3rd August 2019
ZHOU AND COOPER REACH THE PODIUM FOR SECOND TIME AT WORLD PARA ATHLETICS JUNIOR CHAMPS
Two further medals were won by the British team during the morning session on day three of the World Para Athletics Junior Championships in Nottwil, Switzerland.
Zien Zhou (Job King; Coventry Godiva) [T34] and Matt Cooper (Jenny Archer; Weir Archer Academy) [T34] added their second medals of the campaign to their medal hauls; silver and bronze respectively in the T33-34 400m.
For Zhou and Cooper, they both pushed well as the early morning sun beat down on the track. The Coventry Godiva athlete admitted his start was not his best, but he worked hard to reel in the Mauritius athlete Roberto Michel, however, the former pushed away in the final 50m to narrowly claim his first title in 58.83 while the Briton added 400m silver to his 100m gold with a time of 58.91.
Zhou spoke afterwards: “It was really tough out there. The 400m is always a killer event. Unfortunately, it may not have been the result people expected of me but congratulations to the athlete from Mauritius who did really well. He just got me on the final sprint so well done to him. But I’m really happy with the medal and it is another one to add to the collection.”
“Unfortunately, I didn’t get the start that I wanted. When you don’t get the start right, everything else sort of follows. But I’ll learn from that.”
On his time at the Championships so far, he added: “It’s all a good experience; I’ve learned so much already. It’s all a valuable learning curve and will prepare me for the future when I hopefully make senior teams.”
Cooper once again pushed well over the longer distance and came back strong in the second half of the race to earn his second trip to the podium after posting a time of 1:02.32.
The Weir Archer Academy athlete said: “It’s great to get a medal; I am ridiculously happy to win a medal. The tip of my expectations was to win a bronze in this event, so to come out with that result, I can’t complain about that.
“I’m really looking forward to the 200m [on Sunday]. I feel more comfortable over the shorter sprints. I was close to Zien in the 100m yesterday, so I am really excited about that one.”
The third Briton in the contest, Ben Callander (Peter Wyman; Kirby) was unfortunately disqualified.
Meanwhile, John Bridge (Matt Elias; Cardiff) [T47] delivered a solid performance in the U20 men’s T42-64 400m, placing fourth on Raza points.
After a faulty start added more tension to the atmosphere, on the second time of asking, they got away strongly, with the Welshman powering through the opening 200m. However, he said post-race that he tired in the final 200m, finishing in a time of 52.40.
Bridge added: “I think I went through 200m in quite a good time, but I couldn’t keep it up. I felt like it was consistent, but my energy levels dropped a bit, it wasn’t as smooth.”
Five British athletes are back in action during the afternoon session which starts at 15:00 (UK time).
The British medallists (11):
Barney Corrall – U20 Men’s T35-38 long jump
Zien Zhou – U20 Men’s T33-34 100m
Matt Cooper – U20 Men’s T33-34 100m
Abbie McNally – U20 Women’s T35-38 200m
Eden Rainbow-Cooper – U20 Women’s T54 400m and 1500m
Kirsty Taylor – U20 Women’s T44-64 100m and 200m
Zien Zhou – U20 Men’s T33-34 400m
Ethan Kirby – U20 Men’s T20 400m
Matt Cooper – U20 Men’s T33-34 400m
The World Para Athletics Junior Championships is being streamed on the World Para Athletics website, here: https://www.paralympic.org/athletics & results are here: https://www.nottwil2019.ch/en/start_list_results/
Find out more about the British team via our media guide, here: https://www.britishathletics.org.uk/news-and-features/world-para-athletics-junior-championships-british-team-media-guide/