14th July 2023


Karim Chan (coach: Lukasz Zawila, club: Charnwood) finished an agonising fourth in the T38 long jump while Danny Sidbury (Chris Parsloe, Sutton & District) and Nathan Maguire (Ste Hoskins, Kirkby AC) were sixth and seventh respectively in the T54 1500m on the sixth morning of action at the World Para Athletics Championships in Paris.

Chan produced a superb series in the men’s T38 long jump final and twice looked on course for a podium finish, especially after a fifth-round leap of 6.39m into a huge headwind slotted him into third. However, he would ruthlessly get pushed down into an agonising fourth by Jose Gregorio Lemos of Colombia in the sixth and final round.

Meanwhile Sidbury looked well positioned for a second medal in the men’s T54 1500m, after bronze earlier in the week in the 5000m, but found himself boxed in – as did teammate Maguire – at the key moment in the final with the British pair having to settle for sixth and seventh respectively in the French capital.

Chan enjoyed a great start to his series in the men’s T38 long jump final placing second after round one with an effort of 6.13m. He improved to 6.36m in the second round but moved down one place to third. A 6.24m effort followed next by which time Chan was fourth.

A 6.07m leap in the fourth round kept things the same before a fifth effort of 6.39m gave the 22-year-old all of the hope that a first ever World Championship medal was back on the cards – a jump made all the more impressive as it was into a -3.9m/s headwind.

Chan would suffer a cruel fate though in the sixth and final round as Colombian Lemos pulled out a 6.51m effort to overtake him in bronze medal position – with the Brit managing just 6.18m in response and having to settle for an agonising fourth place.

He said: “It was really enjoyable; I have never experienced something like that before. I kept trying to change the way I run in my runway [to adjust to the windy conditions], so I had to take it back on a few of the jumps.

“I was hoping to get a bronze medal, but there is always next year to come back and try and win one there. We have been working on my run-up, my gym, and my strength and conditioning over the last few months. I want to thank my coach and my family for their support in getting me here.”

In the middle of Chan’s long jump series came the men’s T54 1500m final involving Maguire and Sidbury. Drawn right on the outside in lane ten, Sidbury’s brilliant start slotted him nicely into third place as Swiss legend Marcel Hug was able to dictate the race after being drawn in lane one.

Maguire was well placed himself in sixth as Hug went on to control every aspect and eventually win. At the bell the pace upped and a battle for the medals began however neither Sidbury nor Maguire were able to navigate a way to get into the mix.

In the end the two were neck and neck down the home straight with Sidbury just edging ahead to take sixth in 2:53.02 minutes with Maguire seventh in 2:53.16. It will come as little consolation but both Sidbury and Maguire’s times were inside the old Championship record.

Sidbury, a bronze medallist in the 5000m and fourth in the 400m, said: “I wasn’t best pleased with my initial lane draw. Out in lane ten is not where I wanted to be. I managed to get into a good position early on. I was quite happy in third. I was holding a good position, the pace felt comfortable and felt doable and then sadly I got boxed.

“Unfortunately, there was nowhere I could go, nothing I could do. So, I had to throw down the anchors, loop around the pack and go again. Obviously by that time there was too much to do, and I only picked up maybe a place or two after that final surge.

“I am a little bit disappointed because the opening laps went well. I knew I could have ended up on the podium but that is the beauty of the 1500m – the fastest doesn’t necessarily win [a medal], there are a lot of tactics involved. I’ve got the 800m to come and I am going to try and not get boxed. We’ll go in with a blank state and try and run a more tactical race and be a bit more purposeful.”

Meanwhile Commonwealth champion over 1500m Maguire, who was fifth in the men’s T54 400m himself and also has the 800m to come, said: “It was a bit tactical – it was fast, but we were still all jostling for position at the start. It was tough, but I feel like I got myself in a good place, I just got stuck a few times and that’s what these races are about, they’re about learning. Next time out I won’t get stuck.

“My speed was good during the race, I hit the fastest speed I’ve hit since I got here, so taking that in to an 800m, I’ve got the kick – that’s there – and I responded when I could get out the box. I think taking it forward, I just need to look at the positives of that race and put them in to the next race.

“You don’t get faster without racing the fastest in the world and that’s what I’m doing today. Yesterday I did my first ever 1500m in GB kit, so to make the final and to be able to compete with these guys is incredible.”


The Great Britain and Northern Ireland medallists:

GOLD: [5] Gavin Drysdale [Men’s T72 100m], Jonathan Broom-Edwards [Men’s T64 high jump], Sabrina Fortune [Women’s F20 shot put], Hollie Arnold [Women’s F46 javelin], Hannah Cockroft [Women’s T34 100m]

SILVER: [4] Rafi Solaiman [Men’s T72 100m], Sammi Kinghorn [Women’s T53 800m], Kare Adenegan [Women’s T34 100m], Olivia Breen [Women’s T38 long jump]

BRONZE: [5] Zac Shaw [Men’s T12 100m], Danny Sidbury [Men’s T54 5000m], Maria Lyle [Women’s T35 200m], Sophie Hahn [Women’s T38 100m], Fabienne André [Women’s T34 100m]

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