Richard Whitehead disappointed but Hannah Cockroft takes gold in London
Sophie Kamlish and Olivia Breen also won titles on another glorious evening for Great Britain.
Hannah Cockroft claimed her second gold of the World Para Athletics Championships before Richard Whitehead missed out on his bid and expressed frustration at a lack of opportunity at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics.
Wheelchair racer Cockroft won the T34 800 metres after colluding with team-mate Kare Adenegan, who finished third, and Sophie Kamlish won the T44 100m to take host Great Britain’s gold medal tally to 11. Olivia Breen had won the ninth gold earlier in the day.
But Whitehead, who won T42 200m on Saturday, finished third over 100m before hitting out at the International Paralympic Committee for denying double amputees like him the opportunity to compete over the shorter distance at the next Paralympics.
Australia’s Scott Readon, a single leg above knee amputee who won the 100m on Monday, has lobbied for double above knee amputees to compete separately due to the circular motion of their running style.
That means Whitehead, 200m champion at the last two Paralympics, will have only one race to compete in at Tokyo 2020.
“I will only have a 200 metres to run in Tokyo, which is ridiculous,” Whitehead said.
“We want the 100 and 200m in Tokyo. The IPC need to, not take it out of the programme, they need to talk to us and understand why.
“Scott Reardon is a great athlete, but as a person he’s someone that wants to provide himself with the best opportunity of success, not to compete. That’s not me saying it bitterly, that’s me saying it truthfully.
“I’ve seen emails from Scott and the Australian authorities that have looked at the reason why we shouldn’t be involved and that is for ‘danger’ reasons, which is ridiculous.
“Because we circumduct, they say we’re going to trip the other athletes. I race in mainstream athletics day-in, day-out. It’s never happened. I’m more impaired than the single leg amputees, but they’re asking me to run double the distance.”
Whitehead is four times the 200m world champion, but has never won the 100m world title.
The Nottinghamshire runner, 41 on Wednesday, had to settle for bronze as Reardon won gold in 12.21secs.
Daniel Wagner of Denmark took silver in 12.30 and Whitehead, a slow starter who was gaining fast, third in 12.39.
Cockroft is the outstanding talent in her T34 class and is now a nine-time world champion. She will target a 10th in the 400m on Thursday.
Adenegan aided Cockroft’s bid. The 16-year-old Coventry racer made a fast start and led coming to the bell before pulling to one side to allow Cockroft to pass.
Adenegan then immediately went in behind Cockroft, forcing Alexa Halko to round her and giving her team-mate a cushion.
Cockroft won in two minutes 01.78 seconds, with Halko second and Adenegan third. The American had no complaints afterwards.
Cockroft, who opened the hosts’ account with 100m victory on Friday, said: “It wasn’t all planned. Everyone’s out for themselves, but you’re going to look out for your team-mates over anybody else.
“I have never been more nervous before a race. The 800 is always my hardest event to win. I just put in my best performance and thankfully it was enough.”
Kamlish feared a repeat of Rio, when she qualified in a world record only to finish fourth.
But this time, after a world record of 12.90, she kept her composure to win, clocking just 0.02secs slower in the final.
Kamlish said: “I was really worried about Rio. Then I thought it was okay. My brain isn’t going to let me do that again.
“I’m so pleased. I kind of can’t believe it. It’s incredible.”
Breen won the T38 long jump earlier in the day with a personal best leap of 4.81 metres which would have been good enough for gold in Rio.
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