27th August 2021


Gemma Prescott finished seventh in the F32 club throw final in the first evening session of athletics action but insisted it was an achievement simply making it to Tokyo following surgery two years ago.

Prescott (coach: Mike Wood, club: British Wheelchair Athletics Association) won bronze in both London and Rio and came into the F32 club throw with medal hopes once again.

In her fourth Paralympic Games, a third round throw of 18.28m was her best effort, with two further throws over 18 metres, which saw her finish in seventh place.

Poland’s Roza Kozakowska took gold with a world record throw of 28.74m, with Anastasia Moskalenko of the Ukraine winning silver and Algeria’s Mounia Gasmi in bronze.

And while Prescott’s throw was off her best, she explained exactly how tough it has been making it to her fourth Games.

She said, “I’m a little bit disappointed with the distance, I could have probably thrown further. Having had surgery (spinal fusion) two years ago, I said to myself my target was to make it to the Games, so I’m happy that I’ve achieved that.

“I honestly didn’t know if I’d throw again after the surgery. With covid and all the restrictions on training, I’m probably not back to the full fitness I was before. But I’m grateful to be here and to put on a GB shirt once again.

“We’ll see where the next year goes. I never plan more than one year ahead at a time. I said I thought Rio would be my last Paralympics, so this one is already a bonus but having said that before, who knows where I will be in three years’ time.”

Elsewhere, David Weir and Danny Sidbury made their Tokyo debuts in the T54 5000m heats.

Weir’s campaign over that distance came to an end as he finished in eighth place in a time of 10:49.05.

Weir (Jenny Archer, Weir Archer Academy) is one of the most decorated ParalympicsGB stars with ten medals, including six golds. His heat was dominated by Swiss star Marcel Hug and American Daniel Romanchuk, with the Swiss prevailing in a new Paralympic time of 9:53.26.

On his Paralympic debut, Sidbury (coach: Christine Parsloe, club: Sutton & District) also finished in eighth place with a time of 10:26.65, with a puncture hindering his cause.

Sidbury said: “It was a disorientating experience. When you are going at those speeds and you have sweat in your eyes, it is difficult. But it was really good fun. I watched the previous heat on TV so I could get a sense of how others were pushing and what the track was like.

“I was doing well in the opening few laps and I was holding pace and responding to the moves the guys were making, and then I noticed I was struggling to take the bends and the wheel was going all over the place, so I realised I had a puncture and the wheel had gone flat about a mile in. I was wrestling with that tyre for the other two miles. I kind of burnt out a little bit which was a shame.”

Weir will be back in action for the 1500m and marathon, while Sidbury will compete in the 1500m and 400m.

The British medallists:


Maria Lyle – Women’s T35 100m