June 1,2014(ISN) – Italy’s Martina Caironi has knocked half a second off her own 200 metres T42 world record on the second day of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Athletics Grand Prix in Grosseto, Italy.
The 100m T42 world and Paralympic champion finished the mixed race of T42-44 racers in 32.64sec to beat the time she set on the same track 12 months ago.Chasing the below-knee amputees, the Italian collapsed from over exertion after the line but admitted she ran faster due to chasing those from the T43 and T44 classifications.
“In the second part, I overcame myself,” she said.”In fact, when I arrived at the finish line, I died.”I couldn’t breathe.”I can understand my race, seeing how far ahead the T43 and T44 are.”If they are too far away from me, I think, ‘No, it’s not OK, I have to run faster, faster, faster.'”In Italy we say, there are the carrots that you have to catch, so each time I see the other athletes, I really wanted to reach them.”I prefer to have someone to catch.”A close men’s 100m T44 race saw South Africa’s Arnu Fourie prove that he still has what it takes aged 29, as he finished first in a time of 11.22.America’s Jarryd Wallce came in second in 11.30 with Germany’s Felix Streng, who is 10 years younger than Fourie, completing the podium in third with a time of 11.37.”I knew that in the last 50 I was going to have somebody who I needed to chase down,” Fourie said after the race.”And that’s the thing that I’m normally relying on – my maximum speed.”And I’m just very happy to look up at 50 and see someone ahead of me, then cross the finish line and be ahead of him.”
Arnu Fourie proved he has not left his best behind him as he strode to victory in the men’s 100m T44 race ©Getty Images
The fastest man in the men’s 100m T43 event was America’s Josh Kennison as he crossed the line in 11.66, while Finland’s Toni Piispanen added to his 400m win from yesterday, by also claiming the men’s 100m T51/52 in 21.34.In the 5,000m races, Denmark’s Ebbe Blichfeldt and Russia’s Alexey Akhtyamov won the men’s T54 and T11/13/36/38 with times of 11:06.19 and 15:52.54 respectively, while Switzerland’s Patricia Keller secured the win in the women’s T54 after finishing in 13:12.91The afternoon session saw a number of 200m finals take place inside the Carlo Zecchini Olympic Stadium as proceedings drew to a close in Italy.In the men’s T53/54 final, Finland’s Leo-Pekka Tahti completed a perfect weekend with a win in 25.16.Russia dominated the visually impaired races with Andrey Koptev winning the T11 in 23.63, Artem Loginov the T12 with a time of 22.14 and Alexander Zverev the T13 in 22.50.Italy’s Matteo Gizzi was first in the T20/35/36/42, finishing in 26.69, South Africa’s Fanie van der Merwe took the T37-38 title in 23.39, Turkey’s Mehmet Atmaca won the T45-47 in 24.69 and Switzerland’s Mitic Bojan was first in the T34 after finishing in 28.29.
Leo-Pekka Tahti topped off a great weekend as he won the men’s T53/43 200m final
Races also came thick and fast in the 800m, with the men’s event seeing Rashed Aldhaheri of the United Arab Emirates take the T52-54 title with a time of 1:43.55, Serbia’s Zarko Cujo claiming glory in the T11-13 with a run of 2:08.60, Vietnam’s Van Duc Tran finish in 2:08.61 to win the T46 and Italy’s Spartak Doci winning the T37/38 in 2:22.56.On the women’s side, Italy’s Annalisa Minetti was victorious in the T11 event as she came in with a time of 2:24.19, and Switzerland’s Alexandra Helbling’s 1:55.59 was enough to take the win in the T53/54.The IPC Athletics Grand Prix continues in Tunisia from June 16 to 18, before heading on to Berlin, Germany, for the penultimate event in the series on June 20 to 22.The Grand Prix Finals will be held in Birmingham, Great Britain, on August 25.