29th August 2021
COCKROFT SEALS HER SIXTH PARALYMPIC TITLE IN WORLD RECORD TIME
Hannah Cockroft stormed to her sixth Paralympic gold medal after a stunning world record at Tokyo 2020 sealed a hat-trick of women’s T34 100m titles in a British one-two.
Cockroft (coach: Jenni Banks, club: Leeds) won gold at London 2012 and Rio 2016 and repeated the trick on Sunday morning at the Olympic Stadium with the ParalympicsGB top two completed by Kare Adenegan (Job King, Coventry).
Cockroft, 29, shaved 0.18s off her own world record after crossing the line in 16.39s (+0.3m/s) ahead of Adenegan, who got a flying start before settling for a silver medal and a season’s best of 17.03s after being reeled in by her team-mate.
Australia’s Robyn Lambird completed the podium while British debutant Fabienne Andre (Jenny Archer, Weir Archer Academy) finished in fifth.
“I am relieved, excited, I’ve already cried and I’m not a crier, I can’t believe it,” said Cockroft, who now turns her attention to the 800m.
“There has been so much pressure and insecurity around this whole Games; it was on, it was off, it was back on. Family can come, they can’t come.
“To finally be here, get out there and put that time down is amazing. I did not think that time was something I was capable of.
“I’ve been to the last two Games and won five golds, so anything less than gold wouldn’t be enough, I wouldn’t be satisfied. I’m 29 now so I haven’t got many of these left.”
Adenegan was delighted with silver after finding life in the bubble challenging and said: “The last few weeks have been really difficult and I’ve been questioning where I am at.
“So, to post a season best and be close to sub 17 again, I’m really happy with it.
“My start was really good. I was surprised how far ahead I was at the start. I know Hannah’s top speed is quicker than mine so I knew she might go past me.”
Melanie Woods (Rodger Harkins, Red Star) booked her spot as a next fastest qualifier in the T54 women’s 800m final in some style by knocking over half a second off her personal best with a 1:52.05.
Fellow Scot Sammi Kinghorn (Rodger Harkins, Red Star) safely secured her progression into the final of the women’s T53 800m, finishing second in her heat in a time of 1:50.83.
Later today in the men’s T54 400m final, Richard Chiassaro will aim to go at least one better than the fourth place he managed five years ago in Rio.
Chiassaro (Jenni Banks, Harlow) finished second in a season’s best 47.88s in his morning heat to bag an automatic qualifying spot and he will be joined on the start line by fellow Brit Nathan Maguire after the 24-year-old grabbed the last spot into the final with a qualifying time of 46.72s despite finishing fourth in his race.
However, Daniel Sidbury (Christine Parsloe; Sutton & District) was unable to make it a full ParalympicsGB contingent in the final after he was disqualified for a lane infringement.
There were no such problems for Zak Skinner (Aston Moore; Loughborough Students) as 11.14s (+0.2) was enough for him to make the men’s T13 100m final being held later on Sunday.
The 22-year-old had endured a nervous wait to see if he would make the cut having finished fourth in the first of three heats as the morning’s action came to a close.
The British medallists (5):
Hannah Cockroft – Women’s T34 100m
Sophie Hahn – Women’s T38 100m
Thomas Young – Men’s T38 100m
Kare Adenegan – Women’s T34 100m
Maria Lyle – Women’s T35 100m