America’s Tatyana McFadden wheeled her way into the record books on the penultimate day of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Athletics World Championships in Lyon by becoming the first athlete ever to win six individual gold medals, while teammate Raymond Martin now has five individual men’s titles, also a record.
McFadden, 24, completed the clean sweep of all T54 women’s track titles in the Stadium of Parilly after finishing ahead of Swiss pair Manuela Schaer and Edith Wolf to claim gold in the 400 meters in a time of 53.74 seconds.
“I can’t quite believe it,” said McFadden, who also won four Paralympic gold medals at London 2012. “It’s definitely a dream come true – the first woman to win all events from the 100 meter to the 5,000 meter. History is made. To sweep six in a row has been really, really tough but you have to have belief in all events you do because if you have any doubts you already start to lose the race.”
The American’s victory in the 400 meter added to the 100 meter, 200 meter, 800 meter, 1500 meter and 5,000 meter titles already in the bag at these championships and she is well on her way to becoming one of the greatest Paralympic athletes of all-time.
Compatriot Martin joined McFadden in the history books as he raced to victory in the men’s T52 400 meter in a championship record of 59.85.
Having already secured the 100 meter, 200 meter, 800 meter and 1,500 meter, the 19-year-old four-time Paralympic champion at London 2012 became the first male athlete to win five individual golds at a single World Championships.
“The IPC added the 1500 meter to my classification and I decided to take on a full program like I did for London and it paid off,” said Martin. “I came in confident and knew it would be tough. It definitely was not easy. I knew my training would put me to where I wanted to be.”
On what was a very productive day for the U.S. team, a world record time of 40.73 saw the men’s T42/46 4x100m relay team secure the world title, while in the field Elexis Gillette won gold in the men’s F11 long jump and championship record of 5.79 meters saw Cassie Mitchell take top spot in the women’s F52/53 shot put.
Great rivals Russia went two better than the U.S. by claiming seven gold medals on the day, five on the track and two in the field.
A championship record of 44.85 saw the Russian T35/38 4×100 meter relay team take gold, while another record by Evgeniya Trushnikova saw her emerge victorious in the T37 400 meter in one minute 05.69 seconds.
Elena Pautova ran a personal best of 4:43.77 to win the women’s T12 1500 meter, while reigning T35 100 meter world champion Dmitrii Safronov smashed the 200 meter world record 24.69.
Egor Sharov completed a double in the men’s T12 class by adding 400m gold to his 800 meter title, running a personal best 49.16.
In the women’s F12 shot put Marta Prokoryeva throw 13.12 meters to win gold and break a seven-year-old world record ahead of teammate Sofia Oksem, while Nikita Prokhorov picked up his second gold of the championships as he threw 49.68 meter, a championship record.
Two Italian athletes collected their second gold medals each with Martina Caironi winning the women’s T42 100m in a championship mark of 15.26 while Oxana Corso completed the T35 short sprint double by claiming victory in the 200 meter.
“On the straight I was first and I said to myself, ‘I have just to overcome this wind and the medal will be mine again,'” said 18-year-old Corso. “The secret is not about going faster, but slowing less. I am really happy I did a good time – there was too much wind, otherwise I would have tried to run under 33 seconds. But, I go back with another medal around my neck.”
Another female sprinter completed a championship double as Paralympic champion Marlou van Rhijn of the Netherlands overcame home favorite and defending world champion Amelie Le Fur by clocking a Championship record 26.74 to add the 200 meter T43/44 title to the 100 meter gold she won earlier in the week.
Brazil’s Terezinha Guilhermina completed a hat-trick of wins in the T11 sprints for the second consecutive World Championships as the 34-year-old claimed victory in the 200 meter equaling the Championship record of 24.74.
The same feat was achieved by Cuban Yunidis Castillo who added the T46 100 meter crown to the 200 meter and 400 meter to repeat her medal haul in Christchurch two years ago.
Poland’s world record holder Barbara Niewiedzial won the women’s T20 1,500 meter, while Claudia Nicoleitzik of Germany claimed her first major international title with victory in the women’s T36 100 meter.
Paralympic champion Hongzhuan Zhou of China won a thrilling T53 400 meter in 56.76, breaking a 15-year-old championship record with a time, to finish just ahead of America’s Shirley Reilly and Australian Angela Ballard.
There was another tight finish in the men’s T34 400 meter as Tunisia’s Walid Ktila just squeaked past Rheed McCracken of Australia by 0.10 to win gold.
Nambala Johannes claimed Namibia’s first gold of the championships with victory in the men’s T12 400 meter, setting a Championship mark of 49.07 in the process.
World record holder Daniel Silva of Brazil followed suit in the T11 400 meter with a time of 50.38 to add to his 200 meter bronze from earlier in the week.
Olena Gliebova from the Ukraine claimed the women’s T13 400 meter crown, while Canada’s four-time Paralympic gold medalist Michelle Stilwell set a championship record time of 35.71 in the T52 200m to claim her third world title of the week.
Canada’s men’s T53/54 4×400 meter relay team also picked up gold in a championship record 3:11.33 ahead of Thailand.
In the men’s F32/33/34 discus a host of world records were set with Algeria’s Lahouari Bahlaz winning gold with an F32 record of 22.75 meters, while China’s Yanzhang Wang threw 46.79 meters in the F34 and Hani Alnakhli of Saudi Arabia set a mark of 32.87 meters in the F33 class.
Vladimir Zayets took the honors in the men’s F12 triple jump to claim the first gold medal of the Championships for Azerbaijan while home favorite Moussa Tambadou missed out on gold in the men’s F38 shot put as Oleksandr Doroshenko of the Ukraine took the title with a throw of 14:71 meters.
Denmark’s Jackie Christiansen finished over two meters ahead of his nearest rival to claim victory in the F44 shot put with a throw 17.66 meters and F54/55 gold went to Poland’s London 2012 silver medalist Karol Kozun.
Nassima Saifi of Algeria added women’s F57/58 discus gold to the F58 shot put gold she won earlier in the week setting a new world record of 42.05 minutes, while Ireland’s Orla Barry also set a F57 world record of 31.08 meters to take silver.
Inside the Games is an online blog of the London Organizing Committee that staged the 2012 London Games. The blog continues to cover issues that are important to the Olympic Movement. This article is reprinted here with permission of the blog editors.