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Hannah Cockcroft

 

31 August 2012

 In the T34 100m, Hannah Cockroft (Peter Eriksson) was a huge favourite, having set a world record in the Warm-up event in the Olympic stadium and a Paralympic record in her heat.

She dominated throughout the race and into a -0.4mps headwind, she improved her Paralympic record to 18.06, just under half a second slower than her world record. The 20 year-old won by a huge margin with Netherlands’ Amy Siemons a distant second in 19.49.

She said: "I've been waiting four years for that. That was a good race. I didn't know whether to cry or laugh or what to do. It's a little bit surreal when you're dreaming about it for so long and then it just kind of happens in, what, 18 seconds. You're kind of like, 'I want to do that again, I can do that better'. But I've got it now and I can't complain. Everyone went mental. It was absolutely amazing. I can't describe it, it was phenomenal."

She felt she coped well with being an overwhelming favourite.
"On the start line I knew I'd beaten all these girls before. Looking at the times in the heats and their personal bests, I was miles ahead of them and I knew deep down I could do it, but it's what happens on the day. When there are so many people here supporting you, you know they really do carry you along and I was kind of like, 'I don't know whether they are going to distract me,' but as soon as that gun went off it just errupted in here. I loved it."

She is optimistic that she can achieve the double in the 200m.
"I hope so. The 100m is actually my weakest event so hopefully I can pick up a better lead in the 200m."

David Weir (Jenny Archer), who won double gold at the 2008 Paralympics but bronze at 5000m competed in the T54 5000m heat over twelve and a half laps. He won the final heat with great ease, holding back down the straight but still completed the last lap in a fast 45.5. His time was 11:28.88.

He said afterwards, “"It's a really great feeling. I did have nerves but they were good nerves and I didn't panic at all. I'm in the right frame of mind and I'm in good shape. It was everything I expected, so I loved it out there."

Eighteen-year-old Rhys Jones (Jane Coia) had done well to make the T37 200m final with a PB 24.39. In the final he had to cope with the tight second lane and he finished eighth in 24.68/0.2. The Russian Roman Kapranov equalled the world record with a 23.10 winning time.

In the T35 200m final Sophia Warner (Steve King) finished fourth and set a new PB of 35.25.
She said, “I'm very happy. I've never raced in front of that many people before. It was the best 30 seconds of my life, apart from getting married and having children of course! I'm 38, I've been in athletics for 13 years so I can't be disappointed and I actually can’t believe I did that with a slipped disc in my shoulder. My goal was to get a PB and I did. Now I'll just get my head down and see if I can get a medal in the 100m."

In the mens T35 100m, Great Britain had two competitors. Sixteen year-old British record holder Jordan Howe (Jane Coia) got an exceptional start in his heat and led early on and finished fourth in 13.75/-0.4 to make the final as one of the fastest losers. Sam Ruddock (Joseph McDonnell) just missed out on a place in the final with a fifth place in 13.92/-0.1.

Howe said, “I was confident and I showed what I could do. I knew I had to smash it and I did. Watching Aled Davies this morning inspired me, he did so well.”

In the T46 200m, World junior champion Ola Abidogun (Steve Thomas) was looking good in third place halfway down the straight but seemed to lose his balance and he faded to seventh in 23.26, which means he won’t qualify for the final.

European champion Derek Derenalagi (Alison O’Riordan) was in the F57/58 Discus. He opened with a below par 38.16m and then 27.65m, before a better 39.37m throw for 771 points.which eventually saw him finish in 11th place.