Sabatini leads Italy to stunning sprint clean sweep on final night

Durand won her third title in Tokyo shattering the world record with China winning three more golds on the eve of the penultimate day 04 Sep 2021
Three female athletes posing for a photo with flags while the rain is falling
Ambra Sabatini of Italy celebrating her first-ever Paralympic gold with compatriots Martina Caironi and Monica Contrafatto who won silver and bronze, respectively
ⒸAlex Pantling/Getty Images
By OIS and World Para Athletics

Ambra Sabatini of Italy smashed the world 100m T63 record to lead an Italian clean sweep as the final night of track action ended in spectacular fashion on Saturday (4 September) at the National Olympic Stadium in Tokyo.

The 19-year-old triumphed in the women’s T63 final just two years after her left leg was amputated above the knee following a collision on her scooter.

Sabatini clocked 14.11 seconds to take victory, ahead of silver medallist Martina Caironi  and Monica Graziana Contrafatto, who finished third.

It was the first one-two-three in the athletics at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games as Italy’s golden run from the Olympic Games carried over.

“I cannot believe it," Sabatini said. "It’s something we have been dreaming of ever since the [Italian] duo became a trio. We managed to do it.”

Durand runs to third gold in Tokyo

Earlier in the evening session, Cuba’s queen of speed Omara Durand blasted to a world record in the women’s 200m T12 final to take her Paralympic golden tally to eight in a decade of dominance.

“This is my third gold medal in Tokyo, but this one has a different taste to all the others. It has extra flavour because I also managed to get the world record,” said Durand after winning in 23.02 seconds.

“The love for sport, the passion I have for sport, the 100 per cent I give everything, all my family, the Cuban people, my coaches - that’s what inspires me to keep going," concluded the Cuban sprinter who now has eight gold medals from four Paralympic Games appearances.

Double victory for Morocco

Morocco's Derhem Zakariae won his first major international title at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics. He broke the Paralympic record (11.37m) that eventually led him to triumph in the men's shot put F33.

Zakariae triumphed in front of the two-time Paralympic champion, Algeria's Kamel Kardjena, and Croatia's Deni Cerni who got the taste of his first-ever Paralympic medal.

Zakariae's compatriot Ayoub Sadni broke the world record (47.38) in the penultimate event of the day, the men's 400m T47.

Sadni, who took bronze at the Dubai 2019 World Championships, won in front of the Brazilian duo, world champion Petrucio Ferreira and Tokyo 2020 silver medallist Thomaz de Moraes.

"I am exceptionally happy that other athletes from Morocco competing [on Sunday] have come to the venue to watch me succeed. I made my parents proud, especially since I am their only child," said the 22-year-old.

Letters from elementary school kids inspired Riech

In the men’s 1500m T38 Canada's Nate Riech cantered across the line to strike gold (3:58.92) having being told his boyhood sporting dreams were over when he was struck on the back of a head by a golf ball which caused a seizure.

"I just wanted to make proud that 10-year-old boy who was paralysed in a hospital bed and the doctors said wouldn't do anything in sport.” Riech, who has no control of the right side of his body, said.

"You know what I'm most excited for? I talked to a class of elementary kids and all 25 of them sent a letter to Tokyo saying good luck for the gold medal.

"I want to bring that medal to their class, and have them touch it and see that their goals can happen. When I hurt in that race, my mind went there," concluded Riech.

More records in sprint

Sherman Guity shattered the men’s 200m T64 Paralympic record (21.43) to bag Costa Rica’s first gold in the Paralympics, seeing off Germany's Felix Streng, who had beaten him in the 100m.

“There are no words to describe how I feel,” Guity said. “This has been the result of many years of hard work. I knew I could make it."

Ave Lindy of Germany managed to achieve what her compatriot Felix Streng could not in the 200m T64 final.

The 23-year-old German sprinter won the gold medal in the women's 400m T38 with a new world record (1:00.00). It was her second Paralympic medal in Tokyo after securing bronze in the women's 100m T38.

"It's such an amazing feeling. It's an incredible feeling to have a world record as well," said Ave.

Another gold for Venezuela

Venezuela's hero Lisbeli Vera Andrade won her second gold and third medal overall in Tokyo on Saturday. She triumphed in the women's 200m T47 with a time of 24.52.

Andrade was the fastest sprinter in the 100m T47 final as well, while she had to settle for silver in the 400m T47.

Great Britain's Aled Davies claimed the gold in the men's shot put F63 (15.33m) after winning the world and back-to-back European titles in the last three years.

"It's surreal, it really is. It's been such hard work to get here. The conditions were amazing until the last couple of days, where it was very similar to back home [laughs], which is disappointing because I was ready to really put down a good performance," explained Davies.

Abdul Latif Romly of Malaysia won the men's long jump T20 title with a season-best result (7.45m). He defended his title from Rio.

China bagged three more golds

China top the medal table with 26 golds so far. They added three more golds to their count on a Saturday afternoon in Tokyo.

Pengxiang Sun broke the world record (47.13m) in the men's javelin throw F41. His compatriot Na Mi also broke the world record (38.50m) in the women's discus throw F38 becoming a three-time Paralympic champion in the event.

Cuiqing Liu was the fastest in the women's 200m T11 (24.94) beating Brazil's Thalita Simplicio by the milliseconds (0.004) with another Brazilian Jerusa Geber in third.

The final day of Para athletics will see five marathons take place on Sunday (5 September) morning.

For complete Para athletics schedule and results at Tokyo 2020 click here.