IPC World Championships Morning Session - Day 4
Three-times World Champion Stephen Miller (coach: Ros Miller) secured a last gasp bronze medal with his final round effort in this morning’s F31/32/51 club throw at the IPC Athletics World Championships in Christchurch, New Zealand (21-30 January).
Defending champion Miller, one of the most experienced members of the Aviva Great Britain and Northern Ireland team, recorded a distance of 31.25m (933 points) - his first mark of the competition in excess of 30m - with his sixth and final throw.
“What a competition,” said the Gateshead athlete. “I didn’t throw well so I really had to pull it out on the last throw. I know I’m a lot better than that but the worst case scenario would have been to go home with nothing so to take bronze is amazing.
“I definitely need to work on my consistency,” he added. “I didn’t do myself justice and I have to do better than that in London.”
While it was Miller’s fourth outing in the IPC World Championships, team mate Thomas Green (coach: Ken Green) was making his full international debut and finished seventh (25.05m/793 points).
“That was a really good, tough competition and it was great to be part of it,” he admitted. “I came here saying that I would be happy with 24m and I threw over 25m and I know there’s a lot more to come.
“It’s been an incredible experience to compete alongside Stephen and the international athletes out there who are fantastic.”
*PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS EVENT IS CURRENTLY UNDER PROTEST; AN UPDATE WILL FOLLOW IN THIS EVENING’S REPORT*
Tracey Hinton (coach: Darrell Maynard) was unable to add to her T11 200m bronze medal but was once again impressive as she finished just outside the medals in fourth in this morning’s T11 100m final (13.55 (+0.3m/s)).
Lining up against World Record holder and Beijing silver medallist Terezinha Guilhermina of Brazil in addition to Paralympic champion Wu Chunmiao of China, Hinton was under no illusions about the task in hand.
“It was a good warm up for the 400m,” she laughed, an event she lines up in later this evening.
“The Brazilian was always going to be quick and all three of the girls were medallists in Beijing so I knew it would be tough.
“I always go out there to do my best and I’m proving to some of the younger athletes on the team that you don’t have to be young, just very fit and focused; I’ve got a busy schedule out here but I’m feeling fitter with every event.”
Concluding the morning’s finals on the in field, IWAS World Junior champion Aled Davies (coach: Anthony Hughes) finished agonisingly close to a medal in fourth in the men’s F42 shot putt with 12.84m, only marginally outside his lifetime best.
“I wasn’t that far off getting the bronze, it was barely nothing,” he said. “I was in sixth place all the way through but then in the fifth round I pulled out a big throw and really got motivated. I know further distances are there.”
The event was won by world leader Maxim Narozhnyy with 14.23m, a new Championship Best performance.
Back on the track Shelly Woods (coach: Pete Wyman) and Jade Jones (coach: Ian Thompson/Tanni Grey-Thompson) finished fifth (1:55.97) and eighth (2:00.91) respectively in a fast T54 800m final won by the USA’s Beijing silver medallist Tatyana McFadden in 1:51.10, yet another Championship Record.
“I wanted to make sure I took something from the race and I did,” said Woods. “I tried to work on my start a little bit and I kind of know what I now need to do for the 1500m.”
In the qualifying rounds – and in her fourth race in as many days - IPC world 200m champion Katrina Hart (coach: Rob Ellchuk) took a relatively easy victory in her T37 100m heat in 14.51 (-0.5m/s), the second quickest time in qualifying behind Germany’s Maria Seifert (14.48 (+0.2m/s)).
“It’s been quite a tough schedule so far,” said the Commonwealth Games gold medallist and world leader, “but we tried to simulate this sort of situation in training and competition back in the UK so I came out here prepared for that. I went out hard but I was able to ease up a bit into the finish.”
Building on their bronze medal success in the T37 4 x 100m relay, Jenny McLoughlin (coach: Darrell Maynard) and Hazel Robson (coach: Janice Kauffman), in addition to Hart, were also in qualifying action in this morning’s session.
McLoughlin finished third in her T37 100m heat to secure the final automatic qualifying spot for tomorrow’s final (Wednesday 26 January, 16.20 NZ time, 03.20 UK time) in 14.99 (+0.2m/s), while Robson – fourth in Sunday’s T36 200m final - finished comfortably in second in her T36 100m heat in 15.28 (-1.0m/s).
Beijing silver medallist Libby Clegg (coach: Tom Crick), World Championships bronze medallist over 200m, also cruised to victory in her T12 100m heat this morning. Alongside guide runner Mikail Huggins, Clegg looked powerful as she progressed through to this evening’s eagerly anticipated final (16.35 NZ time, 03.35 UK time) as second fastest in qualifying (13.03 (-0.1m/s)).
This evening’s action kicks off with Sophia Warner (coach: Jonas Dodoo) in the women’s T35 100m final at 16.15 NZ time (03.15 UK time).