‘I had settled for silver’: Hannah Cockroft breaks T34 100m world record

Hannah Cockroft claimed a fifth consecutive T34 100m title with a stunning world-record time of 16.79sec at the World Para-Athletics Championships in Dubai.

In a British one-two Kare Adenegan won silver in a season-best time of 17.49. The 18-year-old had gone into the final as world record holder, having defeated her more experienced rival in the T34 100m at the European Championships in Berlin last year.

Strong starts by the two Britons distanced five other finalists to create a two-way battle for victory, with the 27-year-old Cockroft forging a decisive gap in the final 50m to seal an 11th world title and beating Adenegan’s previous mark by 0.01sec. Alexa Halko, of the US, won bronze in 18.83.

Cockroft admitted afterwards she had not expected victory against Adenegan before the race on Sunday.

“I don’t have any words,” she told BBC Sport. “I’ve worked really hard this year on my start, knowing it’s Kare’s strong point, so I had to make the weakest part of my race the strongest. I think I had settled for silver in my head, so to come out on top, I actually got the medal I wanted.”

Cockroft came to prominence after winning 100m and 200m gold at the London 2012 Olympics, with three gold medals following at the 2016 Rio Olympics over 100m, 400m and 800m.

At these Dubai Para-Athletics Championships, where extreme heat had been expected to play a part, Cockroft said: “There was a storm last night, there was rain, it was windy, and I just thought, you know what – I might as well be in Yorkshire.”

“I didn’t really feel motivated to be at the European Championships, but Kare winning there was a real eye-opener for me, it really woke me up. To see her elation at winning, it made me realise maybe what I had lost.”

Adenegan, who started at university just a few weeks ago, saw the positives in setting a season-best time. “I’ve been working really hard since having a break for exams,” the British co‑captain said. “Training has been going quite well so I knew the 100m would be strong, so I am pleased with it. The silver means a lot. I’ve had a really long year so I wasn’t sure what kind of form I would come into the world championships with, but the fact I’ve done a season’s best shows I’m improving and getting back to the shape I need to be in.”

Also on Sunday, there was a bronze medal for Kyron Duke in the F41 shot put. The Welshman won silver in 2017 and headed into these championships as the world record holder. He produced a throw of 13.82 metres in round two, which was enough to claim third overall. Duke said: “I’m happy but I really wanted that gold. There are mixed emotions, but I’ll keep my head high. I’ve done my team proud and done my country proud.”

After three medals on Sunday, the British Athletics haul now stands at seven for the championships. Paul Blake took T36 800m gold, with Olivia Breen (T38 Long Jump) and Sammi Kinghorn (T53 100m) also winning bronze medals. Derek Rae won silver in the T46 Marathon, which took place at the London Marathon this year.

Cockroft and Adenegan will both be back in action for the 800m final on Thursday. Cockroft said: “The 800m will be a lot different to the 100m. It’ll be a bit of a game. I’m feeling really strong … hopefully I win world gold number 12.”