Great Britain’s five-time Paralympic champion Hannah Cockroft has experienced a lot during her career but still could not anticipate what Sunday’s morning session reserved for her at the Dubai 2019 World Para Athletics Championships.
Hurricane Hannah smashed the women’s 100m T34 world record (16.77) to clinch her 11th World Championships gold medal.
“I remember sitting on the start line and then crossing the finish line, that’s literally it. I came into this race really calm. I knew I’d worked as hard as I could to be here. We were all chatting on the start line and it was all a lot of fun,” Cockroft said.
The British wheelchair racer was even more surprised with her time.
“I haven’t dipped below 17 seconds ever in my career, not even in training, so I have no idea where that came from. But I’m so pleased it did on race day.”
The gold has given confidence to Hannah about the future, as she now is hoping for more surprises next year at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.
“Now I’m a little bit confident for Tokyo but I don’t want to be too confident. This year in Nottwill [World Para Athletics GP] I also won gold and silver but that is just making me work harder.”
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I’ve done all I can do. Finally, after a 7 month season, tomorrow is the start of my @paraathletics World Championships! I race at the ghastly time of 5.25am Uk time (9.25am in Dubai), so I doubt there will be many of you up and about to tune in, but if you can, tune into the live stream on the @c4paralympics website (I’ll add a little swipe up to my story). Thanks for all the messages and the continued support, let’s go! ?? #hurricanehannah #worldchampionships #paraathletics #parasport #wheelchairracing #paralympian #greatbritain #britain #unionflag
Great Britain’s captain, Kare Adenegan, secured silver (17.49) and Alexa Kalko from USA got bronze with 18.83.
“I really wanted to come and win the gold. I would have been happy with silver because I know Kare has been working hard. She is strong and was the world record holder,” Cockroft said about Great Britain’s one-two finish.
Sunday’s first world record came in the men’s shot put F12 with Ukraine’s Roman Danuliuk (16.69). Spain’s Kim Gonzalez Lopez got silver (15.69) and Elbek Sultonov from Uzbekistan, the bronze (15.39).
Used to gold
Barbara Niewiedzial’s first appearance in a Worlds was in Birmingham 1998. More than 20 years later and she still is the one to beat in the women’s 1500m T20.
The Polish runner took her sixth world title (4:36.10) ahead of Ukraine’s Liudmyla Danylia (4:40.86) and IIona Biacsi of Hungary (4:43.16).
“I am used to being the world champion of the 1500m and I can’t imagine not being in the top of my discipline,” Niewiedzial said with a big smile in her face.
“I am still working hard and doing my best to stay in the top and it is working.”
USA’s Lex Gillette won his fourth world title in a row in the men’s long jump T11 (6.45) with China taking silver and bronze through Xingyu Chen (6.43) and Dongdong Di (6.33), respectively.
“Tokyo is always in mind, but now I will go home, take a few days off and enjoy this.” said Gillete.
China extended their lead in the medals table to eight golds with two victories on Sunday morning. Lijuan Zou won the women’s javelin throw F34 (19.33) and Juan Yao the women’s discus throw F64 (38.78).
Uzbekistan secured the second gold medal in Dubai with Bobirjon Omonov in the men’s shot put F41 (14.03).
The rainy morning session also saw Germany’s Johannes Floors break the men’s 100m T62 world record in the heats (10.54).