Fourteen-year-old Holt claims world title with record breaking win

Doha, Oct 24, 2015: Australian teenager Isis Holt wrote herself into the record books on Saturday (24 October), the third day of the IPC Athletics World Championships in Doha, Qatar, with a sensational world record to win the women’s 200m T35.

The 14-year-old (28.58) took almost one second off her previous world record set in March to hold off a strong challenge from Great Britain’s 15-year-old European champion Maria Lyle (29.32), who smashed her own European record. Italy’s Oxana Corso (32.20), the 2013 world champion, set a personal best for bronze.

“I was quite nervous before the race, this is my first time overseas ever, so to come here and win and break the world record is so amazing for me on all levels,” said Holt who was one of three record breakers on Saturday.

Zhanbiao Hou won China’s fifth and final gold of the day for the medal table leaders in the discus F46, breaking the world record three times along the way. Hou first broke the record in the third round (51.27m) before he did it again in the fifth round (52.53m). He saved his best for last and finished with 52.64m in the final round to take gold ahead of his teammate and former world record holder Enlong Wei (50.29). Bronze went to Ukraine’s Dmytro Ibragimov (48.38m).

Cuba’s Omara Durand, who broke the 400m T12 world record on Friday, lowered her own two-month old 200m T12 best with a blistering 23.38 in the heats and will be confident of going faster in Sunday’s final.

The first track gold medal of the day was won by the Netherlands’ Marlou van Rhijn in the women’s 200m T43/44. The 24-year-old “Blade Babe” (25.75) was neck-and-neck with France’s Marie-Amelie Le Fur (26.58) coming off the bend and powered down the straight to retain her world title. Le Fur took silver with Fleur Jong (27.30) of the Netherlands a second and a half behind van Rhijn in bronze.

The men’s 1,500m T54 race lived up to all expectations and was won by Thailand’s Rawat Tana (3:04.35), the man who leads this year’s world rankings. In a thrilling finish, Tana held off Great Britain’s Paralympic champion David Weir (3:04.46) into silver and his own teammate Saichon Konjen (3:04.88) into bronze to top the podium. Switzerland’s defending champion Marcel Hug (3:04.97) was fifth.

“I am so happy to win and become world champion! Me and Saichon decided to work together and thankfully our tactic worked. It’s a big surprise to take the gold medal, but such a great feeling,” said Tana.

China’s Hongzhuan Zhou (3:40.87) dominated the women’s 1,500m and never gave up her lead after taking on the race with 600m to go. Silver and bronze went to Sweden’s Gunilla Wallengren (3:41.89) and Australia’s Madison de Rozario (3:42.03).

There was a Polish one-two in the women’s 1,500m T20. World record holder Barbara Niewiedzial (4:28.58) led home the field in a championship record. Arleta Meloch (4:34.05) took silver whilst Ukraine’s Lyudmyla Danylina (4:37.27) picked up the bronze.

Ireland won two gold medals in the space of 20 minutes thanks to Jason Smyth and Michael McKillop.

Smyth (10.62) retained his 100m T13 world title from two years ago with a convincing win over Brazil’s Gustavo Henrique Araujo (10.90) and Australia’s Chad Perris (10.96).

Equally as impressive was McKillop who sped away from his rivals at the halfway stage of the men’s 800m T38.

“This gold medal means a lot to me and I will forever remember this day, not because of the time but because I never thought I would get to the start line after a really horrific injury,” said McKillop. “It’s been so tough mentally but thanks to my family, and especially my girlfriend’s support, I am here and I am still unbeaten.”

Joining McKillop on the podium was Turkey’s Abbes Saidi (2:02.34) and France’s Louis Radius (2:05.39).

The women’s 100m T53 was won by China’s Lisha Huang (16.29) in a championship record. Turkey’s Hamide Kurt (17.10) set a European record for silver whilst Parapan American Games champion Jessica Cooper Lewis (17.40) won Bermuda’s first ever medal at a World Championships with bronze.

Tunisia’s Walid Ktila (52.83) is aiming to complete the double quadruple in Doha and he made a successful start. The 30-year-old retained the first of his four world titles with a win in the 400m T34.

“My victory was expected as I have worked extremely hard leading up to this championship. I wanted to break the world record but I am satisfied with this result,” Ktila said.

With 50m to go, Finland’s Henry Manni (53.68) overtook the United Arab Emirates’ Mohamed Hammadi (54.18) for the silver.

France’s Nantenin Keita (56.63) followed in the footsteps of her roommate Marie-Amelie le Fur by winning France’s second gold of Doha 2015 in the women’s 400m T13. She was too strong for her rivals and led home Tunisia’s Somaya Bousaid (58.38) and Morocco’s Sanaa Benhama (59.86) in silver and bronze.

Wenjun Liu (16.08) of China prevented Finland’s Amanda Kotaja (16.32) from completing the sprint double by winning the women’s 100m T54. Kotaja had to settle for silver ahead of the USA’s Hannah McFadden (16.91).

In the field Russia’s Vladislav Frolov (9.70m) won the first gold of the day in the men’s shot put F32. Algeria’s Karim Betina (7.83m) and Greece’s Dimitrios Zisidis (7.79m) joined him on the podium.

Iran claimed their first gold of Doha 2015 courtesy of London 2012 gold medallist Mohammad Khalvandi (43.76m) who retained his men’s javelin F57 world title. Syria’s Mohamad Mohamad (41.85m) took silver, one place ahead of Brazil’s Claudiney Batista dos Santos (41.70m).

Consistent jumping and two championship records resulted in Malaysia’s Abdul Latif Romly (7.35m) taking the men’s long jump T20 title. In a thrilling competition, Romly followed up a 7.29m first round jump with 7.35m in the second to hold on for gold by 3cm from Croatia’s Zoran Talic (7.32m). Bronze went to Dmytro Prudnikov (7.14m).

China claimed gold and silver in the women’s discus F11. Liangmin Zhang (36.03m) led throughout to top the podium ahead of teammate Hongxia Tang (34.01m). Izabela Campos (29.95m) of Brazil picked up the bronze.

There was a small shock in the women’s club F51 as Great Britain’s Joanna Butterfield (21.44m) won gold with a championship record to finish ahead of the USA’s world record holder Rachael Morrison (18.85m) who had to settle for silver.

“It is amazing to be world champion, I can’t quite believe that I am even here so it is fantastic. I knew I was in the best shape of my life so to win the gold medal is just an incredible feeling. I was paralysed only five years ago so it has been quite a journey for me,” said Butterfield.

Becky Richter (15.11m) took bronze for Canada.

Azerbaijan maintained their record of medalling in jumping events. Kamil Aliyev (7.13m) took the title by just 6cm from China’s Mingyu Chen (7.07m) who set an Asian record. Malaysia’s Mohamad Saifuddin Ishak (6.94m) completed the medal winners.

All three medallists in the men’s shot put F41 set personal bests. Poland’s Bartosz Tyszkowski (13.43m) took the top step of the podium whilst Germany’s Niko Kappel (12.85m) and Brazil’s JDS Santos (12.32m) finished with silver and bronze respectively. —- IPC

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