Paralympic, world and Commonwealth champion takes F46 javelin victory in Berlin, while Harri Jenkins also wins gold
Hollie Arnold and Harri Jenkins both struck gold as Great Britain won seven medals on the opening day of the World Para Athletics European Championships in Berlin.
Arnold, already the Paralympic, world and Commonwealth champion, added the European F46 javelin title to her list of achievements, breaking the championships record three times on her way to victory. She closed with a throw of 40.15m, which was the first time the 40m barrier had been broken at the European Championships.
“I am so happy to have all the titles now,” said Arnold of her Grand Slam. “It’s incredible to think I am Paralympic champion, world champion, world record-holder and now European champion. I wasn’t expecting the Europeans to be in because my event is not normally in, so this is a bonus. This is just a stepping stone ready for next year (the world championships) and Tokyo (2020 Paralympics). I am so excited to get knuckling down for winter training.”
Jenkins had earlier tasted victory in the T33 100m on his debut for Great Britain, clocking 19.44 (-0.2) to take the win against Germany’s Denis Schmitz.
“I didn’t get out very well, but this track isn’t the best for times, so I wasn’t really concentrating on that, it was just about getting the win,” said the Welshman. “I was going into the event hoping for gold and I have come away with it in the end, so I am really happy.”
Four British athletes secured silver medals, with Zak Skinner almost taking the top prize in the T13 long jump. His final-round 6.72m (+0.5) was just fractionally short of the 6.77m winning mark which Spain’s Ivan Cano Blanco produced.
There was a first international medal for the 16-year-old Luke Nuttall as he clocked 4:22.28 to finish second in the men’s T46 1500m. Bulgaria’s Hristiyan Stoyanov won convincingly in 4:08.38, but Nuttall had to win a tight battle with German Johnnes Bessell, who had to settle for bronze in 4:23.98.
In the men’s T13 1500m, silver went to Liverpool Harrier David Devine. Ukrainian Serghii Berezuik came through in the latter stages to overhaul the Briton and win in 4:05.21, just ahead of Devine’s 4:05.57.
There was a personal best to go along with a T38 400m silver medal for Ali Smith, who clocked 1:04.95 to finish behind Germany’s 1:04.12 Lindy Ave, while Laura Sugar took bronze in the T44/64 100m, running 13.63 (+0.8) in a race won by Marlene van Gansewinkel of the Netherlands in a world record time of 12.85, with German Irmgard Bensusan (13.09) also clocking a quick time for second.
Switzerland’s Marcel Hug, the highly decorated star who is nicknamed ‘The Silver Bullet’, added another gold medal to his collection by winning the men’s T54 5000m in 11:44.92 from Germany’s Alhassane Balde (11:45.50).
Full day one results can be found here