Johannes Floors, Ntando Mahlangu, Irmgard Bensusan and Kyron Duke all underlined their World Championship credentials with new world record marks at the Bayer Invitational Meeting in Leverkusen, Germany on Friday (21 June).
Floors smashed the 100m T62 world record with a time of 10.66, before following up later in the evening with his second world record of the session, this time clocking a superb 21.22 in the 200m.
The 24-year-old won 200m and 400m gold at the London 2017 World Championships, but had to settle for silver behind Briton Jonnie Peacock in the 100m. Now he believes success in the shorter sprint is also within his reach.
“I think we will have a few athletes going sub-10.70, so going for gold isn’t that easy and it’s going to be a tough race. My main event will still be the 400m, but running the 100m fast – well it’s possible as I’ve shown you.
“I feel good. Those times were amazing, we didn’t expect this out of the training and I’m happy to be here. We have this Invitational meeting every year and I love it every time. I did lose some form at the end (of the 200m) but it’s OK, after the 100m I think my coach will be fine,” said Floors.
South Africa’s 17-year-old Paralympic and world silver medallist Ntando Mahlangu also claimed two world records on the track, clocking 23.51 in the 200m and 48.31 in the 400m to lead the way in the T61 class.
“I’m happy with the time, it’s been a great season, I can’t complain,” said Mahlangu. “I don’t do the 400m because I’m fast, I do the 400m to open doors for my class. I’m happy with the 48.3; it’s my first time running in Germany so it’s a big pleasure to be here.”
Like Floors and Mahlangu, Irmgard Bensusan has also been in record-breaking form already this season. The Rio 2016 triple silver medallist equalled her 200m T44 best from last month, crossing the line in 26.15.
“It shows I’m in good form on the way to Dubai. Training is going good and it shows in the competitions that everything we are focusing on is coming together,” said the Leverkusen-based Para athlete.
The men’s shot put F41 lived up to expectations, with the world record falling in that event too.
It was in-form Briton Kyron Duke who took the spoils, throwing a massive 14.19m in the opening round. Germany’s Paralympic champion Niko Kappel, who had set a new world record of 14.11m just three weeks ago, was unable to respond, finishing with a best of 13.90m.
Two-time world silver medallist Duke, who had thrown a massive world-lead 14.53m earlier in the season, now looks capable of claiming his first major global title at Dubai 2019 if he continues to perform.
“It’s amazing. I’ve known I’ve been able to do it for a long time. It’s just to get it ratified now and it will be there for everyone to see, and a good start to go in to the Worlds in November,” said the 26-year-old. “I know what I can do, I know my plan with all my coaches, we’ve just got to get everything right for the day.”