Morocco’s Youssef Benibrahim claimed his first World Para Athletics Championships title in emphatic style here today, smashing the men’s 5,000 metres T13 world record.
The 33-year-old has finished on the podium at each of the last three World Championships, but this time there was no denying his determination to make it to the top as he held off Rio 2016 Paralympic bronze medallist Bilel Aloui of Tunisia, finishing in 14min 20.69sec.
Aloui finished in 14:21.69, while bronze went to Canada’s Guillame Ouellet in 14:23.24.
Benibrahim, who is due to celebrate his 34th birthday on Wednesday (July 19), knocked nearly 13 seconds off Aloui’s world record mark of 14:33.33 set at Rio 2016.
"This is a great birthday present, a little bit in advance," he said.
"All my preparation was about winning a medal here in London - I did not think about the world record at all.
"So I am very surprised and blessed."
One of the headline events of today's evening session was the men’s 100m T44 as home favourite Jonnie Peacock triumphed in 10.75.
The two-time Paralympic champion was expected to face his strongest challenge from the United States' Jarryd Wallace, but it was Germany’s Johannes Floors who took silver ahead of the American in 10.89.
Peacock revealed after the race that he had suffered from cramp in his hamstring in the warm-up and was concerned about whether he would be able to compete.
"I was stretching it over and over, which is not something you are normally doing at the start," the 24-year-old, who was returning to the scene of his first Paralympic triumph at London 2012, said.
"I was so thankful I got to the finish line in one piece.
"I just wanted the hamstring to hold up and get across the line.
"I am over the moon I managed to do it."
Wallace, a former 200m T44 world champion, had to settle for bronze in 10.95.
In the men’s 100m T13, Ireland’s Jason Smyth showed why he is dubbed "the fastest Paralympian on the planet" by breezing to victory in 10.63.
Poland’s Mateusz Michalski posted a season’s best 10.95 to edge Australia’s Chad Perris in the race for silver by just 0.01 seconds.
Michael McKillop soon made it double gold for Ireland thanks to victory in the men’s 800m T38 with a season’s best 2:00.92.
The 27-year-old finished ahead of Australia’s Deon Kenzie, second in an area record of 2:02.15, and Tunisia’s Abbes Saidi, third in a season’s best 2:02.38.
Out in the field, the US's Jeremy Campbell secured his third consecutive world title in the men's discus throw F44 back in the arena where he claimed Paralympic gold five years ago.
Fellow American David Blair, who won the Paralympic title at Rio 2016, had opened with a season's best 62.47m but in the third round Campbell took the lead with 63.31m.
The 29-year-old sealed the win with a Championship record of 63.66m with the final throw of the competition.
A personal best 57.33m saw Croatia’s Ivan Katanusic round out the podium.
Great Britain’s Aled Davies’ grip over throwing events continues as the 26-year-old took gold in the men's discus F42, registering a Championship record of 51.54m - nearly five metres ahead of his rivals.
Luxembourg’s Tom Habscheid came second with a personal best 46.83m, while Bulgaria’s Dechko Ovcharov completed the top three with 39.22m.
In the men's long jump T20, Malaysia’s Abdul Latif Romly set a Championship record as he safely defended his title.
The Rio 2016 Paralympic gold medallist posted 7.37m to beat Croatia’s Zoran Talic, who managed an area record of 7.32m.
Ukraine’s Dmytro Prudnikov took bronze with 7.12m.
There was also a Championship record for Cuba’s Leonardo Diaz, who won the men’s discus throw F56 with 45.47m.
Iran’s Ali Mohammadyari was the runner-up with 43.53m, while Egypt’s Ibrahim Ibrahim clinched bronze with 37.75m.
The US’s Roderick Townsend-Roberts delivered a Championship record of 2.10m on his way to claiming the men’s high jump T47 title.
Australia’s Aaron Chatman finished runner-up with a season’s best 1.94m, which was the same distance as bronze medallist Chen Hongjie of China.
Chen's fellow countryman Fu Xinhan was the men's shot put F35 gold medallist with 15.30m, beating Iran's Mehran Nikoee Majd and Seyed Aliasghar Javanmardi to top honours.
Nikoee Majd and Javanmardi achieved season's bests of 15.15m and 15.13m respectively.
Back on the track, Canada’s Brent Lakatos posted a Championship record of 25.29 en route to winning the men’s 200m T53 event.
He won on a photo finish ahead of Thailand’s Pongsakorn Paeyo, who came second in the same time.
France’s Pierre Fairbank rounded out the podium in 26.01.
The women’s 200m T35 title went the way of Australia’s Isis Holt in a Championship record of 28.47.
China’s Zhou Xia was her closest challenger in 28.64, followed by Britain’s Maria Lyle in a season’s best 29.87.
Japan’s Tomoki Sato set a Championship record time of 3:45.89 to win the men’s 1,500m T52 final ahead of the US’s Raymond Martin, second in 3:47.04, and compatriot Hirokazu Ueyonabaru, third in 4:01.56.
Among the other winners today out on the field were the US's Lex Gillette in the men’s long jump T11 with 6.27m, Algeria's Kamel Kardjena in the men's shot put F33 with 10.43m, and China's Yang Liwan in the women's javelin throw F54 with a season’s best 17.79m.
The men’s long jump T12 final was won by Uzbekistan’s Doniyor Saliev with an area record of 7.18m, while Qatar’s Abdulrahman Abdulqadir Abdulrahman came out on top in the men’s shot put F34 with a season’s best 11.38m.
Other victors on the track included Ukraine’s Leilia Adzhametova in the women’s 200m T13 in an area record of 24.63, Germany’s Irmgard Bensusan in the women’s 400m T44 in 1:02.33, and Italy’s Martina Caironi in the women’s 100m T42 in a season’s best 14.65.
The evening ended with Switzerland’s Marcel Hug claiming the men’s 1,500m T54 crown in 3:04.33.
Action is due to continue tomorrow.