Sport

Paralympian Evan O'Hanlon claims ACT able-bodied sprint crown

Paralympic superstar Evan O'Hanlon is the fastest man with cerebral palsy in the world  and now he's officially the fastest man in the ACT - including able-bodied 100-metre sprinters as well.

O'Hanlon finished seventh in the 100m final at the Athletics ACT championships at AIS Arena on Saturday, but as the first Canberran home was crowned the champion.

Evan O'Hanlon pictured during the 100m sprint heats.
Evan O'Hanlon pictured during the 100m sprint heats. Photo: Rohan Thomson

Both Andrew McCabe and Harith Ammar Mohd Sobri finished first in a dead heat in 10.73 seconds, with O'Hanlon stopping the clock in 11.10s

The multiple Paralympic gold medallist is competing against Australia's top able-bodied sprinters this summer in a bid to lower his world record of 10.79s to a point where it's never broken.

Annamaria Leszczynska leading the under-16 90m hurdles.
Annamaria Leszczynska leading the under-16 90m hurdles. Photo: Rohan Thomson

He's already qualified for the able-bodied 100m at the nationals.

Athletics ACT might have a bit of explaining to do after O'Hanlon was allocated lane 10 for the final, despite recording the sixth fastest time from the heats.

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The ninth and 10th lanes had less than 20m run-off after the finish line due to a tent, restricting the speed the competitors in those lanes could hit the line at.

"To be disabled and then claim that I'm the fastest man in the ACT officially is amazing, not many people can do that in their career, I'm pretty happy," O'Hanlon said.

Rachel Pace and Danielle Shaw compete in the under-18 100m hurdles.
Rachel Pace and Danielle Shaw compete in the under-18 100m hurdles. Photo: Rohan Thomson

"It just shows that [coach Iryna Dvoskina] really knows what she's doing, to be able to produce a disabled athlete that can keep up with all the able-bodied athletes and make a few of them look silly. She's obviously a pretty good coach."

Fellow Canberran Lauren Wells feels she's on track to record a world championships qualifying time at either the Melbourne World Challenge in four weeks or the nationals in Brisbane a week later.

Wells took out both the ACT 400m hurdles and 400m titles and although her time of 56.51s was 0.31s outside booking a ticket for the world champs in Beijing this year, she was on personal-best pace over the first 300m.

She's building her season to peak in Melbourne and Brisbane, which has her confident there's a fast time just around the corner.

Wells is going into a solid training block over the next three weeks to ensure she can start finishing off her good starts.

Having some competition in races would also help, as Wells is usually running alone out in front of the chasing field.

"It's a huge confidence-booster for me knowing I can come out and run that well for three-quarters of the race," she said.

"A bit of extra fitness, lactic training, hurdle work, is going to help with that last 100 and I think I'm going to have to pretend that someone's on my shoulder like Anneliese [Rubie, who finished second in the 400m] was tonight - that really spurred me on towards the end."

The ACT championships finish off at AIS Arena on Sunday, which includes Australian 100m record holder Melissa Breen running in the 200m.

RESULTS

Women's 100m: Ashleigh  Whittaker 11.70, Michelle Jenneke 11.76, Hayley Butler  11.88.

Women's 400m: Lauren Wells  53.42, Anneliese Rubie 53.53, Siti Nur Af Addul Razak 55.15.

Women's 100m hurdles: Michelle Jenneke 13.52, Courtney Yates 14.33, Elizabeth Clay 14.34.

Men's 100m: Andrew McCabe and Harith Ammar Mohd Sobri  10.73, Jake Lynch  10.93.

Men's 400m: Clay Watkins  46.85, Kurt Mulcahy  47.22, Alex Carew 47.36.

Men's 110m hurdles: Nicholas Hough 13.74, Justin  Merlino 13.81, Jack Conway 14.12.