Hannah Cockroft Strikes Again At World Para Champs In Kobe

Hannah Cockroft strikes again at World Para Champs in Kobe

British wheelchair racer takes her seventh T34 100m title on Tuesday in Japan

Hannah Cockroft showed great form in the run-up to the Paris Paralympics as she won her 15th world title – and seventh in the T34 100m – at the World Para Athletics Championships in Kobe, Japan.

HANNAH COCKROFT STRIKES AGAIN AT WORLD PARA CHAMPS IN KOBE

Hannah Cockroft

The 31-year-old first won this title back in Christchurch in 2011. Here in Japan the Yorkshirewoman looked as determined as ever as she lined up in the final having already revised her championship record during the morning’s heats with 16.67 (1.5).

Contesting the final in cooler temperatures than the heats on Tuesday morning, Cockroft got a powerful start which gave her a significant lead in the first half of the race. With the young Chinese athlete Lan Hanyu chasing, Cockroft was made to work as she pushed on to a scintillating seventh 100m title in 16.89 (0.9) to Hanyu’s 18.95.

Moe Onodera of Japan took bronze, just ahead of Britain’s Fabienne André.

“Number seven – that sounds amazing,” said Cockroft. “Every title at this point is a relief. I watch my team-mates and see the excitement and the happiness, and I want to respond like that but when I cross that line it is a sigh of relief because I am the one with the target on my back.

HANNAH COCKROFT STRIKES AGAIN AT WORLD PARA CHAMPS IN KOBE

“I’m the one that everyone is watching. In call room, everything I did, I felt every set of eyes on me. I was the only one who wore a jacket in call this morning and then tonight, everyone had one on. The 100m is the hard one, so I am delighted to win the title, and I am looking forward to the 800m and relay now.

“Coming to this world championship was all about seeing all these new girls who are coming through. I knew they’d be around for the Paris Paralympic Games, so for me it was about grabbing the opportunity to see where they were at, and I can see there is a lot of talent. I think over the next few years I am going to have some battles on my hands. But hopefully right now I’ve sent a message that I am pushing strong, and I am still on top.

“I’ve got the 800m heats on Thursday which I’m really excited for. We’ve never had heats for the event at a worlds before so that is very exciting and shows the amount of girls coming through. We are missing my teammate Kare Adenegan, and the Americans, so the numbers are growing in the event. And then I have the relay which is a big challenge, and I really want to do the team proud.”

HANNAH COCKROFT STRIKES AGAIN AT WORLD PARA CHAMPS IN KOBE

Andre said: “I just wanted to give my everything in the final. It was a bit messy in my opinion, particularly the start. It is really good to get my competition underway and hopefully I have two more races with the 800m later in the week. The experience is key for me. We don’t often have heats and finals in the same day, but it is great to see so many T34s coming through, it makes the class really competitive. It makes me want to work harder and perfect things.”

Cockroft’s victory follows those of Hollie Arnold, Jonathan Broom-Edwards and Sabrina Fortune in the British team.

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