Germany’s Markus Rehm in action during the men’s long jump T44 event of Doha 2015 IPC Athletics World Championships at Qatar Sports Club yesterday. (Doha 2015/Getty Images)
By Sports Reporter/Doha
Germany’s Markus Rehm produced a staggering leap of 8.40m in men’s long jump T44, just a centimetre short of IAAF world title winning jump from Beijing earlier this year, at the Doha 2015 IPC Athletics World Championships at Qatar Sports Club yesterday.
In the process, Rehm also broke his own five-month old world record by 11 cm.
In Beijing, British star Greg Rutherford had jumped 8.41 metres for gold.
“When I had the world record at 8.29m I thought that it might be difficult to beat it, but to then go on and get 8.40m was really special. This was just an incredible competition today. I really enjoyed it with all these amazing athletes,” said Rehm.
“As I said the conditions were really good, and I felt in terrific shape, and I woke up feeling that it was going to be my day. Thankfully it all worked out for me.”
Rehm had recently spoken about his wish to compete against able-bodied athletes and yesterday’s effort has only bolstered his case.
“I want to show the world what we para-athletes are able to achieve, that’s the whole point,” he said was quoted as saying by AFP.
Rehm, 27, made headlines last year when he was dropped by the German team for the European Athletics championships despite recording the best jump, including able-bodied athletes, of 8.24 meters (27 feet).
Silver and bronze in the long jump event yesterday went to the Netherlands’ Ronald Hertog (7.26m) and Russia’s Vadim Aleshkin (6.91m).
The second day of competition saw a big upset in the women’s 400m T11 when China’s Ciuqing Lui defeated multiple world and Paralympic champion Terezinha Guilhermina of Brazil.
Up and coming young athlete Cuiqing Liu’s improvement in the T11 sprinting events has been spectacular as she becomes the first person to defeat Terezinha Guilhermina in a World Championship event in nine years. Thirteen years Terezinha’s junior, the two will go head to head two further times in Doha when they meet again in the 200m T11 tomorrow and the 100m T11 on 28th October.
In the Men’s 100m T11, American athlete David Brown, the 100m and 200m world-record holder stormed to victory ahead of Brazilian arch-rivals Felipe Gomez and Lucas Prada, who stumbled and crashed out with a bad fall.
Tunisia had an excellent evening of athletics, taking gold and silver in the Women’s discus throw F41 with Raoua Tlili setting a new world-record of 29.70 m ahead of teammate Fathia Amaima’s 24.83m, and gold and a new world-record in the Women’s javelin F54 with Hania Aida throwing 18.86m.
Walid Ktila, four-times World Champion and double Paralympic Champion qualified with the fastest time in the Men’s 400m T34 and Abbes Saidi qualified fastest in the Men’s 800m T38. Both finals will take place tonight, 24th October.
Speaking after her new world-record, Tlili said: “My father passed away this year so I did this for him and I dedicate my win to him. I am extremely proud to do this for my country and my team mate also won silver which was amazing. We can do it again in Rio 2016 because we are confident of our level and we train very hard. We are not scared of competing at the highest level and against the best.”
Further world-records were broken by Na Mi of China in the Women’s shot put F37 with a distance of 13.56m, and Omara Durand of Cuba in the Women’s 400m T12 with a time of 53.05s. Durand is a double World Champion and double Paralympic Champion, and was making her comeback in Doha after missing the 2013 World Championships following the birth of her child.
Speaking after her victory, Durand said: “I am so very proud of this gold medal and my new world record! It has been a hard competition but our hard work paid off in the end. I would like to thank everyone involved for the perfect organisation of the event and how well we have been looked after here.”
The incredible action will continue from 4pm today. Tickets are available online at https://doha2015.q-tickets.com, in Villaggio, Landmark and City Centre malls, as well as in ticket booths at the ground. Children below the age of four and pensioners aged 60+ go for free. All proceeds will be donated to charity.
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