Brazil’s Daniel Tavares Martins took nearly half a second off his own men’s 400m T20 world record on Friday (20 May), the third day of the IPC Athletics Grand Prix in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
The 20-year-old world champion was in sensational form at the meeting that is doubling up as a Rio 2016 Paralympic Games test event as he won his race in 47.78 seconds, almost one second ahead of his nearest rival.
In addition to Martins’ world record, two Americas records fell on a hot evening in Rio’s Olympic stadium.
In the first race of the day, Colombia’s Maritza Arango Buitrago (4:47.98) took just over one second off her own Americas record set at last October’s World Championships as she won the women’s 1,500m T11.
In the field, Brazil’s Sandro Varelo de Oliveira (34.13m) set a new Americas record in the men’s discus F55 beating the previous best set almost 10 years ago by 2.72m.
Friday’s session was dominated by 200m races and arguably the most impressive performance of the night was from Brazil’s Felipe Gomes (22.81) who came within a whisker of setting a new personal best in the men’s T11 class.
“That’s my first time running with my new guide Jonas and it was a great run. My personal best is 22.80 and I just did 22.81 so I nearly beat my best time ever,” said Gomes who greatly enjoyed competing in Rio’s Olympic Stadium.
“My family and friends are all in the stands here so it’s a very unique opportunity. This was only the second time I’ve competed here in Rio and it’s been wonderful. I could not ask for more,” he added.
After winning Thursday’s 100m T44, Brazil’s Alan Oliveira (22.48) completed the sprint double with victory in the 200m. Oliveira blamed the rain for his time over the shorter sprint 24 hours earlier and said he could have run faster today.
“I’m happy with my performance however I lost a little bit of balance because of the prosthetics. I’ll be training really hard to improve this time in my next competition,” said Oliveira who thinks he can retain his 200m T44 Paralympic title this September.
“If I get somewhere close to the 20 seconds mark as I did in Lyon three years’ ago, I think it’s pretty unlikely that anyone can reach this mark. I think this is the main goal going forward to the Paralympics,” he added.
Cuba’s world champion Leinier Savon Pineda (22.15) was disappointed with his time as he won the men’s 200m T12.
“I liked the competition but I want better times. I want to go under 22 seconds and today I did 22.15, but at least it’s not raining today!” said Pineda whose compatriot Omara Durand (23.93) cruised to the win in the women’s equivalent despite feeling unwell.
Brazilian winners over 200m included Teresinha de Jesus Correia dos Santos (26.62) in the women’s T47 and Jerusa Geber dos Santos (25.49) in the women’s T11.
Argentina’s Parapan American Games champion Yanina Andrea Martinez (30.78) won the women’s T36, whilst Venezuela’s Samuel Colmenares (49.96) topped the podium in the men’s 400m T47.
Ecuador’s Darwin Castro (4:21.70) won the men’s 1,500m T11 and Brazil’s Julio Cesar Agripino dos Santos (3:54.51) the men’s T13 equivalent.
Over 400m the winners from Brazil were Simone de Souza Santos (1:01.73) in the women’s T13 and Gustavo Henrique Faria Araujo (49.91) in the men’s equivalent. Venezuela’s Norkelys Gonzalez (1:02.21) won the women’s T20 and Colombia’s Dixon de Jesus Hooker Velasquez (51.71) in the men’s T38.
In the field, the USA’s world champion and world record holder, Lex Gillette won the men’s long jump T11 with an opening round leap of 6.41m. He was delighted with his visit to Rio.
“It’s been great to come into the environment and see how it feels and sounds so that when I step back on the track here in September I feel that much more comfortable,” said the 31-year-old who won silver at London 2012.
“When I come back winning gold is top of the list and having some great marks.”
Elsewhere in the field there were wins for a number for Brazilian athletes. Ferreira dos Santos (8.55m) won the women’s shot put F57, Barreto Peixoto KC (7.59m) the women’s shot put F41, Edevaldo Pereira da Silva (52.64m) the men’s javelin F44, Jenifer Martins dos Santos (4.39m) the women’s long jump T38, Sousa de Jesus PF (5.68m) the women’s shot put F54, Souza Porfirio JH (27.14m) the men’s javelin F41 and Silvania Costa de Oliveira (5.20m) the women’s long jump T11.
Mexico’s Catalina Rosales Montiel (25.82m) was victorious in the women’s shot put F57.
The IPC Athletics Grand Prix in Rio concludes on Saturday (21 May).