20 August 2014
Maria Lyle (Coach: Henry Gray) became the latest star of British Athletics as the 14 year old stormed to European T35 100m gold on her GB & NI international debut.
The teenager from Dunbar, who was too young to compete at last year’s IPC World Championships showed her undoubted talent as she stormed to victory in a time of 14.92.
A shocked Lyle said after her victory: “I’m really pleased – I’ve been working really hard towards this and I’m just really glad it’s all paid off. I try to block out any pressure and just think about what I need to do.
“The crowd were really amazing. They got behind me, which made me feel confident and raring to go.
“It’s important for my parents too because we’ve been working towards this for a while. It’s a big team effort just making my dinner, taking me to training and emotional support so they have been really good. It’s also been great to be part of the British team – they’ve (all the athletes and support staff) all been amazing.”
Mickey Bushell (Jenny Archer) followed up his T53 100m triumph at London 2012 by claiming the European title in a time of 15.58. The Weir Archer Academy athlete finished fourth in the 800m yesterday but he dropped down to his favoured event to secure another gold medal for GB & NI.
Bushell said: “It was great to get the win in front of the home crowd. They carried me along and I’m glad I put my race together. Doing the 100m today was better for me; this is what I train for. I’ve got the 200m tomorrow so I’ll be looking for another medal there but we’ll see what colour it is tomorrow.”
T38 100m world champion Sophie Hahn (Joseph McDonnell) was edged into the silver position by Paralympic champion, Margarita Goncharova of Russia in a time of 13.72. The world record holder was a little disappointed not to win gold, but was happy to share a podium place with her teammate Olivia Breen (Jonas Tawiah-Dodoo/Julie Hollman), who won bronze.
Hahn said: “I’m not really happy but I’ll take silver. I didn’t have a really good start but I have still got my world record so I cannot complain about that. I so happy for Olivia (Breen) too – it’s great to get two medallists on the podium.”
Breen added: “I am delighted – I’m happy with how I ran, the start was great. All my hard work has paid off and I am very grateful for everything my coach has done for me. I can’t wait to get up on the podium, it will be really special. I was new to it in 2012 so it will mean a lot now. I can’t believe I’ve got a bronze medal.”
Jade Jones (Tanni Grey-Thompson/Ian Thompson) won T54 5000m bronze to go with the bronze she won at the Commonwealth Games and was delighted to come away with another podium finish.
“To get the bronze off the back of the Commonwealth Games is really great. It’s been tough having two majors in one year and being able to peak for both of them but it’s been such an incredible year so far.”
To the delight of the Welsh crowd, Kyron Duke (Anthony Hughes) won the final medal of the day for GB & NI as he collected silver in the F41 javelin to take the team tally to seven gold, eight silver and 11 bronze medals.
Duke said: “I’m happy with the silver medal wise, but distance not really. Something just wasn’t clicking right, but I’ll have to get the shot done and then get back into winter training and work even harder. It’s been great in Swansea, nearly as good as London so almost tops it off.”
Earlier in the day, Erin McBride (Robert Roberts), who made the late call to run after suffering injury in the 400m, took gold in the T13 100m in a time of 13.58.
The teenager said: "It’s really good I didn’t expect it, I was hoping for it but I didn’t expect to get it after yesterday so the fact that I’ve got it (a gold medal) is just a bonus."
"When I got back to the hotel after yesterday Mikail (Huggins) just came and gave me a big hug and said that I’ve got the whole team behind me. The fact that I knew that I had so many people routing for me gave me so much confidence and the idea that I could do it."
Paul Blake (Robert Ellchuk) won the silver in the T36 400m after a bronze in the 100m yesterday. The Bath-trained athlete ran well to finish behind the world record holder, Evgenii Shvetcov of Russia in a time of 55.35.
Blake said: "I’m really happy, especially considering the conditions but it’s the same for all the athletes. I just had to concentrate on my own race as my main rival (Evgenii Shvetcov) was out in lane 8. He was running blind so I wasn’t sure what he was going to do."
Isaac Towers (Peter Wyman) was another silver medallist, as the 15 year old claimed his first senior medal in the T34 800m, while teammate Ben Rowlings (Job King) claimed a well-deserved bronze medal.
Towers said: “I’m absolutely over the moon, I couldn’t have asked for more. I gave it my all today and hopefully this is a sign of things to come in the future. It’s been a really good experience today."
Stephen Osbourne (Jenni Banks) completed the morning track finals by securing a bronze in the T51 100m. Osbourne struggled with an injury in the 400m last night but he overcame shoulder injuries to claim another bronze for the GB & NI team.
"It was down to Laura (Penhaul) the physio who sorted my shoulder out last night – I’m so pleased to get that medal. I know it was really close – similar to the 200m in Lyon at the world championships last year. The Italian got it that time but I got it this time. There is more there but it is all about just getting it right once I get my shoulder right."
Due to a viral infection, reigning European Champion Libby Clegg (Keith Antoine) had to withdraw from the remainder of the competition.
You can watch a live stream of the IPC Athletics European Championships (19-23 August) on the IPC YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/user/ParalympicSportTV and the afternoon session will be live on More4 from 15.35.