Swansea 2014 - Day 3 morning review

Spain's David Casino wins the discus F11 competition at Swansea 2014 21 Aug 2014
Man with a spanish flag celebrating on a field of play in a stadium

David Casino won the Discus F11 event at the Swansea 2014 IPC Athletics European Championships

ⒸLuc Percival

“I put a lot of emotion into every throw and I was really willing that discus to fly a long way. I’ve won a lot of major titles but it still feels very special.”

Four-time Paralympic gold medallist David Casino added the 2014 European title to his collection with victory in the discus F11 on the third morning of competition at the IPC Athletics European Championships in Wales.

The 42-year-old Spaniard, who excelled in the shot put before focussing his attentions more recently on the discus throw, threw 38.70m with his third attempt, which remained the winning mark.

“I put a lot of emotion into every throw and I was really willing that discus to fly a long way. I’ve won a lot of major titles but it still feels very special,” he said.

“My wife is my guide so it’s wonderful we can spend time together competing and I have to thank her and my coach who is back in Spain. We’ve really enjoyed our time in Swansea - it’s been a great competition.”

In the men’s discus F52 event, Latvia’s Aigars Apinis cemented his position at the top of the rankings, winning his country’s first gold of the championships with a season’s best 19.68m. The 41-year-old set a new world and European record when he won F51/52/53 bronze in Lyon last summer and he finished nearly three metres ahead of his rivals in Swansea.

“I had a lot of fun. It’s not easy when you come in as favourite but it was a new season’s best so I can’t complain. All of my throws felt good. Of course I would have like to have thrown a little further – but I am extremely happy,” said Apinis.

Russia’s talented teenager Anna Sapozhnikova clinched her first major championship gold in a thrilling long jump F37.

The 17-year-old set a new European record of 4.46m as all three medallists in Swansea bettered the previous European mark set by Poland’s defending champion Marta Langner three years ago.

Sapozhnikova added gold to the 100m T37 silver she won two days ago, her best of 4.46m just 4cm ahead of her compatriot Zhanna Fekolina in second place.

Italy’s Paralympic and world champion Assunta Legnante won the women’s shot put F12 with a best throw of 16.84m, although she was disappointed not to go near her personal best – and the F11 world record - of 17.32m which she set in Padua, Italy earlier this summer.

I’m half happy because I hoped to get at least 17m,” said Lagnante. “It is my first European title. Not to have any rivals in this event makes you feel comfortable, but at the same time you need to motivate yourself against the distance, the board and the shot put.

“I’m actually thinking about the discus event tomorrow because there are more competitors and it’s like a real exam after having studied for a long time.”

Gold in the shot put F34 went to Oleksandr Aliekseienko of Ukraine, who was fortunate to manage 7.67m in his sixth attempt after registering no mark in his previous five throws. And Bulgaria’s Stela Eneva turned silver in to gold in the women’s discus F57, getting the better of the 2012 European champion Orla Barry of Ireland with a season’s best 31.88m in her final attempt.

Lithuania picked up their first European gold medal courtesy of 34-year-old Jonas Spudis, who held on to his early lead in the javelin F44, throwing a personal best 50.81m to secure victory.

And in the final field event of the morning session, the women’s long jump F20, gold went to Croatia’s Mikela Ristoski with a leap of 5.44m.

The men’s 5,000m T11 was the only track final of the morning session, and it was Nuno Alves who secured the gold after Turkey’s Hasan Huseyin Kacar put in the effort early on. Alves looked in terrific form as he acknowledged the cheers from the crowds with one lap to go, finishing with a season’s best 16:10.72.

“It was a tough race but a good race,” said Alves. “We had our tactics to bide our time in the first half of the race and kick on in the second half and it worked well. It’s always pleasing to run a season’s best time and we have even higher expectations for the World Championships next year.”

There was disappointment for Spain’s Manuel Garnica however, who failed to cross the line ahead of his guide – handing silver to the Turkish para-athlete.

In the morning’s semi-finals Gauthier Tresor Makunda of France and Gerard Desgarrega Puigdevall of Spain won each of their qualifiers in the men’s 200m T11, with Frenchman Timothee Adolphe and his guide Cedric Felip also progressing after false starting in their 100m final yesterday.

Ukraine’s Oxana Boturchuk looks on track to add the 200m T12 title to the European 100m gold she won yesterday, running a terrific bend to go through as fastest qualifier. And in the men’s 200m T12, Russia’s world bronze medallist Artem Loginov and Ireland’s double world and Paralympic Jason Smyth both made it through comfortably to this afternoon’s final.

“It’s always good to get the heats out of the way, to get through unscathed is the main thing so you can start preparing for the final,” said Smyth.

“Times are not important, it’s all about winning medals at major championships. If you get a good time then great, but I want to beat people because that’s what people remember not what time you ran.”

Russia came out in top in both of the men’s 200m T13 qualifiers, with Alexander Zverev and Alexey Orekhov leading the way in both semi-finals.

The 2014 IPC Athletics European Championships run from the 18-23 August and the event will be streamed live, together with live results, at the event website.

The live stream from Swansea 2014, together with videos on demand of individual races, are available to embed on websites in some territories via the IPC's YouTube channel. For further information please contact IPC Digital Media Manager Natalia Dannenberg-Spreier.

In addition, HD quality broadcast footage from Swansea 2014 is available from the IPC's Broadcast Manager Jose Manuel Dominguez.

Daily highlights will be available for digital channels via Omnisport, whilst individual races as video on demand can be embedded via Perform's e-player.