Brazil's Odair Santos fell three times in the closing stages of the men’s T11 5,000 metres and dropped out of the medal positions having led for most of the race at the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Athletics World Championships in Doha.
Santos had built up a considerable lead over his rivals in the visually impaired event with guide Carlos Antonio dos Santos but his first fall, which came at the start of the home straight on the final lap, allowed Chile’s Cristian Valenzuela to overtake and claim victory in 15min 52.64sec.
Santos rose to his feet only to fall for a second time, with Canada’s Jason Dunkerley this time profiting as he took silver in 16:11.22, while an agonising third collapse metres from the finish saw the Brazilian finish outside the medal positions entirely as Japan’s Shinya Wada claimed bronze in 16:31.04.
Elsewhere, having already claimed gold in the women’s F37 shot put earlier in the Championships, Na Mi hoped to dominate the F38 discus throw event to keep China clear at the top of the medals table, but came under a strong challenge from Ireland's Noelle Lenihan.
Mi eventually claimed her second title with her third round attempt of 33.59 metres setting a Championship record for a F37 competitor, while Lenihan’s effort of 31.64m to earn silver was a world record throw for a F38 athlete.
Canada’s Renee Danielle Foessel completed the podium positions, having achieved a mark of 30.39m.
A second Chinese success of the day came through Fuliang Liu as he leapt a world record 15.29m to win the men’s T47 triple jump ahead of the United States’ Roderick Townsend-Roberts, second with 14.49m.
The American will hope to gain revenge in the long jump on Wednesday (October 28).
Jin Zheng added to China’s gold tally, winning the women’s T11 1500m final in a Championship record 4:47.71 ahead of Colombia’s Martiza Buitrago and Brazil’s Renata Bazone.
Zheng’s team-mate Lihong Zou then moved China onto 22 gold medals in Doha as she made the most of the absence of defending champion Tatyana McFadden of the US, who has opted to compete in the New York City Marathon on Sunday (November 1) instead, winning the T54 800m wheelchair title in 1:51.13.
Meanwhile, Portugal celebrated their first title of the Championships and the first major gold medal of Luis Goncalves’ career as he stormed to victory in the men’s T12 400m in 49.67sec, with China’s Qichao Sun and South Africa’s Hilton Langenhoven second and third in 50.23 and 50.85 respectively.
“After several years where I have struggled to find my peak, it feels incredible to finally reach the top and get the gold medal,” said Goncalves, a silver medallist at Beijing 2008.
“It has been three months since my last competition.
“I didn’t know how this would go, but wow, I’m the world champion.”
One of the closest finishes of the day saw Britain’s Paul Blake finish narrowly ahead of Russia’s Artem Arefyev to successfully defend his men’s T36 800m title in 2:06.89, with his rival crossing the line in 2:07.13.
There was disappointment for Blake’s team-mate David Weir as the six-time Paralympic champion wheelchair racer finished only seventh in the men’s T54 5,000m, with Thailand’s Rawat Tana adding to his 1500m triumph by clocking a time of 10:55.85 to win gold.
Defending champion Marcel Hug of Switzerland was forced to settle for silver in 10:56.32 while Tana’s team-mate Prawat Wahoram claimed bronze in 10:56.54.
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