Chinese break para-athletics world records at Tokyo Paralympics

Chinese Paralympians Zhang Liangmin, Zou Lijuan and Liu Li set new world records during the Tokyo Paralympics para-athletics events on Tuesday.

Veteran Zhang Liangmin won her third Paralympic gold medal in the women’s discus throw F11 final, beating her own games and world records to set a new mark of 40.83 meters.

“I’m really happy to be champion again … Training laid the foundation. The support of my friends and coach helped me win gold,” she said.

Assunta Legnante of Italy took the silver with 40.25 meters while Yesenia Maria Restrepo Munoz of Colombia claimed the bronze with 36.11 meters. Chinese Tang Hongxia finished fourth with 33.46 meters.

Zhang Liangmin of China competes during the Tokyo Paralympics para-athletics women’s discus throw F11 final in Tokyo, Japan, August 31, 2021. /CFP

Besides discus throw, Zhang previously competed in multiple para-athletics events, such as the shot put and javelin.

In the discus throw, she won a silver medal at the 2008 Beijing Paralympics and then powered to victory by winning golds at both the 2012 London and 2016 Rio Paralympics. She also took the para-athletics world championships titles in the event in 2015 and 2017.

In the shot put, Zhang finished fourth at the 2008 Beijing Paralympics and took a bronze medal at the 2012 London Paralympics.

She won bronze in the javelin at the para-athletics world championships in 2015.

Zou Lijuan of China wins the Tokyo Paralympics para-athletics women’s shot put F34 final in Tokyo, Japan, August 31, 2021. /CFP

In the Tokyo women’s shot put F34, Zou Lijuan pocketed the gold with 9.19 meters, refreshing her own world record of 8.82 meters while Liu Li set a new world record of 12.97 meters in the men’s shot put F32, breaking his own world record of 12.05 meters set in 2019.

Zou had claimed the gold medal during the women’s javelin throw F34 final on August 29 and Liu also won gold in the men’s club throw F32 final on August 28.

Jiang Fenfen (front in red) of China competes during the Tokyo Paralympics para-athletics women’s 400 meters T37 final in Tokyo, Japan, August 31, 2021. /CFP

Zhou Zhaoqian won the gold in the women’s 1500 meters T54 and Jiang Fenfen became the champion in the women’s 400 meters T37.

China’s Paralympians on Tuesday won eight more gold medals at Tokyo 2020, keeping the country atop the medal standings with 62 golds and 132 medals in total.

Britain remained in second place with 80 medals out of which 29 were golds and the Russian Paralympic Committee stood at the third with 25 golds and 74 in total.

(With input from Xinhua)