Paris 23: Stars align on magical final day

Newcomers shine, defending champions save best for last and Para athletics legends collect more gold as Para Athletics Worlds wraps up in the French capital 17 Jul 2023
A man in athletics outfit celebrating with the Italian flag
Italian sprinter Maxcel Amo Manu celebrating his second gold at Paris 23 in the men's 200m T64
ⒸMatthias Hangst/Getty Images
By World Para Athletics

A magnificent Monday evening of 19 finals and plenty of world records wrapped up the Paris 23 Para Athletics World Championships at the Charlety Stadium on 17 July. 

China topped the medals standings with 16 golds and 45 in total, followed by Brazil with 14 golds and a total of 47. United States completed the top three with 10 gold medals and 39 podium finishes.

Monday’s evening session looked like Paris 23 in a nutshell with newcomers shining again, Para athletics stars adding more glories to their CVs and impressive comebacks. 

Italy’s Maxcel Amo Manu cemented his place as a one to watch next year when he returns to the French capital for the Paralympic Games. In his first major international championships, Manu bagged two golds – the second came on Monday in a nail-biting 200m T64 final with a one-two podium for Italy. 

Costa Rica’s Sherman Guity was neck to neck with Manu until the final 10 metres when the Italian took the lead. Guity lost his balance and fell down just near the finish line. Manu clocked 21.36 setting a new European record, followed by Italy’s Fabio Bottazzini (23.10) and New Zealand’s Mitchell Joynt (23.32, new Oceania record).

“I dedicate this victory again to people in difficulty and to all those who want to try to change everything. Again today my children were in the stands, I do everything for them too who are my inspiration,” Amo Manu said, before adding: “Next year it will be fun”.

Another athlete to make a breakthrough in Paris, Colombia’s Karen Palomeque picked her third gold in as many races in the World Championships on Monday smashing the 200m T37 world record (26.42). Paralympic champion and former world record holder, China’s Xiaoyan Wen finished second (26.53, Asian record) and USA’s Jaleen Roberts (27.00) third.

Hungary’s Luca Ekler became the first woman to run the women’s 400m T38 below the one minute-mark setting a new world record (59.74) to secure her third gold and fourth podium at Paris 23. 

More world records

Field events were responsible for the other two world records on the final session. South Africa’s Simone Kruger upgraded the colour of her Dubai 2019 medal taking gold in the women’s discus F38 (38.10m). China’s Pengxiang Sun improved in 42 centimetres his own record in the men’s javelin F41 (47.55).

China claimed its final gold at Paris 23 in the penultimate race of the programme, the women’s 100m T35. Two-time Paralympic champion and world record holder Xia Zhou claimed her first world title (13.64) in a one-two Chinese podium with Qianqian Guo.

Brazil also topped the podium twice on Monday. First with Jerusa Geber winning the women’s 200m T11 alongside her guide Gabriel Aparecido do Santos with a new championships record (24.63). It was Geber’s second gold in Paris. Petrucio Ferreira defended his world title in the men’s 100m T47 also with a championships record (10.37) followed by compatriot Jose Martins (10.73).

Sprint races also gave Germany two golds in the final session of the World Championships. Both Imgard Bensusan and Johannes Floors had failed to medal in their first events in the French capital but saved best for last. 

Bensusan defended her world title in the women’s 200m T64 with a championships record (26.82). Tokyo 2020 Paralympic champion and also a defending world champion, Floors clocked 45.81 in the men’s 400m T62.

Switzerland’s Silver Bullet Marcel Hug picked a hat-trick of golds in Paris following his triumph in the men’s 800m T54 in championships record time (1:29.00). Another Para athletics legend to complete a hat-trick on Monday was Cuba’s Omara Durand in the women’s 200m T12 (23.07). 

Great Britain’s Paralympic champion Aled Davies added a second men’s shot put F63 gold to his collection (16.16m) while USA’s Brittni Mason triumphed in the women’s 200m T47 (25.36).

Belgium’s Roger Habsch claimed his first world title in the men’s 200m T51 also setting a championships record (36.76). Making his Worlds debut, Morocco’s Zakariae Derhem added a gold to his Paralympic title in the men’s shot put F33 with an African record (11.91m).

The final gold of the Paris 23 Para Athletics World Championships went to the Netherlands in the men’s 100m T63. Another first-timer at the Worlds, Joel de Jong broke the championships record (12.09) to wrap up a magical last day at the Charlety Stadium.

The Paris 23 World Championships saw 35 world records broken in nine days of competition. Complete results, medallists and records can be found here.

Kobe, Japan will host the next edition of the Para Athletics World Championships from 17 to 25 May next year.