Aled Davies (coach: Ryan Spencer-Jones) won the team’s first gold medal of the IPC Athletics World Championships in the F42 Shot Put, throwing a championship record of 14.95m in the final round to take victory over the Iranian Saiad Mohammadian.
It had been a nervous competition from the Welshman after the Mohammadian took an early lead with an area record of 14.54m in the opening round. Opening throws of 14.19m and 14.35m followed by two fouls left the 24 year old needing something special to retain his world title from Lyon two years ago. He threw 14.88m in the penultimate round before he launched the shot out to 14.95m to claim gold, just 10 weeks after undergoing a hernia operation.
He commented after his victory: “It’s probably not the performance I wanted, but I came here and I won a major title and that’s what matters at the end of the day. I keep preaching that if it wasn’t for the medical team, I wouldn’t be here and also my coach Ryan Spencer-Jones. I made the move to him and technically I’m in good shape, and I knew I was the best athlete out there. I know I didn’t perform as well as I could have, but I got the gold medal and that’s what it’s all about.”
It is the second medal of the Championships for the British team after David Weir’s marathon silver staged in London in April, and the reigning double world and European champion was delighted to come through such a tough competition.
“When I got into the third round (lying in second place behind Iran’s Sajad Mohammadian) I was getting frustrated with the fact that I couldn’t execute with everything that I wanted to do. My head then turned to make sure that I won the competition because Mohammadian set the standard (a new area record of 14.54m) and a throw which was good enough for gold in London. Looking forward I’ve got to make sure that doesn’t happen again, but I had surgery (hernia) 10 weeks ago, so you’ve got to look at the bigger picture.”
Kadeena Cox (Brian Scobie) extended her own T37 100m world record in the semi-finals, smashing her previous best with a 13.59 clocking to go into tonight’s final as the strong favourite for gold. The Yorkshire-based athlete was delighted after crossing the line in first position but almost speechless when her time came up on the big screen.
Cox said after her race: “I cannot believe I have done that, I didn’t realise I was running so quick. I’ve now got to go out and replicate that later this evening in the final.
“I was in chill mode before the race and was feeling pretty confident going into the race. I shut down in the closing stages so I hope there is a lot more to come. I’m just going to enjoy the final now – I’ve got a big time out there but I know I’m in great shape.”
Georgie Hermitage (Paul McGregor) was second behind Cox in the second semi-final, also lowering her personal best to 13.79. Jenny McLoughlin (Keith Antoine) will make it a trio of British athletes in the final, after finishing third in the first semi-final in a time of 14.40.
Paul Blake (Rob Ellchuk), who is looking to improve upon the silver medal he won in the T36 400m in Lyon, opened his campaign in fine style, winning his heat in 56.62. He was the quickest athlete going through to the final and is looking forward to taking on his Russian rival Evgenii Shvetkov) in tomorrow’s final.
Blake said after his semi-final success: “It’s always good to start with a win, I felt good out there. It was a bit windy down the home straight but I managed it well. It’s great that all my rivals are here (including Russian Evgenii Shvetcov) and to get a chance to take them all on. Hopefully I can get a medal here in the final, that’s what I am targeting.”
Sammi Kinghorn (Ian Mirfin) kicked off her Championships by safely qualifying for the T53 200m final later this evening. It was the first of a potential eight races in six days for the young Scot but she was happy to progress to her first world final. Mo Jomni (Jenny Archer) also advanced to the men’s 100m T53 final after posting a time of 15.79 in third.
Richard Chiassaro (Jenni Banks) was seventh in his heat in the T54 200m which unfortunately was not enough to progress further in the competition. He returns for the 100m later in the week.
Live coverage can be found on More 4 from 14:00 today or via the live stream following this link https://paralympics.channel4.com/competitions/athletics-world-championships-2015/video/index.html
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British Athletics’ medal tally at the IPC Athletics World Championships
Gold: Aled Davies – F42 Shot Put
Silver: David Weir – Marathon