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blake adds gold to his paralympic medal tally 

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16 September 2016 


Paul Blake (coach: Rob Ellchuk) won his first ever Paralympic gold medal in the T36 400m in serene fashion to win ParalympicsGB’s 50th gold across all sports.

The Bath-based athlete faced early pressure from his Polish opponent Krzysztof Ciuksza who went alongside him at the halfway mark, however Blake turned on the accelerator in the home straight to power to the title. Running from lane eight, it was a valiant effort from the current world 400m silver medallist as he recorded a season best of 54.49.

Blake, now a three-time Paralympic medallist said: “It feels incredible – I’ve worked so hard to get where I am now. Coming out of London, I wanted to go one better. I’m still lost for words and it just hasn’t sunk in. I’m sure it will later on or maybe after the 800m.

“I was just trying to stay relaxed – with the 200m training I’ve been doing this season I knew if I didn’t tense up, I’d be fine. If I had done, I’d have lost my form and panicked. I kept my form and thank god it panned out well.”

Blake who has three Paralympic medals to his name, made a special mention to his coach Rob Ellchuk who has guided him to his ever-growing silverware collection.

“Rob (Ellchuk – coach) does a fantastic job. He’s a pretty unique coach – he doesn’t treat any athlete in the group differently, whether it be me as a Paralympic gold medallist or an up and coming para athlete. He’s a great character and very funny so all credit to him. Thanks to the British Athletics staff, the EIS team in Bath – their support has helped me a lot.”

Blake now competes over 800m tomorrow evening, and spoke about his expectations ahead of that race.

“I came away from the world championships in Doha as the gold medallist but this is the Paralympic Games so anything can happen. I’m just going to rest up now and then bring on the 800m tomorrow.”

In the T53/54 4x400m relay, the team finished second in their heat but the time of 3:14.43 did not see them progress to the final on the last day. Despite clean changeovers, the quartet of Richard Chiassaro (Jenni Banks), Nathan Maguire (Steven Hoskins), Mo Jomni (Jenny Archer) and David Weir (Archer) just missed as they finished three seconds outside the Canadians time.

A disappointed Chiassaro said: “I went flying round there – I got a higher speed than I did in that 400m heat. I’m just gutted we didn’t qualify.”

Paralympics Debutante Maguire added: “It was amazing out there – I thought I pushed really well. I did myself justice but I’m gutted we didn’t reach the final. It has been really great to work with the team; it has so much experience and I have learned so much. I’ll be taking it into 2017 and hoping to push on.”

ParalympicsGB Athletics medal tally: (28)

Gold (14):

Hollie Arnold – F46 Javelin

Paul Blake – T36 400m

Jo Butterfield – F51 Club Throw

Libby Clegg & Chris Clarke – T11 100m and 200m

Kadeena Cox – T38 400m

Hannah Cockroft – T34 100m and 400m

Aled Davies – F42 Shot Put

Sophie Hahn – T38 100m

Georgie Hermitage – T37 100m and 400m

Jonnie Peacock – T44 100m

Richard Whitehead – T42 200m

Silver (6):

Kare Adenegan – T34 100m

Jonathan Broom-Edwards – T44 High Jump

Toby Gold – T33 100m

Stef Reid – T44 long jump

Richard Whitehead – T42 100m

Women’s T35-38 4x100m relay – (Kadeena Cox, Maria Lyle, Georgie Hermitage and Sophie Hahn)

Bronze (8):

Kare Adenegan – T34 400m

Kadeena Cox – T38 100m

Gemma Prescott – F32 club throw

Sabrina Fortune – F20 shot put

Stephen Miller – F32 Club Throw

Andrew Small – T33 100m 

David Henson – T42 200m  

Maria Lyle – T35 100m