Jo Butterfield broke the world record no fewer than three times on her way to gold in the women’s club throw F31/32/51 as Great Britain claimed all three spots on the podium.
Butterfield, the reigning world champion, started off with a world record of 22.18m – adding 28 centimetres on to the mark set by US thrower Rachael Morrison back in 2014, before throwing 22.39m then a massive 22.75m (1100 points) in the fourth round.
“I’m really over the moon with how I’ve performed today – I really wanted to go out there and show what I could do and I think I really did that,” said a smiling Butterfield.
Fellow Britons Gemma Prescott (21.08m) and Abbie Hunnisett (20.32m) – both F32 throwers - finished with silver and bronze respectively.
There was a world record too for Germany’s multiple world and Paralympic champion Birgit Kober in the women’s shot put F35/36.
Kober, 44, missed out on Doha 2015 due to health reasons – but she was back at her best in the Carlo Zecchini Stadium, throwing a massive 11.20m in the final round.
"For the last attempt I closed my eyes - I always do that - and think of a nice place, where I would like to be and throw my shot really well. It helps me, visualising a beautiful place like here at the training field with the pines around, or at my Olympic training place at home. So I closed my eyes, I went there, I shot, and it was a world record,” said Kober.
"For Rio 2016 the goal is to win the gold medal, not to set another world record. I have a Chinese thrower in my group and I don’t know what she will throw. But what I did today is a good range to compete with her."
Host nation Italy won their first gold of Grosseto 2016 as world ranked number two Oney Tapia threw a new discus F11 championship record of 42.56m with his penultimate attempt.
Tapia, a former professional baseball player, saw off strong competition including the reigning Paralympic and world champion David Casinos of Spain, who finished in second place with a season’s best 38.37m.
“I would like to dedicate this success to my teammates and to the whole Italian Paralympic team. It is the best result ever in the discus throw and I hope all this can be a boost for all my teammates," said Tapia.
“It is a difficult sport for me, I had to start from square one, but today I feel much more confident thanks to the work with my coach Guido Sgherzi who I would like to thank in this moment.”
Sweden also clinched their first gold of the Championships as world champion Per Jonsson secured his second European title after winning in Swansea, Great Britain, two years ago.
The 28-year-old leapt a championship record mark of 6.95m and currently sits second in the world rankings.
Finland’s Marjaana Heikkinen clinched gold in the women’s javelin F34 – improving on the bronze medal she won two years ago with a winning throw of 17.87m, while Greek world champion Che Jon Fernandes won the men’s shot put F53 title with a best of 7.93m.
There was one final out on the track in the morning session – the men’s 100m T35 – with 11 more 100m finals to follow later in the afternoon.
Russia’s Artem Kalashian got the better of his teammate, the world champion Dmitrii Safranov, in a thrilling sprint to the line, with Kalashian holding on to a narrow lead to take gold in 12.95.
Great Britain’s Paralympic Jonnie Peacock sent out a timely message to his global rivals in the men’s 100m T44 as he clocked 10.88 in his semi-final – the fastest time he has raced since July 2013.
Germany’s Felix Streng – who has already gone under the 11 second mark this season – also finished strongly in the first heat, clocking 11.11. The final takes place later this afternoon.
Poland’s Michal Derus (11.01) will surely be hard to beat in this afternoon’s final of the men’s 100m T47. The reigning champion – who clinched his second world title in Doha, Qatar, last year – was the fastest of the semi-finalists and will no doubt be hoping to lay down his marker for Rio 2016, where Brazilians Petrucio Ferreira and Yohansson Nascimento will be his chief rivals.
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