28th August 2021
A GOLDEN EVENING AT THE TRACK FOR HAHN AND YOUNG
Sophie Hahn defended her Paralympic title while Thomas Young set a new European record as both stormed to T38 100m gold in a stunning evening for ParalympicsGB in Tokyo.
Hahn (coach: Leon Baptiste, club: Charnwood) won gold in this event in Rio five years ago and equalled her own world record of 12.38 in her heat to seal a spot in the final.
Joining her were Ali Smith (coach: Benke Blomkvist, club: Guildford & Godalming) who finished third in the same heat, while Olivia Breen (coach: Aston Moore, club: City of Portsmouth) came fourth in her heat and qualified as a fastest loser.
Hahn started strongly in the final and withstood a fierce challenge from Darian Jimenez Sanchez (COL) to take the title in a time of 12.43s (+0.1m/s), adding to the title she won in Rio and multiple World and European titles.
Colombian Jimenez Sanchez took the silver medal in 12.49 with Germany’s Linda Ave taking bronze.
Hahn said: “That was more pressure than I’ve ever felt before, I feel the pressure with each race.
“It was pretty close, that’s definitely the hardest I’ve ever been pushed. She was hot on my heels, and I really thought it would be a photo finish but to see my name was absolutely incredible!
“The build-up was quite tough with all the expectations, but I tried to stay calm and focused. I turned off my social media a week ago to keep my head clear and relaxed.”
Breen finished in sixth place in a time of 13.13, whilst Smith finished eighth in a time of 13.24.
In his first Paralympics, Young (coach: Joe McDonnell, club: Charnwood) won his heat this morning and qualified for the final second-fastest, behind China’s Zhu Dening.
Zhu and five-time Paralympic champion Evan O’Hanlon both started strongly but Young surged down the final 50m to move past both and take gold in a personal best and European record of 10.94s (+0.0).
The Chinese star took the silver medal in 11.00, whilst Australian O’Hanlon took bronze in the same time.
“We worked so hard throughout the pandemic to get it right on this day and it’s the best feeling in the world,” said the triple European champion and world silver medallist.
“The time is a bonus, but I just wanted to win, having that personal best just makes it even better though.
“I want to be a dominant force in this sport, I know Paris is next but I’m already thinking about Brisbane, that’s the long-term aim.”
The British medallists (3):
Sophie Hahn – Women’s T38 100m
Thomas Young – Men’s T38 100m
Maria Lyle – Women’s T35 100m