2nd September 2021
KINGHORN ADVANCES TO T53 400M FINAL; NICHOLSON SIXTH IN F35 SHOT PUT
Sammi Kinghorn progressed to the women’s T53 final, double Paralympic champion Libby Clegg began her farewell to the Games whilst Anna Nicholson contested the F35 shot put final on a busy morning for ParalympicsGB in Tokyo.
Clegg (coach: Joe McDonnell, club: Charnwood) and guide Chris Clarke won both the T11 100m and 200m titles in Rio five years ago and were back in 200m action today.
Competing in her first games as a mother, Clegg ran a time of 27.93s (+0.6m/s) to finish third in a heat won by Simplicio de Silva and guide Felipe Velosa de Silva of Brazil.
She will now turn her attention to the 4x100m universal relay in her final Paralympics on the track.
Despite not reaching the final, the 31-year-old was pleased just to make it to the Games for a fourth Paralympic appearance, having made her debut at Beijing 2008.
She said: “To finish my career in the Paralympic stadium in Tokyo is amazing. I wasn’t even sure I was going to be here so I’m happy.
“I’ve still got the relay to come tomorrow which I’m really looking forward to, so I’m ready for that one.
“It has been such an honour to be on such a successful team. There are some incredible young athletes coming through on the Futures programme who are just starting their journey so I’m happy to see them developing out here.
“For me, this Games is a year too late. I was ready for it last year, I was in phenomenal shape. It’s been a really tough 18 months for all athletes; it’s hard but it is what it is.
“The girls in that field [T11] are really pushing on and the class is developing so it’s been a honour to have been a part of it for all these years.”
Meanwhile, Nicholson (Richard Kaufman, Gateshead) was making her Paralympic debut in the F35 shot put and was competing in far from ideal conditions in a wet Tokyo.
Despite the tricky conditions, the 26-year-old performed admirably, throwing a season’s best of 8.03m to finish in sixth with Ukraine’s Mariia Pomazan taking gold with a second-round effort of 12.24m.
“It was a good competition and I was quite consistent with my series of throws,” said Nicholson. “I’m slightly frustrated because I know I have more in me to be challenging for those medals.
“It is an honour to be a Paralympian and I will be aiming for Paris because I want to be winning a medal there.
“We have a World Championships in Japan next year so hopefully I’ll be there and it will be a stepping board for 2024.”
Meanwhile, Sammi Kinghorn (Rodger Harkins, Red Star) reached her third final of the meet.
The 25-year-old already has a bronze medal from the T53 100m and now has the opportunity to add to that in tonight’s 400m final.
Kinghorn started strongly and eased down in the final 75m to win her heat in a time of 56.73s and safely reach the final.
Also in 400m action was Mel Woods (Rodger Harkins, Red Star) who finished sixth in her T54 heat in a time of 59.11s, drawing her Tokyo adventure to a close.
Woods said: “The Tokyo experience has given me confidence. I want to be back at a Paralympic Games in three years’ time.
“I think I need to give myself the belief that if I keep working hard that I can be up competing alongside these athletes in Paris.”
Nathan Maguire’s (Ste Hoskins, Kirkby) Paralympics came to an end as he finished fifth in his T54 800m heat in a time of 1:36.73.
Dan Sidbury (Christine Parsloe, Sutton & District) was disqualified from his heat while Richard Chiassaro (Jenni Banks, Harlow) withdrew from the event due to a slight neck injury.
The British medallists (12):
Hannah Cockroft – Women’s T34 100m
Sophie Hahn – Women’s T38 100m
Andrew Small – Men’s T33 100m
Thomas Young – Men’s T38 100m
Kare Adenegan – Women’s T34 100m
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