Hollie Arnold (coach: David Turner; club: Blackheath & Bromley) and Jonathan Broom-Edwards (Graham Ravenscroft; Newham & Essex Beagles) claimed impressive world titles to cap a stunning night of World Para Athletics Championship action in Dubai yesterday.
For Arnold, it was a fourth consecutive F46 javelin title, winning in a personal best, Championship and European record of 44.73m, while for Broom-Edwards, it was a magnificent return to the world stage after a lengthy injury, winning the T64 high jump title with a 2.02m effort.
Further success came in the form of superb silver from Kadeena Cox (Matt Cullen; Sale Harrier Manchester) and Thomas Young (Joe McDonnell; Charnwood) in the T38 400m and T38 100m respectively, adding to Jo Butterfield’s silver in the F51 club throw from the morning session.
After taking the lead in round one with a 40.87m effort, it was Arnold’s third round effort of 44.73m that earned her a record fourth consecutive World Para Athletics F46 javelin title.
“After winning gold, Arnold said: “I’m so happy, this season has been so, so long, so I’m really happy to go out there and get a PB and a gold medal. That’s what I wanted to do and I had a really good series as well. Obviously, I really wanted that world record, but that’s where Tokyo is going to come into it and I can’t wait for that.
“I was really pumped for it and to be able to put my position as last to throw, so I kind of did that. I was so pumped and so ready, it didn’t feel amazing, but it did at the same time and that was really nice because there is so much more to come.
“Title number four is just as special as title number one. It’s really hard when you come here as the defending champion, but I’m just so happy it’s over now and I can’t wait to get on that podium and get my gold medal.”
Following an Achilles injury in 2018, Broom-Edwards returned to the international stage in style by winning his maiden T64 high jump title.
The 31-year-old kept his competition alive with a third-round clearance at 1.99m, but it was his final attempt at 2.02m that saw him snatch the title from under the nose of Temurbek Giyazov (UZB) to earn his first World Para Athletics Championship gold.
After making his triumphant return to the world stage, Broom-Edwards feels he has put his injury worries to bed and shown that he can be a serious contender on the world stage when it counts.
He assessed: “There are just so many different emotions flowing through me today. I don’t know if I’m going to sleep tonight, it’s been a long time coming and it’s been a hard 18 months, but I made it and it definitely gives me some relief.
“Even though I didn’t perform as well as I would have hoped, to get what I came out here to do makes me really happy. It would have been nice to get a season’s best and edge towards my personal best, but that will come when I’m ready. I’m happy that when it counted, I managed to pull it out the bag.
“It’s a proud moment to achieve what I have achieved definitely. I will probably end up crying on the podium I’m sure, but it’s a stepping stone to the main event which is Tokyo next year.”
In the T38 400m final, Kadeena Cox (Matt Cullen; Trafford) captured world silver, adding to the gold she won in London two years ago with a season’s best 62.20s, with Ali Smith (Chris Zah; Guildford & Godalming) fourth in a season’s best 65.45s.
After holding her own through the first 200m, Cox moved through the gears and closed the gap on Russia’s Margarita Goncharova, who just did enough to edge Cox, breaking the championship record in 62.08s.
In what was only her second 400m race of the season and her first in the British kit since 2017, the Trafford athlete was understandably gutted not to retain her title but being back on the world stage is a great feeling.
“I didn’t think I ran a technically good race. I didn’t go out as hard as I should have. I think I was watching the race in front of me too much, paying too much attention to what they were doing rather than watching my own race.
“When you’ve got time to look over at the clock at the 200m mark, you’re not focussing on what you should be focussing on, so I think I just over thought it all a bit too much and then I had to work too hard on the top bend. I felt strong coming down the home straight, but I just didn’t have enough in the last ten metres.
“It’s so nice to be back on the podium and just to be back at these Championships is amazing. As frustrating as it is, I’ve got a silver so I can’t be unhappy with my Championships and winning a medal, it’s just not my preferred colour,” she added.
Following a European record earlier in the day, Thomas Young (Joe McDonnell; Charnwood) once again revised his personal and continental record but had to settle for silver, clocking 11.00s (1.8) in the final of the T38 100m.
The Briton got a lightening start and was neck-and-neck with China’s Zhu Dening, who took the victory on a photo finish by 0.007 seconds.
On his first global medal, Young reflected: “I started really well. I came up and saw I was in a good position, so I tried to run my race until the end really hard. I gave it all on the track, me and my coach Joe McDonnell have worked really well this year, my parents have been really supportive and I can go home on a high after that.
“It’s a European record again and a PB again and you can’t do much more than that really other than win gold. I’m slightly disappointed but I know that I have lots to work on as we head towards Tokyo.”
In non-finals action, Britons Richard Chiassaro (Jenni Banks; Harlow AC) and Nathan Maguire (Ste Hoskins; Kirkby AC) earned themselves an automatic qualifying spots in the semi-finals of the T54 400m.
Chiassaro came home second in his heat in 48.44s, with Maguire following suit almost immediately in heat two, stopping the clock in 48.74s to take third place and ensure both Brits were in the semi-finals.