A bronze and personal best for marathoner Melanie Jewett as she claims GB’s first medal of the 2013 Deaflympics
Marathoner Melanie Jewett admits it feels ‘absolutely amazing’ to have claimed bronze at the Deaflympics, having set a personal best time of 3:23:54 to secure her medal.
With the marathon taking place in Germany ahead of the Deaflympics getting fully underway in Sofia, Bulgaria, on Friday, Jewett finished behind Swiss runner Jacqueline Keller and Edyta Zareba of Poland to claim GB’s first medal of the competition.
“It was an absolutely amazing feeling winning that bronze and only six minutes behind gold,” commented Jewett, who, despite having run well over 50 marathons during her running career, made her Deaflympics debut in Sofia.
“It was very tough compared to other marathons as I have never raced one like this and wanted a medal so much, so did feel the pressure all the way round,” she added.
Explaining how this race differed to those she has completed in the past, Jewett added: “This marathon was a unique event in the Deaflympics as it was integrated in to an organised marathon, so there were hearing people in the field. However, the Deaf Olympians all had to remove any hearing devices and we lined up all together at the very front of the field.”
Running in a pack for the first few miles, the pace soon started to pick up with Keller making a break, closely followed by Jewett and Zareba. Keller’s 3:16:59 was enough to claim gold in the women’s race, as Kenya’s Daniel Kiptum took top spot in the men’s race thanks to his 2:24:45 clocking.
Jewett was back in action on Tuesday as she contested the 10,000m (pictured above), proving her resilience to finish sixth in a field that saw half the athletes fail to finish due to the extreme heat. Given it was her first race ever running on a track at a distance which is not her specialism, Jewett admitted she was happy with her 43:07.78 clocking in a race won by Russia’s Olga Yakubovskaya in 37:16.56.
“This was an exceptionally hard race,” she commented. “The heat was so extreme and I admit I wanted to stop seven or eight laps in, but I dug in and remembered all of my training, the fact I was in Sofia at the games and I had to finish for the GB team.
“A second medal would have been totally amazing, but I was not expecting one. I was very happy with my placing and to finish in one piece as the only participant to finish having run the marathon eight days before.”
Lauren Peffers added to GB’s medal tally with silver in the women’s 400m final, clocking 57.25 to finish behind Alena Tsiarentsyeva of Belarus who recorded a world record with her time of 55.35. Peffers is next in action in the 800m semi-final on Thursday. While DeaflympicsGB captain Bethan Lishman bettered her hammer throw distance from the last Deaflympics in Taipei on her way to a fifth-place finish, with a best throw of 44.37m.