The British Athletics team ended the day with two medals as Jonathan Broom-Edwards (coach: Fuzz Caan) added to the tally in the evening session at the IPC Athletics European Championships in Grosseto.
In an entertaining T42/44 high jump final, Broom-Edwards won European bronze to add to his collection. After serenely gliding over a series of heights from 1.87m to 2.07m on his first attempts, unfortunately the 2.11m height was his nemesis. He finished behind long term Polish rival Maciej Lepiato who took silver and the T42 athlete Lukasz Mamczarz won gold on the Raza points tally.
Broom-Edwards spoke afterwards: “I learned something today, at the lower bars I made sure I completed my jumps which is what I was hoping to do. At 2.11m, my third attempt was probably my best one – if I hadn’t fouled maybe it would have been a different story. It is more about the process for me, it’s all about Rio (Paralympics). I am very focused on that but this is something to progress from.
“The quick first few jumps helped me to relax and get my flow. I was coming in a bit too intense from the start so I needed something to get the mind focused. As I say, it’s a learning experience but of course I am gutted with the result. However, it was good to put pressure on my rivals out there.
On the support of team captain Sam Ruddock on the night, Broom-Edwards added: “It was great to have him there. He made a fantastic captain’s speech last night. Sam and Holly (Neill) will carry the team to higher results. Also, having Fuzz (Caan – coach) there kept me focused and level-headed so I’m really glad he was here.”
In the T20 1500m men’s final, there was a fifth place finish for Stephen Morris (James Thie) in 4:00.46. The Welshman led the field narrowly at the bell but despite his best efforts, the pace picked up in the final 250m and the victory went to Poland’s Daniel Pek. Nevertheless, it was a solid return for Morris who has faced injuries in recent years.
The Paralympian said: “It was pretty rusty at the start and I think I took it on a little too early in the final 400m. It was my first major championships since coming back from injury – my first since the world championships in Lyon (2013) but I need to keep going to make the team for Rio.”
Also, debutant James Hamilton (Mark Kirk) finished 12th in the same race in a time of 4:20.65. He had to contend with someone clipping his right spike on the first bend so ran most of the race with his shoe hanging off. However, the Northern Irish man put it down as a learning curve and will return for the 800m semi-finals on Sunday morning.
Mitchell Dutton (Philip Peat) made a solid start to his GB senior career with a fifth place finish in the F37/38 javelin final. He was delighted to be competitive against the best throwers in Europe.
The Watford-based athlete commented: “Considering it was my first international event at senior level I feel good with my performance, I know there is a lot more to come.
“It was incredible to watch them (the experienced throwers) and I learned so much. It was a different experience from the world junior games. British Athletics have helped me so much to get here so thank you to them for supporting me to compete in Grosseto. Also, without my coach Phil Peat, I wouldn’t be here, so thank you to him.”
There was a trio of qualifiers though to Sunday evenings T36/38 200m final with Sophie Hahn (Joe McDonnell) setting a championship record of 27.44 (-2.2). She was the fastest qualifier and will be joined by Olivia Breen (Jonas Tawiah-Dodoo) and Kadeena Cox (Brian Scobie) who recorded times of 29.04 and 28.03 (-1.2) respectively.
Zac Shaw (Joe McDonnell) also progressed to the T13 100m final with an 11.49 (-1.9) clocking for third in his semi-final.
British Athletics medal tally at the IPC Athletics European Championships:
Carly Tait – T34 100m
Jonathan Broom-Edwards – T42/44 High Jump