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West’s Hopes Collapse in Shot

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12 September 2008



Dan West’s hopes of a Paralympic Games medal in the F33-4/52 shot final were dashed when a strap holding his chair came loose during his third throw and he fell to the ground injuring his thigh and shin.

West was fourth thanks to his second throw when the strap dislodged causing his chair to tilt forwards. He hit the ground and the chair fell on top of him.

The judges allowed him to retake his third throw but the unsettled West could only manage a no throw and failed to improve in the rest of the competition.

The Nottingham athlete won the bronze in this event in Atlanta and was fourth in Athens but he could only finish eighth tonight with a best of 10.39m as Argentina’s Kamel Kardjena won with a world record 11.54m.

West set his personal best of 11.13m this year and was hoping to throw 11 metres in the final to get among the medals. Afterwards he was treated for a damaged adductor and shin by a ParalympicsGB doctor who described him as “absolutely devastated".

Michael Churm had a dramatic day too. The 26-year-old sprinter was eighth in the T37 100m final in 12.60 as Fanie van der Merwe won gold in a Paralympic record 11.83.

But Churm was just happy to be there after gaining his place when another athlete was re-classified this afternoon. Churm had missed qualifying as a fastest loser by just 0.01s in this morning’s heats.

“I found out in the food hall at the village at around 2.45pm,” he said. “I was very surprised, but I know classification can always be contentious so you never know. I was pleased to make the final, but of course my preparation was not ideal.”

The final started at 5.45pm so Churm had just three hours to prepare.

“When we lined up I felt sharp and ready to go,” he said. “I thought I was in the mix, not far off and I had nothing to lose. I did hope to place higher, but it was a very tough field, those guys taking the medals are on the ball.”

David Weir cruised into his third final of the Games with a confident gun to tape victory in the T54 800m semi-finals today.

Weir, who won 400m silver and 5000m bronze medals this week, went off hard from the front, establishing a 20-metre lead at the bell and held on to win in 1:34.27, the fastest of the round

“I felt better today,” was all Weir said as he whizzed on to prepare for tomorrow’s final when Prawat Wahoram, who beat him in the 5000m final, will present a threat. The Thai racer was second today and closing on Weir in the final stages.

For news updates on ParalympicsGB please visit www.paralympics.org.uk