Paris 23: Turner and Zubkovska retain their crowns on day four

Ukrainian long jumper takes her fifth world title while Australian sprinter bags third consecutive gold in the men's 400m in the morning session 11 Jul 2023
A female long jumper landing on the sand box
Ukraine's Oksana Zubkovska set a season best on her route to gold at the Charlety Stadium
ⒸMatthias Hangst/Getty Images
By Mary Barber | For World Para Athletics

Australia’s 400m track superstar James Turner and Ukraine’s long jump legend Oksana Zubkovska scored victories on the fourth day of competition at the Paris 2023 World Para Athletics Championships on Tuesday (11 July).

Former Para footballer Turner stole the show in the only track final in the morning session when he defended his world title and set a season’s best in the men’s T36 in 52.56. 

There were four more titles being contested in the field and among the highlights was Germany’s Yannis Fischer’s record-breaking throw in the men’s F40 shot put. 

Back on the track, Turner, a two-time Paralympic champion and world record holder got off to a blistering start in the 400m, charging past four athletes on the outside of him, before powering for the line at the Charlety Stadium. 

The 27-year-old has now won six World Championships titles, which includes other distances.

Behind him, New Zealand’s William Stedman upgraded the bronze he won at the Dubai 2019 edition to claim silver in a season’s best time of 53.62. The 23-year-old also won bronze at the distance at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics.

Argentina’s Alexis Chavez also had a great start to his day when he took the bronze and set an Americas record in 54.47.

The crowd also enjoyed an outstanding performance by the queen of the women’s long jump T12, Ukraine’s Oksana Zubkovska. The four-time Paralympic and now five-time world champion set a season’s best of 5.78m. The world record she set 11 years ago still stands.

The 41-year-old set the bar high from the start, which left the rest of the athletes battling it out for second and third places. Uzbekistan’s Yokutkhon Kholbekova beat off a challenge from Japan’s Uran Sawada to finish in 5.54m. Her silver was another medal for her country, which has won nine since the start of the Championships four days ago – the same number as China at the top of the leaderboard, albeit with fewer golds. Sawada took home bronze on 5.23m.

Impressive Yannis

There were also impressive victories in the men’s two shot put finals. Germany’s Yannis left his mark in the F40 category with his throw of 11.42m, which set a new championship record.

His nearest rival was Iraq’s Paralympic and world silver medallist, Garrah Tnaiash, who broke the Asian record with his 11.28m throw. Tokyo 2020 bronze medallist Miguel Monteiro came third in 11.14m.

“I actually can’t believe it,” said a delighted Yannis. “I arrived here as the world ranking’s number one, but I knew that the Portuguese guy [Miguel Monteiro] could throw 11.60 because he holds the world record. I am super happy for the gold and the championship record.”

Moldova’s Sergiu Bors, who entertained 162 million people when he played flute during his country’s entry at the Eurovision Song Contest in Liverpool in England in May, did not make the final eight but set a season’s best at 5.21m.

In the men’s F53 Iranian shot putter Rashid Masjedi beat Ukraine’s Viktor Lehkodukh into silver and reigning world champion Czech Republic’s Ales Kisy into bronze. Masjedi’s 8.49m set a new championship record.

In the women’s discus, China’s Juan Yao showed once again why she is the queen of the F64 class. The reigning Paralympic and world champion was a class apart landing her season’s best throw of 41.66m in the first round. 

Poland’s Faustyna Kotlowska upgraded the bronze medal she won the Dubai edition in 2019 to silver with her own season’s best throw of 38.58m. The youngest athlete in the field, 17-year-old Samantha Heyison from the USA, claimed bronze in 37.84m.

The action resumes at 6:30PM (Central European Summer Time) with Tuesday’s evening session. All medallists, records and results can be found here.

The Paris 2023 Para Athletics World Championships will be streamed live on World Para Athletics Facebook page with geo-blocking restrictions in certain territories.

More information is available here.