Stadskanaal – Netherlands, June 24, 2012: The rain may have fallen throughout the first day of competition at the 2012 IPC Athletics European Championships in Stadskanaal, the Netherlands, but it did not stop a number of athletes delivering some sensational performances in terrible conditions.
A total of 22 gold medals were up for grabs on Sunday (24 June) – 14 in the field and 8 on the track – and the medals were evenly spread with 21 of the 38 countries taking part winning at least one medal.
Although Russia sit atop the medals table with four golds, five silvers and one bronze medal, it was Greece who secured the first gold of the Championships in a thrilling women’s long jump F13 competition.
After sitting in second place for the whole competition, Anthi Karagianni (4.96m) saved her best jump for the last round to beat Ukraine’s Iulia Korunchak into silver (4.89m) by just 7cm.
Sweden’s Jeffrey Ige added the European title to the world crown he won last year in the men’s shot put F20. The 28 year old world record holder threw 13.50m in the final round to stand top of the podium ahead of the Greek duo of Efstratios Nikolaidis (13.01m) and Kostas Dibidis (12.53m) in silver and bronze respectively.
Miroslav Matic (9.33m/585 points), a F51 thrower, claimed Croatia’s first gold of the Championships in the men’s discus F51/52/53. Silver went to Slovenia’s Joze Flere (7.84m/373 points) whilst bronze was won by Czech Republic’s F53 thrower Ales Kisy (16.08m/281 points).
Ukraine’s reigning Paralympic champion in the men’s discus F11, Vasyl Lishchynskyi (37.36m), boosted his preparations for London 2012 easily taking European gold. His opening throw put him well ahead of Austria’s Bil Marinkovic (33.03m) in silver and Poland’s Miroslaw Madzia (30.70m) in bronze.
After winning bronze at the last two Paralympics, Czech Republic’s European record holder Eva Berna finally clinched gold in the women’s shot put F37. The 26 year old’s throw of 10.24m saw off Great Britain’s Beverly Jones (9.94m) into silver and Viktorya Yasevych (9.42m) into bronze.
The closest event of the day was the men’s shot put F54 which saw the gold and silver medalists separated by just 1cm. World and Paralympic silver medalist Drazenko Mitrovic (8.90m) of Serbia edged out world record holder and 2004 Paralympic champion Georg Tischler (8.89m) of Austria to win gold. Bronze went to Greece’s Manolis Stefanoudakis (8.37m).
A strong wind of 2.4m/s prevented a leap of 6.14m/1008points from Russia’s Gocha Khugaev from counting as a new world record in the men’s long jump F37/38. It did win the 27 year old F37 European record holder gold however ahead of Ukraine’s Andriy Onufriyenko (5.79m/931 points) in silver. Khugaev’s teammate Vladislav Barinov (5.62m/924 points) claimed bronze.
A season’s best throw of 46.05m/944 points was enough to win Lithuania’s Mindaugas Bilius gold in the men’s discus F37/38. The Ukrainian duo of Mykola Zhabnyak (44.59m/927 points) and Oleksandr Doroshenko (40.57m/919 points), the F38 European record holder, took silver and bronze respectively.
The men’s discus F57/58 was won by Great Britain’s Derek Derenalagi. The F57 thrower produced 41.41m/826 points in the final round to take gold. Silver went to Russia’s F58 world champion and world record holder Alexey Ashapatov (46.85m/795 points) whilst bronze was won by the fellow F58 athlete Jaroslav Petrous (45.94m/773 points) of the Czech Republic.
Belarus won their first gold of the event thanks to Aliaksandr Subota (13.33m) in the men’s triple jump F46. Spain’s Antonio Andujar Arroyo (13.04m) took silver.
Serbia claimed gold in the men’s javelin F12/F13. World bronze medalist Milos Grlica (55.81m/927 points) stood top of the podium beating Poland’s former world champion Miroslaw Pych (50.79m/834 points) and Croatia’s Branimir Dubetic (49.75m/813 points) into silver and bronze.
Maria Stamatoula (17.43m/923 points) of Greece won the women’s club throw F31/32/51 in a new F32 European record. Ireland’s F51 world record holder Catherine O’Neill (12.74m/879 points) took silver and Czech Republic’s Vendula Pisarikova (12.21m/607 points) bronze.
Russia claimed gold and silver in the women’s javelin F57/58. Gold went to Olga Sergienko (20.20m/836 points), who was just outside her own European record, whilst silver was won by teammate Larisa Volik (18.91m/772 points).
The final field event of the day was the men’s javelin F44 and saw host nation the Netherlands win gold, their first medal of the Championships. Ronald Hetog (52.09m) took top spot, with Russia’s Eveny Gudkov (48.83m) in silver and Ukraine’s Maksym Solyankin (47.94m) in bronze.
Due to the weather the men’s shot put F55 was cancelled and will now take place on Monday (25 June).
Greece also won the first gold medal on the track on the first day of competition in the women’s 400m T13. A season’s best for Paralympic silver medalist Alexandra Dimoglou (58.47) saw her finish in front of Ukraine’s Olena Glibebova (59.22) and Poland’s Anna Duzikowaka (1:03.74) who took home silver and bronze.
The men’s 100m T11 was won by Azerbaijan’s Elchin Murado (11.49) ahead of Portugal’s Firmino Baptista (11.71) and Spain’s Martin Arejo Maza (12.22), who both recorded season’s best times.
Gold and bronze in the men’s 100m T12 went to Polish athletes in a very close and fast race considering the conditions. World champion Mateusz Michalski (10.85) took gold in a season’s best time while his teammate Jerzy Wierzbicki (11.49) took the third podium spot. Silver was won by Russia’s Fedor Trikolich (10.95).
Russia’s Ivan Otleykin (13.89), a bronze medalist over 200m at last year’s World Championships, stormed to gold in the men’s 100m T35. In a close race he beat teammate Andrey Antipov (13.97) into silver with Ukraine’s Iurii Tsaruk (14.02) in bronze.
Boosted by Otleykin’s victory, teammate Evgenii Shvetcov (12.16) secured Russia’s second gold in a row in the men’s 100m T36. His win was something of a shock as Great Britain’s Graeme Ballard (12.49), who set a new world record in May, could only manage bronze. Silver was won by Ukraine’s Roman Pavlyk (12.44).
The much anticipated men’s 100m T42 was won by German world champion Heinrich Popow (12.66). The Ottobock ambassador led home a strong field with Denmark’s Daniel Jorgensen (12.81) in silver and Great Britain’s Richard Whitehead (13.07) in bronze.
Tracey Hinton (13.22) won Great Britain’s second gold of the day in the women’s 100m T11. Greece’s Paraskevi Kantza (13.52) took silver with Czech Republic’s Miroslava Sedlackova (13.96) in bronze.
A third gold soon followed for Great Britain in the women’s 100m T12, the final track event of the day. World champion Libby Clegg (12.55) stormed to victory beating Portugal’s Anna Kaniuk (12.66) and Slovakia’s Hanka Kolnikova (12.69) into silver and bronze respectively.
The IPC Athletics European Championships, featuring around 520 athletes from 38 countries, will run through until Thursday 28 June and is the last major international athletics event ahead of the London 2012 Paralympic Games.
For more information on the event, please visit www.ipcathleticseurochamps.com. To follow live results from the competition, please click on the event schedule/results tab.
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