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clegg and kinghorn safely progress on opening morning

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8 September 2016

There was success for both British athletes competing on the opening morning of competition in the Olympic Stadium, as the Paralympic Games got underway in Rio.

Libby Clegg (coach: 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.  

After safely making the next stage of the competition as the second fastest qualifier, Clegg commented: “I’m really happy with my start to the Games. I know I can go quicker, but I think just going through all the call room procedures and my bearings, it was a good first run. There’s definitely more in the tank, so I’m looking forward to showing that tomorrow.”

Clarke added: “It is always good to start with a win. Hopefully it will give Libby confidence to relax looking ahead to the semi-final. It’s very nerve racking even though it’s just the heat, but I’m glad we’ve got it out of the way.”

On being the first Britons to compete in the Olympic Stadium at the Paralympic Games, Clarke said: “I only realised when Libby told me before we got under way, so that’s pretty cool we got to start the British team off to a good start.”

Sammi Kinghorn (Ian Mirfin) comfortably progressed to this evening’s final in the women’s T53 100m, placing second in a time of 17.01 (+1.0). As her Chinese opponent Lisha Huang powered away over the first 40 metres and ultimately clocked a world record of 16.19, the multiple European medallist remained composed, and secured an automatic qualifying spot with relative ease. Her final takes place at 22:54 UK time this evening.

Eight British athletes will be in action during the evening session starting at 21:30 (UK time) with full coverage on Channel 4.