3rd June 2021
FABIENNE ANDRÉ SECURES HER FIRST EUROPEAN GOLD MEDAL
Fabienne André (coach: Jenny Archer, club: Weir Archer Academy) secured her first European title as she won the women’s T34 100m taking the British team’s tally up to 13 medals at the European Para Athletics Championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland.
Kicking off day three, André started well and held an advantage over her rivals in the opening few pushes, and she extended that leading margin as the contest unfolded. She held off the threat of Russia’s Veronika Doronina winning it with a time of 18.94 (1.0) to her opponent’s 19.50.
The former swimmer, who is competing at her first European Championships for the British team, said, “I was coming out here with no expectations. I just wanted to have a good experience at my first European Championships, so I just came out here and gave it my best. I left all I could on the track, and it is amazing to come away with a gold medal.
“I’ve really enjoyed being on the team, everyone has been so supportive. I’ve learned so much while I’ve been here. I’ve only ever been to one international competition before, so it is good to get the experience under my belt. I’m looking forward to the 800m next.”
She added, “It is a completely different feeling competing for GB, you can’t really explain it. Especially in the times we are in, it is amazing to have the opportunity to race.”
In a fast and furious women’s T64 100m race, Sophie Kamlish (Rob Ellchuk, Bristol & West) was fifth in a season best of 13.14 (1.6). The 2017 world champion got a great start out of the blocks and was in contention for the first half of the race, however, the frontrunners moved away to post record-breaking times.
T62 athlete Fleur Jong (NED) broke the world record to win the race in a time of 12.64 while there was a Championship record for Marlene van Gansewinkel (NED)with 12.80 for the silver medal.
Kamlish said, “That was pretty intense. Obviously, I was on the outside lane, so I only had one athlete next to me who I got a better start than, but she overtook me in the end. My start was pretty good as was the first half of my race but then it was a little bit out of control further on. Maybe that’s a case of changing my blade up a little bit. It’s been quite a complicated year of doing little tweaks, so I hope I can get it right for the next competition.”
There was swift progress for both Nathan Maguire (Ste Hoskins, Kirkby) and Dan Sidbury (Christine Parsloe, Sutton & District) in the men’s T54 400m heats as they qualified for this evening’s final at 19:20 BST.
Maguire went in the first of the heats and made light work of the qualification, comfortably finishing in second place behind Kenny van Weeghel (NED) in a time of 48.64.
Following his silver medal success in the 1500m the previous evening, it was a quick turnaround for Sidbury to prepare for the 400m heat, but he also moved into the final by winning his heat in a time of 48.82.
British medallists (13):
Gold (5): Columba Blango [Men’s T20 400m], Sophie Hahn [Women’s T38 100m], Maria Lyle [Women’s T35 200m], Zak Skinner [Men’s T13 100m], Fabienne André [Women’s T34 100m]
Silver (3): Shaun Burrows [Men’s T38 400m], Kyron Duke [Men’s F41 Shot Put], Danny Sidbury [Men’s T54 1500m]
Bronze (5): Ola Abidogun [Men’s T47 100m], Polly Maton [T47 Long Jump], Luke Nuttall [Men’s T46 1500m], Emily Stewart [Women’s F38 Discus], Alexander Thomson [Men’s T38 400m]