British wheelchair racer wins medal despite surgery this summer, while India’s Sandeep Chaudhary gets javelin gold with world record throw

Sammi Kinghorn added a bronze medal to Great Britain and Northern Ireland’s medal tally at the World Para Athletics Championships in Dubai on Friday.

On day two of the championships, the defending world T53 100m and 200m champion clocked 16.64 to finish third in the shorter event as China’s Fang Gao broke the championship record with 16.26 to get gold ahead of her team-mate Zhou Hongzhuan (16.58).

“I’m so happy with the bronze,” said Kinghorn, who had taken time out over the summer for surgery.

“Obviously, it’s tough when you come in as the defending champion but after the year I have had, I am so pleased to make it on to the podium.

“My family will agree. This year has been really tough, so I was honestly thinking I’d be top five but to win a bronze is great. I’ll be ready to fight for a higher medal in Tokyo.”

On the race, she added: “I got a much better start than last night (in the heat) but I kind of slipped a few times. I sort of panicked. But that’s fine – if I came off the track saying everything was perfect, I’d be pretty worried. Even coming away with a world bronze, I know I can do even better.

“It gives me so much confidence for next year because I know I can go a lot faster than that. There’s going to be a tough training block ahead, but I’m now focused to be on that podium.”

World records were broken in the men’s F64 javelin throw as India’s Sandeep Chaudhary threw 66.18m to improve his own world record in the F44 category, while his team-mate Sumit Sumit threw 62.88m to improve the F64 world record and secure silver.

“I’m really satisfied with my performance as it was my personal best and it is also a new world record,” said Chaudhary.

“Sumit trains with me and he is also doing a really good job. It’s great news for India – world record and two medals tonight. I’m really happy for him and we are delighted to make our country proud.”

There was a 12th world title for Canada’s Brent Lakatos as he won the T53 100m in 14.59.

“I’m just really relived,” said the Paralympic champion, who is married to GB’s 2017 world T44 long jump winner Stef Reid, who is missing the Dubai event through injury.

“I was quite nervous – even though I have the world record and I was probably the favourite going in, I was quite nervous as it has been a tough season. To be able to get that out of the way and do well in it, I’m really relieved and happy.”

Asked about his schedule for the week, he replied: “Everything! The 100m, 400m, 800m, 1500m and 5000m.”

Leo-Pekka Tähti of Finland retained his T54 100m title with time of 13.97, while his team-mate Amanda Kotaja also got gold after a win in the women’s event in 16.00, breaking the championship record.

There were also double golds for Brazil and China as Júlio César Agripino won the men’s T11 1500m (4:07.02) and Thiago Paulino claimed the men’s F57 shot put title (14.68m) for Brazil, while Peng Zhou jumped 6.23m to gain another gold for China to go with Gao’s T53 100m win.

Colombia’s Dixon Hooker won the men’s T38 400m in 51.10, while Italy’s world record-holder Assunta Legnante won the women’s F12 shot put (15.83m), Oksana Zubkovska of Ukaraine won the women’s T12 long jump with 5.73m and Tunisia’s Maroua Ibrahmi got gold in the women’s F32 club throw (24.45m).

Britain’s Lydia Church, making her senior international debut, finished seventh in the F12 shot put with a best throw of 11.25m, while Richard Chiassaro secured his spot in the men’s T54 800m final after placing second in his heat behind multiple world champion Marcel Hug of Switzerland to progress automatically.

USA’s Daniel Romanchuk was another heat winner but Nathan Maguire narrowly missed out on a place to join them in the final.

Their British team-mates Isaac Towers (53.54) and Ben Rowlings (53.71) both qualified for the men’s T34 400m final, which saw Tunisia’s Walid Ktila break the championship record in the first round with 49.31.

Full results can be found here, while further Dubai 2019 news and coverage can be found here.

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