South Africa’s Oscar Pistorius needed every metre of the Queen Elizabeth II athletic track to run down American Jerome Singleton and deliver his country the cherished F42-46 4x100m title at the IPC Athletics Championships in Christchurch.
The two stars of the 100m dash anchored their teams, the Americans in the inside lane and the South Africans in lane eight.
The Americans gave Singleton a slight advantage at the final change and with 40m to run he still held the advantage, but the world’s most famous paralympian has not won his reputation lightly.
After winning the 400m this morning he said that the relay was the event that excited him the most, and the way the South African’s celebrated after, he was not the only one in the team that was believing in something special.
The South African team of Samkelo Mike Radebe, Arnu Fourie, Henry David Roos and Pistorius also set a championship record of 42.80, just 0.5secs outside the world record held by the Americans. Brazil was third (43.43secs).
Pistorius was again all class in the T44 400m. Back to a more familiar distance and despite the blustery conditions, he still set a new championship record of 48.37secs in defeating Germany’s David Behre (51.40sec) and David Prince (52.35) of the United States.
American Tatyana McFadden could not have been more impressive in totally dominating the women’s 400m T54 field to win by more than two seconds in 54.88secs from Canadian Diane Roy and Switzerland’s Manuela Schaer.
This was her fourth gold of the championships (200m, 400m, 800m and 1500m) to go with a bronze in the 100m.
The first world record of the day was in the women’s discus F35/36 where Mariia Pomazan threw 28.73m (1073pts) to smash the old record by more than three metres. Silver went to Poland’s Renata Chilewska (25.22m, 994 pts) with Katherine Proudfoot (Australia) taking the bronze with a championship record for the F36 class of 24.52m 958pts.
The men’s 400m T38 also produced a world best, thanks to the 49.33sec run from Tunisia’s Mohamed Farhat Chida. In a tight finish he just headed Australia’s Evan O’Hanlon (49.72secs) with former world record holder Tim Sullivan (Australia) finishing third in 53.42secs.
Iran’s Iranian Se Hussein Livery (61.48m) set a world record in the men’s javelin F13 but had to bow to China’s Pinkie Zhu for the gold medal. Zhu (F12) threw 61.90m, which was enough to head the Iranian. Serbia’s Miles Garlic (60.81) was third.
The afternoon produced two world records. Switzerland’s Jeffrey Ige threw 13.75m in the F20 shot put to defeat Efstratios Nikolaidis (Greece) 13.14m with Poland’s Krzysztof Kaczmarek (12.72m) in third.
It was not until late in the afternoon before Algeria’s Nassima Saifi (40.99) set another world record when she surpassed her old mark in the F57/58 women’s discus. Silver went to Stela Eneva (BUL) with a throw of 39.84 while bronze medal winner Nadia Medjmedj (Algeria) set a championship record for her F57 class with her 29.60m throw.
Brazil filled the first two places in the men’s 200m T11 with Lucas Prado winning in championship record time of 22.97secs from Daniel Silva (23.12secs). Elexis Gillette (United States) was third (23.74secs).
Another championship record fell in the men’s 400m T13 where Alexander Verve (Russia) recorded 49.41secs, to pip Greece’s Ionise Protos (49.74secs) and Abdelillah Mame (Morocco) took the bronze in 50.45secs.
The men’s 200m T12 fell to the Poland’s Mateusz in 22.02secs with Luis Goncalves (Portugal) getting the silver in 22.57secs and Maximiliano Rodriguez (Spain) taking the bronze in 22.84secs.
Bethaney Woodward surprised herself with a win in the women’s 400m T37 in a personal best of 1:09.21secs. The silver went to Ukraine’s Maryna Snisar (1:09.94) with the Russian, Anastasiya Ovsyannikova, finishing third in 1:10.26secs.
Slovakia’s Tatjana Majcen set a championship record for the F54 class but had to settle for silver behind Germany’s Marianne Buggenhagen in the women’s shot put F54/55/56. The German won with a throw of 8.48m 964pts with Majcen throwing 6.64m 957 pts. Czech Republic’s Eva Kacanu was third with a throw of 6.34m 911 pts.
The women’s discus F51/52/53 fell to Catherine Wayland (Ireland), the world record holder, with a throw of 5.89m. Silver went to Zena Cole, of the United States, with a throw of 4.79m from Mexico’s Estela Salas (12.08m).
Iran’s Bazanjani Peyman Nasiri set a championshp record in the men’s 1500m T20 with a time of 3:57.10sec, two seconds to the better of Tim Page, of Australia, (3:59.22) with Mncedi Khanti (South Africa) third (4:03.13).
In the men’s high jump F42 China took out gold and bronze. Weizhong Guo won gold with a leap of 1.76m ahead of Fiji’s Iliesa Delana (1.73m) and Xiaowen Li (1.70m).
A new championship time was set in the women’s 400m T13 with Cuban Omara Durand spread-eagling the field to win handsomely in 54.87sec, ahead of Tunisia’s Somaya Bousaid and Morocco’s Sanae Benhama (57.44).
China nosed out a trio of American’s in the women’s T53 400m. Lisha Huang won gold in 59.18, ahead of Anjali Forber Pratt (59.62secs) and Amanda McGrory (1.00.85).
Morocco’s Najat El Garra (30.06m) was also in championship record-breaking form in the women’s F40 discus. Tunisia’s Raoua Tlili (29.77m) took silver with China’s Genjimisu Meng (28.29m) in third.
Paul Blake (Great Britain) went one better than his silver of the other day in the men’s 400m T36 in 56.93secs. Andrey Zhirnov (Russia) was second in 58.03secs with Roman Pavlyk (Ukraine) taking bronze 58.80sec.
Roman Kapranov (Russia) set a new championship record in the men’s 400m T37 of 52.71sec. Silver medallist was Algeria’s Sofiane Hamdi (52.85) with South Africa’s Franie Van Der Merwe (53.99sec) taking bronze.
Abdoireza Jokar (Iran) set a championship record with a throw of 20.96m in the men’s F52/53 javelin. Silver went to Slovenia’s Henrik Plank (17.23m) with Mexico’s Mauro Maximo de Jesus (19.57m) in third.
China was again to the fore in the men’s F11 long jump with Duan Li (6.25m) taking gold from Spain’s Xavier Porras (5.99m) and Greece’s Athanasios Barakas (5.92m).
The women’s 800m T11 was won by the Czech Republic’s Miroslava Sedlackova (2:26.89sec) from Colombia’s Maritza Arango Buitrago (2:31.13sec) and Zakia Torech (Tunisia) 2:26.31sec.
Jason Joseph Dunkerley (Canada) was the gold medal winner in the T11 800m in 2:05.89secs. Silver went to Carlos Barto Silva (Brazil) in 2:06.31secs from William Sosa (Colombia) third in 2:07.63sec.
Tunisia’s Abderrahim Zhiou (1:57.79) won gold in the T12 men’s 800m. Silver medal went to Ignacio Avila (Spain) in 1:58.57secs with bronze going to David Devine (Great Britain) in 2:00.61sec.
In the 4X400m relay T53/54 China (Yanfeng Cui, Yang Liu, Huzhao Li, Chengming Liu) were too strong in 3:18.95sec from Korea 3:25.99sec and Canada 3:33.68sec.
In total 52 World records and 128 Championship records have been set over the seven days.