World champions excel in Arizona25.05.2019
Stars of London 2017 make their mark on day one at Grand Prix
Reigning world champions David Brown, Sam Grewe, Sammi Kinghorn and Deja Young were among the winners on the first day of track and field action at the Arizona Grand Prix on Friday.
Brown (11.33) and his guide Jerome Avery led the way in the men’s vision impaired races and were the standout winners in the men’s 100m T11.
Great Britain’s Sammi Kinghorn (16.65) opened her season with a strong performance in the women’s 100m T53. The 23-year-old, who broke the 200m T53 world record in Arizona two years’ ago, finished well ahead of her rivals and currently sits second in the world rankings behind China’s Hongzhuan Zhou.
World and Paralympic champion Deja Young (24.88) was in a class of her own in the women’s 200m T47. The 23-year-old has set her sights on world record times this year and made an impressive start at this early stage in the season. The current mark of 24.45 was set by Cuba’s Yunidis Castillo at the London 2012 Paralympic Games.
Paralympic gold medallist Gianfranco Iannotta (17.19) took the win in the men’s 100m T52, although he had to settle for second behind Isaiah Rigo (1:01.57) over 400m.
Ghana’s Botsyo Nkegbe (14.54) finished first in the men’s 100m T54, with US racer Erik Hightower (14.70) in second. Nicholas Rogers (11.51), a bronze medallist over 200m at London 2017, won the men’s 100m T64.
The USA’s Kym Crosby (12.27), a regular performer at the Arizona Grand Prix, notched up yet another win in the women’s 100m T13. World bronze medallist Nyoshia Cain (13.53) from Trinidad and Tobago was beaten to the line by USA’s Femita Ayanbeku (13.08) in the women’s 100m T64.
While reigning world and Paralympic champion Hannah Cockroft was busy racing – and winning - in Nottwil, Switzerland, her young rival Alexa Halko (2:03.27), who won silver behind Cockroft at both the Rio 2016 Games and London 2017 World Championships, took the win in the women’s 800m T34 in Arizona.
Kinghorn was back on track for the women’s 800m T53, this time crossing the line in 1:54.58, while in the men’s 800m T53 Mexico’s Fidel Aguilar (1:47.65) came out on top. Teammate Pedro Gandarilla (1:41.68) won the T54 race.
Mexico’s success continued in the 1,500m races, with wins for Isidro Tavera (4:12.15) in the men’s T13; Alejan Pachelo Castillo (4:30.72) in the men’s T11; Angel Enriquez Torres (4:28.85) in the men’s T38 and Daniela Velsaco Maldonado (4:51.52) in the women’s T13.
Isaac Jean-Paul, who won world long jump T13 bronze at London 2017, followed up five foul jumps with a leap of 6.51m in the sixth round to take the win ahead of Markeith Price (6.24m).
Richard Browne, the former 100m world champion, was in action in the men’s long jump T44/62/64. The 27-year-old retired from Para athletics after he was forced to miss Rio 2016 through injury, then came back with the intention of defending his title at the London 2017 World Championships. Injury struck a devastating blow to his ambitions one again, but the Mississippi man is back – and winning with a leap of 6.89m. Jaleen Roberts (4.64m) won the women’s long jump T37.
Cicero Nobre (46.39m) got the better of fellow Brazilian Claudiney Batista (41.36m) to win the men’s javelin F56/57; teammate Elizabeth Gomes threw a best of 15.10m in the women’s discus F51/52/53. Canada’s Jennifer Brown (29.00m) won the women’s discus F37/38.
The Arizona Grand Prix continues on Saturday (25 May) with results found online.