World champion Ranki Oberoi feels he does not need an idol any more to excel. He is quite inspired by his own exploits.
“[Usain] Bolt inspired me so much that I decided to start in athletics. But now, if someone asks who my idol is, I will say myself,” said the Dutch, after taking the gold in the men’s long jump T20 (7.39m).
It was a gold that Malaysia’s Latif Romly had owned since Doha 2015, until Oberoi’s second jump on Wednesday morning in Dubai.
“It’s the first time that I’m a World Champion and it feels amazing. The first jump was illegal but I thought ‘Ok, I still have the power’ so the second jump was like wow! I was also shocked,” Oberoi revealed.
“I thought that it was just a European record. I still can’t believe it, I think that maybe tomorrow when I’ll wake up I’ll say ‘Oh yes, I did it’,” exclaimed the 26-year-old.
Oberoi took on Para athletics 10 years ago inspired by Jamaica’s Olympic legend Bolt. His initial plan was to fight for a medal at next year’s Paralympic Games in Tokyo. But the success has come earlier than expected.
“I can’t believe it! I was thinking of claiming a medal maybe in Tokyo, not here. I didn’t know anything about athletics before 2009, then I saw Bolt and I said ‘I want to do the same, I want to be like him’.
“He inspired me so much that I decided to start in athletics. In 2014, I switched to the long jump because in the T20s there is no 100m and now I’m a really good long jumper,” he added.
Romly finished second (7.24m) and Ecuador’s Roberto Carlos Charla (6.88m) claimed bronze.
With four sessions still to go, Dubai 2019 has already equalled the number of world records from London 2017 (34 to be precise) following another two on Wednesday.
Russia’s Vladimir Sviridov broke the first one in the men’s shot put F32. In fact, Sviridov broke it twice – in his two final attempts (15.68m and 16.32m).
Silver went to Yassine Guenichi (14.74m) of Tunisia and bronze to another Russian, Alan Kokoity (14.73m).
Brazil’s golden run at Dubai 2019 continued with Alessandro da Silva’s victory in the men’s discus F11. He beat Italy’s former world record holder and world champion Oney Tapia to set a new mark (46.10m).
“I got the eye mask as a present from the Italian [Oney Tapia], it is great to receive this recognition. I came here to get my second world title and also got a world record. There is no better gift than this and now, I will prepare hard for my second Paralympic title,” da Silva said.
Tapia (42.50m) finished second and Iraq’s Mahdi Olad (41.18m) third.
Maria de los Angeles Ortiz (10.61) from Mexico put her country on the top of the podium for the first time in Dubai with a victory in the women’s shot put F57.
“We won the gold for Mexico, the country deserves it. I am here representing more than 100 million people and there is a huge responsibility for me. This gold medal is for all the Mexican warrior women,” she said.
Algeria took silver and bronze with Nassima Saidi (10.32) and Safia Djelal (10.10), respectively.
Two-time Paralympic champion long jumper Markus Rehm came to Dubai with one mission, a gold medal in the men’s long jump T64 and he needed only the first of his six jumps to accomplish it.
The German’s victory on Wednesday’s evening session was his seventh in World Championships and the fifth in the event. Since Christchurch 2011 no one else has won the long jump in his class.
“Defending my title was definitely my goal tonight. I’m really happy about it, even if the conditions today were not so easy. Next time, in Tokyo, I hope to manage another win,” said the German, who won with a leap of 8.17m.
France’s Dimitri Pavade (7.25m) finished with silver and South Africa’s Mpumelelo Mhlongo (7.07m) settled for bronze, his second medal at Dubai 2019.
Though Rehm has ruled the roost for several years now, he feels the competition is becoming tougher.
“The pressure is there all the time. The guys are hungry [for triumph] and I can see some other nations coming closer. I’m especially happy for Dimitri [Pavade], it was super cool when he jumped that distance,” commended Rehm.
“I really hope that people realise what amazing athletes we have here in the World Championships and that many people will join us next year in Tokyo 2020,” said Rehm, whose effort allowed Germany to swell their gold tally to six.
Ireland’s Jason Smyth with a time of 10.54 seconds in the 100m T13 bettered his championships record from Lyon 2013 to win his World title number eight.
“When I look back to the year and I think about keeping the titles and retaining marks, I just feel satisfaction and also a little bit of relief. Now it’s been more than 20 titles [in major international competitions].
“The pressure is an advantage for me. It’s really good to use it because you take parts of the negative first, than the positive,” Smyth said.
Australia’s Chad Perris (10.86) finished second and Namibia’s Johannes Nambala (10.98) third.
Indonesia took their first gold medal at the 2019 World Championships with 18-year-old Karisma Tiarani setting a new World record in the women’s 100m T63 (14.72seconds).
Great Britain’s Sophie Hahn (25.92Sseconds) took her second gold medal at Dubai 2019 and bettered the World record in the women’s 200m T38.
The third World record of the evening came with China’s Li Liu (12.05m) in the men’s shot put F32. It was one of three Chinese victories on Wednesday evening. The other two with Yiting Shi (13.62m) in the women’s 100m T36 and Cuiqing Liu (24.89m) in the women’s 200m T11.
Brazil and USA clinched two gold medals each. Lucas Prado (10.95seconds) won the men’s 100m T11 and Joao Teixeira (52.76m) finished first in the men’s discus throw T37.
Roderick Townsend-Roberts (2.03m) kept his title in the men’s high jump F47, while Deja Young (24.47seconds) took gold in the women’s 200m T47 for USA.
Peter Genyn (37.90) gave Belgium their first victory at Dubai 2019 in the men’s 200m T51.
All medallists, records and results from the World Para Athletics Championships can be found on the Dubai 2019 microsite https://www.paralympic.org/dubai-2019/.