Dubai, Mar 22, 2017: Algeria’s Nadia Medjmedj record-breaking success continued, while British sprinters also made their marks on day three (Wednesday 22 March) of the season-opening Dubai Grand Prix in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
With less than four months to go before the London 2017 World Para Athletics Championships, Nadia Medjmedj (F56) notched Algeria’s third world record of the four-day event at the Dubai Club for the Disabled, throwing 26.17m in the women’s discus F56/57.
The 43-year-old, who won shot put and javelin bronze at last year’s Paralympic Games, added 1.50m on to the previous mark which had stood since 2003.
On the track, there was no surprise as Great Britain’s world and Paralympic 100m T38 champion Sophie Hahn sprinted to win the 100m T37/38 – her time of 12.87 just 0.27 seconds outside her own world record mark.
Fellow Briton Maria Lyle (T35) was the runaway winner in the 100m T35/36/42. The 17-year-old Paralympic bronze medallist finished in 14.38, more than two seconds clear of the field.
Great Britain’s Paul Blake (T36) and Jordan Howe (T35) took the top two spots in the 100m T35/36/42, clocking 12.56 and 12.75 respectively; Zachary Shaw, 21, finished fastest in the men’s 100m T12 with a time of 11.32.
There were wins too for fellow Brits James Arnott (T46) in the 100m T43-47 (11.45) and Craig Boardman in the 100m T34 (15.72).
Egypt’s Mostafa Mohamed clinched 100m T37 silver at Rio 2016, his first major medal since the 2011 World Championships. The 29-year-old will be hoping to maintain that form this year, and a win in the 100m T37/38 in Dubai, clocking 12.14, shows that he is headed in the right direction.
In other 100m events, Namibia’s Paralympic bronze medallist Ananias Shikongo (11.45) won the T11 race; Azerbaijan’s T13 sprinter Zeynal Miskarli (11.61) won the 100m T13/20; Swiss T52 wheelchair racer and five-time Paralympian Beat Boesch (18.22) won the T51/52 race; the UAE’s Mohammad Vahdani (14.54) was fastest in the T54 event; and Saudi Arabian T53 Para athlete Fahad Alganaidl (15.31) won the 100m T33/53.
In the women’s races Japan’s Saki Takakuwa (T44) won the 100m T44/47 (13.52) and Germany’s Janne Sophie Engeleiter (T13) won the 100m T12/13 (13.16).
There were six middle distance races on the penultimate day of competition, including the men’s 1,500m T54, typically one of the most competitive and eagerly anticipated races on the track.
Swiss Silver Bullet Marcel Hug, a familiar face at the Dubai Grand Prix in recent years, notched his third track victory of the year as he stopped the clock in 3:05.48, just 0.12 seconds ahead of Japan’s Masayuki Higuchi. Sho Watanabe, who beat Hug to the Tokyo marathon title in February, was third in 3:06.34.
Japan’s Paralympic silver medallist Tomoki Sato (3:54.00) made it two wins out of two as he added 1,500m T52 victory to his win over one lap a day earlier.
Kenyan Wesley Sang also secured double victory in Dubai. The T46 runner finished well clear of the field in the 1,500m T20/37/46, clocking 4:10.60, two days after winning the 800m T44/46.
It was a similar winning result for Muhsine Gezer, Turkey’s talented 13-year-old T20 runner. Winner over 800m on Monday (20 March), the teenager got the better of a strong field including Kenya’s experienced Paralympic 1,500m T11 silver medallist, Nancy Koech. Gezer stopped the clock at 5:13.08 in the women’s 1,500m T11/13/20.
Another Kenyan distance star beaten to the line in Dubai was Paralympic bronze medallist Henry Kirwa, who lost out to Algeria’s Fouad Baka – brother of Paralympic champion Abdellatif – in the men’s 1,500m T11/12/13.
Baka, who finished just outside the medals at Rio 2016, crossed the line in 4:09.37 with Kirwa second in 4:14.15.
Nigerian wheelchair racer Hannah Babalola continued to dominate the women’s T54 events. She notched her fifth gold medal in Dubai, adding to her 200m, 400m and 800m wins with victory in the 100m T34/53/54 (16.97). She ended the day as champion in the 1,500m T54 (3:53.60) too.
Out in the field, the battle between the stars of the F33 throwing events continued – and this time it was the turn of Paralympic silver medallist Kamel Kardjena of Algeria to rise to the top.
Defeated by Germany’s Daniel Scheil in the shot put F33 at Rio 2016, Kardjena won the event at the Dubai Grand Prix, getting the better of his two main rivals Scheil and Saudia Arabia’s Hani Alnakhli.
It was the third time the trio had lined up against one another this week. Alnakhli set a new world record to win the discus F33 on Monday (20 March), while Scheil won the javelin F33 a day later.
There was further joy for Algeria as Paralympic silver medallist Lahouari Bahlaz’s third round effort of 8.92m in the men’s shot put F32 was enough to win ahead of his teammate, two-time former Paralympic champion Karim Betina (8.82m).
The men’s long jump T42-47 was won by Japan’s Ashida Hajimu (T47) with a leap of 6.82m (935 points). His countryman, the reigning T42 world champion Atsushi Yamamoto, managed a best of 6.11m for second place.
Kazakhstan’s Islam Salimov (T13) leapt 6.63m (880 points) to win the men’s long jump T11/12/13 event.
Sweden’s Mohammad Al-Joburi (F42) won the discus F40/41/42 with 37.55m (729 points). Meanwhile the F34/54 throw was won by the UAE’s Abdullah Hayayei (F34) with a best of 28.52m (581 points).
Egypt’s Mohamed Ramadan managed a final round effort of 47.49m to take gold in the discus F37.
Yaser Abdelaziz Elsayed (F55) added to Egypt’s success. He finished well clear of the field in the javelin F55/56 after a third round effort of 30.22m. The javelin F12/13/35/38 gold went to world javelin F38 bronze medallist Petr Vratil of the Czech Republic thanks to his second round effort of 40.46m (749 points).
In the women’s shot put F11-13/35-38/40 Japan’s Yukiko Kato took the win – her best of 12.17m (984 points) over a metre clear of the field. Naibil Vatunisolo of Fiji threw a new F42 Oceania record of 5.85m.
Algeria’s Mounia Gasmi was a convincing winner in the women’s club throw F32/51. The world and Paralympic silver medallist managed a best of 25.85m, more than seven metres clear of her opposition.
Uzbekistani Natalya Semyonova (F55) threw 16.81m (857 points) to win the women’s javelin F52/53/54/55.
The Dubai Grand Prix concludes with the fourth and final day of competition on Thursday (23 March). Full results can be found at http://www.team-thomas.org/ —- IPC
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