3rd September 2021
MILLER AND BROOM-EDWARDS SECURE GOLDS; TAUNTON BAGS BRONZE
Owen Miller and Jonathan Broom-Edwards became Paralympic champions whilst Hannah Taunton took bronze on a fantastic morning for ParalympicsGB athletes in Tokyo.
Broom-Edwards (coach: Graham Ravenscroft, club: Newham and Essex Beagles) guaranteed himself at least a silver medal with a last-gasp clearance at 2.07m in the T64 high jump.
That effort meant only he and India’s Praveen Kumar were left in the competition, after two-time defending champion and eventual bronze medallist Maciej Lepiato of Poland failed to clear that height.
And a season’s best of 2.10m on his second attempt proved to be enough for reigning world champion Broom-Edwards to reach the top step of the Paralympic podium.
He said: “I am so emotional. To just get it right at the right time, I am so relieved, elated, excited and crying my eyes out.
“I always believed in myself and I wanted to come here and jump a new personal best. The weather didn’t play ball but to do a season’s best is amazing.
“I’ve been striving for that gold for years. They were horrible conditions so I tried to keep my cool and get it right when it counted. And I am so proud of myself.”
Miller (Steven Doig, Fife) was making his Paralympic debut but the 29-year-old showed no signs of nerves with a calm and composed performance in the T20 1500m final.
Having positioned himself near the front of the race from the very early stages, he timed his kick to perfection with 150m left to storm to the Paralympic title in 3:54.57.
The Russian Paralympic Committee’s Alexandr Rabotnitskii finished in second with Ndiaga Dieng of Italy taking bronze.
Miller said: “It is my first Paralympic Games and what an experience, it is really hard going but the work I have done in the last 18 months has really paid off and helped me.
“If it wasn’t for all the support back home I wouldn’t be here today. It means the world to me and I have done my best.
“I was third in the world in Dubai 2019 so to be number one now is quite the experience and I have never done it in my life. This is the best day of my life.”
Just minutes after Miller’s success, there was also a strong performance from Taunton (Charlotte Fisher, Taunton) to win bronze in the women’s T20 1500m.
Taunton sat in fourth for most of the race but finished strongly down the home straight to take bronze in a personal best of 4:35.34, with Barbara Bieganowska-Zając successfully defending her title for Poland.
“It is an amazing achievement. I said to myself that I was really going to go for it on the last lap, and I stormed it, I absolutely did. I knew I could get that bronze medal, and I am so pleased I have done,” she said.
“My family and friends were really proud of me for being selected for Tokyo. I hope they are really excited by it (the bronze medal).
“I’ve really enjoyed this experience and the opportunity as well. I’m looking forward to having two big parties when I get home; a belated 30th birthday celebration and one to celebrate Tokyo.”
Meanwhile, Polly Maton (Colin Baross, Team Devizes) finished seventh in the T47 long jump final thanks to a second-round jump of 5.19m (-0.2m/s) with Anna Grimaldi of New Zealand taking gold with a leap of 5.76m.
Lydia Church (Jim Edwards; Peterborough and Nene Valley) finished in eighth place in the F12 shot put final with a second round effort of 11.41m, with Safiya Burkanova winning the Paralympic title for Uzbekistan thanks to an effort of 14.78m.
Meanwhile, Isaac Towers (Peter Wyman, Kirkby) and Ben Rowlings (Coventry) will both contest the T34 800m final after progressing through the heats.
Towers was out of the qualification places for most of his heat, but a strong final 150m saw him rise from fourth place to finish in second in a season’s best time of 1:46.58.
Rowlings was edged out of the automatic qualification places as he finished in fourth in a time of 1:48.21, but that was quick enough to see him reach the final as a fastest qualifier.
It was also a successful morning for the 4x100m universal relay team who progressed to the final.
The quartet of Libby Clegg (Joe McDonnell, Charnwood) and guide Chris Clarke, Jonnie Peacock (Dan Pfaff, Charnwood), Ali Smith (Benke Blomkvist, Guildford & Godalming) and Nathan Maguire (Ste Hoskins, Kirkby) finished second in their heat, with China setting a new world record of 46.02s.
However, a new national record of 47.86s was enough to see the British team qualify as one of the four fastest teams into tonight’s final.
The British medallists (18):
Jonathan Broom-Edwards – Men’s T64 High Jump
Hannah Cockroft – Women’s T34 100m
Sophie Hahn – Women’s T38 100m
Owen Miller- Men’s T20 1500m
Dan Pembroke – Men’s F13 Javelin
Andrew Small – Men’s T33 100m
Thomas Young – Men’s T38 100m
Kare Adenegan – Women’s T34 100m
Sammi Kinghorn – Women’s T53 400m
Columba Blango – Men’s T20 400m
Olivia Breen – Women’s T38 Long Jump
Dan Greaves – Men’s F64 Discus
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
Hannah Taunton – Women’s T20 1500m