Russia easily finished atop the medals table with 29 gold and 76 overall medals. Ukraine was second with 17 gold and 41 overall medals and Germany came third with 14 gold and 29 overall medals.
The best was saved for last in Stadskanaal, the Netherlands, as six world records were smashed on the final day of the IPC Athletics European Championships on Thursday (28 June) and Russia and Ukraine took the top two spots in the medal standings.
Russia easily finished atop the medals table with 29 gold and 76 overall medals. Ukraine was second with 17 gold and 41 overall medals and Germany came third with 14 gold and 29 overall medals. Poland placed fifth, followed by Spain, Greece and host nation the Netherlands, respectively.
Overall, there were 14 world records broken at the Championships.
The last day of competition began with a new world record in the Discus F32/33/34 by the Czech Republic’s Frantisek Serbus, who threw 20.41m (987 points) to beat Russia’s Alexander El’min (38.24m/906 points) and Croatia’s Slaven Hudina (18.05m/851 points) for gold. Frantisek had picked up a silver medal earlier in the week in the Club Throw F32.
Greece then received a powerful performance from Paschalis Stathelakos in the Shot Put F40 with a new world-best throw of 13.01m to win his second medal of the Championships. His teammate, Alexandros Michail Konstantinidis (11.51), placed second and Great Britain’s Kyron Duke (10.73m) finished third.
Just two events later, the field competitors kept things rolling, as Germany’s Birgit Kober recorded a distance of 10.06m, a new world record, on her final throw in the Shot Put F34 final to become European champion. Germany’s Frances Herrmann (7.08m) and Finland’s Marjaana Huovinen (7.00m) took silver and bronze, respectively.
In the men’s Shot Put F46, Ukraine stole the spotlight, as Dymtro Ibragimov triumphed with a world-best throw of 15.46m, breaking Tomasz Rebisz’s old record of 14.87m. Rebisz (14.42m) finished second in the event.
On the track, Poland’s Barbara Niewiedzial ran the 1,500m T20 race in 4:23.37 to top her own world record of 4:24.85 she set back in 2004.
In the day’s final race, Russia showcased why it has the top Athletics delegation in Europe, as Anastasiya Ovsyannikova, Svetlana Sergeeva, Elena Ivanova and Margarita Goncharova came together in the women’s 4x100m T35-38 final to post a new world-record time of 54.77 and give the nation its 76th and final medal of the Championships.
Evgennii Shetcov racked up his third gold medal in Stadskanaal for Russia, winning the 400m T36 in a time of 54.93, finishing as the top individual multi-medallist at the Championships. He had already won the 100m and 800m distances in his classification earlier in the week.
Elsewhere, Spain rocked the 5,000m distances for the visually impaired men, as Ricardo De Pedraza Losa (16:43.03) won gold in the T11 class and Alberto Suarez Laso (15:23.60) took first with a season-best time in the T12 class.
In addition to Kober’s gold in the Shot Put F34, Germany picked up three more top finishes on the day – all on the field.
Markus Rehm, who won the 100m T44 on Tuesday, took the title in the Long Jump F42/44 with a mark of 6.78m, and Denmark’s Daniel Jorgensen (5.87m) placed second, leaving German favourite Heinrich Popow (5.77m) to settle for bronze.
Martina Willing (23.21m) won the Javelin Throw F54/55/56 for the German women, and on the men’s side, Frank Tinnemeir’s 13.26m throw in the Shot Put F42 proved good enough for gold.
A few of the smaller delegations showed they could hang with the best, as Azerbaijan’s men’s 4x100m T11-13 relay team placed first with a time of 44.35, Denmark’s Jackie Christensen won the Shot Put F44 with a throw of 17.83m and Slovakia’s Julius Hutka took the Javelin F57/58 title with a throw of 34.24m.
The IPC Athletics European Championships featured 520 athletes from 38 countries and were the last major international Athletics event ahead of the London 2012 Paralympic Games.
For more information from the event, including complete results, as well as news, features, photos and video, please visit www.ipcathleticseurochamps.com.