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euro success for hermitage, weir and gold 

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13 June 2016


The British Athletics team won 11 medals on day three of the IPC Athletics European Championships including gold medals for Georgie Hermitage (Paul McGregor), David Weir (Jenny Archer) and Toby Gold (Jenny Archer), taking their tally to 26 overall for the championships.

In one of the highlights of the evening, Hermitage produced the race of her career to lower her own world record to 1:00.63 and take home the gold medal. In the mixed T37/38 race, she faced T38 Margarita Goncharova (RUS) who made a bold move in the first 200m to lead. However, world champion Hermitage showed her experience to motor down the home straight and take a thrilling victory.

She spoke afterwards: “It was always going to be a hard race in a mixed classification race – I was very aware I would be running it blind with (Margarita) Goncharova on the inside so when she overtook me on the back straight I did panic for a second but I tried to remember what to do. Coming into the home straight I had that little bit more left and it all paid off in the end.

“The 400m is what made me come into Paralympic sport. It is the one that really matters to me. It is not just about speed but about heart, courage and determination. So to come out on top today has put me in a good place going forward to Rio.”

Multiple global medallist David Weir (Jenny Archer) showed his versatility by adding the T54 400m crown to the 5000m he won on Sunday. It was his first major medal over the distance since the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing and he looked in good form to take the win in a championship record of 46.10. He was joined on the podium by a Briton for the first time as Richard Chiassaro (Jenni Banks) took the silver medal clocking 46.46.

Weir commented: “I was saying in warm-up that it would be great to have another Brit on the podium alongside me, I’ve never had it before. I didn’t really mind what colour I got to be honest but it’s great to get a one-two with Rich (Chiassaro).

“It’s also good for the (4x400m) relay as we have a really strong squad. I’ve always said the boys had potential and they are showing that this week. The Chinese and Thai team will be strong in Rio but we’ll see how it goes here later this week.”

Aptly named Toby Gold (Archer) won the T33 100m title for the first time in his career. After winning bronze at the IPC Athletic World Championships in 2015, the Weir Archer Academy athlete wanted to make amends and win in Grosseto. He did so ahead of Dan Bramall (Rick Hoskins) who was awarded the silver with Andrew Small (Hoskins) third (no medal available).

A delighted Gold said: “I feels like a long time coming does that. It puts my performance in Doha to bed and it’s obviously really encouraging heading into Rio. It is a big confidence booster and it was very much needed. All the hard work has been worthwhile, so it’s a good place to be.”

Captain Sam Ruddock (Jim Edwards) led by example to take home the silver medal in the F35 shot put. After finishing fifth in the world final last year, the Loughborough-based athlete is going from strength to strength in the event, earning a podium spot with a 13.65m effort, his second furthest ever.

Ruddock said: “I’m absolutely over the moon, I couldn’t be any happier. I didn’t know what the colour of the medal would be today, that wasn’t really my focus it was about doing what I do in the circle to produce the performance that I knew I was capable of. That’s something which would see me in the world’s top five which is good going into Rio. It’s my first major medal so I could not be happier with that.”

In the T53 400m there was double British joy as Mo Jomni (Archer) won silver, and the returning Mickey Bushell (Archer) seized the bronze. Jomni, who won the 200m title on Sunday, bettered his compatriot’s British record with a time of 49.40 to earn his second European medal of the week. Bushell, the Paralympic 100m champion has endured injuries in the last couple of years but was back in fine form to make his way back onto the podium, recording a time of 51.04.  

There was a trio of bronze medals from Jordan Howe (Keith Antoine) who has faced injury woes already in 2016 but it was a welcome return to form from the Welshman who took third place in the T35 200m with a time of 28.27 (-1.5). Laura Sugar (Femi Akinsanya) retained her bronze medal from Swansea in the T44 200m recording a time of 28.29 behind Germany’s champion Irmgard Bensusan. Additionally, Ben Rowlings (Job King) matched his bronze medal in the 400m yesterday in the shorter 100m sprint, taking it in 16.67 (-0.2). Isaac Towers (Peter Wyman) was fourth in the same event posting a personal best of 16.90.

In the T38 long jump Olivia Breen (Jonas Tawiah-Dodoo) leapt close to her PB with an effort of 4.34m in round three, however she just missed out on a medal and settled for fourth position.

Action continues from 9:00am UK time on the Channel 4 website: http://paralympics.channel4.com/competitions/grosseto-european-athletics-2016/news/newsid=1242147/index.html#live-ipc-athletics-european-championships

British Athletics medal tally at the IPC Athletics European Championships: (26)

Gold:

Richard Chiassaro – T54 200m

Aled Davies – F42 Shot Put

Dan Greaves – F44-46 Discus

Toby Gold – T33 100m

Georgie Hermitage – T37/38 400m

Mo Jomni – T53 200m

Maria Lyle – T35 100m

David Weir – T54 400m and 5000m

Richard Whitehead – T42 100m

Silver:

Dan Bramall – T33 100m

Richard Chiassaro – T54 400m

Sophie Hahn – T38 200m

Mo Jomni – T53 400m

Sam Ruddock – F35 Shot Put

Carly Tait – T34 100m and 400m

Isaac Towers – T34 400m

Bronze:

Jonathan Broom-Edwards – T42/44 High Jump

Mickey Bushell – T53 400m

Kadeena Cox – T38 200m

Jordan Howe – T35 200m

Steve Osborne – T51 100m

Ben Rowlings – T34 100m and 400m

Laura Sugar – T44 200m