The crowds erupted as local favourite Mandy Francois-Elie clinched France’s first gold medal on the track on day three of the IPC Athletics World Championships.
The 23-year-old set a new world record in qualifying on Sunday (21 July), and she looked in control as she sped round the bend before powering down the final stretch to take 200m T37 gold, much to the delight of her supporters in the stands.
Francois-Elie was clearly delighted with her win as she soaked up the cheers from the crowds, 10 months after the disappointment of the 2012 Paralympic Games, where she lost out on gold to Namibia’s Johanna Benson.
“It is a revenge for me and my family after the frustration I faced in London,” she said. “I ran with my heart and it brought me the gold medal.”
Great Britain’s Bethany Woodward won silver, while Benson only managed bronze this time around.
Yohansson Nascimento put in a gritty performance to clinch gold in the 200m T46, after Poland’s Michal Derus made the Brazilian work all the way to the line. Nascimento’s hard work paid off, with a new world record of 21.91.
Paralympic champion Australian Evan O’Hanlon continued his domination of the men’s 100m T38 as he successfully defended his title with a new championship record, despite having already raced out the blocks after a false start.
“I knew I was safe,” he said. “I would have liked to have finished that first run off as I thought I was going faster then, than the actual race.
“It’s hard when you’ve run 100m in this weather to then run another one. I didn’t expect to get pushed so hard but it’s no point winning if it’s not a challenge.”
The women's 100m T34 followed the formbook as Hannah Cockroft added the 100m title to the 200m gold she won on the opening day of competition.
The Briton clocked a new championship record of 17.88 as she powered away from her rivals to cross the line over one second ahead of Dutchwoman Amy Siemons. Australia’s Rosemary Little finished third, making it a repeat of the podium line-up at London last year.
Italy’s Oxana Corso set a new world record in the 100m T35 as she turned the tables on China’s Ping Liu, who had beaten the 18-year-old in London last year, winning gold in 15.63 seconds. Cananda’s Virginia McLachlan took silver with Ping Liu just clinching bronze.
photos Janos Schmidt
photos Janos Schmidt