Brazil’s Silvania Costa de Oliveira kept winning in the family as she took gold in a spectacular women’s long jump T11 competition on Friday (16 September) as world records continued to fall in the field and out on the track.
Costa de Oliveira, 29, followed in the footsteps of her brother Ricardo who won the men’s event on the opening day of competition at Rio 2016 as she clinched her first Paralympic title with her final leap of the day, just like her brother eight days previously.
“I think my mother might have got a heart attack!” said Costa de Oliveira.
“I’m so happy, I need to get my feet back on the ground because I feel like I’m still in the air after that jump.
“Since August I’ve felt the great the support from the Brazilian people and this victory is like a cake where everyone who contributed with an ingredient can join the celebration party.”
The reigning world champion looked to be heading for a silver medal but in the final round she managed a terrific leap of 4.98m, surpassing the 4.89m mark that Fatimata Diasso of Ivory Coast set in the fourth round.
Diasso took silver and Brazilian Lorena Salvatini Spoladore (4.71m) won bronze.
Serbia’s Zeljko Dimitrijevic improved his own world record twice as he won the men’s club throw F51.
The 45-year-old reigning Paralympic and world champion added a phenomenal 2.87m on to his previous world best with his first throw of the competition, then added a further five centimetres in the fourth round to seal the win with 29.96m.
Dimitrijevic’s teammate Milos Mitic, world bronze medallist last year, threw 26.84m for silver while bronze went to Slovakia’s Marian Kureja (26.82m).
Bulgaria’s world champion Ruzhdi Ruzhdi also got the men’s shot put F55 underway with a new world record in the opening round, adding 29 centimetres on to his previous best with a throw of 12.33m.
That mark proved enough for Ruzhdi to finish top of the podium, as Iran’s Hamed Amiri threw a T54 world record of 11.40m – nearly one metre further than the previous mark set in 2009 – to clinch silver. Bronze went to Poland’s Lech Stoltman (11.39m) just one centimetre behind.
Iraq’s Garrah Tnaiash clinched his first Paralympic title with a win – and a new Paralympic record – in the men’s shot put F40.
The 25-year-old, who won the world title last October, managed a best of 10.76m in the fourth round as he finished ahead of China’s Zhenyu Chen (10.10m) and Tunisia’s Smaali Bouaabid (9.44m), silver and bronze medallists respectively.
Out on the track, South Africa’s Charl du Toit (51.13) tore through the field in the men’s 400m T37, setting a new Paralympic record to take his second gold of Rio 2016, having already won the 100m T37 on Sunday (11 September).
The 23-year-old was the clear winner as he finished more than two seconds ahead of his rivals – smiling as he did so.
“At the beginning of the year we (the South Africa team) had to put down our theme for the year for the coaches. And mine was ‘smiling lightning’ and go out there and enjoy every moment,” explained du Toit.
“When I go through the bad times you won’t see me smiling. I have had a couple of injuries, illness and my uncle got shot and passed away a couple of weeks ago so it’s been a bit rough, but the smile is back on my face.”
Venezuela’s Omar Monterola (52.93) took silver and Algeria’s Sofiane Hamdi (53.01) won bronze.
Victory in the men’s 400m T36 went to Great Britain’s Paul Blake (54.49), who improved on his silver medal over one lap four years ago.
“It feels incredible – I’ve worked so hard to get where I am now. Coming out of London, I wanted to go one better. I’m still lost for words and it just hasn’t sunk in. I’m sure it will later on or maybe after the 800m,” said Blake, who competes again on the final day of competition.
The 26-year-old ran from lane eight and looked strong throughout as he clocked a season’s best to claim his first Paralympic title – and Great Britain’s 50th of the Games.
Ukraine’s Roman Pavlyk (55.67) and New Zealander William Stedman (55.69) finished strongly to clinch silver and bronze respectively.
Poland’s defending champion Barbara Niewiedzial (4:24.37) left her rivals behind as she sprinted home to take the win in the women’s 1,500m T20 just three days after crashing to the floor as she crossed the line in the 400m T20.
Japan’s Sayaka Makita had set the early pace then with two laps to go Ukraine’s Liudmyla Danylina took to the front, but she was no match for Niewiedzial who stormed past with 200m to go.
“I was able to show that this is my crown distance and I will never give it to anybody,” said Niewiedzial, who also won bronze in the 400m.
“I wanted to show that I could stand up after the collapse in the 400m, I still have bruises all over my body but I wanted to come back and show everybody that this is my distance. In four years I will come and claim the gold in Tokyo (2020 Paralympic Games) again.”
The Pole set a new Games record for gold while Hungary’s London 2012 bronze medallist Ilona Biacsi came through for silver (4:27.88) and Danylina (4:28.78) took the bronze.
The USA’s Deja Young(25.46) secured her sprint double at Rio 2016 with a win in the women’s 200m T47. Champion over 100m five days previously, Young was a clear winner as she took the tape ahead of Poland’s silver medallist Alicja Fiodorow (25.61) and China’s bronze medallist Lu Li (26.26) – although she admitted her success had yet to sink in.
“The first one (gold) hasn’t hit me yet, so the second one isn’t going to be in a while either. It’s quite exciting to come out in my first Paralympic Games and compete as well as I did,” said Young.
There was a new world record for China’s men’s 4x400m T53/54 relay quartet, who clocked 3:04.77 in the heats – knocking 0.69 seconds off the mark they set at London 2012.