Sunday, 04 June 2023 11:59 GMT

Flurry of world records on day one of IPC Athletics in Qatar

(MENAFN- The Peninsula) Hannah Cockroft of Great Britain celebrates her victory in the Women’s 100m T34 Final at the IPC Athletics Championships at Qatar Sports Club yesterday.

DOHA: With the world’s best para-athletes all in Doha for the first-ever IPC Athletics World Championships held in the Middle East the boundaries of human capacity was always going to be pushed to new heights along with a trail of new world records.

Vanessa Low of Germany led by example after convincingly winning the gold medal and setting a new world record in the process in the women’s T42 Long Jump final.

The previous record was 4.60m set by Italy’s Martina Caironi earlier this year but here in Doha she had to settle for second as Low leapt to an unprecedented 4.79m.

“It feels amazing to be World Champion. I have had a really tough season so far but my team has pushed me hard to get me here and I am over the moon to have broken the world record” Low said while commenting on her experience of competing in Qatar for the first time: “It’s really interesting to be here it’s a new experience – but a good one! Everyone is really friendly and welcoming and Doha is such as beautiful city.”

Another superwoman on show tonight was Great Britain’s 18-year-old Sophie Hahn who broke the world record in the women’s 100m T38 event.

Speaking after her incredible feat Hahn said: “It feels amazing to be a world champion and to smash the world record. I am in shock and really didn’t know I could run this fast! I’ve got to thank my coaches and my family but also to the wonderful volunteers here in Doha. They’re really great and they take such good care of us. Qatar’s been amazing so far.”

Earlier in the day teammate Kadeena Cox also broke a world record in the qualifying heat for the women’s T37 100m sprint final an event she subsequently went on to win ahead of fellow Briton Georgina Hermitage and Russia’s Anna Sapozhnikova. The gold rush was not over for Great Britain though with the stalwart favourite in the women’s T34 100m final Hannah Cockroft crushing her opponents with ease.

“Despite this being one of my easier wins it still feels amazing to win here. I guess I’ll celebrate once I have done the 400 and 800 metres. For now I’m a little bit disappointed that I didn’t get the world record which I’ve been chasing all season but I’m at the top of the podium and that’s all that matters.”

Cockroft is one of the true icons of para-sports having dominated the wheelchair races over the last few years. The reigning Paralympic champion finds life in the Middle East particularly pleasing: “It’s been fantastic to be here in Doha. We have filled lots of seats so it’s incredible. The advertising has been brilliant and I keep driving past posters with my face on it. It’s amazing!”

The third world record of the evening came when Russia’s Roman Danyluk threw 16.64m in the Men’s shot put F12 followed by the Men’s T37 200m final where Russia’s Andrey Vdovin cruised in to the near unfathomable time of 22.59. The final record was broken by France’s Marie Le Fur in the long jump T44 with a distance of 5.84.

Meanwhile the women’s F32 Club Throw final provided North African sports fans with a reason to cheer as Tunisia’s Maroua Ibrahimi took the gold medal narrowly ahead of Mounia Gasmi from Algeria in second and Britain’s Abbie Hunnisett in third.

The evening session concluded an exhilarating opening day of the World Championships here at Qatar Sports Club where 72 medals were shared between 32 nations. China are leading the medals table with 4 gold 3 silver and 3 bronze just ahead of Great Britain’s 4 gold 1 silver and 2 bronze. Germany sit third with their fair share of the count – 2 gold and 2 bronze.

Earlier speaking a press conference to mark the start of the competition Dr Thani Abdulrahman Al Kuwari President of the Local Organising Committee and Secretary General of the Qatar Olympic Committee said: “Qatar is a nation passionate about sport and we believe in the power of sport. We want to make this event all about the sport and we hope that everyone enjoys the Championships . The athletes competing will inspire surprise and amaze spectators from Qatar and across the Middle East. They are beyond incredible and we wish them the best of luck in their competitions.”

Also speaking at the press conference Sir Philip Craven President of the International Paralympic Committee said:

“Here in Qatar the teams and athletes have some of the best facilities in the world at their disposal and I think this will ensure we have some remarkable and beyond incredible performances. Qatar has a great mentality about what sport can do for everyone. Sport is a great vehicle that unites everyone together.”

Today’s action will start at 4pm. Children below the age of four and pensioners aged 60+ go for free. All proceeds will be donated to charity. Ooredoo are also providing the opportunity for crowds to win iPhones as prizes.

The Peninsula

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