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blake strikes silver

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Paul Blake
18 September 2016 

On the final day of track and field action at the Paralympics, Paul Blake (coach: Rob Ellchuk) won his second medal of the Games taking silver in the T36 800m.

Just under 36 hours after winning gold in the 400m, Blake went one better than he did four years ago and was only beaten by a world record of 2:02.39 from Australian counterpart James Turner.

The 26 year old, who crossed the line in 2:09.65 said afterwards: “It’s been a long wait as I was one of the last ones competing, but you’ve just got to go with it and give it your all. To see everyone do so well and for me to come away with two medals is an incredible feeling.

“James (Turner) absolutely smashed it – I got beaten at my own race today and he was much quicker than I was. Fair play to him, he ran really well so I can’t complain.

“It’s going to go off at the World (ParaAthletics) Championships in London next year. I’ll go back to the drawing board, train even harder than I have done. If I can (win two gold medals) – James is really quick so I’ll have to work even harder, but the aim is to win two golds fingers crossed.”

After breaking USA’s April Holmes’ world record earlier today, Blake’s training partner Sophie Kamlish (Ellchuk) was just edged out of the medal positions as she finished fourth, just ahead of teammate Laura Sugar (Femi Akinsanya), who set a lifetime best in fifth.

The 19 year old took over three-tenths of a second off her lifetime best clocking 12.93 in the opening round and took that form into the final as she was just edged out in the last 20 metres. Kamlish finished in 13.16 (+0.1) with Sugar setting a second significant personal best of the Paralympic Games crossing in 13.37.

Kamlish said: “I’m now thinking if only those two times could have been switched around (set a world record this morning) then maybe I could have got a gold medal. I still have the world record, even after that final so they haven’t taken it away from me. I’m obviously a bit disappointed not to get a medal but overall I got a world record which is brilliant.

“I would love to go sub-13 again next season that would definitely solidify my confidence. I’m pretty excited to get back to training to do that.”

Sugar added: “I came into these Games ranked ninth so to finish fifth in the final is amazing. I was injured in Doha last year, same happened in January so to get a PB in both of my events here is a credit to the British Athletics medical team and for the Lottery funding which helped with my rehab.

“Hopefully I can get a full winter without injury and be ready for 2017. Competing in London will be amazing with the home crowd behind us – to do that and more would be incredible.”

Fresh from extending her European record by four seconds in the heats this morning, Sammi Kinghorn (Ian Mirfin) put in another solid display in the T53 800m, as she crossed the line in sixth place in a time of 1:49.51.

A proud Kinghorn commented: “It’s (Rio) been incredible, I’ve enjoyed everything about it. I’ve enjoyed every single race and I’ve learnt so much from it. I never thought three and a half years ago I’d be competing in my first Paralympics in such a short time. Tokyo better be ready.” 

As one of the most experienced members of the team, Bev Jones (John Parkin) marked her fifth Paralympic Games with a fifth place finish in the F38 discus. Jones, who won bronze at London 2012 produced a best throw 28.53m in round five to bring a close to her campaign in the Estadio Olimpico.

Earlier in the day, Maria Lyle won her third medal of the Games as the teenager won bronze in the T35 200m.

ParalympicsGB Athletics medal tally: (33)

Gold (15):

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, 400m and 800m

Aled Davies – F42 Shot Put

Sophie Hahn – T38 100m

Georgie Hermitage – T37 100m and 400m

Jonnie Peacock – T44 100m

Richard Whitehead – T42 200m

Silver (7):

Kare Adenegan – T34 100m

Paul Blake – T36 800m

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 (11):

Kare Adenegan – T34 400m

Kadeena Cox – T38 100m and 800m

Sabrina Fortune – F20 shot put

Dan Greaves – F44 discus

David Henson – T42 200m

Maria Lyle – T35 100m and 200m

Stephen Miller – F32 club throw

Gemma Prescott – F32 club throw

Andrew Small – T33 100m