The Usain Bolt of Paralympic athletics highlights the third and final day of the Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games at the Olympic Stadium
He may not yet have taken over from Oscar Pistorius as the world’s best known Paralympian, but Alan Oliveira now looks likely to take disability athletics to even greater heights than the South African.
Slicing a massive two tenths of a second from his own world T43 record for 100m to clock 10.57, the Brazilian’s “Bolt-esque” performance confirmed he will surely be the face of the Paralympics at his home Games in Rio.
It was by far the most eagerly awaited race of the day because of the combining of the T43 classification for double-leg, below-knee amputees with the T44 for single-leg amputees like Jonnie Peacock and Richard Browne.
American Browne recently broke Peacock’s world T44 record with 10.83, though the Brit gained revenge just five days ago at the IPC World Championships in Lyon when he edged out his rival to take gold.
Despite that spicy background, they were both upstaged by Oliveira, who used a single-arm block start and was – as expected for a wearer of double prosthetics – more poorly away than the two more hyped athletes on his immediate inside.
But he overhauled both to stop the clock on a time that takes the event into different territory. It was 0.76 seconds quicker than the season’s best he posted to finish seventh in the London 2012 final behind Peacock.
As Pistorius awaits trial for the murder of his girlfriend, the transformation of Oliveira this season could not have come at a better time for Paralympic sport.
The 20-year-old beat Pistorius to win the London 2012 200m title and then improved by 0.66 on his rival’s world record last week in Lyon with 20.66. Although he was beaten by Pistorius in the 400m in London 2012, it has been suggested by renowned sports scientist Ross Tucker he could eventually break 43 seconds. The existing able-bodied world record is 43.18.
Browne, who took silver in that race, brought his T44 world record down to 10.75.
Despite taking a hundredth off his PB with 10.84, a disappointed Peacock was third, annoyed he didn’t execute his race well enough to take advantage of a 1.9m/sec following wind.
No competition for Weir
Six-time Paralympic champion David Weir had the honour of closing the programme and easily took victory with what was a world record for the rarely staged mile event.
He clocked 3:16.40 – although that was 22 seconds slower than the world record for 1500m and thus greatly inferior.
Cockroft a class apart
Hannah Cockroft’s win in the T33/34 100m was one of the most predictable of the day.
However, despite a lack of close competition, she clocked 17.80 – her fifth quickest-ever time.
But she was disappointed with the clocking, which compared to her world record of 17.54 set earlier this year.
Whitehead dramatically pulls through
Richard Whitehead used his trademark fast finish to win the T42 200m in 24.86. Over the first 100m, the double-leg above-the-knee amputee was left well behind the single-leg amputee athletes he was up against. However, as at the Paralympics, the man who holds the world record with 24.38 recovered a massive deficit over the second half of the race.
Greaves beats Paralympic champion
Britain’s Dan Greaves took his first victory over Paralympic champion Jeremy Campbell in two years in the F44 discus.
Using the 1.5kg implement – 0.5kg lighter than that used in able-bodied athletics – he achieved a best of 57.52m, a couple of metres down on his best.
Jeremy Campbell, who beat Greaves into second in both the Paralympics last year and the IPC Worlds earlier this week, was third with 49.40m. However, he had to limit his turns in the circle after breaking his prosthetic limb in Lyon and being unable to have it repaired in time.
Lakatos rides to world record
Wheelchair athlete Brent Lakatos of Canada took 0.13 from Brit Mickey Bushell’s T53 100m world record with 14.34.
In the F42/F44 long jump, Netherlands’ Iris Pruysen set a world record for the F44 category (single-leg, below-the-knee), first of all with 4.85m in round one, equalled that in round three and then extended it with 5.04m on her final attempt. However, as the medals for the multi-classification event were decided on points, she lost out to Italy’s F42 (single-leg, above-the-knee) Martina Caironi, who leaped 4.11m.
In the T54 200m, Kenny van Weeghel just missed his European record with 24.61. Britain’s Richard Chiassaro was sixth with 27.04 – 0.44 outside his best.
Australia’s Gabriel Cole won the T46 (below-elbow amputees) 100m in 11.02, beating Britain’s Ola Abidogun (11.12) into second.
Ireland’s T37 Michael McKillop was just over a second outside his world record in the T36/T37 (cerebral palsy) 800m with 1:58.65. For Britain, T36 Paul Blake clocked 2:07.63 for third and T37 Dean Miller ran a PB 2:09.65.
Germany’s Maria Seifert took the T37 100m with 14.08 – ahead of a PB for Britain’s Bethany Woodward (14.34).
London 2012 silver medallist Graham Ballard headed a British one-two in the T36 100m in 12.33, as against Ben Rushgrove’s 12.75.
Other British winners were Aled Davies in the F42 shot (14.31m) and Libby Clegg in the T12 (visual impairment) 100m (12.18).
Click here for full results and see the August 1 edition of AW for more.