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RECORDS GALORE ON OPENING DAY OF PARALYMPIC GAMES 

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09 September 2016 


On the opening day of athletics at the Paralympic Games, a number of Britons performed impressively with one world record equalled and two other Paralympic records set.

Despite an injury-disrupted build-up to the Games, Georgie Hermitage (coach: Paul McGregor) proved that she is in the best shape of her life as she equalled her own world record time of 13.39 (0.0) on her way to qualifying for the T37 100m final tomorrow. She set off in blistering pace, and held her form to cruise to victory successfully navigate her way through the opening round.

The world T37 400m gold medallist said: “That was really good for me and calmed my nerves. I’m really happy with the time. I mean, considering the last couple of months of niggles coming into this, I was worried at times that I wouldn’t even make it here. But that time bodes well for the final.”

Jonnie Peacock (Dan Pfaff) was in imperious form as he began the defence of his title with Paralympic record of 10.81 on his way to securing a place in tomorrow’s T44 100m final. Peacock got off to a tremendous start, blowing away his competition over the first 50m before easing down over the last 20m, setting the fastest time ever set at a Games.

A confident Peacock, spoke afterwards: “I'm reasonably happy with the 10.81, it's my second fastest time of the year so can't ask for much more than that. It felt relatively easy - I know I’m in great form coming here and that's what this whole year is about. Look at my results, every month that goes by, the times go down. Tomorrow I hope to go a lot faster than that.”

On what it’s going to take to win the gold medal, he added: “Faster than that – I’d be wouldn't be surprised if it was sub-10.80 that takes silver or bronze. There are some really fast guys in the field here and it's a good track and temperature.”

There was triple British delight in the T38 100m as Sophie Hahn (Joe McDonnell), Kadeena Cox (Brian Scobie) and Olivia Breen (Jonas Tawiah-Doo) all made it through into the final on Friday evening. Hahn showed her intent early on, setting a Paralympic record of 12.62 (+0.9) on her way to winning the heat, followed by Cox who set a personal best of 12.98 to take second spot and seal another automatic place in the final. There was longer wait for Breen who placed fourth in the first heat but her time of 13.35, just outside her lifetime best was enough to see her join her compatriots in the showpiece final.

In her first ever Paralympic Games final, Sammi Kinghorn (Ian Mirfin) crossed the line fifth in the T53 100m final. After earlier qualifying for the final in supreme fashion, the ParalympicsGB athlete built up her speed throughout the race, finding extra power on the final few metres to post a time of 17.13 (+0.2).

In the men’s F41 shot put final, Kyron Duke (Anthony Hughes) managed a best effort of 11.41m in round two which ensured a fifth place finish for the Welshman. He managed another mark of 11.40m in the final round but there were a few fouls within his series which disappointed the 2012 medallist. Nevertheless, Duke will return to the Olympic Stadium for the javelin on Sunday.

Also in the field, at the tender age of 16, Polly Maton (Colin Baross) showed experience beyond her years to finish seventh in the women’s T47 long jump. She got her biggest jump in early, leaping 5.10m in round one. A consistent series followed in the high four metre mark in what was a promising Games debut from the 2015 world finalist.

Earlier in the day, Libby Clegg (Joe McDonnell) and her guide Chris Clarke advanced to tomorrow’s T11 100m semi-finals after taking joint first in the second heat, clocking 12.17 (+0.4), identical to her Chinese competitor Guohua Zhou. Clegg and Clarke executed a professional race, finishing strongly reeling in her rival to progress to the next stage in an official personal best.