A different kind of competition rounded off the Sao Paulo World Para Athletics Grand Prix on Saturday (28 April), with the Brazilian Paralympic Committee introducing a programme of multi-class races for the best competitors over the first two days. The Super Challenges saw three sensational races which rocked the crowd at the Paralympic Centre.
The eight fastest men and women lined up for Super Challenges over distances of 100m and 400m, as well as the men's 1,500m. The line ups were strong, especially in the men's 100m.
Brazil's T47 star Petrucio Ferreira got the better of his fellow Brazilians in the men’s 100m as he clocked 10.66, just 0.13 seconds outside his world record of 10.53. Vinicius Rodrigues (T63) also stood out as he finished in 12.14, closing in on his personal best of 11.99.
The Brazilian team added another athlete to the top of the 2018 T47 world ranking. Washington Junior finished third in the race, beating teammate Yohansson Nascimento by just two hundredths of a second, 10.94 to 10.96.
In the women’s race, Tascitha Oliveira Cruz improved her own season best time as she ran the 100m in 14.58 - almost a full second ahead of the chasing pack in the T36 class. T38 athlete Veronica Hipolito crossed the line in 13.26 which was also her best performance in 2018. The 21-year-old Paralympic medallist will undergo surgery to remove a tumour from her forehead in the next few days.
In the men’s 1500m, Ethiopia's Tamiru Demisse stood out as he once again produced a sub 4 minutes performance, crossing the line with a winning time of 3:57.40.
More than 230 Para athletes competed at the Soa Paulo Grand Prix, which doubles up as the 2018 Loterias Caixa Athletics Open Championships.
The Grand Prix series resumes in two weeks as it heads to Beijing, China, from 11-13 May.