Day 6 of the IPC World Championships played out with a particularly Victorian flavour, with Old Xaverians athlete Isis Holt kicking off proceedings in the Women’s T35 100m event, followed immediately by Diamond Valley’s Jaryd Clifford in the Men’s T12/13 1500m.
Holt had endured a tumultuous preparation campaign, stuck in hospital 3 weeks prior due to complications during a bad bout of tonsillitis, the 16 year old sprinter was only able to complete 6 training sessions in the 31 days prior to the World Championships. Facing a strong international field, Holt burned past the reigning European champion, whilst taking competitive revenge on Rio Paralympic champion, China’s Xia Zhou. Holt was unperturbed by Zhou’s blistering start, drawing level with 30 metres remaining, crossing the line in 13.43sec, obliterating her own world record of 13.57sec, closely followed by Zhou, also breaking the previous world record with a clocking of 13.56sec.
Holt’s initial excitement crossing the line was quickly doubled as her two Australian teammates, Brianna Coop (4th) and Carly Salmon (6th) pointed Holt’s view toward the stadium results board, as the phrase “world record” flashed across the screen. An emotional embrace with beaming Dad Peter followed, with long-time coach Nick Wall next in line to congratulate the now 100-time world record holder in the T35 100m and 200m events.
Diamond Valley athlete Jaryd Clifford had a considerable competitive mountain to climb entering the T12/13 1500m final, the Victorian 3:49 1500m runner would be facing off against two particularly talented Algerian brothers, Abdellatif and Fouad Bakka.
Abdellatif, the reigning Paralympic T12/13 1500m champion entered as the T13 world record holder, owner of a 3:48.29 personal best, a formidable opponent and consummate tactician when paired in the same field as brother Fouad, a 3:52.52 1500m runner.
Clifford ran a patient tactical race, with the early pace moderate, provisional hand timing indicated Clifford split 65.1sec through 400m, 63.1sec through 800m, with the race kicking off at this point, Clifford covered the 3rd lap in 61.7 seconds, running a blistering 42.9sec last 300m section, a 58.1 second last lap elevated Clifford from 5th at 1400m to 3rd crossing the finishing line.
With the Australian cheer squad of family, friends and coach Max Balchin on hand, Clifford completed a circuit of the Olympic stadium, Australian flag in hand before joining fellow teammate Isis Holt in the media zone to thunderous applause.
For further information regarding results and live stream options for the remainder of the IPC World Championships, be sure to check the following links: https://www.paralympic.org/london-2017/schedule/info-live-results/lo2017/eng/zz/engzz_athletics-daily-competition-schedule.htm
Holt and Clifford’s heroics are available for viewing on the archived live stream here: http://www.paralympic.org.au/para-sport-vod/
Courtesy: Sean Whipp (AV)