15th April 2023


Several athletes began their outdoor season campaigns on day one of the Coventry Spring Meeting at the University of Warwick track.

Hannah Cockroft (coach; Paul Moseley, club: Leeds) continued her strong start to the year with a time of 16.97 (1.5) in the women’s wheelchair 100m to narrowly pip Sammi Kinghorn (Rodger Harkins, Red Star) on the line who closely followed in 16.99 (1.5). It was neck and neck between the duo for long periods of the race, but Cockroft just edged ahead in the closing stages to seal victory. Kare Adenegan (Job King, Coventry) was third overall in a time of 18.13.

Cockroft returned to the track for the 400m which she won in style, in a time of 57.04 from Kinghorn who was next across the line in 57.24. Adenegan was third in 1:02.97, while Fabienne Andre (Jenny Archer, Weir Archer Academy) – the reigning European champion – was fourth in 1:07.97.

In the men’s wheelchair 100m, Nathan Maguire (Ste Hoskins, Kirkby) showed his quality as he won with ease in a time of 14.61 (0.3) from Dillon Labrooy (Jenny Archer, Weir Archer Academy) who was next across the line in 15.66, with Canada’s Paralympic T53 gold medallist, Brent Lakatos third in 15.88.

Later in the programme, Maguire won the 400m in 48.82 with Labrooy [51.53] and Lakatos [51.92] rounding out the same top three as the 100m.

With Great Britain and Northern Ireland the reigning Paralympic silver medallists in the 4x100m Universal Relay, two British teams were assembled to fine-tune ahead of this summer’s World Para Athletics Championships.

47.90 was the time for the A team quartet of Zac Shaw (Leon Baptiste, Cleethorpes), Jonnie Peacock (Benke Blomkvist, Charnwood), Sophie Hahn (Leon Baptiste, Charnwood) and Sammi Kinghorn. The medal-winning team in Tokyo clocked 47.50 two years agol, so it was a strong showing for the team as they head towards Paris this July.

The guest team of Victoria Levitt (Hyndburn), Emmanuel Oyinbo Coker (Joe McDonnell, Newham & Essex Beagles), Ali Smith (Benke Blomkvist, Guildford & Godalming) and Nathan Maguire (Ste Hoskins, Kirkby) recorded a time of 49.02.

With the Framerunning classes T71 and T72 newly introduced replacing the RaceRunning classification, there were world records (subject to ratification) on the line for the competitors in these races, and GB & NI’s world champions, Kayleigh Haggo (John Owens, Red Star) [T72] and Gavin Drysdale (David Phee, Red Star) [T72] both set the marks for the new classes.

Haggo clocked 19.32 to win the women’s 100m event comfortably, with Drysdale moving away from world silver medallist Rafi Solaiman (Phillip Fleetwood, Charnwood) to win the men’s in a time of 16.95 (0.5).

After winning the ambulant sprint races at both UKA indoors events earlier this year, Faye Olszowka (Bexley) continued her excellent form to win in a personal best of 12.93 (1.6), the first time she has dipped under the 13 second mark in the 100m.

Commonwealth T47 champion Emmanuel Oyinbo-Coker (Joe McDonnell, Newham & Essex Beagles) was the quickest in the ambulant men’s 100m heats, posting a time of 11.33 (-0.3), with Segun Samuel (Jeffrey Lawal-Balogun, Newham & Essex Beagles) next fastest with 11.79 in the same heat.

Over 400m, Ali Smith won the ambulant 400m in 1:03.45, a season best, ahead of Olszowka who was just behind in 1:05.06.

Paralympic T20 bronze medallist Columba Blango (Chris Zah, Shaftesbury Barnet) won the men’s ambulant 400m after a superb display which saw him win in a time 49.73, with Futures athletes Ethan Kirby (Joe McDonnell, Newton Abbot) [T20] and John Bridge (Darrell Maynard, Cardiff) [T47] the next two across the line in 51.10 and 51.22 respectively.

2019 world champion in the F20 shot put Sabrina Fortune (Ian Robinson, Deeside) threw a season best of 13.49m on her way to victory. Funmi Oduwaiye (Cardiff & The Vale Schs) [F44] achieved a PB for second overall – her revised lifetime best measuring at 10.86m. She returned for the discus later in the day throwing a mark of 30.09m.

The mixed club throw / discus competition saw 2016 Paralympic F56 discus bronze medallist – when representing Iran – Javid Ehsani Shakib throwing a best of 39.20 in the discus, while three-time Paralympic champion Stephen Miller (Ros Miller, Gateshead) embarked on another year competing in the club throw by throwing a best 27.54m in his series.

In the men’s seated shot put competition, there was a lifetime best for F57 athlete, Adam Donnachie (Janelle McGurk, Stirling University); the best throw of his series was 8.02m. There was also a PB for Kieran Jones (DSW Para Academy) [F34] who revised his PB to 7.96m, adding 56cm to his previous best.

In the ambulant shot put, Michael Jenkins (Ryan Spencer-Jones, Pembrokeshire) [F38] threw 14.46m, while Fabio Zamparelli (Mo Pearson, Cornwall) [F20] was next with a best of 13.59m. Jenkins was also victorious in the discus with 52.02m the best of his six attempts – the mark, subject to ratification, a European F38 record.

In the long jump competitions, Martina Barber (Roger Keller, Stevenage & Herts) [T20] jumped a best of 4.48m to win the women’s competition. Karim Chan (Lukasz Zawila, Charnwood) won the men’s event with a jump of 6.39m the furthest of his series.

Results are on the Roster app.

*Photo credit: Peter Milsom