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history-maker cox wins gold as lyle sprints to bronze

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14 September 2016 

Despite a gruelling schedule in two sports, Kadeena Cox (coach: Brian Scobie) claimed her second gold medal and third overall at the Paralympic Games as she won T38 400m bronze, with Maria Lyle (Tabo Huntley) sprinting to a bronze in the T35 100m.

After winning T38 100m bronze on Friday, Cox swapped the track for the velodrome winning C4-5 500m time trial on Saturday to become the first British Paralympian in 28 years to win two medals in different sports. The 25 year old wasn’t done there as she dug deep to not only win 400m gold but break the world record clocking 1:00.71.

Battling the 35 degree sunshine in Rio, Cox got off to a steady start before stepping on the accelerator in the closing stages to move away from China’s Junfei Chen with 50m to go.

The triumphant Cox said afterwards: “I’m so happy and I’m so glad I managed to achieve it. I was sat praying in the call room saying ‘please let me get it.’ I knew I was able to do it if I executed the perfect race, but I wasn’t sure I was going to do it. I just ran my heart out and I knew I was going to be strong in the back end. I left something there and when the Chinese girl came alongside me I started to get worried, but I knew I was going to be able to overhaul her.

“It was really tough – I was pretty broken. My body hurt, everything was hurting but the team behind me was amazing provided by the National Lottery. Everyone has been really helpful to me and I’m so thankful for everyone that has supported me because without them this wouldn’t be possible.

“It’s a dream come true – I came out here to win a certain amount of medals and that changed. Now I feel like I’m going back to my initial aim, so to be here getting medals, everyone is a bonus. I’m enjoying every minute of it.”

Making her Paralympic Games debut at 16, Maria Lyle (Tabo Huntley) showed maturity beyond her years to add to ParalympicsGB’s ever-growing medal tally. The teenager, who has only just finished her GCSE’s crossed the line in 14.41 (-0.6) to take her place on the podium.

Lyle, who still has two events to come in Rio said: “I’m so pleased to have won a medal. It’s great to come here – this is one of my biggest achievements. I’m not your normal teenager but I get a lot of great opportunities and to be running on this stage is brilliant.

“It wasn’t the best time – it was a bit slow and I could have executed it better. I just need to focus on my technique because it was a bit shabby out there.

(On hopes for the 4x100m relay) “I hope we do the same that we did in Doha and Grosseto (Worlds and Europeans). We work well together and hopefully we can go out there and do our best.”  

After their medal success in the T42 200m, Richard Whitehead (Keith Antoine) and Dave Henson (Roger Keller) were back on the track in the 100m today. In the first heat, Henson finished fifth in 13.23 which wasn’t enough to see him through but there was better news for Whitehead.

Whitehead, who won gold the other evening, came through in trademark fashion to finish second in his heat in 12.38 behind long-term rival Scott Reardon, who set a Paralympic record of 12.36 to pip the British athlete.

The 200m specialist commented afterwards: “I was a little tight today; obviously after the 200m I just wanted to get the race out of the way. After looking at the replay I’ve definitely got plenty to work on for the final. It was nice to be in the same race as the main contender (Scott Reardon), the reigning Paralympic champion.

“I’d like to think I’ve got something in my locker – in the heats it’s not all about delivering a gold medal performance, it’s just about getting through. I’ve got great stamina but I just need the best start. There’s no pressure on me in the final, I’m just here to enjoy the 100m.”

In the heats of the T54 5000m, Jade Jones (Ian Thompson/Tanni Grey-Thompson) unfortunately missed out on a place in the final after finishing seventh in 12:17.83.  

Also in the opening round, Mo Jomni (Jenny Archer) was in T53 800m action finishing sixth in 1:46.23 but did not advance to the final. 

ParalympicsGB Athletics medal tally: (23)

Gold (12):

Hollie Arnold – F46 Javelin

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

Aled Davies – F42 Shot Put

Sophie Hahn – T38 100m

Georgie Hermitage – T37 100m and 400m

Jonnie Peacock – T44 100m

Hannah Cockroft – T34 100m  

Richard Whitehead – T42 200m

Jo Butterfield – T51 club throw

Kadeena Cox – T38 400m

Silver (4):

Kare Adenegan – T34 100m

Jonathan Broom-Edwards – T44 High Jump

Toby Gold – T33 100m

Stef Reid – T44 long jump

Bronze (7):

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