13th November 2019
HAHN CAPTURES WORLD TITLE NUMBER SEVEN IN RECORD-BREAKING STYLE
Sophie Hahn (coach: Leon Baptiste; club: Charnwood) delivered another spectacular display for the second successive day at the World Para Athletics Championships in Dubai, adding T38 200m gold to her 100m title in world record time.
Hahn, who set a global best over 100m on Tuesday, took 0.01s off her own 200m record, getting out of the blocks well and maintaining her form in a fast and furious contest, clocking 25.92 (+1.2m/s).
The now seven-time world champion said: “That was absolutely incredible. I have no idea where that world record came from. I didn’t think I could run it for 200m so it’s really surprising. It’s been a perfect couple of days.”
“I got out hard I’ve been working a lot on coming off the bend fast. I’m glad the hard work has paid off. To match what I did in London is incredible.”
Hahn, who still has the 4x100m universal relay to come on Thursday, added: “It’s a special moment and I’m absolutely delighted. I want to thank my coach Leon Baptiste and my strength and conditioning coach, Sam Heathcote who have helped me to get in this position.”
Following a silver medal in the T38 400m on Monday, Kadeena Cox (Matt Cullen; Sale Harriers Manchester) returned to the track and captured sixth place in the same final as Hahn, recording a seasons best of 28.08 in only her second 200m of the season. Luca Ekler (HUN) and Rhiannon Clarke (AUS) bagged silver and bronze respectively.
Paul Blake (Rob Ellchuk; Dorchester) made light work of his T36 400m heat, comfortably securing automatic qualification into tomorrow morning’s final, clocking a season’s best 55.85s in the process.
Blake got out well and was comfortably in the top three places as he entered the top bend, continuing to push as he hit the home straight to pass Poland’s Krzysztof Ciuksza to clinch second place, with James Turner (AUS) automatically qualifying as victor in 55.67s.
He feels he executed a strong race but admits he will have to go quicker in the final tomorrow in order to ensure that he books himself a spot on the podium
He said: “The main aim was just to conserve as much energy as possible going into the final tomorrow which is what I managed to do. I executed the race how I wanted to, but I can’t really ask for more.
“Since the 800m I’ve been resting up for the 400m. The 400m is a lot different because it’s just pure speed and I’m used to more of an endurance background but it’s still really good fun.
“To medal would be amazing but I know that I have to go quicker than that if I want to do that, which I know I’m capable of doing, but it all comes down to executing the race right and then we’ll see what happens.”
Earlier in the day, just seven months after giving birth, Libby Clegg (Joe McDonnell; Charnwood) and her guide Tom Somers (Benke Blomkvist; Newham & Essex Beagles) competed in the T11 semi-finals during the morning session. However, they were unfortunately disqualified under the rule prohibiting the guide runners from ‘pushing, pulling or otherwise propelling’ their athlete after the bend.
She returned to the track after qualifying for the semi-finals on Tuesday evening where she clocked 26.69, a seasons best. After racing in a British vest since for the first time since winning double gold at the Paralympics in Rio, Clegg reflected:
“I had a really good bend but then I didn’t come off it properly and went too early, went wide and it threw us out of sync a bit. It’s about our third race this year but I can’t complain I’m really happy.
“Getting back on the track is a huge achievement after having my little boy seven months ago today and I’ve been through a lot over the last three years and to be honest, after Rio I didn’t know whether I’d even be able to make it this long so I’m really happy and it gives me more determination to come back next year and beat them.”
Returning to the track less than 24 hours after placing fifth in the T13 long jump final, Zak Skinner (Aston Moore; Loughborough Students) was fifth in his T13 100m heat which left him outside the qualification spots for the evening’s final.
With only top two guaranteed qualification and two fastest no automatic qualifiers, his 11.36 (+0.8) clocking brought his 2019 season to a close.