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Paralympic Report

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Beverley Jones

06 September 2012

Britain won their 19th medal in the stadium to exceed their Beijing Paralympic medal haul and there were some encouraging performances in the heats.

The F37 women’s discus saw Bev Jones (John Parkin) end  her competition with a victory lap for a well deserved bronze medal.

After starting slowly with a 26.46m and 27.44m, she went into a bronze medal position in the third round with 30.04m, which she improved to 30.99m with her final throw to win her first medal in her fourth Paralympics.

She said, “It’s fantastic, I’m very pleased. I felt a bit pressure – you always feel pressure – but I knew I just had to hold it together.Today was more the kind of performance I had expected and my shot was more preparation for today. I’m very happy.”

The event was won by China’s Na Mi who set a world record 35.35m

In the women’s T38 200m Sixteen-year-old Olivia Breen (Leroy Elliott) finished fifth in her semi final in 29.75 and made the final as a fastest loser.

She said, “I got a bit tired towards the end but I got off to a good start and I’m happy. It was an anxious wait and I had my fingers crossed and now I just want to enjoy the final. I got so much confidence from the relay and it’s just been phenomenal. It’s my first big medal and I’m so happy I couldn’t ask for more. I’ll do my best tonight and enjoy it as it’s my last race here.”

In the men’s F40 shot, nineteen year-old Kyron Duke (Anthony Hughes) was back in eighth halfway before moving to seventh in round five with 10.84m but he had a great last throw of 11.24m which was a British record and moved him up to fifth place.

He said, “It’s immense, I’m ecstatic, it was crazy out there with 80,000 people behind you. It’s unexplainable, it’s so uplifting and if makes you want to do more. I’ve been speaking to a few of the guys who have already competed and they said you almost need to pull it back, to give 70% aggression or you’ll be too energised by the crowd and just lose control. I’m pumped, I can’t wait for my javelin, tomorrow’s going to be crazy.”

In the women’s T34 200m, Hannah Cockroft (Peter Eriksson) set a paralympic record and was easily the fastest with her 33.20/-0.1 clocking.

She said, “I’m pretty happy, I feel like I’m flying right now. It’s a Paralympic record so I can’t complain and hopefully I can do it again tonight.

Though some way below her fastest time of 35.93, Mel Nicholls (Job King) made the final as a fastest loser with a time of 39.41/0.9.

She said, “It’s amazing and out of this world there and I’m loving it. It wasn’t fast but I’m in the final.”

In the men’s T46 100m Ola Abidogun (Steve Thomas) won his heat in 11.21/0.6 to qualify for the final tonight which will be competitive as four athletes went 11.12 or faster.

He said, “It felt good, I’m glad I could perform after a poor 200m, it shows I’m healthy and strong. I need a PB tonight to win, but I’m more relaxed now and I feel fresh.”

In the women’s T54 1500m Jade Jones (Ian Thompson/Tanni Grey-Thompson) finished fifth in her heat in 3:32.60 and qualified for the final as a fastest loser. “The final is going to be tough. The best 10 girls in the world are in it. I knew I’d have to be fast to make it through. All the girls agreed in that we’d go out hard and work together to make it through. It was comfortable, I didn’t feel it too hard and this week has really got better as the week has gone on.”

Shelley Woods (Peter Eriksson) was in a much slower heat and she won in 3:42.12. “It was great, the aim was to qualify. I’ve had such a tough week and it’s been hard to lift my spirits; I felt like I was falling out with the stadium, but I watched Dave the other night and it just reminded me why I do this. I went out to enjoy it and I did. I’ve had great support from the team and my friends and family but you’re the only one who can do it out there. My confidence has been there, it’s just not been happening for me.”

Libby Clegg (Keith Antoine) ran in the T12 200m heat, smashed her PB with 25.10/-0.6 in second place but in good quality heats failed to make the final as Daquing Zhu equalled the world record 24.80. She was unlucky as she was the fourth fastest overall.

“I’m disappointed not to  qualify but did my best. I did everything I could and I couldn't have done anymore, so I'm ok, I really am ok. It's just shown how far Paralympic sport has moved on, so roll on next year for the Worlds and for Rio in four years time. The standard really is fantastic and it was going to happen sooner or later and it's happened here which has really shown the work that this is elite sport. I've learned a lot about myself this week, it's been fantastic and I'm really proud.”