22nd May 2024


There was a fifth-place finish for Nathan Maguire (coach: Steve Hoskins, club: Kirkby) in the men’s T54 1500m final on a light day for the Great Britain and Northern Ireland contingent at the World Para Athletics Championships Kobe24.

During the evening session, Columba Blango (Chris Zah, Shaftesbury Barnet) just missed out on a place in the men’s T20 400m final.

Maguire was the sole GB & NI athlete in action on Wednesday morning as he lined up to face the three- and three-quarter lap distance in his second final of the Championships.

With a vocal home crowd cheering on the Japanese athletes in the field, Maguire sat at the back of the field for much of the early stages as he looked for an opening so he could attempt to rein in the leaders, Chinese duo Jin Hua and Dai Yunqiang. With the pace no quicker than the heats on Tuesday, it became a tactical affair as athletes looked to find the gaps to make their decisive moves.

Unfortunately for Maguire, he appeared boxed in on the final two laps until the 200m to go mark when he managed to move wide and attack the final home straight in a sprint finish for home.

With Hua and Yunqiang away for gold and silver, and Thailand’s Siachon Konjen comfortable in third, the Briton was fighting for positions, and he moved up from seventh to fifth in the final push for the line, crossing it in 2:57.81.

Reflecting post-race, Maguire said, “It was a lot of fun. I was sat in lane two for pretty much the whole race, so I was trying to make sure I didn’t get boxed but of course, what happened? I got blocked. It’s disappointing because coming into the final lap, I was hitting quicker speeds than I did in the 400m the other day. If I hadn’t been boxed in until 150m to go, I would have been able to use my speed a bit better and got closer to the guys who won the medals.

“We were holding 20mph for the whole thing, and then I hit 23 mph on the home straight. They are up there with some of the highest speeds I’ve ever hit. To be hitting those speeds at this time of year is really exciting. I’m looking forward to the 800m which is my last race of the Championships.”

Blango pulled on the vest for GB & NI during the evening session as he targeted a slot in the men’s T20 400m final on Thursday evening.

The Paralympic bronze medallist started aggressively and sat in second at the 200m mark with Brazil’s Daniel Tavares Martins pushing the pace at the front. However, as the athletes turned the bend, Colombia’s Jhon Sebastian Obando Asprilla surged through the field and dragged the Brazilian and Alaysia’s Muhammad Nor Amzi with him with Blango left in their trail.

The Briton pushed as hard as he could down the home straight to bag fourth in the first heat in 49.51, but with only the top three going through automatically in each heat plus two fastest qualifiers, a quicker second heat saw the fastest non-automatic qualifiers progress with Blango missing out by an agonising 0.01s.

“It was a tough race, and it isn’t made easier with everyone trying to get into that final. I did all I could in that race. It’s a step-by-step process and it is still early season.”

The 2024 World Para Athletics Championships will be live on the IPC YouTube channel HERE

Start lists and results can be found HERE


The Great Britain and Northern Ireland medal tally:

Gold (4): Hollie Arnold [F46 Javelin], Jonathan Broom-Edwards [T64 High Jump], Hannah Cockroft [T34 100m], Sabrina Fortune [F20 Shot Put]

Silver (1): Thomas Young [T38 100m]

Bronze (1): Zac Shaw [T12 100m]