16th July 2023
WORLD TITLE NUMBER 14 FOR COCKROFT AS MEDALS RAIN DOWN IN PARIS
World title number 14 for Hannah Cockroft (coach: Paul Moseley, club: Leeds) led the way for the Great Britain & Northern Ireland team on night nine of action in Paris, while there were unforgettable silver medal moments for Kare Adenegan (Job King, Coventry), Michael Jenkins (Ryan Spencer-Jones, Pembrokeshire) and the 4x100m Universal Relay team.
The success on the penultimate night takes the team’s medal haul to 23 overall ahead of tomorrow’s final day of action.
In arguably the track final to watch on night nine, Cockroft absolutely flew out from the gun in the T34 800m, showing all of the championship pedigree and power to quickly blow the field away early doors. Opening up a lead of 20m or so with 300m gone, Cockroft was shadowed by compatriot and fellow serial global medal winner Kare Adenegan.
Going through the bell at 56.16, Cockroft showed no signs of glancing backwards, with Cockroft and Adenegan’s prowess ensuring gold and silver were undoubtedly tied up at the half-way point and leaving much battling further back for the bronze.
As Cockroft powered away to a championship record of 1:51.57, a revision of some six seconds on the previous, Adenegan followed in with 1:59.62 to bring up yet another global medal, adding to the silver won in the T34 100m on Thursday evening.
There would be no repeat of the clean sweep seen in the T34 100m this time out, however, with 100m individual bronze medallist Fabienne André (Jenny Archer, Weir Archer Academy) pipped to another bronze medal by the USA’s Eva Houston, André coming home in 2:13.30.
Post-race, Cockroft said: “I’m ecstatic that I’m world champion…but I know that I had a better time than that somewhere inside me. I was pushing 1:44 earlier this year, so to push a 1:51 is a bit of step back. So, I’m a bit frustrated. My start wasn’t the greatest and Kare really pushed me off the line…but tomorrow when I’m on that podium I’ll be so, so happy.
“My first world championships was twelve years ago – I didn’t dream in a million years all that time ago that I’d still be here all these years later, and probably not doing a 1:51, which is a good time but I’m just never happy!”
On her own medal winning exploits, Adenegan said: “I’m really happy – I feel more proud of that one than the 100m – I executed my plan in terms of what I wanted to do.
“I really wanted to go sub-2 minutes again – I’ve pushed a few of them this season, so I knew it was possible and that if I got off well and committed that I could do it.
“I came and did what I hoped to here – it’s great to come out of a championships and know what you need to change, so I’m excited for the winter as well.”
In the field, Michael Jenkins (Ryan Spencer-Jones, Pembrokeshire) enjoyed the competition of his life on his Great Britain & Northern Ireland debut to win a memorable podium finish. Entering the competition with a best of 15.30m, the 19-year-old added over a metre and a half to his personal best to win a brilliant world silver medal in a competition littered with many a record.
Kicking off with an immediate personal best in round one courtesy of 16.46m, a mark he then replicated in round three after a foul in between.
After threatening the 17-metre barrier in round four with 16.94m, Jenkins then unloaded a 17.14m monster with his penultimate throw, a huge European record. Notably, every single throw of Jenkins’ on the night would have matched or bettered the world record pre-competition, however Jose Gregorio Lemos of Columbia saw to a huge revision of that as he launched out to 18.26m to win the title.
Jenkins closed out 16.77m to close up a competition of five legal throws, three consecutive personal bests, one European record and a world silver medal.
After the competition, an equally astonished and elated Jenkins said: “It’s surreal and my heart is pounding. I’m sure it will be for the coming days – it’s incredible and I’m very proud.
“Going out there, I did have a lot of expectations – I wanted to push it, I wanted to smash my own best, and as a minimum I wanted to get the European record – that was my main goal going in.”
“The really strong competition definitely helped push me – I don’t think I would’ve got that 17-metre throw without the pressure of the other athletes trying to raise the distance. All the boys out there are lovely and accommodating – I was the youngest out athlete there, and they were all giving me tips on how to handle the pressure and generally pushing me to throw as a far as I can.
Taking to the track once more after a European record in qualifying earlier today, the universal relay quartet of Zac Shaw (Leon Baptiste, Cleethorpes), Jonnie Peacock (Dan Pfaff / Benke Blomkvist, Charnwood), Sophie Hahn (Leon Baptiste, Charnwood) and Sammi Kinghorn (Rodger Harkins, Red Star) closed off the session in style with a world silver.
Ever the solid opener, Shaw ran a fine first leg, taking the stagger out of those inside him to give Peacock a lead to work with. Peacock looked just as blistering, increasing the team’s lead before he tapped in double individual bronze medallist Sophie Hahn.
Now up against the other nation’s finest male athletes, Hahn ran a smooth bend as ever before completing the final handover into Kinghorn, at which point all was to play for on podium ordering.
Kinghorn found her rhythm and form despite the chaos all around her, pushing for the line to bring the team home in 48.07 and bronze, a result that was later upgraded following a disqualification to initial gold medal winners Canada.
On both the unique nature of the universal relay and the team’s result, Peacock said: “I love the relay. I grew up loving sport and I always wanted to be a footballer as part of that team overall. Athletics is obviously a sport where you don’t get to share that too often. But there’s been a huge team as part of this and we’ve done countless relay practices this year building in. We get to share the joy, but we get to share the pressure too. It’s not on anybody and it’s one unit – if one of us makes a mistake, all of us do.
“Zac came flying into me and it’s always a little bit scary when you’ve got someone with that type of speed. It was about doing our job right and getting this team round. As Zak said, we’ve got two silver medals now. Personally, there was a chance I’d come away from these championships with no silverware, so I’m very happy I can look back at this championships to put a big smile on my face.”
Anchor leg Kinghorn added: “It was awesome – I was nervous going into it. As Jonnie said, we’re so used to being individual events, so being down in the call-room and having so many more people there – I really enjoyed that. It gives you that extra confidence.
“If, when I was a little girl someone said to me ‘one day at a world championships you’re going to win a medal in every event’, I wouldn’t have believed it, but that’s what I’m doing now. I’m incredibly grateful for this opportunity.”
After a fourth-place finish in the 200m earlier in the week, Kyle Keyworth (Kes Salmon, Manchester Harriers) went in his second final of the week, this time lining up in the 100m after navigating his way through qualifying yesterday evening.
Keyworth blasted out at the gun, getting a great start and finding himself shoulder to shoulder for silver of bronze at the 60m point. Those he was sparring with for the minor medals – Ukraine’s Ivan Tetiukhin and Brazil’s Fabio Bordignon – ultimately pulled away over the final third of the race, with the fast-finishing Hernan Barreto of Argentina also pipping the Brit on the line. That left Keyworth settling for fifth, his time 12.75.
Immediate reflecting, Keyworth said: “I felt like I got off to a good start but towards the end I faded out. I tried and tried, but couldn’t lift my legs. I knew I was in the mix, so I’m disappointed with how it ended, but it’s an learning experience and one I need to take plenty from.”
Luke Nuttall (Sonia and Chris McGeorge, Charnwood) was the first up and running for Great Britain & Northern Ireland on the night, going in the T46 100m final.
European bronze medallist in the same event and an outside bet at a medal in Paris based on personal bests, Nuttall settled himself into the lead four athletes early doors among lots of jostling. After a sluggish and cautious 51.7 through 300m from the field, the pace picked up as they swung back round for two laps to go, with Nuttall still there and present up in third.
Bumped down to fifth over the course of lap three, Nuttall crucially stayed in touch with the leaders as they took the bell, Australian Michael Roeger making a clear dart for home with 350m still to run. Now losing distance while also trying to find off the chasing back, Nuttall dug in round the final 200m to claw himself back from sixth to fifth come the finish line, his time 3:59.50 earning him a career-best finish globally after finishing ninth at Tokyo’s Paralympic Games.
After the race, Nuttall said: “It was kind of unexpected how the race went out, I thought it was going to be a bit of a quick pace from the start, and the first lap was really slow. Then it really went on the second lap and I went with it, but I think that probably took it out of me a bit coming towards the end. But fifth – it’s all right. I think I could’ve been close to a medal – but I’ll take it.
“I was ninth at Tokyo and third at the Europeans, I’ve got quicker again this year and I’m only 21 so I can take a lot away that I’m climbing up and improving each time. A lot of these guys are very experienced and I’m still improving each championships, so I’ll take it.”
Both Nathan Maguire (Ste Hoskins, Kirkby AC) and Danny Sidbury (Chris Parsloe, Sutton & District) were in qualifying action over the T54 800m later in the programme, Maguire going in the first of the three heats, Sidbury the second.
No stranger to the international stage, Maguire got the job done, securing a fastest non-automatic qualifier in a time of 1:33.18 to advance to tomorrow’s final.
Following suit in mirroring Maguire’s passage, Sidbury took third in his heat and also bagged a fastest non-auto qualifier, his time of 1:33.07 enough to move into the final due at 19L49 (18:49 UK time) tomorrow evening.
The Great Britain and Northern Ireland medallists:
Gold: Hollie Arnold [Women’s F46 Javelin], Jonathan Broom-Edwards [Men’s T64 high jump], Hannah Cockroft [Women’s T34 100m and 800m], Gavin Drysdale [Men’s T72 100m], Sabrina Fortune [Women’s F20 Shot Put], Sammi Kinghorn [Women’s T53 100m], Dan Pembroke [Men’s F13 Javelin]
Silver: Kare Adenegan [Women’s T34 100m and 800m], Olivia Breen [Women’s T38 Long Jump], Michael Jenkins [Men’s F38 Shot Put], Sammi Kinghorn [Women’s T53 400m and 800m], Rafi Solaiman [Men’s T72 100m], Universal 4x100m Relay
Bronze: Fabienne Andre [Women’s T34 100m], Sophie Hahn [Women’s T38 100m and 200m], Maria Lyle [Women’s T35 200m], Zac Shaw [Men’s T12 100m], Danny Sidbury [Men’s T54 5000m]
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