12th September 2016

Rio Gold For Aled Davies

12 September 2016 

Aled Davies (coach: Ryan Spencer-Jones) won the second Paralympic gold of his career in a Paralympic record of 15.97m in the F42 shot put.

Adding to his discus triumph in London, Davies showed his dominance in the event by taking the victory after his best effort in round three. However, he led from the very first throw, gradually improving and knew by his last throw, he would be standing on top of the podium in Rio.

A delighted Davies said: “I can’t believe I have done it to be honest. It has been a tough four years, and particularly a massive two years. I changed everything in 2014 and moved to coach Ryan Spencer-Jones. He believed in me and he has pushed my aspirations through the roof. Even today, I’m not very happy with the performance because I know I am in 16.5m shape. But it doesn’t matter; I have delivered on the Paralympic stage.

“The British team is absolutely phenomenal out here. We are so lucky to have such a good set-up – the team we have behind us, people don’t see that. They are the shoulders we all stand on. I’m just so glad I can give something back because they have put so much hard work into helping me, and also to pay back the National Lottery who have invested a lot in me to perform on this stage.”

On prospects for 2017, Davies added: “It’s going to go down in London (World ParaAthletics Championships). It is probably going to be one of the biggest competitions of my career. To get to relive London 2012 and be a better athlete now, that’s exciting.”

The opening track final of the morning session saw Richard Chiassaro (Jenni Banks) and David Weir (Jenny Archer) going head-to-head in the T54 400m, finishing fourth and fifth in times of 47.17 and 47.30 respectively.

For Chiassaro, it was his first ever Paralympic final and pushed well but by his own admission, a slight wobble with 200m to go meant he had a lot of work to do to get in the medals.

The Harlow-based athlete commented: “I had a wobble on the second bend as I went into it – I think if I hadn’t done that I would have had the bronze medal. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad I’ve placed fourth I just as thought I should have had third. The plan was just to go out hard and get the time I did last night, if I had I’d have got the bronze so I’m gutted. I knew the Chinese lad was going to come passed on the inside lane but the plan was to use him to chase the rest down.”

Six-time Paralympic gold medallist Weir qualified impressively for the final last night but admitted he could not quite match the speed on the track today.

Weir, who returns for the 1500m heats later tonight said: “I don’t know what happened, I just didn’t get away as cleanly as I did yesterday. My top speed wasn’t as high as it could have been, but it’s just one of those things. It doesn’t really knock my confidence, the 1500m heats are later on today so I’ll go back and sit and think about what I need to do. It just wasn’t clean off the line like in the heats.”

Speaking on the T54 class moving on since 2012, he added: “It’s moved on massively and improved so much, but today was a little bit slow, so I’m a bit disappointed to be honest, I didn’t execute the points that I should have done, but that’s racing and how it goes.”

After disappointment in the T35 100m earlier in the week, Jordan Howe (Keith Antoine) placed a credible seventh in the 200m final. He attacked the bend hard and gave it everything over the last 50m to cross the line in a time of 27.62 (+0.4).

Howe said: “It was okay – I would have liked to have been in amongst the medals, but unfortunately it was hard coming off the start I hard at the beginning of the Games (disqualified in the 100m). I bounced back for the semi-finals and when it came to the crucial bit, I just didn’t have it in my legs.”

T37 100m gold medallist Georgie Hermitage (Paul MacGregor) set a Paralympic record on her way to winning the first heat of the 400m, and in the process qualified fastest for tomorrow’s final.

She spoke afterwards: “I went out fairly swiftly over the first 200m and then I just tried to control the bend coming into the home straight. You can never run a 400m and not get lactic in your system so it is always going to hurt but I think that was relatively controlled. I don’t discount anyone in the final – I think I’ve run this one well and will be going for gold.”

After winning gold in the T11 100m on a memorable Friday evening for ParalympicsGB, Libby Clegg (Joe McDonnell) and her guide runner Chris Clarke made easy work of their 200m heat, advancing in a time of 25.90 (+0.2) to progress to this evening’s semi-finals.

ParalympicsGB Athletics medal tally: (16)

Gold (7):

Libby Clegg & Chris Clarke – T11 100m

Aled Davies – F42 Shot Put

Sophie Hahn – T38 100m

Georgie Hermitage – T37 100m

Jonnie Peacock – T44 100m

Hannah Cockroft – T34 100m  

Richard Whitehead – T42 200m

Jo Butterfield – T51 club throw

Silver (3):

Stef Reid – T44 long jump

Kare Adenegan – T34 100m

Toby Gold – T33 100m

Bronze (5):

Kadeena Cox – T38 100m

Gemma Prescott – F32 club throw

Sabrina Fortune – F20 shot put

Andrew Small – T33 100m 

David Henson – T42 200m