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Assen performances hint at bright future

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David Weir

The future looks bright for the Norwich Union Great Britain and Northern Ireland team following performances at Assen 2006, said Tim Jones, UK Athletics’ Senior Performance Manager for Disability.
 
The GB team finished their campaign at the International Paralympic Committee Athletics World Championships in fifth place in the medals table with a haul of nine golds, nine silvers and nine bronzes.
 
Members of the 46-strong GB team also set 17 personal bests during the championships.
 
Those performances were particularly impressive as the team featured 11 athletes making their international debuts in Assen, while nine members of the team were aged 18 or under.
 
Tim Jones, Senior Performance Manager for Disability at UK Athletics, said the team’s performance in Assen was impressive. But with less than two years to go until the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games and only six years until London 2012, British athletes need to continue to work hard to achieve their future goals.
 
Jones was encouraged by the performances of some of the established team members, but also by some of the youngsters, who came up with the goods on a world stage.
 
“The team result was pleasing and indicated progress in the performance of our athletes since Athens two years ago,” he said.
 
“I was particularly encouraged that our good medal haul came as a result of our policy of supporting our most experienced athletes to gain podium success, while at the same time promoting a new, younger group of developing athletes on to the world stage.
 
“The youngsters really stood up to the challenges of the event, producing some outstanding performances,” he added. “If we continue to work hard and embrace the challenge of change, the future will look very bright.”
 
Among the outstanding performances in Assen were David Weir’s hat-trick of gold medals in the T54 100m, 400m and 1500m. He also added a silver in the 200m. Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson won a full set of medals, talking gold in the T53 200m, silver in the 800m and bronze in the 400m.
 
Stephen Miller’s F32/51 club gold means he has repeated his achievement of winning gold in the discipline at three successive Paralympic Games by doing the same at three World Championships.
 
And Danny Crates’ gold medal in the T46 800m on the penultimate day of the championships – his first World Championships medal – means he now holds each of the major titles – the Paralympic Games, Worlds and Europeans.
 
T11 athlete Tracey Hinton returned from two years out with injury to win silver in the T12 800m and bronze in the T12 400m, while John McFall won a pair of medals in theT42 events – he took silver in the 100m and bronze in the 200m.
 
Bev Jones (F37 shot), David Gale (F51 discus) and Daniel Greaves (F44 discus) also won golds, while Daniel West won a pair of silvers in the F33/34 discus and F34 shot. Graeme Ballard (T36 100m) and Ken Churchill (F37 javelin) also won silvers.
 
Kim Minett (F40 shot), Hazel Simpson (T36 200m), Sally Reddin (F54 shot) and Stephen Payton (T38 400m) won bronzes.
 
Among the exciting young athletes who performed particularly well was 16-year-old Elizabeth Clegg, who won a silver medal in the T12 200m in Assen on her international debut.
 
Eighteen-year-old Ben Rushgrove set a European record in the T36 100m and then won a bronze in the T36 200m.
 
Shelly Woods, aged 20, rounded off the championships in style with  a bronze medal in the women’s T54 marathon.
 
Athletes from 58 countries took part in the championships. A full list of British medal winners and a top-10 of the final positions in the overall medal table can be found below.


Final GB Assen 2006 medal tally:

Gold

Bev Jones – F37 shot (day one – Sunday 3rd September)
David Gale – F51 discus (day one – Sunday 3rd September)
David Weir – T54 400m (day three – Tuesday 5th September)
Daniel Greaves – F44 discus (day three – Tuesday 5th September)
David Weir – T54 1500m (day four – Wednesday 6th September)
David Weir – T54 100m (day five – Thursday 7th September)
Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson – T53 200m (day five – Thursday 7th September)
Stephen Miller – F32/51 club (day six – Friday 8th September)
Danny Crates – T46 800m (day seven – Saturday 9th September)
 
Total gold: 9
 
Silver


Daniel West – F33/34 discus (day one – Sunday 3rd September)
Graeme Ballard – T36 100m (day two – Monday 4th September)
Elizabeth Clegg – T12 200m (day three – Tuesday 5th September)
Tracey Hinton – T12 800m (day three – Tuesday 5th September)
Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson T53 800m (day 4 – Wednesday 6th September)
Daniel West – F34 shot (day five – Thursday 7th September)
Ken Churchill – F37 javelin (day six – Friday 8th September)
David Weir – T54 200m (day seven – Saturday 9th September)
John McFall – T42 100m (day seven – Saturday 9th September)
 
Total silver: 9
 
Bronze


Kim Minett – F40 shot (day one – Sunday 3rd September)
Hazel Simpson – T36 200m (day two – Monday 4th September)
John McFall – T42 200m (day three – Tuesday 5th September)
Ben Rushgrove – T36 200m (day four – Wednesday 6th September)
Sally Reddin – F54 shot (day six – Friday 8th September)
Tracey Hinton – T12 400m (day six – Friday 8th September)
Stephen Payton – T38 400m (day seven – Saturday 9th September)
Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson – T53 400m (day seven – Saturday 9th September)
Shelly Woods – T54 marathon (day eight – Sunday 10th September)
 
Total bronze: 9
 
Final Norwich Union GB & NI team total:  27

Final top 10 standings at Assen 2006

Country Gold Silver Bronze  Total  Rank by total   

  1   China   22   12   21   55   1
  
  2   USA   16   12   4   32   =2
  
  3   Australia   16   6   10   32   =2
  
  4   Ukraine   9   10   12   31   5
  
  5   Great Britain   9   9   9   27   6
  
  6   Spain   9   3   5   17   =10
  
  7   Germany   8   11   13   32   =2
  
  8   France   7   5   3   15   =15
  
  9   Switzerland   6   9   4   19   9
  
  10  Czech Rep   6   7   4   17   =10