1st September 2021


Sammi Kinghorn became the latest Brit to enjoy a memorable evening on the Tokyo track as she raced to T53 100m bronze to earn her first Paralympic medal.

Kinghorn (coach: Rodger Harkins; club: Red Star) finished fifth in this event in Rio five years ago and fourth in the T53 800m on Sunday but ensured there would be no near miss this time around.

The Scot was not the fastest off the line but picked up her pace as the race went on to finish in 16.53 and claim a comfortable third behind Chinese duo Gao Fang and Zhou Hongzhuan.

And having gained a taste of the podium with a pair of T53 sprint golds at the 2017 World Championships in London, Kinghorn was delighted to break her Paralympic duck.

“I am absolutely ecstatic,” she said. “I was fifth in Rio and third now. I am learning every time I’m going out on the track.

“I know I made some errors there but I came away with the bronze medal so I am very happy.

“Obviously that fourth in the 800m was hard, so I wasn’t going to come fourth again, I was going to get on the podium.

“The World Championships in 2017 were incredible but there were a couple of Chinese athletes missing there.

“Winning gave me the hunger. I wanted to be on the podium every time, I don’t want to be missing it.”

The 25-year-old will be in action again on Thursday as she returns to the track to compete for T53 400m gold, going in the heats during the morning session.

Her family and friends will be glued to the action from Melrose once more and Kinghorn was in no doubt as to who would be on the receiving end of her first post-medal phone call.

“I just can’t wait to ring my mum and dad,” she said.

“No one is going to forget these Games, but it was tough not seeing them up in the stands cheering me on.

“I know they’ll all be having a massive party at home and having a few drinks to celebrate.

“I started at 17 years-old, not being able to drive with my mum driving me to training. She didn’t like sport at all but she’d come out and watch me go round and round the track when it was absolutely freezing cold weather in Scotland.

“My mum and dad believe I can conquer the world, so without their support, I wouldn’t be here today, and I wouldn’t be the determined person I am without them.”

Kinghorn is determined not to stop here and believes there are plenty more chapters to write in her Paralympic adventure.

Her Tokyo time was three-tenths of a second adrift of her European record of 16.21 and the confident Scot believes she can break new ground – just as she has in the 200m, in which she holds the world record.

“I know I’m still getting faster and I know I’ll win gold,” she said.

“I know I’ve got a sub-16 in me and that’s the main aim.

“I’m 25, a lot of these girls on the start line are older than me. In three years, hopefully I’ll be more mature and even faster.”

The British medallists (12):

Gold (4):

Hannah Cockroft – Women’s T34 100m

Sophie Hahn – Women’s T38 100m

Andrew Small – Men’s T33 100m

Thomas Young – Men’s T38 100m

Silver (1):

Kare Adenegan – Women’s T34 100m

Bronze (7):

Columba Blango – Men’s T20 400m

Olivia Breen – Women’s T38 Long Jump

Harri Jenkins – Men’s T33 100m

Sammi Kinghorn – Women’s T53 100m

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

Jonnie Peacock – Men’s T64 100m