31st August 2021


Wheelchair racer Daniel Sidbury set a new British record in an electric T54 men’s 1500m final to take sixth, with Beijing 2008 and London 2012 champion David Weir clocking a new PB in finishing tenth.

Sidbury (coach: Christine Parsloe; club: Sutton & District) recorded his personal best of 2:51.11, which would have been enough to break the old world record but could only watch on as Swiss star Marcel Hug took gold in a new world leading time of 2:49.55 at the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo.

“It was pretty chaotic. It didn’t feel super fast to be honest, but I think because everyone else was going quickly, it doesn’t feel that fast,” said Sidbury, who finished 0.33s outside the medal places as all ten athletes in the race set new personal bests..

“There were some bottom-clenching moments. Dave [Weir] went up on one wheel which meant I had to go out wide but I’m pleased I managed to finish the race well.

“I just want the opportunity to race against the best in the world, and this was certainly the place to do it, so I’m really pleased with how it went.”

The immediate pace was dictated by Daniel Romanchuk (USA) who stormed to the front of the field with an early move but the 400m gold medallist’s tactic did not pay off with Hug soon reeling him in and latching onto the back of his wheel, with the rest of the field catching up.

Sidbury finished behind Romanchuk, China’s Zhang Yong and Thai pair Putharet Khongrak and Prawat Wahoram, who took bronze and silver respectively.

Six-time Paralympic champion Weir  managed to save himself from crashing after being forced wide on the final bend, and he still managed to register a PB of 2:53.84 ahead of turning his attention to Sunday’s marathon.

“I got knocked off balance with about 150m to go,” said 42-year-old Weir (Jenny Archer, Weir Archer Academy).

“I’m not sure if I would have medalled even if that hadn’t happened but I would have got a faster time. But things like that happen in races.

“Danny (Sidbury) has come on so much in the last few years because he has studied racing and mastered the technique. He’s got the British record so well done to him. It’s a pleasure to have another Brit in the final.”

Meanwhile, it was deja vu for Britain’s Vanessa Wallace in the women’s F34 seated shot put as she finished fifth in Tokyo, matching her result from Rio 2016.

Wallace (Alison O’Riordan, Enfield and Haringey) was last to compete after a two-and-a-half-hour wait for her turn on the chair and had the daunting task of following China’s Zou Lijuan, who extended her world record to 9.19m.

World bronze medallist Wallace saved her best for last but her final throw of 7.63m was not enough to medal with Zou taking gold ahead of Poland’s Lucyna Kornobys, who threw 8.60m, and Morocco’s Saida Amoudi, whose top effort of 8.21m gave her the bronze.

She said: “I just didn’t have any power. It just wasn’t there – I felt like I was moving through slow-setting concrete. I didn’t have speed or power on what I was doing so that was the result.

“Training has been going well, previous competitions have gone well. I just don’t think the two-and-a-half-hour wait helped.

“It’s not an excuse but it definitely was a factor. Everything just switched off. Unfortunately, it just wasn’t my day.”

The British medallists (9):

Gold (4):

Andrew Small – Men’s T33 100m

Hannah Cockroft – Women’s T34 100m

Sophie Hahn – Women’s T38 100m

Thomas Young – Men’s T38 100m

Silver (1): 

Kare Adenegan – Women’s T34 100m

Bronze (4):

Harri Jenkins – Men’s T33 100m

Maria Lyle – Women’s T35 100m and 200m

Jonnie Peacock – Men’s T64 100m