British athletics team opens medal account in Brazil on day two of the Games
Britain’s Stef Reid took Britain’s first medal of the 2016 Paralympics, picking up silver in the T44 long jump behind France’s Marie-Amelie Le Fur.
Reid matched her silver from London 2012 with her best of 5.64m, 14cm down on her PB. However, the Frenchwoman led from the first round with 5.75m and then twice jumped a world record of 5.83m, in rounds four and six. Netherlands’ Marlene van Gansewinkel took bronze with 5.57m.
The Brit said: “It feels amazing to win another Paralympic medal – I was initially disappointed, but it took an amazing jump to take the gold medal today. Her (Marie-Amelie Le Fur’s) whole series was very impressive.
“Obviously the gold is what I was after, but I was proud with how I jumped and to be taking the silver medal home with me. I’m still motivated and aiming to jump even further next year. London 2017 is a target for me, but I will take a break and see what I need to work on.”
This was Reid’s third Paralympic medal as she also won bronze in the 200m in 2008.
Gemma Prescott followed up with another podium place for Britain, claiming bronze in the F32 club throw. She threw 19.77m but was short of Tunisia’s Maroua Brahmi’s world record of 26.93m. Algeria’s Mounia Gasmi took silver with 25.41m. Britain’s Abbie Hunnisett was fourth with 19.00m.
Prescott said: “It has been a great 2016 for me and to finish it off with a Paralympic medal is something special. I’ve worked hard this year and had a lot of support from family and friends, and my coach (Mike Wood) has been a great support, and pulled everything together.”
Britain’s Libby Clegg went through to tonight’s final of the T11 100m with a world record after a disqualification ruling against her was overturned.
She crossed the line in her semi-final in 11.91 to break the 11.95 mark set by China’s Liu Cuiqing in a previous heat, but a later update saw a “DQ” against her name.
The infringement was against rule 7.10, which reads: “The guide-runner is not allowed to push, pull or otherwise propel athletes in order to gain an advantage at any stage during a race”.
However, a successful appeal by the British team saw her hopes of adding to her silvers from Beijing and London stay alive.
Clegg’s guide runner is GB international 200m and 400m runner Chris Clarke, who legitimately led her for much of the race before slowing right at the end to allow the blindfolded runner to break the finish, as the rules require.
Ireland’s Jason Smyth took the fifth Paralympic gold of his career, clocking 10.64 to win the T13 100m. Smythe, who has a PB of 10.22, added to his 100m and 200m wins in Beijing and London as he crossed the line 0.14 clear of runner-up Johannes Nambala. Smyth will not able to complete the sprint ‘treble double’, though, as the half-lap discipline is not part of the programme in Rio.
Staying with the visually impaired athletes, Cuba’s Omara Durand clocked a world record of 11.55 in the T12 100m to lead the runners through to the final.
In the T53 100m (wheelchair), Britain’s Mickey Bushell began his heat as the Paralympic record-holder with the 14.75 that won his gold in London. However, the day began badly for him as he suffered two punctures shortly before lining up, which hampered his preparation. He then saw his record go as he finished second in his heat before that was broken in the second and again in the third, although he qualified for tonight’s final. World record-holder Brent Lakatos, the husband of long jump silver medallist Reid, ended the round as Paralympic record-holder too with 14.43.
Americans led the qualifiers for the final of the men’s T52 100m. Gianfranco Iannotta wheeled his way to 17.20 and he was followed into the final by compatriot and London 2012 winner Raymond Martin, who clocked 17.27.
Meanwhile, in the cerebral palsy classes, Yanina Martinez won the T36 100m final with 14.46. Germany’s Claudia Nicoleitzik was second with 14.64, while Colombia’s Martha Hernandez Florian took bronze with 14.71.
Ukraine’s Ihor Tsvietov set a world record of 12.22 as he headed the runners into the final of the T35 100m. Britain’s Jordan Howe was disqualified for a false start.
Greece’s Manolis Stefanoudakis won the F53/54javelin gold with a Paralympic record 29.45. This was 46cm short of the world record, set by a Russian athlete earlier this year, who is missing Rio due to the International Paralympic Committee’s drugs-related ban on the nation.
Raoua Tilili of Tunisia gained victory in the F41 shot put final, her 10.19m enough to secure her gold ahead of compatriot Samar Ben Koelleb.
The T20 400m event saw a home victory for Daniel Martins with a 47.22 world record. That put him more than half a second ahead of Venezuela’s Luis Paiva.
Friday night’s finals (UK times)
2130 M 100 – T35
2133 W JT F34: Featuring China’s world record-holder Zhou Lijuan
2136 W 100 – T37: Britain’s Georgina Hermitage goes for gold
2142 W 100 – T38: GB’s Sophie Hahn, Olivia Breen and Kadeena Cox in action
2154 M JT – F42/43/44
2202 W DT – F11
2221 M HJ – T42
2252 W 100 – T11: Libby Clegg and Liu Cuiqing
2258 W 100 – T12
2314 W 400 – T54: Para-athletics legend Tatyana McFadden looks to add to her accolades
2322 W M 100 – T53: GB’s Mickey Bushell takes on Brett Lakatos
2331 M 400 – T12:
23558 M 100 – T44: Jonnie Peacock vs Jarryd Wallace