22nd July 2017


One of the most highly anticipated battles of any World Para Athletics Championships comes in the T44 high jump, where Jonathan Broom Edwards (coach: Paul Harrison) took home the silver behind Poland’s Maciej Lepiato to increase the British teams medal tally to 31 overall.

It was his third silver medal at a world championships, with Polish opponent Maciej Lepiato once again coming out on top. After supremely clearing 1.90m and 1.98m on first attempts, he fouled first time on 2.04m before sailing over on the second attempt.

After two fouls at 2.08m, there were a few nervous moments for the Paralympic silver medallist but as the crowd joined in the raucous hand clap of encouragement, the Briton cleared a wobbling bar, but it managed to stay intact.

However, his competition came to an end at 2.12m with Lepiato going on to win with a clearance of 2.14m.

The silver medallist commented upon his performance:

“It’s been a long wait to get out here and the nerves have crept in, but at the same time, it was worth the wait for the experience out there.

“There were some nerves and some bad habits creeping in – I’ve had to take a step back and get back to basics this year due to some changes in my coaching set-up so I need to keep those bad habits at bay and attempt to get that consistency in the earlier jumps to use as a springboard.”

On his formidable Polish opponent and gold medallist, he said:

“Lepiato is a great athlete and a great guy, he’s the one that will push me on to a higher level, and I feel like he was there for the taking today.”

Returning to the big stage once again after a personal best in his 100m heat earlier in the championship, Zak Skinner (David Hull) impressed in the T13 long jump, finishing in a fantastic fourth position with a personal best of 6.64m.

At his maiden championships, the son of former Lions rugby player Mick, achieved his career best in round two, which moved him into the lead temporarily. Cuba’s Gutierrez and Bulgaria’s Zlatanov overhauled him at the end of round two, but Skinner held the bronze medal position until the final round.

Four fouls and a modest 4.73m added to his series but the American Isaac Jean-Paul leapt 6.84m on his final jump to displace the Briton in the medal places.

A delighted Skinner, who is based in Sevenoaks, said:

“They [the jumps] went well – for the first two I just wanted to get one in – the first one was a foul, but I managed to regain my composure and put one in on jump two which put me in good stead, so I was able to relax a bit and take in the crowd.

“For the next two jumps after that I think it was just a bit overwhelming and I wasn’t able to control myself. For the last two I went again – unfortunately they were fouls, but there are plenty of positives to take.

“I just need to try and become more consistent – I’ve gained a lot of experience here, especially of performing in front of a crowd, so it’s about getting six legal jumps in from now on.

On the windy conditions around the London Stadium, Skinner added:

“I think it affected me more subconsciously than anything – I didn’t really feel it, but for the jumps I was just a bit all over the place, which you could see from my positions on the boards.”

After her T37 400m triumph on Thursday in world record time, Georgie Hermitage (Paul Macgregor) was back in action over the 100m sprint, an event in which she won silver at the 2015 edition of the worlds in Doha.

The Alton-based athlete powered out of the blocks and commanded the whole race from lane two, even having time to glance back towards the rest of the field, confirming her place in tonight’s final with a time of 13.61 (-2.2).

It was a fairly easy run for Hermitage, who incidentally recorded a season’s best, and showed her experienced race judgement to close out a comfortable heat victory. She will return for the final at 20:40 this evening.

Building on her fifth place in the T44 100m on Monday, Laura Sugar (Femi Akinsanya) advanced to the final of the 200m in a lifetime best of 27.91 (-1.5). After injury woes affected her performances in Doha back in 2015, it was a form of redemption for Sugar two years on. The Cambridge-born athlete built on a strong bend and chased a fast-finishing Marlou van Rhijn to consolidate second position.

After heart-break in the 400m yesterday evening, Paul Blake (Rob Ellchuk) showed incredible resilience to return to the track and advance to the T36 100m final. He held on for fourth position in his heat, clocking 12.85 (-1.7) to advance as one of two fastest qualifiers.

The evergreen Graeme Ballard (Trevor Painter) was impressive in the second heat, catapulting out of the blocks before settling into his stride as the rain started to fall for the first time during these championships. He was not fazed by the change of conditions and crossed the line in second place with a mark of 12.66 (-1.5) to earn an automatic slot in this evening’s final at 20.10.

British Athletics medallists (31) at the World Para Athletics Championships London 2017:

Gold (14):
Hollie Arnold – F46 Javelin
Olivia Breen – T38 Long Jump
Hannah Cockroft – T34 100m, 400m, 800m
Kadeena Cox – T38 400m
Aled Davies – F42 Discus
Sophie Hahn – T38 200m
Georgie Hermitage – T37 400m
Sophie Kamlish – T44 100m
Sammi Kinghorn – T53 200m
Jonnie Peacock – T44 100m
Stef Reid – T44 Long Jump
Richard Whitehead – T42 200m

Silver (4):
Kare Adenegan – T34 100m
Jonathan Broom-Edwards – T44 High Jump
Kyron Duke – F41 Shot
Toby Gold – T33 100m

Bronze (13):
Kare Adenegan – T34 400m, 800m
Richard Chiassaro – T54 400m
Kadeena Cox – T38 200m
David Henson – T42 200m
Sammi Kinghorn – T53 400m
Maria Lyle – T35 100, 200m
Stephen Miller – F32 Club Throw
Gemma Prescott – F32 Club Throw
Andrew Small – T33 100m
Isaac Towers – T34 800m
Richard Whitehead – T42 100m