Tunisia’s Walid Ktila claims victory at IPC Athletics Grand Prix

With less than six months to go until the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, Tunisia’s Walid Ktila showed he is still the man to beat in the 100m T34. 25 Mar 2016
a male from Tunisia wearing a helmet and racing in a wheelchair

Walid Ktila at the 2015 IPC Athletics World Championships Doha

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Multiple world and Paralympic champion Walid Ktila was one of a number of standout performances by the host nation on Thursday (24 March), the first day of competition at the IPC Athletics Grand Prix in Tunis, Tunisia.

At the third Grand Prix of the IPC Athletics season, the 30-year-old clocked 15.14, finishing first in the T34 class over 100m, while his countryman Fethi Zouinkhi (14.47) was the first of the T54 wheelchair racers.

Yassine Gharbi (T54) added to the host nation’s joy as he took the win in the 400m T52/53/54 at Rades Athletics Stadium in 51.64.

Poland’s Jakub Nicpon (T13) was first over the line in the men’s 100m T11/12-13 in 11.35, while his compatriot Marcin Mielczarek (13.23) was the best of the T36 sprinters in a race won by Mali’s Oumar Sidibe (T38), who stopped the clock at 12.92.

Mahamane Sacko added to Mali’s delight with a win in the men’s 200m T46 (23.50), just one hundredth of a second ahead of the Ivory Coast’s Akue N'guessan Dieudonne Kouassi, while another Ivorian, Kouame Noumbo, won the 200m T47 (23.31).

Mozambique’s 18-year-old track star Edmilsa Governo, bronze medallist at last year’s World Championships, notched up her first Grand Prix win of the season in the women’s 400m T12 in 1:00.38.

Ethiopia’s Tamiru Demisse (2:00.05) took the tape in the men’s 800m T12/13 while Tunisia’s Imed Marzouk was the best of the T36/37 racers, clocking 2:32.04.

Tunisian stars also picked up a number of wins in the field.

Reigning world champion Hania Aidi (F54) continued to dominate her event with a straightforward win in the women’s javelin F53/54/55. Aidi’s fourth round effort of 16.91m (918 points) meant she finished nearly three metres clear of her rivals.

Home favourite Raoua Tlili (F41) never looked in doubt as she took the win in the women’s shot put F40-41. A final round throw of 9.60m (965 points) sealed a decisive win for the double world champion as fellow Tunisian Fathia Amaimia finished second, nearly two metres behind (7.80m/709 points).

There was no surprise as local star and world champion Maroua Ibrahmi (F32) finished first in the women’s shot put F32/34. The 27-year-old managed a best of 5.79m (831 points) to seal a convincing win ahead of fellow Tunisian Saida Nayli (F32) - second with a best of 4.37m (430 points).

The men’s shot put F32 went Algeria’s way as Abderrahim Missouni got the better of Poland’s world bronze medallist Maciej Sochal.

With five out of six throws over the eight metre mark - including a final round effort of 9.13m (817 points) – Missouni saw off a strong field including second placed Sochal (8.32m/677 points) and Algeria’s Paralympic bronze medallist Mounir Bakiri (7.63m/537 points), who finished third.

Algeria also came out on top in the men’s discus throws as Hamza Kais won the F32/51/52/53 event with his best effort of 15.00m (959 points) and Mohamed Ouchene (F57) won the F55/56/57 competition with 40.41m (840 points).

Their compatriot Nadia Medjmedj (F56) threw 17.59m (715 points) to take the win in the women’s javelin F56/57.

Uzbekistan’s Safiya Burkhanova managed 12.83m (959 points) in the women’s shot put F12; fellow Uzbek Dilafruzkhon Akhmatkhonova (F35) won the F35/36/37 shot put with 7.88m (433 points) and Tunisia’s Ibtissem Saidi (F46) threw 7.63m (379 points) to win the shot put F44/46.

Further success went Uzbekistan’s way as Aleksander Svechnikov (F13) saw off his rivals to win the men’s javelin F13/37/38 (57.02m/844 points), while Benian Duffi (F40) of the Ivory Coast won the javelin F40/41 with his second round effort of 29.00m (812 points).

Poland’s Anna Trener enjoyed two victories on Thursday, clocking 13.72 to win the women’s T35/36/37/38 before winning the women’s long jump T20/37/38 with a best of 4.61m (922 points).

Trener’s fellow Polish para-athletes Joanna Mazur (1.01.03) won the 400m T11, and Krzysztof Kaczmarek (F20) won the men’s shot put F12/20 (13.06m/763 points).

The IPC Athletics Grand Prix in Tunis continues until Saturday (26 March).