given me a lot of confidence for the future.”

The first event of the day saw a Paralympic medallist take her first World Championships medal, and a gold one. Uzbekistan’s Nurkhon Kurbanova broke the championships record in her sixth and final attempt in the women’s javelin F54 (20.15m).

She dominated the event from the start and produced other four throws that would have given her gold. Iran’s Elham Salehi and India’s Pooja completed the podium in silver and bronze.

Another throw event produced the world record of the morning in Paris as Sliwinska added the World Championships gold to her Paralympic and European titles in the shot put F41.

The Polish thrower improved her own mark in 1 centimetre in her second attempt. Nigeria’s Lauritta Onye took silver (9.02m) followed by Tunisia’s Raja Jebali (8.82m).

One centimetre-margin

But the most nerve-wracking finish in the morning’s throw events came with Jordan’s Ahmad Hindi. He defended his men’s shot put F34 world title in the last attempt (11.69m) beating Colombia’s Mauricio Valencia by only one centimetre. The Paralympic champion and world record holder threw a season best while Valencia’s 11.68m was a new Americas record. Iran’s Hadi Kaedi finished with the bronze medal.

Malaysia’s Abdul Latif Romly took back the world title he lost in Dubai 2019 in the men’s long jump T20. It was the third World Championships gold in the event for the two-time Paralympic champion. Romly set a new championships record with his second attempt (7.40m) – 5 centimetres ahead of Canadian silver medallist Noah Vucsics. Greece’s Athanasios Prodromou claimed the bronze.

Tunisia’s Walid Ktila was another Paralympic champion to retake the world title in the men’s 800m T34. He clocked 1:39.23 just 0.7 ahead of UAE’s Mohammed Alhammadi who beat him for the gold four years ago in Dubai. China’s Wenhao Gong finished third and world record holder Chaiwat Rattana of Thailand had to settle for sixth place.

The men’s long jump T13 saw a long-awaited first major gold medal for USA’s Isaac Jean-Paul. The 30-year-old had a Paralympic bronze and a World Championships silver and bronze to his name until this Monday morning in Paris. 
Jean-Paul took the lead in his first throw (7.06m) and only Japan’s Ryota Fukunaga posed a threat (7.03m). Great Britain’s Zak Skinner was the bronze medallist (6.97m).

The final session of the Paris 23 World Championships will be live on the World Para Athletics website and Facebook page with geo-blocking restriction in certain territories. To know where to watch click here.

Complete schedule, results, medallists and records from the Para Athletics World Championships are available here.