A super Sunday evening with 18 finals saw sprinters from different generations making history, Ecuador’s first ever Paralympic gold and Tatyana McFadden taking her 18th Para athletics podium at the National Olympic Stadium on 29 August.
Norway’s Salum Ageze Kashafali ran the fastest 100 metres in Paralympic Games history to complete his extraordinary journey from civil war refugee to champion.
The sprinter, who fled the Democratic Republic of the Congo with his family as a child to find safe haven in Norway, clocked 10.43 seconds to win the T12 title on Sunday.
Kashafali’s time beat the mark of 10.46 set at London 2012 by T13 legend Jason Smyth, who had earlier won a fourth straight 100m gold in his category.
“I don’t know what to say, man. I came from nothing. I came from begging on the streets,” Kashafali said.
“I believed. I moved to Norway as a refugee. I have been through so much, from bullets to hunger, and to be here as one of the best means a lot to me.”
Ireland’s Smyth cemented his place as one the greatest sprinter in Paralympic sport by winning his most dramatic victory yet and extending his winning streak from Beijing 2008.
“I’m absolutely delighted,” the Irish sprinter said. “To be in my fourth Paralympic Games, in my 17th year, and still unbeaten, I don’t even know what to say. All I know is it’s getting harder and harder to maintain that but that’s the challenge of sport. You’ve got to be on your A game constantly.”
Smyth clocked 10.54, just 0.01 ahead of Algeria’s Skander Djamil Athmani.
Mendez sisters make history
Two sisters gave Ecuador its first Paralympic medals in the same event. Poleth Mendez won the women’s shot put F20 with a world record (14.39) while Anais took bronze.
“It’s so important. But I still cannot believe it. It’s something that I can’t explain. I am very happy,” said the winner. “It’s a huge pride [Anais winning bronze]. This is our first Games and we got two medals.”
Switzerland’s Manuela Schaer set a Paralympic record to dethrone Tatyana McFadden in the women’s 800m T54 and take her long-awaited first gold medal at the Games.
The silver lining for McFadden was taking her Paralympic medal tally to 19, including a cross country skiing silver from Sochi 2014 and 18 Para athletics podiums.
China finished the night, in which a clutch of world records were broken, with three golds. They top the table so far with 11 golds.
Xiaoyan Wen won the women’s long jump T37, Xia Zhou triumphed in the women’s 200m T35 and Lijuan Zou in the women’s javelin F34.
Sato takes second gold for Japan
The USA won two gold medals, with Roderick Towsend in the men’s high jump T47 and Daniel Romanchuk in the men’s 400m T54.
Tomoki Sato took his second gold in as many races for hosts Japan in the men’s 1500m T52.
There were also golds for Australia with Madison de Rozario and her first Paralympic title (women’s 800m T53), Spain with Gerard Descarrega in the men’s 400m T11, Poland with Piotr Kosewicz in the men’s discus F52, and Thailand with Pongsakorn Paeyo in the men’s 400m T53.
The National Stadium will host 15 finals on Monday, 30 August, day four of Para athletics at Tokyo 2020.
Complete results from day three are available on Paralympic.org.