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UK Athletics

ipc world championships (3)

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Bev Jones
Bev Jones en route to World silver

23 January 2011

Defending World shot putt champion Bev Jones (coach: John Parkin) won an impressive F37 discus silver medal in this morning’s session at the IPC Athletics World Championships in Christchurch, New Zealand (21-30 January).

The current world leader going into the event with a PB of 30.38, Jones exceeded that mark in the third round to record a new European Record of 30.62m and win the second medal of the day for the Aviva Great Britain and Northern Ireland team.

“I’m very pleased with that,” said the former World Record holder in the shot putt – an event she lines up in tomorrow evening (Monday 24 January, 18.00 NZ time, 05.00 UK time). “I just wanted to go out there to continue to do what I’d been doing in training. Discus is what I’ve been focusing on so I’m pleased to set a new PB; it’s a huge confidence boost to get so close to the Paralympic champion.”

China’s Na Mi, the gold medallist in Beijing two years ago, had delivered an amazingly consistent series of throws to secure gold on this occasion; having opened with 29.80m, she went on to record three successive throws in excess of 30m and made sure of victory with a new Championship Record of 31.46m in round five.

Evidencing the harsh spectrum of emotions in elite track and field, and in stark contrast to the joyous response from Jones, T53 100m World Record holder Mickey Bushell (coach: Fred Periac) was hugely disappointed to finish second in his short-sprint final (14.86 (+0.5m/s)) in the opening track event of the day.

The Beijing Paralympic Games silver medallist, who clocked a lifetime best of 14.47 in Arbon, Switzerland in June 2010, was undoubtedly the favourite going into the race but it was China’s Huzhao Li who took the victory in a new Championship Record (14.82) pushing clear to win in the last few metres.

“I have to say I’m disappointed, “said Birchfield Harrier Bushell, “but now I need to pick myself up and focus on my next race.

“I’ve had the chance to speak to my family and they have been really supportive of me, I couldn’t ask for better support.”

He’s back in action on Tuesday 25 January in the T53 200m heats (17.22 NZ time/04.22 UK time), an event in which he’s currently ranked third in the world with a PB of 26.17

On his Aviva GB & NI senior debut in the men’s F42 javelin, Scott Moorhouse (coach: Shelley Holroyd), who opened with two no-throws, regained his composure in round three to record 36.02m and went on to finish a credible fourth (38.31m).

The IWAS World Junior Championships silver medallist was disappointed not to exceed his lifetime best of 41.25m, but admitted that he would take a lot away from his experience: “I wanted to PB, but it’s not bad for my first major senior Championships,” he said. “Overall it was encouraging, but although I gave it my best shot I just didn’t quite get to where I wanted.”

Beijing Paralympic Games silver medallist Ben Rushgrove (coach: Rob Ellchuk) clocked the second fastest time of the day to cruise through to the final of the men’s T36 100m after easing up to finish second in his heat (12.48 (+0.2m/s)). “I knew the guys around me were working hard but I found that quite easy,” laughed the Bath based athlete who won his first major international medal over 200m in the IPC Athletics World Championships in Assen four years ago.

There was a similarly positive response from Graeme Ballard (coach: Steve Thomas), the 2006 World Championships 100m silver medallist: “That was a fantastic start,” he said following his heat one victory (12.66 (+0.9m/s); “it was awesome, I really went for it, but I’ve definitely got more left in the tank for the final.”

Ian Jones (coach: John Dunne), Beijing double bronze medallist in the T44 200m and 400m, qualified automatically for tomorrow’s 200m final after finishing third (23.84 (-0.7m/s)) in his tough first round heat.

Paralympic gold medallist Oscar Pistorius scorched to victory in 22.52 which was the quickest qualifying mark across both heats by almost one second. The final takes place tomorrow, Monday 24 January, at 10.26 NZ time (21.26 UK time).

Richard Whitehead (coach: Liz Yelling), who was due to go in this morning’s T42 200m heats, will now line up in a straight final tomorrow (Monday 24 January) at 10.20 NZ time (21.20 UK time).

Day one club throw bronze medallist Gemma Prescott (coach: Mike Wood) opens this afternoon’s action in the women’s F32/33/34 shot putt at 16.00 NZ time (03.00 UK time).

For the latest news about the 2011 IPC Athletics World Championships, please visit www.ipcathleticsworldchamps.com, while the IPC’s online TV channel www.ParalympicSport.TV is  broadcasting live coverage of the evening sessions from Christchurch.

Daily session reports will be posted on the UKA website: www.uka.org.uk