Hannah Cockroft (coach: Jenni Banks; club: Leeds) produced the best performance of her career as she sealed the world title number 11 in a world record time in the T34 100m final, while Kare Adenegan (Job King; Coventry) won the silver medal, and Kyron Duke (Anthony Hughes; DSW Para Academy) sealed bronze during a bumper morning session yesterday at the World Para Athletics Championships.
In the highly anticipated women’s T34 100m final, all eyes were on world record holder and European champion Kare Adenegan and ten-time world champion Hannah Cockroft in lanes four and seven respectively.
Both got a fantastic start, neck and neck in the opening stages of the race, but it was the Yorkshire athlete who powered away over the final 50 metres, taking 0.03s off the previous world best, clocking 16.77s (+1.4) with Adenegan crossing the line in a season’s best of 17.49, and America’s Alexa Halko claiming bronze in 18.83.
Cockroft, speaking after winning the world title, said: “I think number 11 is probably the best yet. It was definitely the hardest to win. They mean more and more. Kare is the biggest rival I’ve ever had; she’s a fantastic athlete. It’s great that I’ve come out on top here, but you know that can switch around at any time. You’ve got to take the gold when you can and keep working hard.
“I really wanted to come and win the gold. I would have been happy with silver because I know Kare has been working hard and is strong and was the world record holder. 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.
“I just about managed to hold back the tears when I crossed the finish line, so it is going to be an emotional moment on the podium.”
She returns for the 800m final on Thursday, starting at 05:58 (UK time), and on that contest she added:
“The 800m will be a lot different to the 100m. It’ll be a bit of a game. I’m feeling really strong; I’ve done a lot of work on my 800m. I just need to get out of my blocks the best I can and see how the rest of the race pans out and hopefully I win world gold number 12.”
For Adenegan, after completing exams this year and starting university a few weeks ago, she reflected on the silver medal positively following a season’s best.
The co-captain of the British team said: “I’ve been working really hard since having a break for exams. Training has been going quite well so I knew the 100m would be strong, so I am pleased with it. It’s a season’s best, so I’m happy about that.
“The silver means a lot. I’ve had a really long year so I wasn’t sure what kind of form I would come into the world championships with, but the fact I’ve done a season’s best shows I’m improving and getting back to the shape I need to be in.”
“You learn with every experience. I’ve got a few technical things I need to work on, but I’ve got a whole winter now to focus on those things before Tokyo.”
There was a sixth career world medal for Kyron Duke (Anthony Hughes; DSW Para Academy) as he sealed bronze in the F41 shot put. After winning silver in 2017, the Welshman headed into the championships as the world record holder and managed a throw of 13.82 metres in round two which saw him finish in third overall.
Duke produced three further plus 13 metre throws during the competition and said after stepping out of the infield: “I’m happy but I really wanted that gold. There are mixed emotions, but I’ll keep my head high. I’ve done my team proud and done my country proud.
“It was a good competition. I was trying to adjust to the circle. I knew the throw was good on the second throw and it helped me to settle.
“I’m happy to be among the medals, that’s a good thing. It means I’m still there fighting, I’m still top three in the world and keep hold of the world record. The sky is the limit for me. It is a positive way to go towards 2020 now but there will be things to work on.”
Bobirjon Omanov (UZB) was the surprise package of the competition as he won with a best of 14.03m, a championship record, while reigning world champion Niko Kappel (GER) was second after a throw of 13.87m, narrowly ahead of the Briton.
On her debut for Great Britain & Northern Ireland, Hannah Taunton (Charlotte Fisher; Taunton) impressed after finishing fifth in the T20 1500m in a time of 4:45.01.
Taunton stuck with the leading pack as the bell rang signally the final lap and despite a valiant attempt, she could not hold on to Ilona Biacsi (HUN) down the back straight, who went on to win bronze, however, she held on for a superb fifth position on her maiden senior call-up.
Beginning the session, Ben Rowlings (Ian Mirfin; Coventry) was sixth in heat two of the T34 100m, in a time of 16.87s (+1.6), which didn’t see him advance to the evening’s final. He’ll return for the 400m on Thursday.
British Athletics Medal Tally (7):
Paul Blake – T36 800m
Hannah Cockroft – T34 100m
Kare Adenegan – T34 100m
Derek Rae – T46 Marathon*
Olivia Breen – T38 Long Jump
Kyron Duke – F41 Shot Put
Sammi Kinghorn – T53 100m
*The WPA Championship marathons took place at the London Marathon earlier this year.