2nd June 2021


Maria Lyle (Jamie Bowie, Team East Lothian) secured her third European title in the women’s T35 200m final as she won in a Championship record of 30.75 (-3.4) on day two of the European Para Athletics Championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland.

The 21-year-old got off to a great start around the bend, leaving her opponents behind as she created a clear advantage heading into the home straight. The challenging headwind was an obstacle for the whole field, but the Scottish athlete finished strongly to secure the title.

Speaking after her golden success, she said, “I’m really pleased with that today. We’ve had a lot of GB success lately, obviously here on day one, but also at a lot of able-bodied Champs recently. So, I was really looking forward to getting out there on the track.”

“Once I got to 150m, my CP flared up a bit. With it kicking in combined with the headwind, it was a bit of a battle to get to the line. Considering the wind and the time, I’m really happy with how I ran.”

Lyle reflected on what has been a challenging time for everyone over the last year, adding, “During the pandemic, everyone’s lives have been affected, not just athletes, so to be given the opportunity again to race and compete for your country is great and something we shouldn’t take for granted. I think this experience has taught me that we should make the most of what we have and never say no to competing again.”

Looking ahead to the 100m on Saturday, she said, “I’m lucky with how the timetable has worked out. I have two days to prepare for my 100m now. I’m looking forward to the 100m – we’ve already had success in the 100m with Ola (Abidogun) so it will be good to get back out on the track again.”

Rhys Jones (Kevin Williams, DSW Para Academy) secured fourth place in the men’s T37 100m, recording a time of 12.16 (+2.6). The Welshman got out of the blocks well and ran a strong race to finish in the top four, while Russia’s Andrei Vdovin won in a time of 11.53.

Jones said post-race, “To come fourth in Europe is ok, it is a tough classification, but I would have liked something a bit better time-wise. I feel like I am in better shape than that. I have put in the work so I’m slightly disappointed with the result. I will regroup for the 200m on Friday.

“It’s always an honour to represent Great Britain. It is a privilege that few people get to do. I’m always grateful for the opportunity to wear the vest. It’s my first vest in three years, so hopefully there will be more to come.”

Earlier in the session, Zak Skinner (Aston Moore, Loughborough Students) battled a strong headwind to swiftly progress to the men’s T13 100m final at 18:14 (UK time) this evening.

Skinner, who clocked a PB of 11.00 at the Loughborough International just over a week ago, clocked 11.43 (-2.4) to win his heat comfortably. He will go into the final as the second quickest after Frenchman Axel Zorzi won the second heat in 11.16 (-1.9).

British medallists (5):

Gold (2): Columba Blango [Men’s T20 400m], Maria Lyle [Women’s T35 200m]

Silver (1): Kyron Duke [F41 Shot Put]

Bronze (2): Ola Abidogun [T47 100m], Emily Stewart [F38 Discus]