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Floors flies high to clinch gold; UAE's Noura qualifies for Tokyo

James Jose/Dubai
Filed on November 11, 2019
Germany's Johannes Floors after winning the men's 100m in the T64 category at the World Para Athletics Championships in Dubai on Monday. - Photo by James Jose

Noura makes the grade after finishing fourth in the women's shot put F32 final.

German Paralympic champion Johannes Floors couldn't quite step on the gas and floor it but the 24-year-old still came away with the gold in the men's 100m T64 category on the fifth day of the World Para Athletics Championships on Monday.

The UAE's Noura Al Ketbi qualified for Tokyo after finishing fourth in the women's shot put F32 final.

Floors, who had won the gold in the 4x100m T42-47 segment at the 2016 Rio Paralympics, won with a time of 10.60 seconds, just a shade behind his world record effort he had set in the heats at the Dubai Club for People of Determination Stadium on Sunday night.

Floors had rewritten the record with a time of 10.54 seconds in the third heat. Although he couldn't replicate that on the day, Floors was delighted to manage it in the heats.

"Breaking the world record always gives you huge confidence for future races and being the fastest amputee ever with the fastest time ever, someone with one or no legs ran before, is really, really awesome," said Floors.

Floors, who grabbed his second gold at the Worlds after he had won in the 4x100m T42-47 category in 2015, is not just looking forward to competing in the 400m here but also the Paralympics in Tokyo.

And he expects an even stiffer competition in nine months time.

"Of course, we are focusing on the 100 as well for Tokyo and I'm looking forward to racing all the top athletes who are here and not here, again in Tokyo. Let's have a really, really tough race in Tokyo," he said.

"Of course, focussing on the 400 first for Tokyo because I missed my 400m race in Rio. We are building up with long races to focus on the 400. We will see what happens then," added Floors, who has three gold and bronze in the European Championships in 2016.

Floors was born without his right foot and part of his lower shin. He then had both his lower legs amputated below the knee, after he turned 16.

Meanwhile, the day witnessed saw four new marks being set in different disciplines. First up in the morning, Ukrainian world record holder Zoia Ovsii rewrote her own record in the women's club throw F51 category.

Ovsii came up with 25.23 metres to better her previous mark of 24.31 set in Berlin last August. India's Ekta Bhyan finished fourth to qualify for Tokyo.

China's Yuping Zhao too penned a new mark in the women's javelin throw F13 segment with a distance of 46.00 metres. She had previously held the record with 44.96 metres which came in Jakarta last October.

American Deja Young set a new world record in the women's 100m T47 heats with a time of 11.92 seconds. She bettered a long-standing record of 11.95 seconds set by Cuba's Yunidis Castillo in London, back in 2012.

Uzbekistan's Khusniddin Norbekov bettered his own world record in the men's shot put F35 category with 17.32 metres. His previous mark was 16.35 metres set in Jakarta in October last year.

India's Praveen Kumar made the cut for Tokyo after finishing fourth in the men's high jump T64 final. Yogesh Kathuniya too made it by winning bronze in the men's discus throw F56 category.

james@khaleejtimes.com


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