26th July 2017
The World Para Athletics Championships - The Review: Part One
After all the build-up, it was finally time for the athletes to take to the track and the field as they aimed for glory, for many, in their backyard. London holds special memories for many after 2012, but new memories were waiting to be created for a whole raft of athletes.
As the fans made their way into their seats, they knew the first chance of a British medal on the track came in the form of the T34 100m, with Hannah Cockroft not disappointing as she blasted to a world record of 17.18 to take the title; compatriot Kare Adenegan bagging her fourth world medal with a silver.
As the adulation rained in for the Brits on the track, another was going well in the field. Gemma Prescott, a medallist in Rio, matched that result in London, taking a brilliant bronze in the F32 club throw to make it a hat trick of medals on the opening night.
Day two will go down as ‘Super Saturday’ as nine medals were won across the day, five of which were gold with many personal bests along the way.
After 11 years of trying, Stef Reid finally achieved the world gold medal she dreamed of, dominating the women’s T44 long jump in the morning session to take a popular win.
The highly anticipated evening session did not disappoint either.
Sophie Hahn stormed to the T38 200m crown in world record time as Kadeena Cox earned the bronze in the same race.
Team captain Hollie Arnold added 1cm to her world record to take a terrific third world F46 javelin title of her young career as Richard Whitehead powered to the T42 200m title in style with Dave Henson collecting his first world bronze medal.
The T33 100m proved successful for the Brits as Toby Gold earned the silver and Andy Small took the bronze, matching their result from Rio.
Bringing a fabulous evening to a close was Sammi Kinghorn who blew away the field for a magnificent victory in the T53 200m in world record time, creating mass celebrations around the arena on a wonderful evening for the British contingent.
Returning to the scene of his finest triumph, Jonnie Peacock once again sent the crowds into raptures as he won the T44 100m world title in front of a 30,000 plus crowd. After almost dipping under the world record in his heats, he battled cramp heading into the final a couple of hours later, pulling away from the field to wow the boisterous home crowd.
Earlier in the day Aled Davies won his fifth world title, taking the F42 discus in a championship record, whilst Maria Lyle overcame injury to win the bronze medal in the T35 200m.
The medals kept raining in on day four as 30,000 school children made their way into the London Stadium.
One of the standout performances of the day came from Olivia Breen who produced a huge personal best to capture her first world title in the T38 long jump. A very consistent series backed up her 4.81m PB leap.
During the evening session, there was delight for Sophie Kamlish who after setting a world record in her heat in the morning (12.90), won the gold in the evening to match her roommates victory in the morning. Beating Marlou van Rhijn for only the second time in her career, it was a breakthrough moment for the Kingston University student.
Hannah Cockroft added her second gold medal of the week to the collection, regaining the T34 800m title with teenager Kare Adenegan bagging the bronze.
Richard Whitehead added a first ever T42 100m world medal to his tally, winning the bronze.
There were plenty of encouraging performances on day five as Luke Sinnott finished fourth in the T42, but not before plenty of drama. After three fouls from his opening three jumps, the pressure was on for the debutant, but a final round 6.15m leap moved him to fourth.
Richard Chiassaro was fourth in the T54 200m, recovering from a crash in the 800m final the day before, whilst Nathan Maguire was sixth in his first ever world championship final.