Cockroft’s golden hat-trick for Great Britain

Rio de Janeiro, Sept 16, 2016: Golden hat-trick, Great Britain’s queen of the track Hannah Cockroft made it a golden hat-trick at Rio 2016 on Friday (16 September) with victory in the 800m T34 as Team USA also notched up two spectacular golds.


Cockroft has always made clear her preference for the shorter sprints, but the reigning world champion and world record holder took the race on from the gun and victory never looked in doubt as she powered home in 2:00.62.

US teenager Alexa Halko (2:02.08) came through for second as Cockroft’s 15-year-old teammate Kare Adenegan (2:02.47) clinched bronze. Cockroft may be only 24-years-old, but the future of T34 racing is already very bright.

Out in the field the USA’s David Blair proved that age is certainly no barrier to success. The 40-year-old only returned to track and field last year after a 16-year break from sport, but he certainly impressed on his Paralympic Games debut, extending the world record he set earlier this year with a winning throw of 64.11m in the men’s discus F44.

Trinidad and Tobago’s Akeem Stewart (61.72m) set a new F43 Paralympic record as he added discus silver to the javelin F44 he won earlier at Rio 2016 – his country’s second medal of the Games. Bronze went to Athens 2004 champion Dan Greaves (59.57m) of Great Britain.

The high jump competition continued to capture the attention of the Brazilian crowd as this time it was the turn of the men’s T47 event.

The USA’s Roderick Townsend-Roberts entered the competition at 1.99m and was the only competitor to clear the next three heights up to 2.09m, which he managed at the first attempt each time.

The 24-year-old world champion did attempt a new world record height of 2.13m but couldn’t quite manage it – this time.

It’s been a very long season and I just can’t wait to go home and have a slice of pizza. Aside from that I realise that this is what I’ve been training for all year, so to come away with what I wanted – I’m very humble and very excited.”

China’s Hongjie Chen (1.99m) won silver on countback ahead of Australia’s Aaron Chatman (1.99m).

There were two further finals on the track in the evening session – China’s Cuiqing Liu (56.71) rounded off her Rio 2016 campaign with a win in the women’s 400m T11.

It meant a full set of individual medals for the 24-year-old who has already won 200m T11 silver and 100m T11 bronze, as well as relay gold at these Games.

Venezuela’s Sol Rojas (57.64) clinched silver while home favourite Terezinha Guilhermina (57.97) picked up her first individual medal of the Games, having been disqualified in both the 100m and 200m T11.

Algeria’s seven-time Paralympic medallist Samir Nouioua (3:59.46) put in a sensational last lap of 56.28 seconds as he sprinted home to gold in the men’s 1,500m T46.

Uganda’s David Emong (4:00.62) tried valiantly to catch up but had to make do with silver, while Australia’s Michael Roeger (4:01.34) won bronze.

Germany’s world champion Sebastian Dietz added the shot put F36 Paralympic title to his collection with his penultimate effort of 14.84m, a new Games record. Silver went to Ukraine’s Mykola Dibrova (14.26m) and bronze to China’s Cuiqing Li (14.02m).

Gold in the women’s shot put F33 went to Algeria’s Asmahan Boudjadar (5.72m) – a new African record for the 36-year-old.

Qatari Sara Hamdi Masoud (5.39m) clinched silver with a new Asian record, while world silver medallist Brydee Moore of Australia lost out on a medal by just one centimetre as the UAE’s Sara Alsenaani (5.09m) rose to the bronze medal position with her final throw of the competition.

Silvania lands gold – just like her brother

Brazil’s Silvania Costa de Oliveira kept winning in the family as she took gold in a spectacular women’s long jump T11 competition on Friday (16 September) as world records continued to fall in the field and out on the track.


Costa de Oliveira, 29, followed in the footsteps of her brother Ricardo who won the men’s event on the opening day of competition at Rio 2016 as she clinched her first Paralympic title with her final leap of the day, just like her brother eight days previously.

“I think my mother might have got a heart attack!” said Costa de Oliveira.

“I’m so happy, I need to get my feet back on the ground because I feel like I’m still in the air after that jump.

“Since August I’ve felt the great the support from the Brazilian people and this victory is like a cake where everyone who contributed with an ingredient can join the celebration party.”

The reigning world champion looked to be heading for a silver medal but in the final round she managed a terrific leap of 4.98m, surpassing the 4.89m mark that Fatimata Diasso of Ivory Coast set in the fourth round.

Diasso took silver and Brazilian Lorena Salvatini Spoladore (4.71m) won bronze.

Serbia’s Zeljko Dimitrijevic improved his own world record twice as he won the men’s club throw F51.

The 45-year-old reigning Paralympic and world champion added a phenomenal 2.87m on to his previous world best with his first throw of the competition, then added a further five centimetres in the fourth round to seal the win with 29.96m.

Dimitrijevic’s teammate Milos Mitic, world bronze medallist last year, threw 26.84m for silver while bronze went to Slovakia’s Marian Kureja (26.82m).

Bulgaria’s world champion Ruzhdi Ruzhdi also got the men’s shot put F55 underway with a new world record in the opening round, adding 29 centimetres on to his previous best with a throw of 12.33m.

That mark proved enough for Ruzhdi to finish top of the podium, as Iran’s Hamed Amiri threw a T54 world record of 11.40m – nearly one metre further than the previous mark set in 2009 – to clinch silver. Bronze went to Poland’s Lech Stoltman (11.39m) just one centimetre behind.

Iraq’s Garrah Tnaiash clinched his first Paralympic title with a win – and a new Paralympic record – in the men’s shot put F40.

The 25-year-old, who won the world title last October, managed a best of 10.76m in the fourth round as he finished ahead of China’s Zhenyu Chen (10.10m) and Tunisia’s Smaali Bouaabid (9.44m), silver and bronze medallists respectively.

Out on the track, South Africa’s Charl du Toit (51.13) tore through the field in the men’s 400m T37, setting a new Paralympic record to take his second gold of Rio 2016, having already won the 100m T37 on Sunday (11 September).

The 23-year-old was the clear winner as he finished more than two seconds ahead of his rivals – smiling as he did so.

Venezuela’s Omar Monterola (52.93) took silver and Algeria’s Sofiane Hamdi (53.01) won bronze.

Victory in the men’s 400m T36 went to Great Britain’s Paul Blake (54.49), who improved on his silver medal over one lap four years ago.

The 26-year-old ran from lane eight and looked strong throughout as he clocked a season’s best to claim his first Paralympic title – and Great Britain’s 50th of the Games.

Ukraine’s Roman Pavlyk (55.67) and New Zealander William Stedman (55.69) finished strongly to clinch silver and bronze respectively.

Poland’s defending champion Barbara Niewiedzial (4:24.37) left her rivals behind as she sprinted home to take the win in the women’s 1,500m T20 just three days after crashing to the floor as she crossed the line in the 400m T20.

Japan’s Sayaka Makita had set the early pace then with two laps to go Ukraine’s Liudmyla Danylina took to the front, but she was no match for Niewiedzial who stormed past with 200m to go.

The Pole set a new Games record for gold while Hungary’s London 2012 bronze medallist Ilona Biacsi came through for silver (4:27.88) and Danylina (4:28.78) took the bronze.

The USA’s Deja Young(25.46) secured her sprint double at Rio 2016 with a win in the women’s 200m T47. Champion over 100m five days previously, Young was a clear winner as she took the tape ahead of Poland’s silver medallist Alicja Fiodorow (25.61) and China’s bronze medallist Lu Li (26.26) – although she admitted her success had yet to sink in.

There was a new world record for China’s men’s 4x400m T53/54 relay quartet, who clocked 3:04.77 in the heats – knocking 0.69 seconds off the mark they set at London 2012. —- IPC

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