19th August 2014

Kinghorn Claims First Gold For Gb & Ni In Swansea

19 August 2014 

Sammi Kinghorn (Coach: Ian Mirfin) claimed her first ever European title as the Great Britain & Northern Ireland team kicked off their quest for medals on day one of the IPC European Championships in Swansea. Stephen Miller (Rosalynd Miller) added silver to the tally in the F32 club throw on what was a busy morning session for GB & NI.

 Kinghorn raced to victory in the T53 400m as she grabbed GB & NI’s first gold medal of the IPC European Championships in Swansea. The 18 year old, who is making her debut in the GB & NI senior team achieved the dream start to the championships as she beat the Turkish athlete, Hamide Kurt into second. After competing at the Commonwealth Games for Scotland in Glasgow, it has been quite a summer for Kinghorn. 

After her victory in a time of 1:04.84, she commented:

"You don’t know what to expect when you go out on the track so to win the gold is pretty awesome. This year has been absolutely incredible – I didn’t know I had been selected for the Europeans until I was in the village for the Commonwealth Games. I was excited to be competing there but then to get the phone call saying you are going to be debuting in a GB & NI vest was so exciting."

There was more British success in the F32 club throw as Miller won the silver medal in a narrow competition at the Swansea University track. He was the long-time leader with a throw of 30.68m but the 2012 European Champion was pushed into second by the Russian Vladislav Frolov who threw a personal best of 34.10m. This late throw by the Russian also meant that Thomas Green (Kenneth Green) from GB & NI moved down to fourth, just missing out on the medals after a throw of 28.43m. 

Miller said: "I felt really good going into the competition and I’m happy to get the silver medal. It’s the first major medal I’ve won for two years so it’s pretty good for confidence. I wanted to win my fourth European title in a row, so to come second is a bit gutting."

Erin McBride (Robert Roberts) was the first British athlete competing on Tuesday morning and finished second in the T13 400m in a time of 1:01.25 finishing behind France’s Nantenin Keita.

Olivia Breen (Jonas Taiwah-Dodoo) started off her IPC European championships with a fourth place finish in the T38 long jump with 4.20m – two centimetres off her personal best. The City of Portsmouth athlete was happy to jump so well considering she only started the event in January.

"I cannot be more pleased with that today – I managed to stay focused which was good. It’s quite frustrating to finish fourth again at a major championships but I can’t complain. I’m looking forward to the world championships next year so hopefully I should know the long jump better then."

Breen’s main focus will be on the 100m later in the week as well as taking part in the 4x100m quartet for GB & NI. The T38 long jump was won by Paralympic champion, Margarita Goncharova from Russia with a leap of 4.86m.

There was semi-final success for Jenny McLoughlin (Keith Antoine) in the T37 100m. She recorded a new lifetime best in the second semi-final of 14.38 which made her the third fastest qualifier for the final. She will be looking for a medal in the final which takes place in the evening session of day one.

The T34 100m semi-finals rounded up the track programme from the first morning of the championships and the British men ended it in style. Ben Rowlings (Job King) qualified for the final in the first of the semi-finals with a time of 17.99 in 3rd place. He was happy to make it through in windy conditions on the Welsh coast. Isaac Towers (Peter Wyman), the 15 year old from Blackpool started his long week of competition in Swansea by qualifying for the T34 100m final in 18.44. 

Towers said: "It’s a good warm up for the 800m which I’m most looking forward to. It’s good to get a feel for the track and the atmosphere. I’m going to go out and try to enjoy the 100m final now."

Beverley Jones finished sixth in the F37 shot put with a throw of 9.01m. The British silver medallist in 2012 could not repeat the feat in Swansea in a competition won in a European Record by Eva Berna of Czech Republic in 11.01m.

You can watch live coverage of the IPC European Championships this afternoon at 15.35 on More4.