Two more titles for British athletes on evening four of the World Para Athletics Championships

Britain’s Aled Davies won his fourth successive world shot put title while Maria Lyle gained a first individual global sprint gold on the fourth evening of action at the World Para Athletics Championships in Dubai.

Throwing 15.38m in round four, Davies won the F63 event for his seventh world gold medal overall, adding to three won in the discus, beating Luxembourg’s Tom Habscheid with 15.10m.

“Fourth time – it’s very special,” said Davies, competing at a major event for the first time as a father and speaking with his seven-week old daughter Phoebe in his arms.

“I think back to my first world champs in New Zealand in 2011 and I got fourth place at the age of 18, and now here we are, almost 10 years later and we’re still on top of the world taking world records and winning gold medals.

“I’ve been dreaming too hard and too long to roll over and hand over titles. I had to fight for this one, I really did. I dug deep and luckily I hung on by the skin of my teeth.”

On fatherhood, he added: “It’s the only motivation you need. I don’t do this for me now – I’ve achieved everything I’ve wanted to achieve. Golds at every tournament and world records, so if I can keep on dominating as long as possible and show that beautiful little girl how it is done then that’s great.”

Lyle secured victory in the T35 100m, clocking 14.62 (+0.5m/sec) to win ahead of Italy’s Oxana Corso (15.42) and Nienke Timmer of Netherlands (15.48).

“I’m feeling happy, it’s been a long time coming,” said Lyle, who has already secured six world medals at the age of just 19.

“It’s my third world champs so it’s very special to finally get that title.

“I got a good reaction, but I stumbled close to the start so at the end or most of the race I was trying to recover from that.

“To do that time considering the conditions, it fills me with confidence so I’m looking forward to the 200m now,” added the Paralympic medallist, who also told AW about growing up in the sport and her mental health (video interview below).

“It’s very special (her world title). It’s something I’ve never had before so to do it here when we’ve had the team achieving so much is special and it’s really important to me.”

Further British medals were claimed in the T33 100m as Andrew Small (17.71) secured silver and Harri Jenkins (18.98) bronze in a race won by Kuwait’s Ahmad Almutairi in 17.08.

Racing with her married name on her bib, South Africa’s Anrune Weyers claimed T47 400m gold in a championship record of 55.79 and later spoke about her win and the support she has received.

“Last year was really tough because of injuries,” said Weyers, who won her first world title in 2015 in Doha under her maiden name of Liebenberg. “It has been a miracle to run here, because I just had six weeks of training (after surgery) so this has been amazing. I’m really thankful to be injury free and run.”

World records were broken by Australia’s James Turner in the men’s T36 100m (11.72), China’s Xiaoyan Wen in the women’s T37 long jump (5.22m) and Jordan’s Ahmad Hindi in the men’s F34 shot put (12.17m).

After already winning the T34 400m in Dubai, Walid Ktila of Tunisia claimed his 14th world title with 100m victory in 14.99.

Germany’s Leon Schaefer won the men’s T63 long jump with a championship record leap of 6.90m as GB’s Luke Sinnott placed fifth with 5.57m.

On his return to the British team for the first time since 2014, Ola Abidogun secured his place in Tuesday’s T47 100m semi-finals after running 11.12 in his heat.

Full results can be found here, while further Dubai 2019 news and coverage can be found here.

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