Berlin 2018: Final flourish for Felix Streng

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male Para sprinter Felix Streng running in a race Felix Streng is aiming to round off Berlin 2018 with a gold in the men's 100m T64 © • Ralf Kuckuck/BS Berlin

The seventh and final day of competition at the Berlin 2018 World Para Athletics European Championships will see the last of 182 medal events decided, and one man hoping to strike gold is home favourite Felix Streng.

The German sprint star, who competes in the T64 class for single below-knee amputees, races in the blue riband men’s 100m T64 on Sunday (26 August), and he is in the form of his life.

Two months ago, Streng clocked a new personal best of 10.67 seconds. Only two Para athletes in his class have ever run faster – US world record holder Richard Browne and Great Britain’s world and Paralympic champion Jonnie Peacock.

With no Peacock in Berlin to defend his title – the Briton has taken a year out from the sport – gold is there for the taking.

“I think I’m very confident, I’ve shown some fast times and I’m excited to run. I’m in good shape and I’m really looking forward to it. The crowd, especially when we are running at home, will give me some extra motivation,” said Streng.

Of course, it’s not that simple.

Teammate Johannes Floors, a double below-knee amputee in the T62 class, also races in the 100m. he has a best of 10.79 this year and won silver behind Peacock at the World Championships last year; Streng for the record, missed that event through injury.

As for a message for his teammate, Streng is quick to respond.

“I wish Johannes all the best, but I think he has to watch the race from behind.”

Floors doesn’t just have the 100m on Sunday – he also races in the 400m T62. The reigning world champion is the fastest in the field by a considerable margin.

Hug hunts hat-trick

Switzerland’s Marcel Hug claimed 5,000m T54 gold on the first day of competition, then won the 800m T54 three days’ later. Now he returns for the 1,500m T54; he’ll have to get past the likes of Germany’s Alhassane Balde to complete his Berlin 2018 hat-trick.

Ireland’s Niamh McCarthy is one of six competitors in the women’s discus F41. The 24-year-old has won Paralympic and world silver, as well as silver at the last European Championships, but after setting a new European three months ago this looks like her best chance yet to top the podium.

Latvia’s triple world champion Diana Dadzite will be hoping to round off a superb Berlin 2018 campaign with victory in the shot put F55 – she already won discus and javelin gold this week.

Making history

Rounding off the Berlin 2018 European Championships is the universal 4 x 100m relay. This is the first time the event – which comprises teams of two male and two female Para athletes across different classes - has been part of a major championships.

Each team has a vision impaired athlete, a wheelchair racer, an athlete from the T42-47 or T61-64 limb impairment classes and one from the T35-38 co-ordination impairment classes. Saturday’s heats provided a thrilling taste of what is to come.

Every minute of the Berlin 2018 European Championships is being streamed live on the World Para Athletics website. Visit the Berlin 2018 website for live results, full schedule, highlights and latest news.