Cockroft: 11th world title 'the best yet'

Hannah Cockroft claimed T34 100m gold at the World Para Athletics Championships

HANNAH Cockroft declared her 11th world title the best of the lot after storming to a world record in Dubai.

The Yorkshire athlete has had a mixed year on the track but delivered when it mattered most to win the T34 100m, stopping the clock in 16.77 seconds in the World Para Athletics Championships.

In doing so she outsprinted teenage wheelchair racing star Kare Adenegan, with the British pair a cut above the field as they hone in on Paralympic preparation.

“I think number 11 is probably the best yet. It was definitely the hardest to win,” said Cockroft “They mean more and more. Kare is the biggest rival I’ve ever had; she’s a fantastic athlete.

“It’s great that I’ve come out on top here but you know that can switch around at any time. You’ve got to take the gold when you can and keep working hard.

“I really wanted to come and win the gold. I would have been happy with silver because I know Kare has been working hard and is strong, and was the world record holder.

“I haven’t dipped below 17 seconds ever in my career, not even in training, so I have no idea where that came from but I’m so pleased it did on race day.

“I just about managed to hold back the tears when I crossed the finish line, so it is going to be an emotional moment on the podium.”

The emergence of teenager Adenegan has certainly brought the best out of Cockroft, who had to settle for silver in last year’s European Championships in Berlin.

But come the world stage, the 27-year-old rules the roost – with this gold medal her fifth in succession in the T34 100m in a winning run that goes back to Christchurch 2011.

A Paralympic champion across 100m, 200m, 400m and 800m in her esteemed career, the work isn’t done yet for the wheelchair athlete with a race across her longest distance still to come in Dubai.

READ MORE: Experienced Adenegan ready for World Para Athletics Championships

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“I remember sitting on the start line and then crossing the finish line, that’s literally it,” said Cockroft. “I came into this race really calm. I knew I’d worked as hard as I could to be here. We were all chatting on the start line and it was all a lot of fun.

“The 800m will be a lot different to the 100m. It’ll be a bit of a game.

“I’m feeling really strong; I’ve done a lot of work on my 800m. I just need to get out of my blocks the best I can and see how the rest of the race pans out and hopefully I win world gold number 12.”

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