[Skip to content]

Search our Site
  • Instagram Icon
  • RSS Icon
  • Twitter Icon
  • Facebook Icon
  • YouTube Icon
UK Athletics
In this section

Bronze for Shelly Woods

Share this

Share to Twitter Share to Facebook Tell friends via WhatsApp Email us
Shelly Woods in action


12 September 2008


Shelly Woods was delighted to win her second medal of the Paralympic Games in Beijing this morning in the re-run T54 5000m final.

Only one of them will count, of course, and the colour next to Woods’ name will be bronze after she finished third in a tactical race at a sun-bathed Bird’s Nest stadium in 12:29.32.

Woods finished second when the race was first held on Monday, but officials decided to re-stage the event following protests over a six-chair crash on the penultimate lap.

“It’s amazing. The first time I was ecstatic, but this one’s for real. This time, no-one can take it off me,” said Woods. “This is my favourite event and to win a bronze at the Paralympic Games is a dream come true.

The 22-year-old Blackpool athlete has been through what she described as an “emotional roller coaster” in the last few days.

“I’m just so glad it’s all over,” she said. “It’s been a crazy few days. Dealing with the emotions has been really difficult.

“It’s been a weird week but I am happy with a bronze. I had to forget about it and get back on the track.

“The only thing I could do was go out there and race, and try to win another medal. I wanted to do myself justice on the track and I think I did that.”


Woods revealed afterwards that watching the original race a number of times on U-tube had helped her prepare for the final.

“To get a medal in such a tactical race like that is a big jump for me,” said Woods. “The only one who could have defeated me today was myself. It was down to my attitude and the best way sometimes is to laugh it off.

“I watched the replays on U-tube and saw the face of the guy who rang the bell. He looked so shocked and then the bell fell off and broke. It was just really funny.”

Woods played a canny game in the cat and mouse final, wheeling in fourth or fifth for much of the 12 and a half laps, always in touch with the leaders. But as they turned into the final straight she found herself tucked on the curb without a clear route to the line.

Ahead of her, USA’s Amanda McGrory beat Canadian Diane Roy for the gold while Woods had the power to hold off a second American Sheri Blauwat for the bronze. Roy had won the original race but lost her title by just 0.01s to McGrory, one of the victims of Monday’s collision.

Woods now turns her attention to her other events, the T54 800m, 1500m and marathon.

“If I make the final of the 800m I will be pleased,” she said. “But hopefully the marathon will be my best hope of a medal.

“My confidence is definitely building now. To have a medal is great and hopefully there are more to come.”

Katrina Hart was seventh in the T37 100m final in 15.12, but the 18-year-old Worcester student has the 200m to come.

“I’m disappointed,” she said. “It didn’t quite come together for me today. I know I can race faster but it was a big experience to make the final.”

Michael Churm missed out on the final of the men’s T37 100m final by a hundredth of a second. But he had a late call up for the final after returning to the Paralympic Village.


Due to the re-classification of a Chinese athlete, Churm was confirmed as a finalist for Friday evening. The 26-year-old Manchester sprinter was third in his qualifying heat in 12.55 seconds.


The action continues later in the Bird's Nest starting with Danny West in the Men's Shot Putt F33/34/52 Final at 5pm local time.