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Hannah Cockroft wins incredible seventh straight 100m gold at World Para Athletics Championships

Britain's Hannah Cockroft celebrates after winning the women's 100m T34 final (REUTERS)
Britain's Hannah Cockroft celebrates after winning the women's 100m T34 final (REUTERS)

Great Britain’s Hannah Cockroft claimed a seventh successive World Para Athletics Championships gold medal after powering to victory in the 100m final in Kobe, Japan.

Cockroft, who competes in the T34 category and now has 15 world titles, broke the championship record in her qualifying race, clocking 16.67 seconds, with Fabienne Andre also making it through after a second-placed finish in the other heat.

The 31-year-old seven-time Paralympic champion then pulled clear after a fast start to the final, storming to a 15th world title in a time of 16.89 seconds.

Hanyu Lan took silver for China in 18.95, with Japan’s Moe Onodera claiming bronze just ahead of Andre, who placed fourth in a season’s best 19.42.

“Number seven – that sounds amazing,” said Cockroft. “Every title at this point is a relief. I watch my teammates 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.

“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.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

“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.”

Melanie Woods finished fourth in the T54 1500m final with a time of three minutes and 34.34 seconds.

Earlier on Tuesday, Nathan Maguire safely qualified for the men’s T54 1500m final on Wednesday, finishing second in two minutes 54.70secs.

Cockroft‘s gold is the fourth for the Great Britain team in Kobe, following on from Sabrina Fortune (F20 shot), Hollie Arnold (F46 javelin) and Jonathan Broom-Edwards (T64 high jump).