A new star was born at the 2013 IPC Athletics World Championships in the form of Great Britain’s 16-year-old Sophie Hahn, who won the women’s 100m T38 in a World record 13.10 in Lyon, France on Wednesday (24).
Competing at her first major international event, Hahn showed the composure of a veteran sprinter to beat her Brazilian rival Veronica Hipolito, the previous record holder, who finished second in 13.26 after a poor start.
"I cannot believe it, I am so happy!” said Hahn, who had won the 200m silver medal on Monday and celebrated her victory with a ‘guns salute’ made famous by British team captain Richard Whitehead.
“I need to thank my coaches, without them it would not have been possible. I cannot wait to go home and tell all my friends I did it!”
Germany’s London 2012 Paralympic Games champion Markus Rehm competed with Hahn for the unofficial accolade of performance of the day by leaping out to 7.95m to not only break his own Long Jump F44 World record by an astonishing 60cm but to beat his nearest rivals by more than a metre.
“I never ever thought such a jump was possible. I always said maybe sometime in the future it might be possible to jump close to 8 metres, but not now. I knew I could jump the 7.50m, but that, I just can't believe it. It was the perfect jump,” said Rehm.
Russia’s Artem Arefyev provided another of the highlights on the track. Beaten on the line earlier in the week by Paul Blake in the 800m T36, got revenge by smashing the British runner’s 1500m world record.
The 29-year-old’s golden run saw him finish in 4:32.89, almost 20 seconds ahead of his teammate Pavel Kharagezov, who was second in 4:51.17.
France’s Mandy Francois-Elie brought the home crowd to its feet again by winning her second gold medal for the host country with a blistering 100m T37 run in 13.72.
The 23-year-old showed the form that won her the 2012 Paralympic Games gold medal in this event by demolishing the field, coming home just outside the championship record she set in Tuesday’s heat.
“I am euphoric. It has been another really tough race,” said Francois-Elie, who also won 200m gold on Monday. “I made it with the amazing support of the crowd. My family and friends were here to support me and it gave me strength to do it.”
Hug makes it three out of four
Switzerland’s ‘Silver Bullet’ Marcel Hug said he believed he was back to his best after he showed the tactical ability to win a thrilling 5000m T54 race, his third gold from four events.
Hug was part of a breakaway group of three and, with 300 metres to go, he accelerated for home before taking the gold medal in a championship record of 10:20.16.
“It’s been an interesting race. The pack stayed together but at the end I had the better sprint,” said Hug, who held off Japan’s Kota Hokinoue, the latter having to settle for second in 10:20.95
The closest race of the day was in the men’s 100m T46 when just 0.06 separated the three podium finishers and the top five were within 0.20 of each other.
Poland’s Michal Derus won in 10.93, a championship record. Australia’s Michael Cole was second in 10.96while Brazil’s Yohansson Nascimento, the 2013 200m World champion, was third in 10.99.
The afternoon started with two 200m races which saw Russian winners complete the sprint double.
In the T36 class, three-time 2012 Paralympic Games champion Evgenii Shvetcov cruised to a championship record of 24.69. His time was just 0.04 outside the world record, with Ukraine’s Roman Paylyk second in 24.99 and Hong Kong’s Wa Wai So third with 25.20.
In the T37 class, Andrey Vdovin broke new ground by becoming the first man to go under 23 seconds in his class. The 19-year-old ran 22.77 to beat South Africa’s previous world record holder Fanie Van Der Merwe, who was second with 23.16.
As expected, the men’s 200m T38 went to form with Australia’s four-time Paralympic champion Evan O’Hanlon storming home in a championship record time of 21.95 to complete the double double, having also won the 100m and 200m World titles in 2011.
Canada’s Brent Lakatos was in great form when winning his second gold of Lyon 2013 in the men’s 200m T53. His time of 25.46 took more than half-a-second off his own championship record set in Tuesday’s heats.
The men’s 200m T54 was a thriller with The Netherlands’ London 2012 400m silver medallist Kenny van Weeghel winning in 25.10 and coming out on top against Finland’s 100m Paralympic champion Leo Pekka Tahti, who was second in 25.51. Bronze went to Thailand’s Saichon Konjen in 25.58.
Irish eyes smiling after McKillop double
The men’s 1500m T38 saw Ireland’s Michael McKillop complete the middle distance double as he did at last year’s Paralympics and also the 2011 World Championships.
Having won the 800m on Sunday, McKillop was unchallenged from two laps out as he strode to victory in a championship record 4:10.17. Silver went to Tunisia’s Abbes Saidi in 4:12.78.
Tunisia’s Walid Ktila completed the sprint double in his class winning the men’s 100m T34 in 16.07 with silver going to Australia’s Rheed McCracken in 16:29.
China, who topped the London 2012 medals table, took only their fifth gold of Lyon 2013 when Guohua Zhou broke her own championship record with a time of 12.19 in the women’s 100m T12. Britain’s Libby Clegg nd Ukraine’s Oxana Boturchuk took the other podium positions with 12.23 and 12.30 respectively in a close run race.
The women’s 100m T13 saw Ukraine’s Olena Gliebova win gold in 12.32, a championship record. South Africa’s Ilse Hayes had to settle for the silver medal in 12.60 as she did in London 2012 while Morocco’s 2012 Paralympic champion Sanaa Benhama could only manage third in 12.77 this time round.
There was a world record in the women’s club throw F31/32/51 when F32 athlete Maroua Ibrahmi, of Tunisia, landed her implement at a distance of 24.15m for 1030 points.
IPC Athletics for the IAAF