28th August 2021
HAHN EQUALS WORLD RECORD IN T38 100M HEATS; REID PRODUCES OUTSTANDING SERIES FOR FOURTH
Sophie Hahn showed no signs of relinquishing her T38 100m Paralympic title after equalling her world record in the Tokyo 2020 heats ahead of the final later today.
Seven-time world champion Hahn (coach: Leon Baptiste, club: Charnwood) blitzed the second qualifying race in 12.38s (wind: +0.4m/s) after watching her Paralympic record go to Colombia’s Darian Jimenez Sanchez, who ran 12.54s in the first heat.
“I’m so pleased to have run an equal PB and world record,” said Hahn, who is defending the gold medal she won in Rio. “It is such a fast track, so I am really happy with my performance. I am looking forward to racing in the final later this evening.”
Hahn will be joined in the final by compatriot Ali Smith (Benke Blomkvist; Guildford & Godalming) who recorded a personal best of 13.19s to finish third and claim an automatic qualifying spot behind her.
Olivia Breen (Aston Moore, City of Portsmouth) completes a hat-trick of British women in the T38 final after qualifying as the next fastest qualifier having finished fourth in the first heat with a time of 13.15s (+1.0).
In the men’s T38 100m, Thomas Young (Joe McDonnell, Charnwood) won his heat in 11.22s (-0.6) to safely progress into the final with the 2019 world silver medallist qualifying second fastest behind Chinese sprinter Zhu Dening.
Elsewhere, Stef Reid and David Devine narrowly missed out on winning bronze medals after agonisingly finishing fourth in the women’s T64 long jump and men’s T13 5,000m on Saturday morning at the Olympic Stadium.
Reid (Aston Moore, Charnwood) won silver for ParalympicsGB at London 2012 and Rio 2016 but missed out on another podium finish in Japan by just three centimetres despite jumping 5.75m, the second biggest leap of her career.
It was the 36-year-old’s best performance since 2016 but it was not enough to displace the Netherlands’ Marlene van Gansewinkel, whose 5.78m gave her a second consecutive bronze medal.
Fellow Dutch athlete Fleur Jong extended her own T62 world record to 6.16m to take the gold medal ahead of defending champion Marie-Amelie le Fur of France, who had to settle for silver despite jumping 6.11m on her final attempt, a T64 Paralympic record.
“Fourth is new to me, it is so hard to describe,” said Reid. “That is actually the best I have ever jumped, my best series.
“Coming fourth is kind of bittersweet. But I’m so proud of turning my season around. It was a massive season’s best for me.
“There was a stage during this season where I wasn’t sure I would make this team – jumping 5.10m, 5.20m. So, I’m really happy to be performing at that level.
“That kind of surprised me today. It’s been a long time since I’ve been at a meet of this calibre. You forget just how exciting it is.
“Two women over six metres is huge. It is exciting watching all these young athletes coming up. The standard keeps rising.”
Devine (Anthony Clarke, Liverpool) was in a medal position with 300m to go before being overtaken by Aleksandr Kostin of the Russian Paralympic Committee (RPC) and his guide to be denied a third Paralympic medal.
The 29-year-old won bronze at London 2012 in the 800m and 1500m before stepping up in distance and recorded a season’s best of 14:38.00.
Devine finished 0.18s behind Kostin – who trailed Spanish winner Yassine Ouhdadi El Ataby and Australian silver medallist Jaryd Clifford – but admitted he was happy to be back competing on the biggest stage after battling injury and illness in recent years.
“The plan was always to hit the front with two laps to go but with 300m to go, I just didn’t have enough in my legs,” he said. “It was so hot out there – which is the same for everyone.
“The initial feeling is disappointment, but I’m sure when I look back on it, since 2012, I’ve missed every World Championships because of injury, I missed Rio because I was sick.
“In the last nine years I have done two European Championships. No offence but that is a level down, so I’m really proud of myself to get back to this level and be challenging for medals.”
Teenager Luke Nuttall made his Paralympic debut in the men’s T46 1500m but was unable to haul himself into medal contention, finishing ninth.
Nuttall (Alison Wyeth, Charnwood), the youngest member of the team at 19, clocked a time of 4:02.65 and was nearly ten seconds behind RPC gold medallist Aleksandr Iaremchuk, who sprinted past Bulgarian world champion Hristiyan Stoyanov on the home straight to emerge victorious.
Uganda’s David Emong took bronze with a new PB of 3:53.51 but a disappointed Nuttall, 19, has already turned his attention to Paris 2024.
“In reflection the experience will be really key, Paris is only three years away and I’ll be 22,” he said.
“But my immediate emotion is disappointed, I’m gutted. My personal best [3:55.25] would have put me in and around it, so that will take a few days to get over.
“Before the race I got myself into the mentality of going for a medal, perhaps I put too much pressure on myself.
“In a few hours I’ll be able to enjoy it. The whole process of being around the Paralympics has been really special.”
The British medallists:
Maria Lyle – Women’s T35 100m