Four world records fell on Saturday (30 May), day two of the IPC Athletics Grand Prix in Nottwil, Switzerland, as the Netherlands’ Marlou van Rhijn (T43), Italy’s Martina Caironi (T42), and Finland’s Toni Piispanen (T51) all smashed their own 100m world records, and Canada’s Becky Richter broke the 26-year-old 100m T51 mark.
World and European champion van Rhijn shattered her T43 world record for the second time this year as she stormed to victory in the 100m T42-44.
The 23-year-old made light of a a 1.1m/s headwind as she pulled clear of the field at the Allianz supported event to power home in 12.82, knocking a further 0.03 seconds off the mark she set in Dubai, UAE, back in February.
“I am very pleased. It was a very nice race which can be better - but I can’t really say that with this time,” she said. “I’ve already run faster than this time before with help from the wind, I do hope that I can get faster and faster.”
In the same race World and Paralympic champion Caironi (15.15) finished in third and also knocked 0.03 seconds off the T42 mark she set in Italy two year ago.
“I’m really happy. I didn’t expect it. I felt that I was fast but looking at my place with the other girls I did not expect such a great time,” she said. “My aim this season is to run 15 seconds and I will do it step by step, starting today with 15.15.”
World, Paralympic and European champion Piispanen (20.97) sliced 0.14 off the previous world record he set in Switzerland three years ago, storming home well clear of the field.
Canada’s Becky Richter added her name to the history books as she broke the women’s 100m T51 record which had stood since 1989. The 33-year-old clocked 31.66, knocking 0.42 off the previous mark.
There was a new European record for Switzerland’s Bojan Mitic (15.68) in the 100m T34. The 29-year-old finished second behind Tunisia’s Paralympic and world champion Walid Ktila (15.35).
In other 100m races, Finland’s world number one Leo-Pekka Tahti (13.97) powered home to win the T54 class ahead of the Netherlands’ Kenny van Weeghel (14.12); Canada’s Brent Lakatos (14.68) enjoyed a convincing T53 win; Australia’s Angie Ballard (16.62) won the women’s T53; and the USA’s Tatyana McFadden (16.08) stormed home to victory in the women’s T54.
In fact McFadden’s 100m victory marked her third win of the day, having earlier triumphed in the 800m T54 and 1,500m T53/54.
The multiple Paralympic and world champion controlled the 800m T54 from the gun, and took the tape in 1:47.19 – the fastest time of the year so far. Japan’s Tsuchida Wakako (1:54.34) was second while McFadden’s teammate Susannah Scaroni (1:54.74) finished third overall.
It was a similar story in the 1,500m as McFadden (3:27.36) saw off her compatriot Amanda McGrory (T53) to take the win.
Ballard meanwhile secured her third win of the meeting, adding wins over 100m and 800m to her 400m T53 world record on Friday. Ranked third in the world in the 800m T53 this year, the 32-year-old saw off a tough field including her compatriot Madison de Rozario, the Oceanic record holder, to finish first overall after two heats (1:52.85). The USA’s Chelsea MClammer was second (1:53.10) with de Rozario third (1:53.94).
There was a double victory for home favourite and five-time world champion Marcel Hug. The 29-year-old got the better of Great Britain’s David Weir in the men’s 800m T54 in the morning, then followed up that success with victory over 1,500m later in the afternoon.
Racing in the seventh and final heat of the 800m, the world record holder took to the front with one lap to go and held on strongly to take the win in 1:34.67 ahead of Paralympic champion Weir (1:35.08).
"It was great. I was very happy Kenny van Weeghel took the first lap so I had a good position in second place. And so the second lap I could hold it and then David had to go the outside and I had the advantage,” said Hug.
"It was very important for the self-confidence [after last week's loss to Weir over one mile in London]. It's always really tough to beat him and I am really happy."
Japan’s Masayuki Higuchi impressed in the sixth heat finishing well clear of the field to clock the second fastest time overall (1:34.96).
In the 1,500m Hug (2:58.62) looked in control once more, tucked in comfortably behind the early leaders before pushing hard in the final 150m to get the better of Higuchi (2:58.91). Thailand’s Tana Rawat finished in third (2:58.92), with Weir in fourth place.
The USA’s Raymond Martin also notched up multiple wins on a terrific day of track and field action - in the 100m T52 (17.58) then later in the 1,500m, where he finished nearly 200m clear of the field (3:37.60).
Great Britain’s Hannah Cockroft also maintained her winning ways.
The 22-year-old multiple Paralympic, world and European champion began her day with victory in the women’s 800m T34 (2:10.43). Tucked in behind the Netherlands’ Desiree Vranken, the 22-year-old pounced with 200m to go, sprinting to the line with Australia’s Rosemary Little (2:10.96) chasing hard for second place.
Cockroft (17.91) then kept up her unbeaten seven-year run with a 100m win.
Saturday’s track action began with the men’s 800m T34, and it was Tunisia’s reigning World and Paralympic champion Walid Ktila who clocked the fastest of the two heats (1:44.98), whilst Finland’s Henry Manni notched up his second European record of the meeting so far as he finished third (1:45.62) behind the UAE’s Hammadi Mohamed (1:45.36). Manni triumphed later too in the 1,500m T34, clocking 3:40.97.
There was a thrilling race in the men’s 800m T53 as recently crowned marathon world champion Josh George (1:41.27) pipped Lakatos (1:41.37) to the line.
The American, who won marathon gold over the streets of London, Great Britain, last month to add to his 800m T53 gold at the 2013 World Championships, stayed on Lakatos’ shoulder for much of the race. A strong push in the closing 50m took him to the front just when it mattered.
"It was a good race. I just wanted to go out there test myself and see what happened,” said George “I decided to jump out and race in lane two and see if I could hang on and I was able to this time.
"London was huge and obviously one of the biggest victories on my career and it meant so much to me and my coaches to see our work pay off like that."
Thailand’s Kurattanasiri Pichaya (2:21.26) comfortably won the men’s 800m T52 (2:12.26), while T51 victory went to South Africa’s Nicolas Pieter Du Preez (3:01.33). Kuwait’s Ahmad Almutairi clocked 2:11.08 in the men’s T33, Luna Jansen of the Netherlands clocked 2:54.98 in the women’s T33, whilst T51 racer Richter crossed the line in 4:15.00.
Out in the field, the USA’s club throw F51 world record holder Rachael Morrison notched up her second consecutive Grand Prix victory after winning in the USA last month. The 27-year-old threw 17.32m with Richter second with a best of 16.37m.
Germany’s Anna-Katharina Nickels threw 5.82m in the women’s shot put F54 and added a second win of the day with 9.97m in the javelin F54; Canada’s Pamela LeJean also secured two wins, with 4.01m in the shot put F53 and 9.56m in the javelin F53; Luxemburg’s Tom Habscheid threw a best of 42.40m in the men’s discus F42 and 11.53m in the shot put F42; and Hungary’s Zsolt Kanyo threw 23.96m in the javelin F56 to add to his 7.47m win in the men’s shot put F56.
There were further wins for Hungary as Noemi Szigeti threw 3.80m to win the women’s shot put F32 and Istvan Szollosi won the shot put F20 with 11.85m.
The USA’s Anthony Pone registered a best of 9.38m in the men’s shot put F57; Cameroon’s Christian Gobe threw 9.26m in the F55 event and Ahmed Alhousani of the UAE managed 6.50m in the F33 class.
There were wins for Greece too as Lazaros Stefanidis threw 37.91m in the discus F37 and Gregorios Moschovidis reached 7.39m in the shot put F41.
All the official results can be found here: http://www.rollstuhlsportevents.ch/en/events_2015/athletics_parathletics_ipc_athletics_grand_prix_nottwil/results/
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