24th August 2018
DEVINE SEALS FIRST WPA EUROPEAN TITLE OVER 5000M
David Devine (club: Liverpool, coach: Anthony Clarke) won his first ever European title in the T13 5000m while Polly Maton (Devizes, Colin Baross) added European bronze in the T47 long jump on the fifth morning of action at the WPA European Championships in Berlin.
This now takes the British team to 33 medals overall, leaving them top of the medal table as it stands.
Having headed the field for much of the contest, controlling the pace throughout, the Liverpudlian made the decisive move with 600m to go, pulling away from the chasing pack of three, to seal his first European title.
After six injury-laden years after his double medal haul at the London 2012 Paralympic Games, Devine captured his second medal of the week after silver in the 1500m on Monday. This time he commanded the race, clocking 15:11.28 to earn the title.
He spoke afterwards: “My coach told me I’m in really good 5km shape, so he said to go out and control it for 4km and go from there. The Spanish athletes went past me a couple of times, but it didn’t bother me. I paced it right and had enough to pick it up at the end.
“I was a bit disappointed after the 1500m on Monday (when he won silver) but this has put a smile on my face today.”
On his decision to step up to longer distances at this championship, he added: “When I had my problems with my achilles and I was trying to be careful coming back, I was doing a lot more slower mileage but that is when I realised I was a lot better at the longer stuff.”
In the field, Polly Maton (Team Devizes – Moorakers AC, Colin Baross) grabbed the bronze medal in the T47 long jump after a personal best leap of 5.28m (+1.1 m/s) in round two.
It was an improvement by one centimetre on her previous best and it earned her the European honour and added to the world silver she won last year in London. It is quite an achievement for the 18-year-old who has been completing her A-levels this year.
She was just two centimetres behind the Greek athlete Styliani Smaragdi with Frenchwoman Angelina Lanza taking home the gold.
Distances of 5.21m and 5.18m backed up Maton’s series, and she commented post-event:
“It is just so amazing, and to do it with a PB is even better. I’ve had a tough year as I have been doing my A-levels, so this season has been really short. In fact, this was only my second long jump competition of the year.
“The PB was a bit more unexpected today. Usually a lot more planning goes into a championship, but we just had to see how we could fit everything around my exams, so to still come out of it and peak, I am very happy with that.
“I won my first senior medal last year at the World Championships, so to win another is a big achievement for me,” she added.
Over in the T20 long jump final, Martina Barber (Stevenage & Herts, Paddy O’Shea) faced a variety of weather conditions but still enjoyed the series of her life as she improved her personal best to 5.31m, placing fourth overall.
After opening with a solid 4.90m before 5.03m in round two, the rain started to pour but that did not faze the 23-year-old who was delighted to set a lifetime best on the European stage.
She spoke afterwards: “I don’t know how I did it, but it just happened. Training has been going really well. when the distance came up, I was really happy because I’ve worked hard for that.
“I was fourth at the worlds last year so I’m happy with fourth again. It’s an even bigger PB this time which is fantastic.”
There was swift progress for Rhys Jones (DSW Para Academy, Christian Malcolm) as he qualified for this evening’s T37 100m final. Flying out of the blocks, the Welshman fired ahead of the rest of the field to win his heat in 12.15 (-3.3) but will be hoping for more favourable weather conditions this evening.
The action gets back underway from 17:00 BST. Results can be found here: https://www.paralympic.org/berlin-2018
British Athletics Medallists: (33)
Kare Adenegan – T34 100m
Hollie Arnold – F46 Javelin
Graeme Ballard – T36 100m
Aled Davies – F63 Discus
David Devine – T13 5000m
Hannah Dines – RR3 100m
Gavin Drysdale – RR3 100m
Sabrina Fortune – F20 Shot put
Dan Greaves – F64 Discus
Sophie Hahn – T38 200m
Harri Jenkins – T33 100m
Maria Lyle – T35 100m
Vanessa Wallace – F34 Shot put
Richard Whitehead – T61 200m
Hannah Cockroft – T34 100m
David Devine – T13 1500m
Kayleigh Haggo – RR3 100m
Stephen Miller – F32 Club Throw
Luke Nuttall – T46 1500m
Ross Paterson – T38 400m
Ben Rowlings – T34 400m
Zak Skinner – T13 Long Jump
Rafi Solaiman – RR3 100m
Ali Smith – T38 400m
Mo Jomni – T53 200m & 400m
Dillon Labrooy – T54 400m
Nathan Maguire – T54 200m & 800m
Polly Maton – T47 Long Jump
Stephen Osborne – T51 100m
Laura Sugar – T44/64 100m & 200m