25th May 2024


Aled Davies (coach: Ryan Spencer Jones, club: Cardiff) brought the curtain down on the 2024 World Para Athletics Championships with a superb sixth consecutive F63 shot put title, while there was a maiden world bronze for Nathan Maguire (Steve Hoskins, Kirkby) in the men’s T54 800m.

As Davies added gold medal number seven to the tally for the Great Britain and Northern Ireland team in Japan, Maguire closed the show with his first global medal, and Ali Smith (Benke Blomkvist, Guildford & Godalming) was fifth in the women’s T38 400m.

The GB & NI squad ended the Championships with 12 medals overall and finished fourth place in the medal table with the Paris Paralympic Games on the horizon.

Davies – who turned 33 the day prior to his final – added world title number 10 to his collection with a successful series which saw him win by almost a metre ahead of Iran’s Faisal Sorour.

The Welshman got off to a solid start with a 15.50m effort in round one, leading by a significant margin in the early stages of the competition. A foul in round two was followed by his furthest attempt of them all, going out to 15.60m much to his delight.

There was no further improvement but two more plus 15 metre marks in the series – 15.16m and 15.54m – would ultimately see him seal a sixth consecutive shot put title with his first coming in Lyon back in 2013.

A delighted Davies spoke afterwards, saying, “I love competing, and over the last two years with injury, I haven’t been able to do what I have wanted to do. I have only been back throwing pain free for about five weeks, so I knew I was throwing myself in the deep end here with my class being stronger than ever. I just love trying to throw as far as possible.

“I just need two months of work. Then I’ll be ready to go after that world record. Today, we got the job done, perhaps it was pretty ugly, but it is another world title which I am delighted with. There are so many things I am going to take away which I am going to apply in Paris. I am looking forward to coming back and throwing further than ever.

“There is always going to be pressure. I’m a six-time world champion in this event and everyone wants to beat me. I wasn’t going to sit at home and let my world title go to someone else.

“Every title feels the same to me. It is crazy to think I have 10 world titles, and six consecutive shot put titles. No one has ever done that in the field. It is surreal. The main one this year is that Paralympic Games, so this sets me up quite nicely.”

A few moments after Davies had exited the field, Maguire was lining up for his last final of the championships, and he made it a special one as he achieved the first world championships medal of his career.

After fifth and sixth places in the 1500m and 400m respectively, the Briton was chasing silverware in the 800m. Being the final GB & NI athlete in action at these Championships, Maguire made sure it was a joyous one for the team as he showed grit and determination to edge the bronze by 0.03s ahead of Faisal Alrajehi (KUW).

Maguire took the inside lane from the early stages and stuck on the wheel of the Chinese champion, Dai Yunqiang and Hu Yang. As the pace picked up, he ensured he went with the accelerations of pace when they happened and although the Chinese pair moved ahead, the Briton was wheel to wheel with Alrajehi in the final 100m sprint for the line which Maguire would take by the narrowest of margins, recording a time of 1:35.27 to the Kuwaiti’s 1:35.30.

An ecstatic Maguire commented, “This is an incredible feeling. In the last 100m, we were literally side by side, so I had to wait for the board to even know if I won the medal. It is everything isn’t it.

“That was quite a tactical race. I didn’t expect them to go off as slow as they did, but my plan going into it was to get on the back of the wheel of Yungqiang which I did, and it was just a case of holding on for dear life until the end of the race.

“I have been to every single major championship since 2016 and this is the first time I have got on the world championship podium. To do it now gives me a lot of confidence going into the rest of the year, knowing I can race these guys and beat them.”

Co-captain Smith – 24 hours after winning silver as part of the universal 4x100m relay quartet – was back on track in the T38 400m final where she would end her campaign in fifth, posting 1:03.82.

Smith was in lane nine and started aggressively, getting herself in the mix over the opening 200m. The Briton maintained her form but a top four started to move away with Colombia’s Karen Palomenque Moreno capturing the title in a world record time of 59.40.

Results can be found HERE

The Great Britain and Northern Ireland medal tally:

Gold (7): Hollie Arnold [F46 Javelin], Jonathan Broom-Edwards [T64 High Jump], Hannah Cockroft [T34 100m and 800m], Aled Davies [F63 Shot Put], Sabrina Fortune [F20 Shot Put], Dan Pembroke [F13 Javelin]

Silver (2): Thomas Young [T38 100m], Universal 4x100m Relay [Zac Shaw, Kevin Santos, Ali Smith and Hannah Cockroft]

Bronze (3): Nathan Maguire [T54 800m], Zac Shaw [T12 100m], Harrison Walsh [F64 Discus]