British athletes claim four more medals on the third evening of Paralympic Games action, while Germany’s Vanessa Low breaks her own T42 long jump world record
Hannah Cockroft successfully defended her Paralympic T34 100m title in style on Saturday (September 10), taking more than half a second off her own Paralympic record to lead a Great Britain 1-2 ahead of 15-year-old Kare Adenegan.
Cockroft has dominated the sport but Adenegan had been the athlete to hand the seven-time world gold medallist a rare defeat over 400m earlier this year. Cockroft has never been beaten over 100m though and it was business as usual for the 24-year-old as she clocked 17.42 to Adenegan’s 18.29 PB, while USA’s Alexa Halko bagged bronze with 18.81. GB’s Carly Tait was sixth in 19.73.
The race had been a straight final after the heats the day before were scrapped.
“I can relax now, I have come here and done what I needed to do,” said triple world champion Cockroft, who, like Adenegan, also contests the 400m and 800m in Rio.
“The 100m is my favourite event. I have never been beaten over it and didn’t expect to be beaten over it. It was amazing to come here and compete in front of this massive crowd, it’s a magnificent stadium and I absolutely loved it out there.”
Adenegan said: “I am so, so delighted. It is a huge blessing because I have been working so hard. These last four years have been tough and all those cold training sessions and all those times I’ve felt like giving up, this makes it all worth it.”
Two more medals for GB were claimed in the T33 100m as Toby Gold and Andrew Small got silver and bronze respectively in a race dominated by Kuwait’s world champion and world record-holder Ahmad Almutairi in a Paralympic record 16.61. World bronze medallist Gold clocked 17.84 to lead a GB 2-3-4, as Small crossed the line in a 17.96 PB and was followed by world silver medallist Dan Bramall in 18.16.
Another dominant winner was Germany’s world and European long jump champion Vanessa Low as she improved her own previous T42 world record mark with three of her five legal leaps, her best of 4.93m for gold coming in the third round. Italy’s world 100m champion Martina Caironi claimed silver with a 4.66m PB.
Malaysia’s Mohamad Ridzuan Mohamad Puzi added the Paralympic title to his world gold, clocking a 12.07 Paralympic record after a strong finish which saw him chase down China’s Yifei Yang who ran a 12.20 PB for silver. To loud cheers Brazil’s Rodrigo Parreira da Silva bagged bronze in a regional record 12.54. Britain’s Graeme Ballard secured silver in London four years ago and this time the 37-year-old finished fifth in 12.84 after a slow start. The field had already been missing Russia’s London 2012 champion Evgenii Shvetcov because of the ban on the nation’s athletes at these Games, while Ukraine’s four-time Paralympic gold medallist Roman Pavlyk also missed out on the chance to go for gold as he was disqualified for a false start.
As Mohamad Puzi was taking to the podium to receive his gold, his team-mate Muhammad Ziyad Zolkefli was being confirmed as winner of the F20 shot put final after his world record throw of 16.84m in the fifth round. With the win secured, the London 2012 bronze medallist chose to pass his final attempt and took the title ahead of Greece’s Dimitrios Senikidis with 16.17m and Australia’s former world record-holder Todd Hodgetts with 15.82m.
The F56 javelin title was claimed by Latvia’s Diana Dadzite as she threw 23.26m to beat Germany’s Martina Willing and improve her rival’s world record. Willing, who has competed in each edition of the Paralympics since 1992 and won three gold medals, secured silver with 22.22m.
Brazil’s Shirlene Coelho won the F37 javelin in front of a delighted home crowd, the world record-holder and London 2012 champion throwing 37.57m for a clear victory ahead of China’s Mi Na with a 30.18m PB. Germany’s Daniel Scheil won the F33 shot put title after a throw of 11.03m, while Britain’s European discus silver medallist Kieran Tscherniawsky finished fifth with a best of 8.49m.
Tunisia’s world T38 1500m champion Abbes Saidi also claimed gold in Rio with a Paralympic record-breaking performance ahead of Australia’s world record-holder Deon Kenzie – 4:13.81 to 4:14.95. France’s Louis Radius got bronze after crossing the line in 4:17.19.
Britain’s world record-holder Richard Whitehead proved his intentions ahead of the T42 200m final, breaking his own Paralympic record with 23.07 to come close to his world mark. Joining him in Sunday’s final will be his team-mate and Invictus Games gold medallist Dave Henson who despite coming out of his lane off the final bend behind the athlete in that lane had strong finishing strength and placed third in 25.26 to advance.
“It was a shaky race,” said Henson. “I think it was first race nerves. I didn’t really run my race plan, but I’m through which is the main thing.
“I think it was stage fright to be honest,” he added. “I probably wasn’t as patient as I should have been coming round that bend. It’s an easy mistake to make and it’s all about learning. Tomorrow I will be tip top and hopefully I’ll get a decent lane draw.”
Britain’s Moatez Jomni qualified for the T53 400m final as a fastest loser but London 2012 100m champion Mickey Bushell missed out after finishing fifth in his heat. Their 16-year-old team-mate Polly Maton, who finished seventh in the long jump competition, ran 12.98 to qualify for the T47 100m final after finishing as runner-up to Poland’s Alicja Fiodorow with European record 12.43.
The day after claiming T38 100m bronze, Britain’s Kadeena Cox was back in track action but this time in the velodrome rather than the Estádio Olímpico, getting gold in the C4-5 500m time trial after a world record-breaking performance. She becomes the first British athlete in 28 years to win medals in two different sports at the same Paralympic Games.
Full results can be found here.