23rd August 2018
CHAMPIONSHIP RECORD FOR ALED DAVIES AS HE DEFENDS EUROPEAN TITLE
On a sun-soaked morning in Berlin, Aled Davies (Cardiff, Ryan Spencer-Jones) captured his third consecutive European discus title, winning the F63 event in a Championship record of 50.55m to kick off day four at the World Para Athletics European Championships.
There were also world records for British RaceRunners in the RR3 100m for Hannah Dines (Red Star) and Kayleigh Haggo (Red Star, Janice Eaglesham).
For Aled Davies, he is aiming for the Triple Double of discus and shot put European titles after winning both in Swansea and Grosseto, and he is halfway there after his efforts in Berlin.
He broke the previous Championship record on five of his six throws, the other one a foul. He opened with a mark of 47.93m and led from then on, with efforts of 49.61m in round three and 49.73m in round five consolidating his lead.
With victory confirmed after the silver medallist Tom Habscheid’s (LUX) last throw did not exceed Davies’s best, the Welshman unleashed the throw of his series with the 50.55m mark.
After leaving the field, he said: “It’s been a tough year. We saw this year as one to kind of experiment, kind of minimise my disability to throw further, but a lot of those haven’t worked, unfortunately, so I haven’t had a consistent technical block. For me, 50m, considering the circumstances, I have to be happy. I am not sure how I won, I wasn’t the best man, they missed an opportunity there because it is the closest they will ever get to me.
“This year has been such a tough year. I haven’t competed that much. I decided that if I sat at home and kind of give up a title without a fight, I would probably regret it. I came here, I threw everything I had. 50m is unfortunately where I am at, but it was good enough for me. I can’t believe I won to be honest, but I will take the win with both hands. Every time you put on the British vest it is an absolute honour and I always go out there to do my country proud.”
Looking ahead to the future, Davies continued: “Tokyo is the event for me. Now we have experimented, we have tried all the avenues, we know what works, we know what we got to play with. I am strong enough now to throw a long, long way, it’s getting that technical work in and making sure I am the best technically I can be. We will aim towards that 20-metre barrier in the shot and I want to get as close if not over the 60-metre barrier in the discus.
RaceRunning – a new discipline at the WPA European Championships for T31/32 athletes using a custom-built frame called a RaceRunner – opened proceedings on the track this morning with the women’s RR3 heats, and it was a fruitful occasion for the British duo in action. Red Star AC athletes Kayleigh Haggo and Hannah Dines both convincingly won their heats in world records for their categories.
Haggo rose to the occasion and produced a sublime display to move away from the rest of the field and set an RR2 world record of 18.99 (+1.5), a personal best in her first major event for GB & NI.
Dines followed in heat two, and similarly got an impressive start and maintained her speed to clock an RR3 world record of 18.87 (+0.7) to set up the prospect of an exciting final between the two at 16:38 (BST).
Upon winning her heat, Haggo said: “I am really happy. It’s a new world record so I am really pleased. It means everything to be in the final, I came just to enjoy the experience and hopefully make a final and that’s what I have done.
“I just stayed as relaxed as possible and just enjoy it and I loved every minute of it. To be at the top of my class is really good – I can’t believe it. The performance definitely fills me with confidence ahead of the final – I can’t wait.”
Dines added: “All the competition is really great. I am warming-up to race Kayleigh, she is an incredible competitor and that makes you go that little bit faster. There’s a lot of people who have got me to where I am today so cheers to them.
“It was my original sport, it was my original dream but for people for cerebral palsy and significant motor impairment it actually means the world. It is the first ever competition for people like us. I have had to race a lot of people without cerebral palsy, so this is an absolute dream.
“I can’t wait for the final tonight. It wouldn’t be the same without Kayleigh.”
T13 long jump silver medallist Zak Skinner (Tonbridge, Aston Moore) made swift progress into the 100m final, in a season’s best of 11.20 (+2.0), finishing behind Paralympic and world champion Jason Smyth of Ireland.
Zac Shaw (Cleethorpes) did not progress to the T12 200m final after his second-place finish in heat one, his time of 24.30 (+1.4) did not seal a fastest qualifier slot.
After taking home a bronze medal from the T54 400m yesterday, Dillon Labrooy (Weir Archer Academy, Jenny Archer) returned to the track and delivered a composed performance to move into this evening’s T54 800m final. He pushed well, sitting behind the wheel of Kenny van Weeghel (NED) to guarantee a third place spot to go through automatically in 1:46.91.
200m silver medallist Nathan Maguire (Halton & Frodsham, Ste Hoskins) was another comfortable qualifier and will join Labrooy in the final. He was also third in 1:47.68 in a heat won by Swiss multi-medallist, Marcel Hug.
Unfortunately, Richard Chiassaro (Harlow, Jenni Banks) withdrew from the event due to a minor illness which saw him miss the T54 400m the previous evening.
British Athletics Medallists: (22)
Kare Adenegan – T34 100m
Hollie Arnold – F46 Javelin
Aled Davies – F63 Discus
Sabrina Fortune – F20 Shot put
Harri Jenkins – T33 100m
Maria Lyle – T35 100m
Vanessa Wallace – F34 Shot put
Richard Whitehead – T61 200m
Hannah Cockroft – T34 100m
David Devine – T13 1500m
Stephen Miller – F32 Club Throw
Luke Nuttall – T46 1500m
Ross Paterson – T38 400m
Zak Skinner – T13 Long Jump
Ali Smith – T38 400m
Mo Jomni – T53 200m & 400m
Dillon Labrooy – T54 400m
Nathan Maguire – T54 200m
Stephen Osborne – T51 100m
Laura Sugar – T44/64 100m & 200m