24th May 2019
MAGUIRE AMONG SEVERAL TO OPEN SWISS SERIES WITH PB
Nathan Maguire (coach: Ste Hoskins; Kirkby AC) was one of several athletes who posted personal bests on the first day of action at the World Para Athletics Grand Prix in Nottwil.
Starting the morning in superb style was Maguire who pushed to a personal best over 200m, clocking 25.26 (+0.5) for fourth position in a highly-entertaining T54 race. With the Finn, Leo-Pekka Tathi winning in 24.69, Maguire beat compatriot Richard Chiassaro (Jenni Banks; Harlow) who recovered from a tricky start to post a time of 25.46 for sixth.
In an earlier heat of the T54 200m, Dillon Labrooy (Jenny Archer; Weir Archer Academy) pushed to career best of 26.97 (+0.9), dipping under the 27 second mark for the first time.
They returned later in the day for the 800m in some fiercely contested races. With ten athletes go under 1:34, it was highly competitive through, with Chiassaro leading the Brits in tenth overall with a time of 1:34.74. Maguire was next in 1:34.83, while Labrooy was 25th in the standings in 1:38.36.
China’s Yong Zhang led the field, 1:31.63 the significant best ahead of Daniel Romanchuk (USA) and Marcel Hug in 1:33.20 and 1:33.59 respectively, albeit in a separate race to the latter duo.
Hannah Cockroft (Banks, Leeds City) was 0.11 seconds shy of her own world record, posting 31.62 (+0.6) over 200m. Her PB stands from 2015, but she was pleased with the start to her campaign in Switzerland.
Cockroft spoke post-200m: “I’m really happy with my first 200m of the season, my first 200m in a while actually. To be that close [to the world record] is frustrating but I hit some good speeds and I know I’m pushing fast. My start was good, so that’s the main bit for me.”
In the 800m, she notched up another victory, this time in 2:01.46.
Paralympic, world and European medallist Andrew Small (Rick Hoskins; Stockport) won the T33 200m in 34.12 (+0.6), pipping fellow Brit James Freeman (Archer, Weir Archer Academy) who recorded a fine personal best of 36.84 for second.
The duo returned for the 800m with the same outcome, Small winning in 2:19.94 and Freeman second in 2:27.40.
In the women’s equivalent, Olivia Gallagher (Archer, Weir Archer Academy) was the first of a trio of Brits home in 44.88 (+0.6) for third, with Yasmin Somers (Job King; Harlow) next to follow in 51.72 and Emma Alexander (Richard Chiassaro; Harlow) fifth in 68.85.
Gallagher and Alexander faced the 800m during the afternoon session, crossing the line in times of 3:07.14 and 4:37.11.
Narrowly outside his best time over the distance was Isaac Towers (Peter Wyman; Kirkby AC), 29.98 (+0.9) was 0.03 seconds away from his personal best set in Arbon two years ago. Towers was fourth in a contest won by Finland’s Henry Manni in 27.42, with Joe Brazier (Richard Chiassaro; Harlow) clocking 30.31.
In a separate T34 200m race, there were two PBs for Jamie Edwards and Matthew Cooper (both: Archer, Weir Archer Academy) in 30.83 (+0.8) and 31.14 respectively, while Nate Williams (Rick Hoskins; Stockport) pushed to 31.91.
Over 800m, Towers – the world T34 bronze medallist from London – was involved in a good battle for the win but was edged out by Mohamed Alhammadi (UAE) and Rheed McCracken (AUS), the Brit clocking 1:47.31.
Brazier and Edwards were involved in the 800m too, the former seventh overall in 1:53.96 and the latter ninth in 1:58.34, another PB.
The T53 200 metres were dominated by the Thai athlete Pongsakom Paeyo who was the fastest of all the races in 25.71. Britain’s Mo Jomni (Archer, Weir Archer Academy) settled for seventh overall in 27.82 (+0.7) while Mickey Bushell (Rick Hoskins; Birchfield) was ninth in 28.11.
In the men’s T52 event, Nicholas Smith (Paul Moseley; Leeds City) was fifth in 36.45 (+1.1) while Bulbul Hussain (Victoria Park & Tower Hamlets) recorded a lifetime best over the distance, 42.84 the time.
Elsewhere, Lizzie Williams (Worthy) recorded times of 35.78 (+0.7) and 2:12.29 in the T54 200m and 800m respectively, while Grace Greenwood (Jersey) – who competed at the CP World Games last summer – ran 18.71 (+0.9) in the T35 100m, a lifetime best shaving 0.09 seconds off previous best.
Full results from Day One
Sammi Kinghorn (Ian Mirfin; Red Star) was in action at the World Para Athletics Grand Prix in Arizona clocking 16.65 (+1.6) in the T53 100m – a distance she is reigning world champion in – and 1:54.58 over 800m.