The crowds erupted as local favourite Mandy Francois-Elie clinched France's first gold medal on the track on day three of the IPC Athletics World Championships in Lyon on Monday (22).
The 23-year-old set a World record of 23.37 in qualifying on Sunday and Francois-Elie looked in control again as she sped round the bend before powering down the final stretch to take the 200m T37 gold medal in 28.48, much to the delight of her supporters in the stands.
Francois-Elie was clearly delighted with her win as she soaked up the cheers from the crowds, 10 months after the disappointment of the 2012 Paralympic Games, where she lost out to Namibia's Johanna Benson.
"It is a revenge for me and my family after the frustration I faced in London," she said. "I ran with my heart and it brought me the gold medal." Great Britain's Bethany Woodward won silver, while Benson only managed third place this time around.
Yohansson Nascimento put in a gritty performance to clinch gold in the 200m T46. Poland's Michal Derus made the Brazilian work all the way to the line but Nascimento's held off the Pole and clocked a World record of 21.91.
London 2012 Paralympic Games champion Evan O'Hanlon continued his domination of the men's 100m T38 as the Australian successfully defended his title with a championship record of 10.93, despite having already raced out the blocks after a false start
"I would have liked to have finished that first run off as I thought I was going faster then, than the actual race. It's hard when you've run 100m in this weather to then run another one. I didn't expect to get pushed so hard but it's no point winning if it's not a challenge,” said O’Hanlon
The women's 100m T34 followed the formbook as Great Britain’s Hannah Cockroft added the 100m title to the 200m she won on the opening day of competition. She clocked a championship record of 17.88, crossing the line over one second ahead of The Netherlands’ Amy Siemons.Australia's Rosemary Little finished third, making it a repeat of the podium in London last year.
Italy's Oxana Corso set a new world record in the 100m T35 as she turned the tables on China's Ping Liu, who had beaten the 18-year-old in London last year, winning gold in 15.63.
Canada's Virginia McLachlan took silver medal with Ping Liu just clinching bronze. "It was quite unexpected, I have a lot of emotions, I am really moved," said Corso.
"I am really proud, because my family and friends came to support me." Finland's Toni Piispanen went one better than his silver medal two years ago as he won the men's 100m T51 in 22.59, and Russia's Evgenii Shvetcov set a World record of 11.90 to clinch gold in the 100m T36.
Brazil’s Veronica Hipolito toook the title in the women's 200m T38 with a championship record of 27.49, whilst Tunisia's double Paralympic champion Walid Ktila added the men's 200m T34 World title to his ever-growing medal collection - and he hopes to continue collecting silverware this week as he takes on three further events.
"I am not too tired, my tyres slipped with the rain which made it a little bit more difficult, I feel confident for the 100m, 400m and 800m," said Ktila.
Cuba’s defending champion Yunidis Castillo worked her way past the rest of the field from the inside lane in the 400m T46, and then had to fight off a courageous effort by South Africa's 2011 runner-up Anrune Liebenberg to take World Championship gold once again.
Russia's Egor Sharov stretched out the field as he took control in the 800m T12, accelerating down the home straight and crossing the line in a World record of 1:50.02.
Victory in the 800m T53 went to the USA's Joshua George, who took the race on from the start, pushing hard through 400m before stretching his lead in the final 250m before crossing the line in 1:41.88. However, Marcel Hug's quest for a clean sweep of medals is over after the Swiss left himself too much to do in the final lap of the 800m T54. Hug had to settle for silver as he tried in vain to reach the front of the field having been forced to go wide round the bend. The victory went to Korea's Gyu Dae Kim in 1:37.55.
Poland took the gold medal in the Long Jump F20 courtesy of Karolina Kucharczyk.The silver medallist in 2011, Kucharczyk broke her own world record from London last summer with her first attempt, leaping 6.09m, which proved to be her best of the day. The Long Jump F42 title went to Italy's Martina Caironi with a championship record of 4.25m.
Mathias Mester took yet another gold medal for Germany when winning the Javelin F41, whilst Great Britain's third gold of the day went to Hollie Arnold in the women's Javelin F46.
China’s Na Mi added to her Paralympic gold with victory and a championship record of 11.72m in the Shot Put F37 while the F54 title went to Russia’s Maria Bogacheva from Russia with a World record of 7.56m.
Russia scored another gold thanks to Alexey Ashapatov who held onto his Discus F57/58 title managing 58.39m (967 points) with his first attempt. The men's 100m T44 final on Tuesday is set to be a thriller after US sprinter Richard Browne knocked 0.02 off Jonnie Peacock's World record, speeding home to win his semifinal in 10.83. Peacock had just set a season's best of 10.87 to win his qualifier.
IPC Athletics for the IAAF