Hollie Arnold (coach: Scott Knighton, club: Blackheath & Bromley) sealed a sensational sixth consecutive world title in the F46 javelin to get Great Britain and Northern Ireland off to a golden start at the World Para Athletics Championships Kobe24.

Meanwhile there was an eighth-place finish for Kevin Santos in the T47 100m, while Thomas Young safely progressed to the men’s T38 100m final as the second fastest overall. Arnold’s first global title came back in 2013 in Lyon, and 11 years down the line, the hunger and desire remain just as strong for the 2016 Paralympic champion who was gunning for a remarkable sixth world title.

The Welsh athlete opened with a solid effort of 39.44m which saw her lie five metres ahead of the rest of the field after round one which strengthened her bid for another world gold. It would be a lead she would never lose, and she further consolidated in round four when she extended her best to 40.89m, before finishing with a 40.29m throw.

In a consistent series, she added marks of 38.75m, 37.40m and 37.49m to her scorecard on the way to further global success. Serbia’s Saska Sokolov and Netherland’s Noelle Roorda finished second and third respectively; their best marks measuring in at 38.55m and 38.41m.

Afterwards, a delighted Arnold said: “Honestly it was amazing. I have been worried sick the last two days but as soon as I walked out onto the track, I was like ‘game time, gladiator on’. The emotion came out when I threw the first plus 40m.

“After a tough year last year, I’m so pleased to come back with two consecutive world titles. I have been telling my coach (Scott) that if I go out there and get that first throw down, whatever it may be, I can build on that.

“When I hit the 39.44m, that gave me a real boost for the rest of the series. Anything can happen with those rounds, but as soon as those last athletes went to throw and I realised I had won, I just had to hold it together for my last throw.

“My bottom lip was wobbling as I was getting really emotional. But I knew I had won my sixth title, so I just went for it and make it count. I felt so happy when I threw that last one and I knew I had won a sixth title.

“That feeling never goes away. Thank you so much to all those who have supported me, you know who you are, and I love you all.”

Earlier in the programme, there was eighth place finish for Kevin Santos (coach: Mike Utting, club: City of Norwich) in the men’s T47 100m final, as he clocked a time of 11.14 (0.1). After qualifying through his heat during the morning session in a time of 11.16, he returned for the final during the evening session against a highly competitive field.

With the race favourite Petrucio Ferreira Dos Santos (BRA) matching expectations and winning in a time of 10.83, the medals all went to times under 10.88. Santos, who won world bronze in Paris last year, was opening his season in Kobe and reflected on the race, saying: “I am a bit disappointed to come eighth after coming third last year.

“I have to look back on the race and see what I need to improve. I know it is my season opener, but all things considering, I am disappointed. I am glad I got out here to get the experience because that is what I need so I am grateful for the opportunity.”

Santos will return to the track as part of the 4x100m universal relay team later in the Championships. Thomas Young (Joe McDonnell, Charnwood) was back with a bang in his T38 100m heat as he moved into Saturday’s final as the second fastest qualifier overall after a strong performance.

Young, lining up in heat two, knew a top three place would book him a slot in the race for the medals. He got out of the blocks well and took a slight advantage over Jaydin Blackwell in the early stages of the race.

However, in the final few strides, the American came through to take the heat win by 0.01s but Young still comfortably progressed with a time of 11.09 (-1.2). The reigning Paralympic champion was pleased with his qualification to the final, commenting: “I would have liked to have got the win but last year I was half a second off these guys and now I’m 0.01s off them.

“I know what to expect now, I know what times I’ve been running in training and races in the UK, so the final is a completely new race. I’m so glad I can put last year behind me, focus on the final tomorrow and the big one in a couple of months’ time.”

During the morning session, Zac Shaw (Leon Baptiste, Cleethorpes) advanced to the men’s T12 100m final after a solid opener. The co-captain got out of the blocks strongly and held his form to go clear of the Brazilian Kesley Teodoro and win in a time of 11.00 (0.4) and move into Saturday evening’s final.

The 2024 World Para Athletics Championships will be live on the IPC YouTube channel.