23rd July 2017
KINGHORN ONE OF SEVERAL PHENOMENAL PERFORMANCES AT PENULTIMATE SESSION OF WORLD PARA ATHLETICS CHAMPIONSHIPS
There was to be no fizzling out for the British Athletics team at the World Para Athletics Championships as medals from Sammi Kinghorn (coach: Ian Mirfin), Polly Maton (Colin Baross), Jordan Howe (Christian Malcolm) and Mickey Bushell (Jenny Archer) made for a memorable morning of athletics at the London Stadium.
T53 racer Kinghorn, already a world champion following triumph over 200m earlier in the week, entered the realms of multi-gold medallists when she paired her 200m gold and world record from last Saturday with gold in the T53 100m final this morning.
The flying Scot, who still has a medal chance in tonight’s 800m – her fourth event at these championships – also won bronze from a mid-week 400m.
Today the win was never in doubt from gun to tape. By halfway she had left reigning Paralympic champion Zhou Hongzhuan in her wake, and held off all challenges to take the honours in 16.65 (-1.3 m/s) from Angela Ballard of Australia in 16.84.
Afterwards she said: ““I hoped because of what I’d done in the 200m that I might win a medal. I had no idea when I crossed the line, I heard the crowd scream and I thought ‘oh, I’ve won a medal’, and then I saw my name pop up and I thought ‘really?!’ – it was amazing.
“My class isn’t an easy one to win but I’ve spent the last year getting a bit stronger and just learning so much. I also got a new chair in February and it’s just a bit lower and a bit more aerodynamic.
“I got out well, my start was really good – I knew that was what I had to work on from Rio – and I’m really glad that it worked out.”
Earlier 17-year-old Polly Maton (Colin Baross) had set the tone of success when she leapt onto a global podium for the first time, taking silver in the women’s T47 long jump.
The Dauntsey School student who trains at the University of Bath was a spectator at London 2012 and was so inspired that she took up athletics herself.
Today, in that same stadium, she soared to 5.23m, a lifetime best, when it mattered most on her final jump of the competition, having seen the bronze medal slot she had held throughout slip in the previous round.
Maton, from Moonrakers AC, opened with 5.06m and improved that to 5.11m on her fourth attempt. Behind her, Angelina Lanza in fourth converted threat to seemingly silver with 5.22m on her final attempt.
That mark put all the pressure on Maton’s young shoulders with that final jump to go, but, roared on by a packed back straight, she responded in spectacular fashion for 5.23m.
Maton admitted to getting and more nervous as the rounds progressed making that last jump all the more remarkable. Afterwards she said: “It doesn’t feel real; I think I’m going to wake up in five minutes and someone is going to tell me ‘no, no, that didn’t happen and you still need to compete!’
“To do it in front of my home crowd and in front of my friends and family – in an event I’ve perceived to be my weakest entering the championships – is something I can’t put into words”.
Having waited patiently in the wings to enter the field of play, Jordan Howe (Christian Malcolm) emerged with considerable impact to make his London 2017 debut appearance in the T35 100m, with the result an emphatic personal best clocking to claim a wonderful silver medal.
Lining up alongside Rio 2016 Paralympic Champion Ihor Tsvietov of the Ukraine in a race which also featured the silver and bronze winners in Brazil last year, Howe’s superbly measured start saw him storm away powerfully, forcing Tsvietov to dig deep to come through for a championship record of 12.38.
Still just 21 years of age, Howe paid tribute to his coach after the race, saying: “It was a tough race – me and my coach Christian Malcolm have changed the system this year, he’s a great guy and a great coach. We’ve worked on a lot of things: I know I’ve always had a quick start so it was about building on that with the work we’ve done, and it’s paid off.
“I knew what I had to do – I knew what he (Tsvietov) was going to do, as he’s the fastest in the world and a great athlete; I nearly had him, but congratulations to him”.
2012 Paralympic Champion Micky Bushell (Jenny Archer) showed the youngsters that he still has what it takes to be at the top of his class.
The Telford racer, from Birchfield Harriers Club, returned to the scene of his 2012 triumph in this event to lay the demons of his fifth-placed Rio 2016 to rest and did so with aplomb to take silver.
Drawn in lane four, alongside already three-times gold medal winner here, Brent Lakatos of Canada, Bushell was not fazed by a delayed start.
When the race got underway, Bushell matched Lakatos push for push in the opening 40m before the Canadian eased ahead with Bushell holding off a late surge from Rio silver medallist Pongsakom Paeyo of Thailand.
Earlier Bushell had shown all the experience gained in an international career stretching back to the Birmingham World Championships in 1998 when he cruised through qualifying.
Explosive at the start, he throttled back in the closing stages as Paeyo powered on to take the victory in 14.99 to Bushell’s 15.09 in second.
“It’s been five years since I’ve really come back and this year, what a year to do it here in London” said Bushell.
“The support of my family and my coach have made the difference. Rio was a real knock for me; my confidence had gone completely. This year we’ve really worked on that side of things in training and I had a great winter of training and a great summer really.”
“Just getting back on the podium was my goal here and we’ve done that now and we can build on that now and hopefully go for gold next year.”
Steve Morris (James Thie) went to the line in the 5000m T20 final this morning on the back of narrowly missing a medal in the 1500m on Monday and a fifth place in last night’s 800m.
In a race won with astonishingly brave front running from Cristiano Pereira of Portugal in a Championship record of 14:29.80, the Cardiff athlete came home fifth in a time of 15:14.04.
Morris set the lifetime best with a strong second half built on a platform of steady running in the early part of the race.
Michael Brannigan, the American world record holder and already a double gold winner at London 2017, was second having mounted a lone challenge to catch the Portuguese from seven laps out. Bronze went to Pavlo Voluikevych of the Ukraine.
Morris said: “I was a bit too relaxed out there and I’ve got more in the tank. The plan was to go sub-15 minutes this year or next, and the boys out there are a different class, especially between 1500m and 5000m.
“I think going quicker will come down to having the confidence to go with the field – it’s all a big learning curve for me as I am new to the distance: this is only my second race over 5000m”.
Tonight’s final session features Sammi Kinghorn in the T53 800m and Laura Sugar (Femi Akinsanya) in the T44 200m. It will fall to these two athletes to bring the curtain down on an eye-catching British performance which has seen the 50-strong team eclipse the medal target range of 26-30 set for them by UK Sport who manage the lottery funding which is so important to British success in the sport.
British Athletics medallists (39) at the World Para Athletics Championships London 2017:
Hollie Arnold – F46 Javelin
Olivia Breen – T38 Long Jump
Hannah Cockroft – T34 100m, 400m, 800m
Kadeena Cox – T38 400m
Aled Davies – F42 Discus, Shot Put
Sophie Hahn – T38 100m, 200m
Georgie Hermitage – T37 100m, 400m
Sophie Kamlish – T44 100m
Sammi Kinghorn – T53 100m, 200m
Jonnie Peacock – T44 100m
Stef Reid – T44 Long Jump
Richard Whitehead – T42 200m
Kare Adenegan – T34 100m
Jonathan Broom-Edwards – T44 High Jump
Mickey Bushell – T53 100m
Kadeena Cox – T38 100m
Kyron Duke – F41 Shot
Toby Gold – T33 100m
Jordan Howe – T35 100m
Polly Maton T47 Long Jump
Kare Adenegan – T34 400m, 800m
Richard Chiassaro – T54 400m
Kadeena Cox – T38 200m
David Henson – T42 200m
Sammi Kinghorn – T53 400m
Maria Lyle – T35 100m, 200m
Stephen Miller – F32 Club Throw
Gemma Prescott – F32 Club Throw
Andrew Small – T33 100m
Isaac Towers – T34 800m
Richard Whitehead – T42 100m
The timetable for the World Para Athletics Championships can be found here.