China’s youngest Paralympian broke her own world record in the pool in Tokyo on Monday, a day after Norwegian former refugee Salum Ageze Kashafali ran the fastest Paralympic Games 100 metres in history.
Dubbed the “Flying Fish”, 16-year-old Jiang Yuyan set an S6 50m butterfly world record of 34.56sec in Monday morning’s heats, knocking 0.30sec off the mark she set in winning the 2019 World Championships in London as a 14-year-old.
Elsewhere on day six of competition, British sprint star Jonnie Peacock will go for a third consecutive Paralympic 100m gold when he runs in the T64 final.
Records have been falling on a daily basis at the Tokyo Games, and Norway’s Kashafali on Sunday became the fastest 100m runner in Paralympic history when he crossed the line in 10.46sec in the T12 final.
“I came from nothing. I came from begging on the streets.”
“I have been through so much, from bullets to hunger, and to be here as one of the best means a lot to me,” Kashafali said.
He is not the only survivor of war at the Games, which features a refugee team and two Afghan athletes who escaped from Kabul after the country’s fall to the Taliban this month.
International Paralympic Committee chief Andrew Parsons said Monday that receiving the pair in Tokyo was “a moment I will remember for the rest of my life.”
Khudadadi will compete in the women’s -49kg K44 taekwondo on Thursday. Sprinter Rasouli will take part in the men’s T47 long jump on Tuesday having arrived too late for his favoured T47 100m.
Elsewhere Monday, play was delayed on all outdoor tennis courts till at least 5pm local time as Tokyo sweated through more summer heat.
The team thought they had come away with the silver, but the second spot was instead handed to Australia after judges disqualified the US side over an illegal changeover.
Britain’s wheelchair rugby team were meanwhile nursing hangovers on Monday, a day after a shock gold medal, the first time a European team has triumphed in the sport once known as “murderball.”
Japan took bronze after defeating 2016 Rio champions Australia in the third-place match.
“For the past four or five years we’ve been building towards something special,” he added.
Jim Roberts, who scored 24 tries in the final to lead his side to victory, was asked how he would celebrate.