World record-breaking Pearson claims gold in Lyon

Josie Pearson breaks world record on way to discus victory as Alan Oliveira smashes T43 200m world record at IPC World Championships

Josie Pearson (Mark Shearman)

Paralympic champion Josie Pearson claimed GB’s third gold of the IPC World Championships in Lyon on Sunday, breaking her own world record in the process.

Her fifth-round throw of 7.09m for 1128 points placed her ahead of Canada’s Becky Richter (6.09mPB for 883 points) and Zena Cole of the US (5.80m for 811 points), but victory wasn’t all smooth in coming, as after having been announced as the gold medal-winner, Pearson was advised that an appeal had been made with regards her equipment.

The appeal was later overturned, however, which means Pearson can add her world title to the Paralympic gold she claimed at London 2012 where she set the previous world record of 6.58m.

“To have your best performance at a major championships and your preparation to be spot on is an amazing feeling,” she told British Athletics.

“That seven metre mark has been the thorn in my side the whole winter, so to do that here is a real confidence booster going into my other major championships.”

Tweeting later on about the appeal, she added: ”Unfortunately some people just can’t be gracious in defeat. THE BEST ATHLETE WON fair and square! But this experience has made me stronger and I will bounce back as an even better athlete!”

The 27-year-old will now contest the club throw on Wednesday.

Pearson’s world record came on a day that saw a total of nine world records broken and one world record equalled. One of those world record-breaking marks came in the men’s T43 200m final where Brazilian sprinter Alan Oliveira smashed the previous record held by Oscar Pistorius with his 20.66 clocking. Oliveira crossed the line over a second clear of USA’s Blake Leeper (21.78), shaving more than half a second off the previous mark set by Pistorius in London last year and afterwards told IPC Athletics ”I hope I will do the same at the 100m”.

Michael McKillop was another athlete to set a world record on his way to victory, the Irishman clocking 1:57.17 in the men’s T37 800m, while his compatriot Jason Smyth equalled his own world record in the men’s T13 200m to take the title in style.

Switzerland’s Marcel Hug claimed his second gold in as many days, adding victory in the T54 400m to his win in the 10,000 from the day before, while US athletes Raymond Martin an Tatyana McFadden also did the double on the second day of action – Martin claiming T52 800m gold to add to his win in the 1500m on Saturday and McFadden winning both the T54 200m and 5000m.

Also contributing to the GB medal haul was Dan Greaves who finished behind USA’s Jeremy Campbell for silver in the F44 discus final and Libby Clegg who was upgraded from a bronze to silver in the women’s T12 200m following the disqualification of China’s Guohua Zhou. Her time of 25.31 is a seasons best and she will now contest the shorter sprint. Fellow Brit Kyron Duke claimed F41 shot bronze and now looks to secure a second medal in the F41 javelin final on Monday.

» You will find full coverage of the first weekend of the IPC World Champs in the July 25 issue of Athletics Weekly, with a full round-up in our August 1 issue. For results click here.

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