16th July 2023
RELAY SET EUROPEAN RECORD, WHILE CHURCH PLACES FOURTH IN THE WORLD
The Universal 4x100m Relay team swept through qualifying in a European record time this morning, while there was a top four finish for Lydia Church (coach: Mark Edwards, club: Peterborough & Nene Valley) in the F12 Shot Put, and Marcus Perrineau-Daley (Jenny Archer, Weir Archer Academy) finished seventh in the T52 100m final at the World Para Athletics Championships in Paris, France.
Going in the second of two qualifying heats ahead of this evening’s final, the quartet of Zac Shaw (Leon Baptiste, Cleethorpes), Jonnie Peacock (Dan Pfaff / Benke Blomkvist, Charnwood), Sophie Hahn (Leon Baptiste, Charnwood) and Hannah Cockroft (Paul Moseley, Leeds) got the job done in style as they clocked 47.17, a European record time and the quickest by some margin through qualifying, to proceed to this evening.
Led out by Shaw, an individual 100m bronze medallist at these championships, the team got off to a great start as Shaw ran a fine bend before tapping into Peacock.
Peacock ran a blistering back straight, putting a huge lead in for the British quartet before he tapped in double bronze medallist from these championships, Sophie Hahn.
Appearing at ease as she rolled off the 200m bend, Hahn forced herself to slow up to ensure she could hand in to Cockroft on the anchor leg, who herself was left with the task of bringing the team in for an automatic qualifying spot.
The home straight all to herself, Cockroft was a blur of hands on wheels as she powered home to stop the clock at 47.18 and ensure a job very well done ahead of the final at 21:20 (20:20 UK time) later today.
First up from this morning, European silver medallist Church took to the throwing circle with the aim of improving on her previous world championships showing of 7th back in 2019.
Putting herself under pressure to stay in the competition after two fouls in rounds one and two, Church found a legal mark with 11.51m to secure three more attempts, and then went on to improve to 11.59m with her fourth attempt,
Struggling to find rhythm and form on the day, two more fouls followed in rounds five and six, with Church’s best of 11.59m good for fourth overall, a career best performance on the global stage.
Post-competition, Church reflected: “It’s definitely frustrating, I got my standing throw in [after two foul throws] – I just couldn’t quite get it to connect today.
“I’ve had quite a tough year with injuries so today was just about enjoying it, having fun and getting ready for next year. We’ll get it all ironed out ready for next year and we’ll hopefully aim for a medal. There’s loads to work on, even just getting my strength back up after injuries as this year I haven’t been able to get a good solid gym in. So next year we’ll come out stronger and even better.”
An hour or so later, Marcus Perrineau-Daley (Jenny Archer, Weir Archer Academy) took the track to line up in the final of the T52 100m.
Having steered himself through qualifying yesterday evening, Perrineau-Daley struggled to get out from the gun, leaving him with much work to do to haul back the leading contenders for the podium.
Only appearing to get into his racing over the final 40m, Perrineau-Daley managed to haul back Anthony Bouchard of Canada to push himself into seventh, but ultimately the line came too soon for any further improvement on place, as he clocked 18.40.
Speaking afterwards, a frustrated Perrineau-Daley said: “I am disappointed big time. The start wasn’t good and from there I was just chasing it. It threw me and the rest is history. There was nothing I could do to catch them up. I couldn’t get my power down.”
“I am gutted because I should have at least got third place today, but it is what it is. It hurts now but I’ll learn from the experience.”
The Great Britain and Northern Ireland medallists:
GOLD:  Gavin Drysdale [Men’s T72 100m], Jonathan Broom-Edwards [Men’s T64 high jump], Sabrina Fortune [Women’s F20 shot put], Hollie Arnold [Women’s F46 javelin], Hannah Cockroft [Women’s T34 100m], Sammi Kinghorn [Women’s T53 100m], Dan Pembroke [Men’s F13 javelin]
SILVER:  Rafi Solaiman [Men’s T72 100m], Sammi Kinghorn [Women’s T53 800m], Kare Adenegan [Women’s T34 100m], Olivia Breen [Women’s T38 long jump], Sammi Kinghorn [Women’s T53 400m]
BRONZE:  Zac Shaw [Men’s T12 100m], Danny Sidbury [Men’s T54 5000m], Maria Lyle [Women’s T35 200m], Sophie Hahn [Women’s T38 100m, Women’s T38 200m], Fabienne André [Women’s T34 100m, Dan Greaves [Men’s F64 Discus]
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