Lewis sets personal best in Dubai
Jessica Lewis said she is “over the moon” after setting a personal best in her T53 100 metres heat on the opening day of the World Para Athletics Championships in Dubai today.
The wheelchair sprinter won heat two in a time of 16.74sec, shattering her previous best of 16.77, to ease her way into the 100 final at the Dubai Club for People of Determination tomorrow.
Lewis comfortably beat second place Fang Gao, of China, who finished in 16.87, and multiple Paralympic medal-winner Angela Ballard, of Australia, in 17.57.
Ilana Dupont, of Canada, also advanced to the final as her fourth-place time of 18.14 was one of the next two fastest qualifying times.
“I’m feeling over the moon to come away with a win in my heat and a PB time of 16.74,” Lewis said. “After my last training session yesterday, I told my coach I was feeling a 16-second 100 metres and I’m so thrilled it came true.
“Tomorrow’s final is going to be a fast one as six of the eight of us are within four hundredths of a second of each other.”
In heat one, Samantha Kinghorn, of Britain, won in a time of 16.39, with Hongzhuan Zhou, of China, coming second in 16.45 and Hamide Dogangun, of Turkey, placing third in 16.80.
Kelsey Lefevour, of the United States, who finished fourth in 17.47, also qualified for the final.
Lewis is also competing in the 400 and 800 in Dubai.
The 26-year-old’s confidence is at an all-time high after her scintillating performances at the Parapan American Games in Lima, Peru, in August. She won medals in all three of her events, claiming gold in the 100 and 400, and silver in the 800.
Lewis also blitzed her previous Games record time of 17.67sec in the 100, set in Toronto four years ago, crossing the line in 17.36. The Bermudian placed sixth in the 100 at the previous world championships in London in 2017, crossing the finish line in 17.40sec — her same time at the championships in 2015 in Doha, Qatar, where she claimed bronze.
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