Posted on October 23, 2015

With the world’s best para-athletes all in Doha for the first-ever IPC Athletics World Championships held in the Middle East, the boundaries of human capacity was always going to be pushed to new heights along with a trail of new world records. Vanessa Low of Germany led by example after convincingly winning the gold medal and setting a new world record in the process in the women’s T42 Long Jump final. The previous record was 4.60m set by Italy’s Martina Caironi earlier this year, but here in Doha she had to settle for second as Low leapt to an unprecedented 4.79m.

“It feels amazing to be World Champion! I have had a really tough season so far, but my team has pushed me hard to get me here and I am over the moon to have broken the world record,” Low said while commenting on her experience of competing in Qatar for the first time: “It’s really interesting to be here, it’s a new experience – but a good one! Everyone is really friendly and welcoming, and Doha is such as beautiful city.”

Another superwoman on show tonight was Great Britain’s 18-year-old Sophie Hahn, who broke the world record in the women’s 100m T38 event. Speaking after her incredible feat, Hahn said: “It feels amazing to be a world champion and to smash the world record. I am in shock and really didn’t know I could run this fast! I’ve got to thank my coaches and my family, but also to the wonderful volunteers here in Doha. They’re really great and they take such good care of us. Qatar’s been amazing so far!”

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Earlier in the day, teammate Kadeena Cox also broke a world record in the qualifying heat for the women’s T37 100m sprint final, an event she subsequently went on to win ahead of fellow Briton Georgina Hermitage and Russia’s Anna Sapozhnikova. The gold rush was not over for Great Britain though, with the stalwart favorite in the women’s T34 100m final, Hannah Cockroft, crushing her opponents with ease. “Despite this being one of my easier wins, it still feels amazing to win here. I guess I’ll celebrate once I have done the 400 and 800 metres. For now I’m a little bit disappointed that I didn’t get the world record, which I’ve been chasing all season, but I’m at the top of the podium, and that’s all that matters.”

Cockroft is one of the true icons of para-sports, having dominated the wheelchair races over the last few years. The reigning Paralympic champion finds life in the Middle East particularly pleasing: “It’s been fantastic to be here in Doha. We have filled lots of seats so it’s incredible. The advertising has been brilliant, and I keep driving past posters with my face on it. It’s amazing!” The third world record of the evening came when Russia’s Roman Danyluk threw 16.64m in the Men’s shot put F12, followed by the Men’s T37 200m final, where Russia’s Andrey Vdovin cruised in to the near unfathomable time of 22.59. The final record was broken by France’s Marie Le Fur in the long jump T44 with a distance of 5.84.

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Meanwhile, the women’s F32 Club Throw final provided North African sports fans with a reason to cheer as Tunisia’s Maroua Ibrahimi took the gold medal narrowly ahead of Mounia Gasmi from Algeria in second and Britain’s Abbie Hunnisett in third. The evening session concluded an exhilarating opening day of the World Championships here at Qatar Sports Club where 72 medals were shared between 32 nations. China are leading the medals table with 4 gold, 3 silver and 3 bronze, just ahead of Great Britain’s 4 gold, 1 silver and 2 bronze. Germany sit third with their fair share of the count – 2 gold and 2 bronze.

Tomorrow’s action will start at 4pm and you can get your tickets online at, 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. Ooredoo are also providing the opportunity for crowds to win iPhones as prizes.

Here are five athletes to look out for in tomorrow’s competition:

Mohamed al Kubaisi, Qatar

Mohamed al Kubaisi will be kicking off Team Qatar’s participation in these Championships when he takes part in the Men’s 400m T34 semi-final at 16:00.

Markus Rehm, Germany

Markus Rehm is the reigning Paralympic and World Champion and world-record holder. His world-record distance would have seen him finish second behind Greg Rutherford in the London 2012 Olympic Games. He competes in the long jump final at 16:04.

Terezinha Guilhermina, Brazil

Terezinha will be looking to add to her add to her seven World Championship and three Paralympic titles in Doha but will be facing tough competition from up and coming young athlete, Ciuqing Liu of China. They go head to head at 16:52.

Abdellatif Baka, Algeria

The reigning World and Paralympic Champion will be going for gold and looking to win Algeria’s second gold medal of the World Championships at 17:40 in the Men’s 800m T13.

Jason Smyth, Ireland

The fastest para-athlete of all time who is dubbed the Usain Bolt of the Paralympic Games will be going for a fifth World Championships gold medal in the Men’s 100m T13 at 21:48.