The defending world T42 200m champion betters his own world record in the semi-finals at the IPC Athletics World Championships
Richard Whitehead secured his spot in the world T42 200m final in style, breaking his own world record with a time of 24.10 in Doha on Tuesday.
The Paralympic champion and two-time world gold medallist improved on the 24.38 world record he set in London three years ago, though he had since clocked 24.26 for the half-lap event in Newham in September.
“I was actually quite nervous this morning but I wanted to deliver a performance,” said Whitehead, who finished fourth in the 100m on Sunday.
“It is important that people realise sport is not about medals for me, it is about being able to pay back those who have supported me and hopefully guiding others towards their successes.
“It truly is an honour to be a GB athlete and putting on the vest. Even now I’m 39 years old, I’m passionate about what I do.”
Looking to the final, he added: “I want to deliver another performance tomorrow.
“Anything less than a world record is not going to be good enough.”
Whitehead’s GB team-mate Dave Henson, an Invictus Games gold medallist, will join him in Wednesday’s final after he finished third in his semi-final in 26.61.
Jo Butterfield claimed her second medal of the championships as she added F52 discus bronze to her F51 club throw gold, throwing a European record of 8.96m in an event won by USA’s Rachael Morrison with a 12.86m world record-breaking throw.
“I’m over the moon. I knew that one was going to be really tough and I had to work hard for it,” said Butterfield, who has a personal best for the event of 10.08m. “It was a European record; not quite my personal best, but I’m happy.”
Other world records on day six of the championships were broken by Ukraine’s Mariia Pomazan with a throw of 13.05m in the F35 shot put, Russia’s Evgenii Torsunov with 5.75min the T36 long jump, Azerbaijan’s Irada Aliyeva with a throw of 44.18m in the F12 javelin and Nigeria’s Lauritta Onye with 7.72m in the F40 shot put.
Britain’s Steve Osborne finished fourth in a T51 100m final won by Belgium’s Peter Genyn in a championship record time of 20.93, while USA’s Raymond Martin won his second gold in Doha, winning the T52 100m after victory over 1500m.
Canada’s Brent Lakatos and Australia’s Angie Ballard were both denied wins that would have completed a hat-trick of victories in Doha, T53 100m and 200m champion Lakatos finishing second to China’s 100m silver medallist Li Huzhao over 400m and Ballard, who has won the T53 200m and 400m, getting bronze behind her team-mate Madison de Rozario and China’s Zhou Hongzhuan over 800m.
In those two races, Britain’s Mo Jomni finished fifth in the 400m event and Samantha Kinghorn followed up her T53 200m bronze, fifth place finish over 100m and sixth place in the T53 400m with a PB and seventh in the 800m final – her eighth race in six days. Their team-mate, T38 100m fourth-placer Olivia Breen, placed sixth in the long jump.
» Full results can be found at paralympic.org