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ipc world championships (13)

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Paul Blake
Paul Blake

28 January 2011

Paul Blake (coach: Rob Ellchuk) continued his successful IPC Athletics World Championships campaign in Christchurch, New Zealand (21-30 January) this morning when finishing second in the T36 800m (2:11.88).

The 21-year-old, who raced to 1500m silver on his international debut earlier this week, was once again beaten to gold by the experienced Russian athlete Artem Arefyev (2:11.42), the World Record holder and multiple Paralympic Games gold medallist, who - after Blake had taken the race out - accelerated into the final bend to take the lead down the home straight.

“That was always my intention,” admitted Blake, who had led from the gun with confidence following a Championship Record, later improved by Arefyev, in his heat. “I had planned to go through in 63s but I went through 400m in 64 and just worked hard to stick at it; I was aware of the Russian and I tried to hold on but I couldn’t - maybe I need to become a bit more aware of what’s going on around me, but I’m absolutely over the moon with two silver medals.”

His busy schedule continues this afternoon in the first round of the 400m at 18.34 NZ time (05.34 UK time).

Adding to the growing Aviva Great Britain and Northern Ireland medal tally - which now totals 32 - Hollie Arnold (coach: Anthony Hughes) secured bronze with a best effort of 32.45m in the women’s F46 javelin final.

“I could have done better,” said the IWAS World Junior Championships silver medallist. “I was so close to silver but I was having problems with my throwing arm, I’m not sure what was wrong, it wasn’t nerves because I felt quite calm, but I was pleased with my first throw.”

“I’ve really taken in this whole experience and now I want to go back to training to get stronger.”

World number two Madeline Hogan (Australia) took the title in a new Championship Record and world leading distance of 37.79m ahead of Russia’s Natalia Gudkova in second (33.65m).

Concluding the morning’s action for Aviva GB & NI athletes, Josie Pearson (coach: Peter Eriksson), in her fourth track race of the week, finished fifth in the T52 800m (3:01.12) while Jade Jones (coach: Ian Thompson/Tanni Grey-Thompson) progressed to the final of the T54 400m as a fastest loser with 1:00.80.

“I wanted to keep behind the Japanese girl (fourth place finisher Yuka Kiyama) but I think I was a bit tentative with my start,” said Pearson on her debut over the distance. “I really played it by ear and if I’d gone off quicker I could have drafted her to a faster time.

“This has been a frustrating learning experience but I don’t regret my decision to move to wheelchair racing, I’ve got a lot still to learn and a lot more to give.”

The race was won by the USA’s T52 400m silver medallist Kerry Morgan in 2:29.41 ahead of triple world champion Michelle Stilwell (Canada).

Tonight’s action commences at 16.00 NZ time (03.00 UK time) with Nathan Stephens (coach: Anthony Hughes) in the men’s F57/58 javelin final.

For the latest news about the 2011 IPC Athletics World Championships, please visit www.ipcathleticsworldchamps.com, while the IPC’s online TV channel www.ParalympicSport.TV is broadcasting live coverage of the evening sessions from Christchurch.

Daily session reports will be posted on the UKA website: www.uka.org.uk