DUBAI: Deja Young, Erick Hightower, Jaleen Roberts and Noah Malone made history on Thursday as the USA team won their first ever universal 4x100m relay gold medal at World Para Athletics Championships.
It was a great evening for the US athletes as the country took four out of the 12 gold medals up for grabs.
T54 wheelchair racer Erick Hightower was the last member of the relay and overtook China’s Yang Liu, 20 metres from finish to win with a time of 46.94 seconds.
Chinese team (47.40) took silver while Russia settled for bronze (51.95).
“I saw the Chinese athlete and I thought ‘this is my last race in the season’ and I decided to leave everything on the track to get the gold,” said a beaming Hightower.
Deja Young had a hectic schedule at the Worlds with a gold and a silver in individual T47 races but still had the legs to give it all in the relay.
“This is part of the motivation for Tokyo, it’s like a preview and motivated all of us to show what we have,” Young said.
The new event sees athletes from various classes competing side-by-side. This will also be part of the programme for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.
It includes representatives from the vision impaired (T11-13), wheelchair racing (T33-34 or T51-54), coordination (T35-38) and limb impairment (T42-47 or T61-64) classes.
“For me, it’s much sweeter to celebrate as a team on the track,” said a pleased looking Malone.
USA golds on track, jump and throw
Kerry Morgan (21.16) added one more victory to USA in the with the first place in the women’s 100m T52.
Sam Grewe (1.86m) took his third consecutive world title in the men’s high jump T63. India took silver with Sharad Kumar (1.83m) and bronze with Rio 2016 Paralympic champion Mariyappan Thangavelu (1.80m).
Three-time Paralympic champion Jeremy Campbell (61.04m) bagged another gold for USA in the men’s discus throw F64.
Young athletes shine again
U-20 athletes have dominated a series of events at Dubai 2019 and it was no different on Thursday.
South Africa’s Ntando Mahlangu (23.23seconds) took his first world title in the men’s 200m T61 ahead of Great Britain’s Paralympic hero Richard Whitehead (23.82seconds).
“I didn’t know that I would be first. I was a little bit nervous, I just tried to concentrate on myself and on what I wanted to do. I like when the competition is hard and I’m really grateful for the win,” the 17-year-old said.
Team GB also had a lot to celebrate with a young talent when Maria Lyle (30.33) clinched her second world title in Dubai. This time, in the women’s 200m T35.
Sabrina Fortune took Great Britain’s other gold in the evening session in the women’s shot put F20.
Australia’s 20-year-old star Jaryd Clifford (14:14.40seconds) won his second world title in the men’s 5000m T13.
Three Russian victories
Three Russian victories saw the country climb to fourth in the medals table.
Aleksandr Khpurin (11.21m) won the the men’s shot put F33, Evgenii Torsunov (5.73) the men’s long jump T36 and Alexander Rabotnitskiy (3:57.38) won the men’s 1500m.
Full results, records and all medallists from the Dubai 2019 World Para Athletics Championships can be found on: https://www.paralympic.org/dubai-2019/schedule/
Friday is the last day of the competition and you can follow it live on World Para Athletics website, Facebook and Twitter pages.