Tunisia’s Raoua Tlili showed why she is the Paralympic Games throwing queen by landing a fourth shot put gold medal in a row on Friday (27 August), opening day of Para athletics at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.
Brazil and China took two gold medals each at the National Olympic Stadium with also topping the podium in the morning session.
F41 thrower Tlili was never in danger of seeing her 13-year domination ended after she broke her world record with a mighty effort of 10.55m in the second round.
“There is lots of work behind it,” Tlili, who will attempt to repeat her shot put/discus double from Rio 2016, said of the secret of her success.
“When I find some obstacles in my life it is not a problem for me because I am very strong to overcome them.
“I have overcome my disability, so why can I not overcome the obstacles of my life? In Tunisia, life’s rhythm is not like in Europe. So I am even happier to be able to defeat my problems.”
Colombia’s Mayerli Buitrago took silver with an Americas record (9.94m) and Argentina’s Antonella Ruiz Diaz bronze (9.50m).
Golden morning for Brazil and China
Yeltsin Jacques and Silvania Costa made it a memorable opening morning of Para athletics for Brazil.
Jacques won the first gold on offer in the men’s 5000m T11 with a blistering finish while Costa defended her long jump T11 crown from Rio 2016.
“I have speed, I have energy. I’m naturally fast, it’s genetics,” said Jacques, who also competes in the 1500m and marathon.
Hosts Japan took silver and bronze in the men’s 5000m T11 with Kenya Karasawa and Shinya Wada, respectively.
In the women’s long jump T11, Costa claimed the victory jumping 5.00m in her fifth attempt to beat Uzbekistan’s Asila Mirzayorova for silver (4.91m). Ukraine’s Yuliia Pavlenko bagged the bronze (4.86m).
China also won double gold: Xia Zhou in the women’s 100m T35 and Feixia Dong in the women’s discus F55.
Zhou clocked a world record of 13.00 to defend her title from Rio 2016.
“I didn’t expect to set a world record,” the 22-year-old said. “Of course, I am very surprised. I never thought I could run this fast."
Australia’s Isis Holt finished second with a continental record (13.13) followed by Great Britain’s Maria Lyle (14.18).
Dong triumphed in the discus F55 with a throw of 26.64m to set a new Asian record. Latvia’s Diana Dadzite was the silver medallist (25.02m) ahead of Mexico’s Rosa Maria Guerrero (bronze with 24.11m).
Lemos breaks world record
Jose Gregorio Lemos began his quest for a hat-trick of golds with a world record throw of 60.31m in the men’s javelin F38. The Colombian also goes for glory in the 100m and long jump T38.
His compatriot Luis Lucumi Villegas added a bronze to Colombia in the event (54.63) with Ukraine’s Vladyslav Bilyi between the two for silver (55.34, European record).
Para athletics action continues in the evening session with eight finals.
Complete schedule and results can be found on Paralympic.org.