Top 10 finish for German para athletes in London World Championships | News | DW | 23.07.2017
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Top 10 finish for German para athletes in London World Championships

Germany's team has finished with eight gold, seven silver and seven bronze medals at the World Para Athletics Championships in London. China finished top of the overall medals table with a total of 65.

The German men's T42-47 team (pictured) finished the 4x100 relay in a time of 42.81 seconds on Sunday, ahead of Italy (43.32) and Japan (44.20), winning the country its eighth gold medal at the World Para Athletics Championships in London. The US team had crossed the line first but were disqualified for running out of the change zone.

China finished the championships top of the overall medals table, after winning a further five on Sunday to take the team's total to 65. The United States came second, with 20 golds, 19 silvers and 20 bronzes, followed by Britain, with 18 golds, eight silvers and 13 bronzes.

More than 230,000 people turned out to the London Stadium over the event's 10 days - which represents more tickets sold than in the eight previous championships combined. As a result, there have been calls from athletes and organizers to return to London for the next championships, in 2019. The International Paralympic Committee has yet to announce a 2019 host. Just 15,000 tickets were sold in Doha, Qatar, when the games were hosted there in 2015.

"It would be great for us to come back," said Markus Rehm, Germany's T44 long jump champion. "We feel really really welcome here."

The T42 sprinter and long jumper Vanessa Low echoed her compatriot's opinion: "In London, athletes feel like they are accepted for their performance and not for their disability." But Low also thought that another city should be given the chance to match London.

More athletes, ongoing sponsor

The number of licensed para athletes around the world has grown from 3,770 in 114 countries at the end of 2013 to 4,702 in 157 countries at the end of last year.

The German insurance company Allianz has sponsored World Para Athletics since 2014 and announced last week that it had extended its contract to the end of next year, which would encompass the European Championships in Berlin, with an option to extend the partnership through to 2020.

Global market management head Jean-Marc Pailhol said Allianz's support of para athletics was a way of creating "a more equitable society with equal opportunities for everyone."


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